JOHN ZELENKA: Hello everybody. Thank you so much for coming out. My name is John Zelenka, I run the Cornell Wall Street program down here in New York City, and I'm very happy to welcome you all here tonight. I have a special thanks, before we begin, to Robin Panovka, class of '83, Larry Silverstein for hosting the space, and the great staff at Silverstein Properties for making this event happen. Without their effort and all the moving parts to pull this all together, we would not be here tonight. So I really want to thank them first before we start anything else. I'm going to be very quick up here. As I said, my name is John Zelenka, and this is going to be a great conversation about the World Trade Center. So without further delay, it is my pleasure to welcome the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Dean Kent Kleinman.
KENT KLEINMAN: Great. OK, everything's taped down so I can't mess it up. So this should be fun. Good evening, this is extraordinary. When I was asked to moderate this, they said there'd just be a handful of people informally talking about a small project. And I said sure, I could do that. I didn't know what I was getting into. My name is Kent Kleinman, I am the Dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. And before I get started, I want to thank Cornell Wall Street and Silverstein Properties for pulling this amazing event together. So please give them both a hand.
I am a dean of a college that, correctly or incorrectly, prides itself on training architects, planners, and sometimes even real estate students, to imagine, to model, to construct the cities of our projected futures. This site, of course, is the apotheosis of the issues that we, back in Ithaca, ponder in our courses and in our studios. And so I want to confess right up front that I consider myself much more of a student here tonight than any other capacity, because this is surely the most complex lesson in urban design of our generation. We have four panelists here tonight, and the fact that they are all Cornellians-- and I'm speaking about these four gentlemen-- speaks volumes to the value of a Cornell education, and I think also to the very direct impact that Cornell University has in this city.
We have over 50,000 alums in the five boroughs, and eight colleges have full semester programs here in the city. And we employ, apparently, over 5,000 Cornell staff and faculty in the city. So we have a fairly big footprint. If this sounds like a set up for a promotional, it is. You heard the mayor yesterday, I believe-- and if you didn't, I would be surprised-- announce the RFP for a partnership for a new tech campus here in the city. And I want to make sure that you know that we back in Ithaca are taking this RFP extremely seriously. We don't actually see any other university that could possibly compete with us, and especially not on the West Coast. So you will be hearing a good deal about our proposal to be a much bigger presence here and to contribute to the city in a very vibrant way. So stay tuned for that, please.
Now a word about the event structure. I have a few remarks that I wrote down that I'd like to present to you, but they're very brief. And then I'd like to introduce to you a man who is really at the fulcrum of all the activity you have seen behind us when the shades are up, Mr. Janno Lieber, the gentleman here. Mr. Lieber will offer his remarks, he will introduce the speakers. They will each speak for about 10 minutes, I believe, on their particular subject and role and experiences with the World Trade Center project. I will then moderate a Q&A session for about half an hour. Important deadlines, the bar closes at 9:15 and you will be asked to leave at 9:30.
It is very ironic, and perhaps even very appropriate, that the rebuilding of the World Trade Center should become one of my generation's, your generation's, most conflicted debates about the shape of the city, about urban planning, and about urban design. The original World Trade Center was, of course, the exact opposite of anything we would now recognize as urban planning or urban design. Recall that the World Trade Center was sited where it was sited in large part because a New York governor arrived at a deal with a New Jersey governor to have the Port Authority build Rockefeller's desired Trade Center in exchange for the Port Authority buying a lagging train line. The Hudson Madison had a terminal building here at Church Street. Ironically, a twin towered edifice. The Authority bought the tubes for the newly named Port Authority Trans Hudson, the PATH, demolished the building, and voila, the site and access for a World Trade Center was established. There was no master plan, per se, No stakeholder meetings, no market or demographic data. Not even the mesmerizing imagery of a Daniel Burnham. None of the normative urban planning instruments informed the choice of this site and that program.
From an urban design perspective-- not planning, but design-- the original World Trade Center was rearguard even before it was complete. Superbox, [? catalyzed ?] streets, the tabula rasa approach more associated with [? stump ?] clearance of the 1950s, underground retail, lack of mixed use programming, iconic object buildings versus urban fabric, Yamasaki's site plan for the World Trade Center was the tail end of a dying notion of a discipline that did not have much power. So I think it is ironic and, as I said, perhaps appropriate, that the tragedy of the World Trade Center would ignite, of all things, a profound debate on city making, and on the role of urban planning and the role of urban design. The destruction unleashed many issues that the original construction had so effectively dammed up, conflated now with an even more complex matrix of national grief. Soon after September 11, 2011, the World Trade Center became the international focus of an unavoidable discourse on the city. A public planning process and a deliberation in public was inescapable. It was famously an imperfect and contentious process, and it's still a wound as much as a scar for some. But no one can doubt that the public discussion of re-inhabiting these 16 acres of Lower Manhattan revealed in an unprecedented fashion what I would call the philosophical and deeply aesthetic enterprise that is at the core of shaping the city.
We are very privileged tonight to have five individuals who hold key roles in this historic drama. Each speaker carries a discrete portfolio of expertise and responsibility. Without his portfolio of work, this immensely complex project could not be realized. But each speaker is also, and I mean this in a very concrete and tangible sense, both a philosopher and an artist, working on what is arguably the greatest, if forever unfinished, work of art, the city. Now I'd like to introduce Janno Lieber. I wrote a serious introduction, but after talking with you before, it seems like I should maybe trade this in.
