When the World Trade Center landmark twin towers were completed in May,
1973, they rose 1450 feet to become the tallest buildings in the
world, surpassing the Empire State Building. Its demise as the result of the horrific
devastation of September 11, 2001 has launched a decade of debates as to
what type of architecture could possibly replace its iconic imagery
remembered by so many.
George W. Bush's immediate reaction was to rebuild the site "bigger and better" than before, but tomorrow on the tenth year anniversary, when Barack Obama presides over National 9/11 Memorial Plaza, Freedom Tower is just now creeping its way heavenward to takes its place as the latest entry into Manhattan's ever-evolving skyline.
Over the course of the last several months, I have photographed the construction phases chronicling its emergence onto the downtown Manhattan scene.
Construction of the Freedom Tower!
There were numerous proposals for the rebuilding of Ground Zero, including demands to replicate the twin towers themselves. Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind eventually emerged from the competitive bids with the plans for a spiralling Freedom Tower, 1776 feet (541m) high [recalling the date of American Independence] and "reasserting the pre-eminence of freedom and beauty".
At the base of the Freedom Tower, there will be a plaza with square sunken memorial reflective pools filling in the foundations of the old towers. The planned adjoining buildings will be arranged around the Freedom Tower so that the sun's rays would emerge as a "wedge of light" from behind the new skyscrapers each year at the exact time of the attack to illuminate the square.
For me - while consensus as to whether or not the Freedom Tower was the appropriate replacement for the Twin Towers is still under debate - I truly feel, if nothing else, its prominence on New York's skyline demonstrates the resilience of the American spirit in overcoming adversity. And as such, it will become our new reminder to never forget the horrific transgressions that fell on American soil, at the beginning of the 21st Century.