When I was in New York last April, one of my first stops was Ground Zero. I had been there twice since September 11th and wanted to see the most current progress almost ten years later. Despite how one feels about where the progress should be at this point, or whether or not you like the plans, or if you hate the memorial, you must admit that this is still one huge step forward for our most diverse community in this country. New Yorkers have a resilience and a focus that keeps them moving forward, but in the case of 9-11, those components assisted in their recovery while still getting back to the fast paced, goal oriented and brash community that we love and get addicted to. So now, ten years later, how does Ground Zero represent the community of Manhattan?
The main plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center is the One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, will once again be known as the largest skyscraper in Manhattan. With the goal of having it built past the 80th floor by the ten year anniversary, this building can already be seen in definition from New Jersey. My video footage was shot from my trip in April and you can see the great progress done to One World Trade Center.
One World Trade Center will also be equipped with the most recent collaborations in technology and energy. This is a huge step forward in the way of social responsibility. The design team has used the most up to date methods to maximize efficiency, minimize waste and pollution, conserve water and improve air quality. The designers really took it on themselves to use innovative energy sources such as off-site renewable wind and hydro power that will set One World Trade Center as a new design standard.
Adjacent to the Freedom Tower will be a new performing arts center and a state of the art transportation hub. Nothing really says more about New York than mass transit and the performing arts. The plans for the performing arts center aren’t completely clear but it will be the new home for the Joyce Theater and really wants to put focus on rebuilding how Lower Manhattan can create a more vibrant cultural landscape.
The brand new World Trade Center Transportation Hub will be built with the most up-to-date fare taking system and will be the home daily for over 200,000 New York commuters. Comparable to the size of Grand Central Station, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub will be a great new go to landmark for the millions of tourists that visit New York City every year.
In the footprints of the original Twin Towers will be two reflecting pools that will be the center of the September, 11th Memorial.
This space is said to be open by the ten year anniversary and visitors will be able to relax within the hundred and fifty oak trees that will be planted around the reflecting pools. The goal of the memorial is to provide a place for contemplation, reflection and remembrance. The memorial will also contain all the names of the 2,981 people who lost their lives that day and will still have some of the structural beams that were in the original towers.
Ten years of coping, mourning, and planning and we can now see a new face and feel a modern yet historical vibe on lower Manhattan. Despite the shiny new buildings and the great leaps forward with social responsibility, we must always remember what came out of the late summer morning in 20ll. We do come together when times are tough and we need to remember that when times aren’t at such extremes. We also have to remember to celebrate our advances and our victories as one community too. If we don’t then we will never become solidified as one structure moving forward.
To all the New Yorkers, as well as all of the people directly affected by the devastating events on September, 11th, 2011, I commemorate you on your courage to move forward and will always have love and hope in my heart for everything you had to endure.
I hope that you find strength and community on a daily basis for something that will never be forgotten. And, when other tragedies such as war or natural disasters occur, that you use your experience to teach and support those affected when they have no direction into their futures. We are all one community and as we saw after September 11th, 2001, we need to be there as one, together and united.
For more information about the develpoment of Ground Zero, please check out www.wtcprogress.com
This article can also be found on Dign2it Magazine