Janno Lieber is the president of the World Trade Center properties and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects, design, legal, community, government, relationships, and construction of the Silverstein World Trade Center rebuilding effort. Before joining the Silverstein team, he served as Senior Vice President at Lawrence Rubin's Company, where he headed the company's public private development efforts. Previous to that, as an independent consultant specializing in public private development projects, he helped curate the financial and legal structure for the $700 million plus conversion of the Farley Post Office Building into Moynihan Station. Mr. Lieber also served at the US Department of Transportation, first as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, and later as acting Assistant Secretary. He is a graduate from another school-- from two other schools. He is a graduate from two other schools. And lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. And it was Janno's inimitable and clearly empirical based tour of the best watering holes in Redhook that persuaded my wife Lisa and me to buy a place in Brooklyn. Please help me welcome Janno Lieber.
JANNO LIEBER: So that's only a partial story. After the tour of the watering holes and the purchase of the apartment, 15 minutes later he accepted the job at Cornell and moved out of town. So you could see how effective I am in selling Brooklyn, and hopefully not in marketing the World Trade Center. We're excited to have you here. I'm not going to talk very long. You've come at an interesting time in the World Trade Center project, in the arc of this incredibly historic and challenging and complicated effort. It is a moment when, for a lot of reasons, the world is looking back at the World Trade Center project.
They're looking back because the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us, and they're looking back because of what took place with Bin Laden a couple of months ago, and they're looking back because people are starting to see visible signs of the progress that has been made. And they're also reassessing some of the received wisdom that has inhibited Lower Manhattan's advance over the past few years. They're looking back at the idea that people wanted to be in Midtown because it was more convenient. That's demonstrably no longer true, with a white collar workforce that is growing dramatically in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn and New Jersey, areas that are more convenient to Downtown, and not growing fast in Long Island and the northern suburbs. People are starting to realize that the creative workforce of tomorrow really likes Lower Manhattan and finds Lower Manhattan convenient and attractive. They're looking, again, at Lower Manhattan because for the first time they're finding out that this is the only place where you have a truly green, sustainable neighborhood, where great office buildings exist blocks away from great residential community with the best parks and the best schools and that access to the waterfront that's nowhere else available living in the city.
And they're looking back at Lower Manhattan because they're starting to understand that the public facilities that are coming to the World Trade Center, including the Memorial Park, the new train station, the performing arts center, and others are going to make this a very, very special place. And they're looking back because the wrongs of the original World Trade Center, which Kent enumerated-- the World Trade Center is a big place in our hearts because of its history and because of what took place there, but we're also realistic about its limitations. And we are reconnecting this neighborhood to the city, and we are making it, in terms of urban design, a much more exciting streetscape than the old World Trade Center was. So all of those things are causing people to reconsider some of the maybe negative received wisdom about Lower Manhattan.
And then the Port Authority, represented here by Drew Warshaw, managed to do this amazing lease with Conde Nast to be the occupant of a million feet, which validated everything that we've seen in Lower Manhattan, especially in this building, about creative companies coming to Downtown. So people are excited. This is a great moment to look back. It's a great moment to hear from four of your Cornell colleagues. I'm from the other red school, so I will--
--yeah, go ahead.
I congratulate you for assembling a great group. I congratulate you for getting my colleague, David Worsley, to speak in public, which is not his preferred modus operandi. But it is an exciting time to have this discussion. So let me do my job of introducing the members of the panel, who are all great colleagues and and dear friends in different ways. Robin Panovka, who is a graduate of the Cornell-- Cornell undergrad. Robin was our lawyer, was the principal lawyer, who helped to work out a lot of the business and real estate arrangements that were necessary for this building to be rebuilt. And remember, this building has been open for five years and it was done very quickly after 9/11. It was complicated, and Robin was a key part of that. And then he became, in his role as a partner, Wachtell Lipton, a very big piece of our legal and business team, figuring out all of the arrangements that have made the rebuilding process across the street able to take place.
And there were a lot of bumps in that road, and at every stage, Robin was a major, major person helping to effectuate those transactions and all of those visionary ideas. Jeff Holmes, who was for many years at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, worked on both the design of this building as one of the principal design professionals, and then on both versions of what's now called One World Trade Center. The building just to the left, which is being built by the Port Authority, was originally designed by Silverstein with Skidmore Owings and Merrill as our principal designers. Jeff was very much the leader of that design team. It's no secret to you that the people who do a lot of the work in the design business aren't always the people whose names are on the buildings. But Jeff was huge and a leader in that.
David Worsley is the director of construction of Silverstein properties, and has been my partner for-- almost since the beginning of trying to get this site rebuilt. And is an incredibly talented engineer and construction professional who I think has, in many ways, helped to move the entire project along. Not just the Silverstein projects, but all of the projects at the site through his wisdom and his construction know how. And Drew Warshaw, who has been the Chief of Staff of the Port Authority since 2008, after a career in state government, was a major partner of ours in moving the relationship between Silverstein and the Port Authority, which had been complicated for many years and for lots of reasons, to a place where we are truly great partners and has also been a leader in all of the things the Port Authority is doing, bringing the memorial to completion by 9/11 of this year and building One World Trade Center, building the PATH terminal, and many other aspects of the facility. And for us, Drew has been an incredible go to person to solve the really complicated problems that this site always manages to develop.
So each of them is going to give you a presentation, slightly different. But what you've got is four different key perspectives on this site. And I think between the four of them, you're going to hear an amazing story. So thank you for listening, and thank you for being here.
ROBIN PANOVKA: Thank you, Janno, for that introduction. I warned Janno that if he ran out of here, I was licensed to take shots at him. So I guess he's going to stick around for a bit. At least 10 minutes. So I got involved with the rebuilding process, by way of background, just days after 9/11 when Larry Silverstein, after the Towers came down, came to a law firm and asked us to help represent him in dealing with all of the incredibly complex issues that were being faced at the time. I was particularly excited to represent Larry because it was clear to me at the time that he was a person who took his civic responsibility very seriously. He was there to do the right thing, and he believed that rebuilding was the appropriate response to the attacks of 9/11. This was a much debated point back then. But Larry, from day one, had the conviction to do it. Janno reminded me that I also was excited because I knew it would take a person with rare determination to get the Trade Center rebuilt, and I'd first met Larry a few years before that on the opposite side of the table in a workout situation where I was representing some lenders. And Larry beat the hell out of us.
