In which year were the twin towers built?

Manhattan 13 years after 9/11 : The new One World Trade Center has opened

"No, I'm sorry," says the security guard and jumps from one revolving door to the next. Again and again: “No, I'm sorry.” Words in a loop. He and his colleagues have had a new main occupation since this week: stopping tourists who want to enter the building. 13 years after the attacks on the New York Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, the first tenants moved into the One World Trade Center this Monday.
You will now show your house ID every day, pass the marble foyer, get into one of the 54 elevators and sit at your desk. Normal work in a completely different workplace. For everyone else, including the thousands of tourists who visit this history-laden place every day, the doors of the high-rise remain closed.
“The rebirth of Lower Manhattan”, “A sign of American resilience”, “Emotional milestone” - in New York you don't skimp on pathos. But where this city is so proud of its constant state of emergency, the yearning in this place is directed towards normality. One step closer to that since Monday.

Longing for normality

Where more than 2,700 people died 13 years ago, business has now returned. The Condé Nast publishing house (“Vogue”, “New Yorker”, “Vanity Fair”) has moved into floors 20 to 44 of the One World Trade Center. For the time being there are only 175 employees, in the course of the coming months all 3400 employees will move from the old headquarters in Times Square to the new tower in the Financial District. Including the legendary Vogue boss Anna Wintour, who will be sitting on the 25th floor. The future residents of the house include stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the trade and cultural center China Center and several US authorities.

“The view is incredible. This building is something special, you can feel it straight away, ”says Henry R. (57), who works as a network analyst for Condé Nast on the 44th floor. He and his colleagues have been looking forward to the move for a long time. Wasn't it a strange feeling to work in the new World Trade Center? “No,” says Henry, “I'm rather proud of it”.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, there were less than two hours between the impact of the first plane and the collapse of both towers. A huge gap has been torn in the Manhattan skyline. But the bewilderment quickly gave way to defiance and actionism, at least on the surface. And so it only took a few weeks for an agency called Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to be established. Your mission: a new World Trade Center.

A building of superlatives

The result is a superlative building. It has 104 floors, is exactly 1776 feet high (541 meters), based on the year of American independence, making it the tallest house in the western world. But also the most expensive: The costs have more than doubled from the originally estimated 1.5 to 3.9 billion US dollars (3.1 billion euros). When refinancing, the hope is for the viewing platform at a height of 381 meters, which should attract millions of visitors. It will open next spring, when the interior work will also be finished.

The American star architect Daniel Libeskind won the architectural competition in 2003 with a very spectacular design. But not only the name changed over the years from Freedom Tower to One World Trade Center, also the design. And so the building, as it now so glassy, ​​angular - critics say: soberly - protrudes from the ground, no longer has much to do with Libeskind's design. The responsible real estate developer Larry Silverstein decided on his favorite architect David Childs, who amended Libeskind's plans. Construction, for which the New York Port Authority is now responsible, began in April 2006, before the topping-out ceremony was held in May 2013 and the 124-meter-long antenna was installed. Now the opening.

Many employees don't want to
back to this place

“The fact that people finally come and go here every day is also an important step for us,” says one of the construction workers who has been involved in the project since 2006. After all, that's what you worked for all the time. The man is standing in front of a site fence that says, “Hello future. We don't forget what has passed. ”However, many companies are also aware of the dark history. And so only 60 percent of the office space has been rented so far. “Many employees say they don't want to go back to this place,” explains filmmaker Mike Marcucci, who accompanied the reconstruction for his film “16 Acres”.
The One World Trade Center, with its 57 meter high concrete base, is considered the safest skyscraper in the world. No airplane or truck loaded with explosives should be able to destroy it. Of course, there are no rubbish bins around either.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page