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Designing One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower)

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2002 Plan for Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center)
Model of the World Trade Center Plan by Studio Libeskind, 2002

Model of the World Trade Center Plan by Studio Libeskind, 2002

Photo courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
When architect Daniel Libeskind presented plans for reconstruction on Ground Zero in New York City, he proposed a 1,776-foot (541-metre) tall skyscraper he called Freedom Tower. In this model, presented in 2002, Freedom Tower resembles a ragged crystal that tapers to a sharp, off-center spire.

Libeskind's vision was a romantic one, packed with symbolism. The building height (1776) represented the year America became an independent nation. When viewed from New York Harbor, the tall, slightly tilted spire echoed the raised torch of the iconic Statue of Liberty. Libeskind wrote that the glass tower would restore the "spiritual peak to the city."

Judges chose Libeskind's plan above more than 2,000 proposals submitted. New York Governor George Pataki endorsed the plan. However, Larry Silverstein, the developer for the World Trade Center site, wanted more office space.

While Libeskind continued to work on the overall scheme for reconstruction at the New York World Trade Center site, another architect, David Childs from Skidmore Owings & Merrill, began re-thinking Freedom Tower.

Next: 2003 Plan for Freedom Tower

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