So I thought where we would begin this evening is to talk a little bit about this building, 7 World Trade Center, the building you're in. Because the story of how this building got built really explains many of the ingredients that are leading to the rebuilding of the site right across the street from us behind me. It's really a story about vision, determination, and sheer guts. And it's also a story about the street grid in Manhattan, which has led to many of the features of the master plan.
As many of you know, Manhattan is broken down into grids and has been for a while. And if you look back, going way back to 1867, you can see the street grid being imposed on Lower Manhattan. The yellow line in this picture-- and many of the pictures you're going to see-- is Greenwich Street, the street you came in off of when you entered this building, and the white block in the middle there, if you keep an eye on it as we go through the pictures, is the footprint for the old 7 World Trade Center, and then the new 7 World Trade Center as we progress. So 1867, move forward to 1921. Again, you see the grid. And again you see the yellow line, Greenwich Street, running openly through the entire Lower Manhattan. Fast forward to 1960, right before the original World Trade Center, which the dean has already provided his views on, was about to be constructed.
At this point, before the construction, Greenwich Street ran through the site. And what you're looking at, if you look at that brown box, is the outline for the entire World Trade Center site with the top little piece over there, the crown, being where 7 World Trade Center was built. So at this point, the pink lines and the yellow line, the grid is alive and well, but not sufficiently valued that the super block isn't imposed. So when the Trade Center is built in the 60s, the grid disappears and the superblock concept is put in place. There's no way to now travel through the site, and Greenwich Street, the yellow line, is blocked off. Originally when the Trade Center was built, the little crown at the top, the 7 World Trade Center footprint, was, in fact, a utility area. Con Ed had a substation there. In the 80s, Larry Silverstein leased that site from the Port Authority and built 7 World Trade Center on it.
And this is the view that it created on Greenwich Street, now looking south. It blocked the grid, it blocked the light, it blocked the sky. And it turned out that New Yorkers hated it for that reason. It was a great building, and Larry is still proud of it. But it blocked the street. And so this is a picture, now, after 9/11, when everything was flattened out. Suddenly with all the buildings gone and 7 World Trade Center came down as part of the 9/11 attacks, Greenwich Street just opened up. And people again saw the sky, saw the light, and there was a tremendous push from the community to not close up Greenwich Street. This is the grid people wanted to reimpose on the site. And this is what the [? seventh ?] site looked like. This is the footprint of the building you're on, and that's Greenwich Street. This picture's looking north, going up.
So we found ourselves, right after 9/11, with a clear mission that Larry had and that Con Edison had, to rebuild quickly. Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea to get 7 up relatively quickly. No lives were lost on 7, as opposed to the Twin Towers across the street, so there wasn't as much emotion built into not getting 7 going. Con Edison wanted to rebuild its-- needed to rebuild its substation in order to supply power to Lower Manhattan. And the forces were aligned to rebuild.
But there were tremendous obstacles in the way. And it's really how these obstacles were overcome, through cooperation with the Port Authority and the other players, and determination that led, I think, to many of the lessons that are used in rebuilding the larger site. So there were two huge problems with getting the building going. One, back to the grid, was that there was a tremendous sense in the community that nothing should be built on 7 World Trade Center's site ahead of the master plan for the entire site being completed. Or if something was going to be built, it couldn't in any way block a master plan that would open up the grid. So in other words, fine if you want to go ahead and build 7 faster than the rest of the site, but don't prejudge what's going to happen on the big site and, to translate all of that, leave Greenwich Street open. The community, particularly to the north of this building, felt very strongly that Greenwich Street needed to be open.
So it was just a fact of life. As a lawyer, I often look at laws and simple principles. There's no law that said you have to open up Greenwich Street, but it was quite obvious to everybody involved that Greenwich Street needed to be open. So the idea came about to break the site down, and there you have Greenwich Street again open. And the little triangular park over there, which had been part of the original 7 World Trade Center, would become a park. The building would not go there.
There's only one problem with that. In order for the building on the left side of the picture to make sense, it needed to have a larger footprint than the streets allowed. Buildings just don't work unless they have a certain footprint-- don't work for office tenants. The footprint you're looking at right here is the ideal size, and if the building were to be built without that red strip at the bottom-- which at this point in time was part of the streets-- it wouldn't work. And so we looked at how we might acquire the little strip of land, and it became clear that it would take years to do it through various condemnations, various proceedings, tremendous regulatory hurdles to doing it.
And so the solution was-- and this is the guts it took to get this going-- Larry made the decision to build the building, even though he didn't own that strip. Literally, this building was built on a strip of land that was not owned by the Port Authority, couldn't be leased to Silverstein Properties. Silverstein essentially relied on the good word of the other players involved that they would get him the strip through a friendly condemnation proceeding. And a few years later, after the building was well on its way, the land was in fact conveyed to the Port Authority and leased to Silverstein. But very few people would do exactly that. And in fact, Larry did it against the advice of his lawyer.
So that was the first major obstacle that had to be overcome. The second, which the largest site also has, is a tremendous number of stakeholders and a tremendous number of very complex issues the Port Authority owned the land under the building, leased it to Silverstein. Con Ed had a substation in the base that they wanted to build. The city owned the streets and had various other stakes. The state had various stakes. And everybody had an interest in seeing certain things done. It became clear, again, here, that to work out all of the issues would take years. One simple example, the base of this building is a Con Ed substation. On top of it, you have the office tower. How do you allocate costs for the structure? How much should go to the base, which is a Con Ed substation, and how much should go to the office building? The design, does a Con Ed substation need the beautiful skin this building has, or should it be, as somebody joked at the time, like every other substation. Basically with chicken fencing on the outside, which is much cheaper. All those kinds of issues were standing in the way of rebuilding, and so again, a gutsy solution that Silverstein Properties came up with was to build the building without any agreements on these things. We basically had--
--we basically had an agreement we entered into every week for the first couple of years while this building went up that allocated the costs for that week and dealt with issues as they came about. It was just not possible to sit first and deal with all the issues, it would have taken years, and the building needed to get built. So the effect is this beautiful building you've got, which was built on land the builder didn't own, without agreements with all the major other stakeholders. And I think it's that kind of cooperation and guts--
--that has led to the success of this building and the buildings that you're seeing shooting up across the street. So with that, let me turn the floor to Jeff, who's going to tell us a little bit about the design.
JEFFERY HOLMES: Thank you, Robin.
If you allow me just one minute of nostalgia, I haven't been in a room this full of Cornellian in way too long. So I promise this part will be short. But it was 28 years ago, almost to the month, that I got in a beat up, though beloved, Ford Mustang and drove halfway across the country. From North Dakota, if you can believe it, to Ithaca, full of awe and excitement. The awe was fueled partly because of the incredible environment that is Cornell and Ithaca. As I told my newfound Vermont friends, I had never seen mountains before. And they were mountains compared to what I had seen in North Dakota. But also because of my classmates' intelligence and experiences. I mean, it was just-- what an incredible environment to be in, in every way of talking about environments.
The excitement was fueled because I knew everything was going to change. Everything was going to change from that moment on, that somehow that Cornell was this gateway that was going to make anything possible. And I cherish that. And here I am, a kid from farm country. The tallest structure that I was aware of was a grain silo, and I've had this incredible opportunity over the course of the last 15 years to be involved in really precedent setting urban projects in New York City and around the world. And I just thank the heck of Cornell for that opportunity, I thank, really, the bigger group of all of us, the community that is established by, yes, being a Cornellian. And you notice that Janno had to leave because the best he could come up with is he wore some red.
Yeah, not even close, huh? Robin certainly set the stage, set the first acts of what happened after 9/11. And really set the stage for a number of pivotal urban design acts that were to follow. And I thought I'd just offer a few thoughts, mainly in that regard, For 7 World Trade and also for One World Trade across the street. Robin has done a fantastic job of talking about Greenwich Street. It's my favorite street in New York, it's become my favorite street in New York. A little lane that once ran from a part of Manhattan that was called Downtown or Lower Manhattan, up to a little town called Greenwich Village. Really, there was a forest between these two places, and that little road connected these two incredibly important parts of what would become our city. And so as Robin said, the original 7 World Trade just obliterated that history. And through the hard work of thousands, frankly, the street was restored. And the street is what New York is all about, the dynamic interaction of people and movement that makes this city one of the best in the world. And Robin showed you this picture. Yes, squatting across our beloved Greenwich Street.
And at the time, a rendering of what might become. And that imagination of what it could become, I think, is-- well, it's foundational for all of us. The community to the north imagined a different kind of city. Larry, through all of the hard work, imagined something different. And I think that's powerful for all of us. I mean, you don't have to be an architect, you don't have to be a lawyer, you don't have to be anybody. You can just be a person and imagine a better city and make it happen. It was a pretty simple idea, you'd think. Make a little smaller building. No, wasn't simple.
One, land acquisition and all that stuff we just heard of. Robin alluded to the Con Ed volts as well. Incredibly complex arrangement of programmatic and functional requirements to work into this. And you can see by the shape of the building's footprint, it's pretty clear. Comes from the city, it's a response to the street grid. It literally just takes that street grid and extrudes up. A little known fact, however, is that the area of this building and the height of this building is determined by not how much you can build here. In New York City there's FAR, Floor Area Ratio, it tells you how much you can maximize the buildable area. And this building falls short of that. This building was actually-- its area and its height is determined by how to fit the transformers in its ground floor plan, one, how many elevators you can fit between those two rows of transformers, and then how many floors those elevators conserve. And the height of this building and the area of this building is the result of that kind of calculation.
That's just an example of the pragmatics of architecture and urban design, but also the artistry of how to make something special out of what really comes down to a spreadsheet of a few variables. Of course, Robin as well alluded to that these bunkers-- and if anybody saw the construction as it was emerging, 7 World Trade-- that those Con Ed vaults are in concrete bunkers. That was not going to prove to be a terrific and enlivening solution for the streets of Manhattan. And so the thought was how to take, again, a functional necessity of screens that would allow the transformers to breathe air to flow back and forth, take that idea of a screen and really make something quite beautiful out of it.
As you walk out tonight, you'll notice that the screens, those stainless steel screens take advantage of materiality changes, of a Moire effect as you walk by it. They seem to move and they seem to shimmer. Maybe it'll be dark enough when you walk out of here to notice that there's lighting that animates it at night. In fact, there's a really interesting lighting program that has been integrated into it that takes the movement of the streets and people around the building and animates the light with those movements. And so you can actually-- and I've seen people do this-- you can play the building by running up and down the streets and watching the cars pass by. And it's those kinds of, again, those kinds of notions of imagining what something might be, of how we can make great, vibrant, vital city streets even under the most challenging circumstances.
For me, the building is a number of terrific assets. Yeah, it was the first Gold LEED building in the city. It's got all kinds of innovative elements. It has spaces like this that we're in tonight. It's one of my favorite, Fast Company, they've done an incredible job up there. Filled with daylight. I don't think I've been in a meeting in this building ever where the lights have been on. Incredible. Why not, right? The amount of daylight, the use of high performance glazing to certainly manage solar gain, but allow the maximum amount of light to reach deep into the floor plate. Makes terrific spaces.
I do think, though, that really the highest performing metric of this building is its performance in the city. Of how the open lobby that you walked in really opens itself up to that park. And as Jenny Holzer's piece, text is flashing on that screen in the lobby, and people are moving, the yellow cabs are moving outside, that it becomes this kind of performance art piece down at the base. The skin, as the sun rolls across the sky, as the clouds change, it tells us something about our environment in a quite literal way. And all buildings should aspire to that, certainly.
On to another project. Now this one, hmm. This one has lots of stories. Certainly it consumed about six years of my life. And it has many, many different stories. I would be interested, as we get into questions and answers, what kinds of things you're most interested in. I thought, really talk a little bit, again, about place making and city making. Many of the lessons that were really learned from the work at 7 World Trade, 10 years of dedication from tens of thousands of people have made the construction a reality out there and begun to really stitch together the wound that was really imparted into the urban fabric 10 years ago. And this wound will heal. It's happening out there.
I like this plan very much because while you can see the World Trade Center, you can see the memorial, you can also see it as part of the city. And it's very different than some of the images Robin was showing of yeah, the superblock, the original Trade Towers. It doesn't sit isolated. Streets start to connect the building, places and scales of buildings start to be appropriate for inhabitation. And again, many storylines to that. But those principles that establish at 7, many people worked on it, 2001, 2002. It was all formalized, as I'm sure you're all aware, in 2003 with the final master plan. And that final master plan did many, many important things. It set in motion many, many important things. Yes, it allowed eight acres for the memorial. It reintroduced the street grid, incorporated cultural buildings, transportation buildings. And not unimportantly, provided the opportunity to replace 10 million square feet of commercial office space. There was a great debate at the time of should we build residential, should we build commercial. On and on and on those debates went, and we don't have enough time tonight to get into it.
But the simple fact is 10 million square feet of commercial office space is about as much as many of our major cities in this country have in their entire CBD. On 9/11, we lost a city. Pretty incredible moment. So 7 sets the play. We bring Fulton Street across. Importantly in that plan, connecting not only north and south, but east and west. Fulton Street, the one street that connects river to river. And it's going to be an incredible street over the next few years as not only the World Trade Center gets developed, but other projects to the east start to stitch the city back together. Day street, smaller streets to the south, Main Lane get connected in. And by doing all of that, it provides clear parcels for commercial development. One, two, three, four on the original 16 acres, and then five is the old Deutsche Bank site. The transportation hub for PATH integrated into that. And all of those are arcing around the eight acre memorial site, with two footprints in the locations of the original Trade Towers.
One World Trade Tower emerges from the same footprint as the original Trade Tower footprints. It sits up in the northwest corner, and quite literally makes a very strong relationship to what was once there. The thought of One World Trade Center, the kind of some underpinning principles, was that it would emerge from a 200 by 200 foot base. Not only the size of the original Trade Tower base, but also New York City buildings. The block, the grid. 200 foot by 200 foot by 200 foot as it marches up through Manhattan. And so from Chrysler building to Empire State Building has a certain scale to it. So reincorporated that scale. And the project rises up, it marks in the sky parapet level the heights of the old Trade Towers as well. And then above that, a very, very ambitious and innovative telecommunications antenna that rises up even higher.
The building does have recollections for the originals, but it achieves that in a very, very different means. The original towers, that 200 by 200 foot floor plan just extruded straight up in the sky as the elevators got small-- less and less elevator core. As you moved up in the building, the floor plates got very, very deep. You could be 60 feet away from the window. Here the form of the building is actually composed of eight very tall isosceles triangles, very tall triangles. These chamfered corners that, while they mark in the sky a kind of silhouette that might bring back to mind the originals, as you move around the building, that very simple move creates a very dynamic profile. It's ever changing as you would move around it, see it from different angles. And as the sun moves around, it's going to catch those facets in very unique ways.
The glass, which is exciting to see going up over there, is monumental in scale. It's a full floor by floor. Never been done, at least up when we started to launch this. Never been done at that scale. Insulated units that, again, are using some very high performance glazing to maximize daylight, manage energy gains, and give the building a unique scale. Floor plans, don't worry. I won't dive into all the interesting technical details. Don't worry. I get excited about this stuff. But these are three floor plans at different heights in the building. Down at the lower level, somewhere up in the middle, and at the very top. And you can see as those chamfered corners move up, it transforms the form of the floor plan. And, as you can see, it's actually following the transformations happening in the core. And it's that kind of choreography of perimeter and core that really creates the unique form of the building. Not unlike Rockefeller Center, which-- its step profile is actually-- a little known secret-- its step profile is actually simply following the step profile of the core inside. As the elevators drop off, as the services drop off, the floor plates get smaller and the perimeter responds to it.
There is lots of work on making this the safest and most secure building in the world. And lots of those innovations have certainly had influences through New York and elsewhere, from egress paths that allow multiple routes to exit at grade, to stairwells that are wider and encased in concrete to ensure that should you inadvertently start a fire with your popcorn in the microwave, that emergency responders can move up to a floor without having that conflict of tenants moving down the floor at the same time. That even details deep into the core of how to provide dedicated access for emergency responders, firefighters to do staging, to move between floors.
All these considerations we certainly have to think again about, following 9/11. And there's been with this building, with One, and with many buildings underway now, they have been rethought. And this building would be not only a terrific place to work, but it would be the one place you'd want to be. I think it's a testament to rebuilding in New York. I do a lot of talks with schoolchildren around the country, and you know, they inevitably ask the question of well, what happens. And could it ever happen again. First, I think we have to teach our kids. We have to give them confidence that the future is bright. But we also have to make our buildings not only safe, but we have to protect our airways, we have to do a number of different things. But the fundamental thing we have to do is we have to make great cities. We can't retrench. We can't retrench and make cities that are defensive, we can't make buildings that are only inward facing. Because if we lose our cities, we are going to lose our souls.
The base of this building has a number of challenges as complex as 7 World Trade Center. It's got connections below grade, the concourses, it's got a PATH train curving around right underneath it. It has mechanical spaces for building services above the lobby, almost 120 vertical feet of mechanical spaces. A number of challenges, different and yet, interestingly, they have a relationship to 7. This is a floor plan of the ground floor. It's got four great entrances facing four different directions. It's got dedicated observation deck lobbies that allow people to get to the top of the building, restaurant access to the top of the building. It's got great services for tenants.
Through all that, it also then required a fairly creative way of solving many of these competing claims on space, on materiality at the base of the building. And in this case, what this rendering shows-- and what hasn't started to be erected yet down at the site-- is a base that is actually encased in a glistening glass sheath. That glass sheath is a response to, again, functional requirements, air moving in and out of those mechanical areas, glass sitting in front of some of the concrete walls for stairs, et cetera. But it's also-- interestingly, I think-- a way of taking a material, fairly simple, some sand, some heat, glass, texturing it, articulating in a certain way so that again, as you move around the site, as the sun moves through the sky, it'll always look different.
Part of the thinking was exactly how the light falls upon the surface of the waterfalls and the footprints, and how can we reinterpret and rethink that in a more static form, in an architectural form. And so I think as you see it emerge over the course of the next year or so, it's another attempt to make a way the building hits the ground, to make it something that is so dynamic and so kind of imbued with the spirit and energy of New York that it'll be a terrific place. A terrific place to be. Thousands of folks going to the observation deck will be in plazas like this throughout the day, visitors, tenants, and more importantly, all of us. Come to New York, this is where you should hang out, you should feel like it's home, it's your home. With that, I think I'll turn it over David Worsley and we'll talk a little construction.
DAVID WORSLEY: Thank you, Jeff. So I guess to continue the Janno Lieber bashing, when it comes time for the question and answer period, in lieu of a question, if you'd like to offer up your very best Harvard joke, that would be OK, too.
OK. I can tell this is a Cornell crowd, it's good to be in a Cornell crowd. But I can tell it's Cornell because I can hear the empty beer bottles rattling around on the floor.
Brings back memories. And Jeff, I didn't know-- I, too, showed up at Cornell in 1979 with an old '68 Mustang. Yes. Didn't last much longer than that, but in 1979, a '68 Mustang was not an antique yet. So that was a different time. Where have all the years gone by? I was a '83 graduate of the engineering school, Cornell, '84 stuck around, got a Master's degree in structural engineering. Left there and started designing buildings here in New York. Did that for about five years, then switched over to the construction world of things working for one of the big construction managers here in the city. Did that for about 10 or 11 years, and then switched over to the developer side of the business, working on big projects in the city. Our job is really hiring all of the architects and engineers and construction companies that design and build these projects.
So it's been fun, and it's certainly nice to be in a position here to be involved with this project. Jeff and I worked very closely together getting the design of Tower One up and running. Putting things in front of Larry Silverstein, you like this? Or you like this? And eventually, he ended up liking some of it. Not all of it, but that's the exciting and fun part of the development process is actually conceptualizing through the talented architects that we have, just envisioning these projects and then making them happen and getting them built.
Every speaker is always a little worried about losing their audience, and halfway through they start staring out the window. Please.
I do it every day when I come in first thing in the morning. What happened overnight, because things are going around almost around the clock here. But it's a great place to sit and talk to you guys, especially Cornellians, and have what's behind me outside the window, because this is what all of us live for and this is a great project. So what I'm going to talk to you about a little bit is you heard about the master plan and the whole project, and you heard Jeff talk about the design process, which kind of carries through all of the projects that Silverstein Properties are doing. So we'll talk a little bit about the other projects. There are ultimately going to be five office buildings on the site. Four of them are under construction right now, which is a milestone. In various stages, as you can see out the window.
So just a quick tour through those other buildings. Am I at 6 o'clock here, or 3 o'clock? These are our architects for the other three buildings. Fumihiko Maki on the left is the architect from Tokyo, from Japan. Larry Silverstein is the next gentleman. The third gentleman is Norman Foster, a London-based architect. And the last gentleman is Richard Rogers. Maki is the architect for tower number four, Foster and Partners is the architect for tower number two, and Rogers is the architect for tower number three. I think you've seen enough of the visuals around this place to see what the buildings look like, but all of these are Pritzker Prize-winning architects, which means it's the best price you can win in architecture. Kind of like the HOBI award, maybe? Maybe not as good as that. Hockey joke.
OK, these are the three buildings. Tower four, first. That's the one that's going up in steel on the far end of the site. 2 and 1/2 million square feet, 72 stories. We're going to be done with that building in third quarter of 2013. Very elegant, simple design. A lot like 7 World Trade in the way the floor plates lay out. It's designed as a typical office building, office-type tenants, contrary to two and three, which is a little bit different use. Right now we're up to the 40th floor with steel. You can see the curtain wall is just starting out there.
It's always an exciting time, because once you enclose the building, it starts to really take the character of what ultimately it's going to be like. Tower number three, in the center, is 2.8 million square feet, 80 stories, and is going to be done in the middle of 2015. We've completed the foundations, and what you see out there is the starting of the concrete core coming out of the ground. The core that encircles all of the critical elements in the center of the building, elevators, stairs, all of the mechanical and electrical systems that feed the building, all housed inside that concrete core. That's what's just starting to come off the foundations in the center of the site. Lastly, tower two, the largest of the three buildings on what we call the east side of the site, is 3.1 million square feet, 88 stories, and it will be done a little bit later in 2015. That's a development project that will follow the others as the market hopefully recovers over the next few years.
Altogether, it's almost 8 and 1/2 million square feet all under construction at the same time, which is quite a bit of construction work that's going on out here. There was a lot of concern when we were first starting up the planning stages that, was New York going to be able to handle that. And two things really took those fears away. One was a rethinking of the sequencing of the projects, which was a result of the second thing, which was the economic downturn in 2008 where not only did money go away, but tenants started to go away because of all of the things that were happening that you are all aware about.
So when a new schedule for completing these buildings was worked out, the buildings are a little bit more phased. Tower one and tower four are coming up and out of the ground and will be occupied in 2013, tower three in 2015, and tower two after that. So it's a more logical sequence of construction, but also a sequence of leasing of the office space and meeting the market. So that's what we're building right now. Oops. There we go. Tower two, here's a view of what the office will look like from the outside. A view from across Greenwich Street, from the park. You can see the little bits of the Calatrava-designed PATH train station, which will be immediately adjacent to it. View inside the lobby, very soaring kind of space with high ceiling heights, very corporate presence. These are the pathways back to the elevator banks. As you enter the lobby, you come to a reception desk here, pass through security-- which now we have in all of our office buildings, which we didn't 10 years ago-- and enter the core of the building.
Here's a typical floor plan of the building on the ground floor. The orange box is that concrete core at the center of the building housing the elevators. It's kind of a unique design in that the elevators are arranged in kind of a cruciform shape, which is not what you find in a typical office building. Usually it's more like you saw in 7 World Trade here, where there's banks of elevators lined up in a row. It's an interesting way to lay out the core, and it kind of reflects how the building ends at the top with the sloping top as the elevator banks drop off.
Important things to notice is the commercial portion of the project is to the west, to the left, which is facing the memorial. So you have a corporate office, a subdued corporate office presence that faces the memorial in Greenwich Street, while on the eastern side, on the Church Street side, is where the retail components of each of the projects are located, so that the more lively and vibrant aspects of retail is facing away from, with respect to the memorial. So office lobby area here. This one's unique in that it's a lobby that's all the way around. And then retail on the other side.
What's splitting the two functions on the ground floor, which you see in the center, is an escalator that goes down to the transportation network that's located below grade. That's an escalator and a connection to the transportation network. You can get into any one of these buildings underground through a concourse complex of retail and interconnecting transportation passageways that all come up into the lobby, which is an important aspect to the tenants in the building and also getting around the site.
This is a typical trading floor. I said to you that tower four was a conventional office space type of use of a building, a lot like 7 World Trade. Towers two and three were designed to be able to handle a financial services tenant with large trading floor requirements. This is a typical trading floor at the base of the building where, if some of you have never been in some of the big trading floors in New York, it's a sight to be seen. Those are all desks of traders that are jam packed in there, trading millions and billions of dollars every day. And there's kind of an old fashioned need for traders that want to have a line of sight to everybody else on the trading floor, which I think is kind of an old remnant of the old Wall Street pit scenario where somebody was actually pointing at you and trading stuff with you. These guys just have a bank of computers around them, and they don't look up. But they still have that requirement for large blocks of space with trading floors.
So tower two and tower three accommodate that.
[? JOHN ZELENKA: ?] Some of us in this room are those people, so.
DAVID WORSLEY: OK, sorry about that. All right. Well, we're working on getting the urinal under the sink so you don't really actually have to ever leave.
Forgot we were on camera, sorry about that.
OK, so this is a typical floor layout. You can fit 500 to 600 traders on a floor like this. And then a typical office space. One of the things that we've done on this building, and you'll see on the other floor plates, is there's more corner offices than you would see in a normal rectangular box, which is an important thing from a leasing and marketing point of view. Lots of corner offices, whether you're actually in the corner or in a pseudo corner doesn't really matter that much. But you can see the cruciform elevator shape and where you get off on the floor, and all of the services inside the core. The unique feature of tower two is this sloping top, which is pretty dramatic. It's probably one of the most favorite aspects of the design of the non-Skidmore design projects.
And you can see it in relief in the model. What this is a combination of office space with some dramatic news and, unfortunately, some mechanical space, which is necessary at the top of the building. But isn't that a great office to have there, to look out over the skyline of New York? This is a very tall building. This is about 1,250 feet high to the top of the building, which is Empire State Building type of height. So this is a pretty nice office space at the top of the building. Here's a section through the building. You can see in the lower podium portion of the project is where those large trading floors are located. At the very bottom, you see we have three levels of above grade retail. Again, that's facing towards the Church Street side of the project.
So each of the buildings has a retail component above grade for a couple of floors and a couple of floors below grade. The unique thing about this building is it has a sky lobby, that's the gray band that you see about 2/3 up the tower. Just because of the height of the building, the ability to get that many elevators to service that many floors, it has a sky lobby kind of arrangement so that you take an express up to that and then you take a local to your floor up at the top. The other buildings were able to service all of them from the ground floor because they're a little bit shorter.
I wouldn't do my Cornell engineering roots justice unless I talked about the structural system. Don't worry, there's only one slide on this. All of the buildings, not only 7 World Trade and tower one, but the other three buildings, basically have the same structural system. And it's a very robust, redundant system for obvious reasons, from the security issues that everybody faced post-9/11. And it's becoming basically the standard for high rise buildings, not only in New York, but around the world. It consists of a very strong, robust concrete core at the center surrounded by a structural steel frame that makes up the floor plans. You have the luxury of actually seeing the structural frame in this nice open ceiling here, and concrete floor.
But the structural frame-- there we go, Cornell. All right.
Get that guy another one. All right. Structural steel frame, concrete core work together as a composite structure to resist all of the loads that affect tall buildings, which are things like wind and earthquake and all those kinds of things, to keep them from swaying and keep them standing. So each of the buildings has the same basic elements. Moving over to tower three, view of the lobby, again outside, viewing it from the memorial site of the project. That's a corporate office lobby entrance. Here you can see it's a very large lobby coming in from Greenwich.
Here's the floor plan, here a little bit different arrangement. You can see the elevators are more conventionally arranged. But that's a very big, deep lobby. The reason being is the tower on tower three is located a little bit more to the west than there was on tower two, and it kind of goes to the master plan diagram that Jeff talked about of a spiraling set of office buildings that spiral down from tower one to tower five, ultimately, on the south end of the site. So the towers of tower two and tower three, the tower portions of the building are a little bit off set so that the big podium portion of tower three is on the west side, where on tower two it was on the east side. But you can see here in the yellow, that's the corporate lobby entrance. And the pink color around the perimeter is the retail component, both on Church Street and down some of the side streets around the perimeter.
Similar idea with the trading floors. Here you can see that the bulk of the trading is on the other side. A lot of specific requirements when it comes to designing buildings for specific functions like that. There are some unique things about trading floors that are interesting. They have to have separate elevator banks because traders can't mix with other folks for SEC-type reasons. The wonderful things you learn. And so that's what the green elevators are. There's an incredible infrastructure that goes with trading facilities in New York.
I mean, many, many years ago, I was doing a project for Morgan Stanley in Midtown, and it was drummed into me that you do not go down. You do not go black. You do not go dark, because these guys are trading millions of dollars an hour and you can't do that. So the infrastructure that goes with it, and the technical expertise of our architects and engineers and our contractors to build this stuff that needs to be always operational, is really a challenging part of the project. Whether that's emergency power or all these other kinds of things that keep computer screens on, keeps air conditioning going, no matter what happens. Things like the blackout in New York, for those of you who were here in New York, that's a pretty frightening thing. But places like this stay online through that, because there are enough emergency services to keep things going.
All that gets designed in at the very early planning stages of what Jeff was talking about, of conceptualizing these buildings and working it through. And it's designing buildings long before you have a tenant like a Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs or any of the other big banks that need this place. You just need to know what their requirements are and design it into the building so when it comes to leasing time, what they need is there. Typical office tower floor plate. Very similar. Again, lots of corners. And also notice that the corners are column-free, just like in this building. I think if you look over there, you'll see that we've endeavored to keep the corners pulled away from the-- the columns pulled away from the corners, so that there's these nice corner offices without any columns obstructing the view. Tower four, the one that's under construction right now, that's a view, again, from across the street at the corporate office entrance. That's a view now. So you can see it's starting to come together with a lovely reflection of tower one. I like that effect, isn't that nice? Damn, we're good. Who took that picture?
Here's a view inside the lobby, and here's a view inside the lobby. So you can see it's starting to get together, little unique arrangement with the structural columns there. We clustered them together on each side so that they do not have a conventional way out like you see here. You see you've got about 30 foot spacing, 35 foot spacing on the columns here. On tower four, we did a little bit different and clustered them together. And we have a clear span of 80 feet between the columns, which gives you a whole run of offices without a column interrupting it. Here's a view inside the lobby and where we are now. Here's the floor plate for tower four at the ground level. Again, the office lobby towards the west and the retail component towards the east side. And again, the major transportation connection which is in the right hand corner, which is the transit hall, which is the major connection to the downstairs network.
This is the same location in the old World Trade Center where there used to be a couple of hollow metal doors that opened out into Lower Manhattan, and basically all of Wall Street went through those two little doors to get out of there, because it was a straight line from the subways in the PATH station to Wall Street. So our architects had the vision to say hey, let's make it a little bit better. And so that's what that is. And that's a transportation entrance. Here's the floor plans, you can see at the bottom it's somewhat of a rectangular conventional shape, and then with the notch for the upper floors, it sets back to a little bit of a more unique shape. And that's a quick overview of the buildings that you can see right out the window. And I'll turn it over to Drew.
KENT KLEINMAN: [INAUDIBLE]
DREW WARSHAW: Yeah, no. I will be quick. We want to get to your questions. I wish I drove to Cornell on a Mustang, I didn't have my license so my parents drove me in a Chevy Suburban. But I was a city kid, so it's a miracle that I have my license today. I feel like now I'm here to redeem the Port Authority a bit after the dean's somewhat evisceration of the way the original Trade Centers came to be and the superblock and all. But then I heard Robin's speech and Larry Silverstein's point of view and how the lessons learned from that were break the laws, don't pay attention to design code, and sort of getting back to the Austin Tobins and Robert Moseses of the old Port Authority.
What I wanted to do is just-- very quickly, this was actually the first week that I started at the Port Authority in May 2008 with my boss, Christopher Ward, who's the Executive Director. And that was the Trade Center then. And this is what it looks like today, just a little over three years later. And what I wanted to do today was just give you guys a sense for how we got from that, which was really what people described and thought of as a pit, to what you see out these windows where you see the memorial taking shape, and it will open in time for the 10 year anniversary. Or I won't be here, and I'll be out of here. But we will make that deadline. And you see One World Trade Center and 4 World Trade Center going up.
So I just thought I'd share a few of the lessons that we learned to try and get to here in the last few years. And the first-- there are really three that I'll walk through. The first is this idea that we called monumentalism, and trying to actually put that aside while we build what really, truly is a monument and can be considered a monument. But until we can realize that, we needed to turn this project into a construction project. And we needed to make what was called the Freedom Tower into an office building. In order to strip away the emotional complexity, the political complexity, the various opinions that all, understandably, came to the fore after 9/11, and begin making decisions based on the engineering reality on the ground, based on market reality, the financing reality, the real estate market, we had to get away from the fact that this was a monument. We had to get away from what happened on that day. And frankly, we had to get away from the labels.
And we changed and made a very difficult decision, and many people disagreed with it at the time and still do. But we changed the name of the tallest tower from the Freedom Tower to One World Trade Center. And this was in part to try and turn this building into a building, and just that. And I think one of the most important things, beyond the redesigns and the procurement process of contractors and all the various things that went into what we tried to do over the last three years, the culture and trying to treat this just like a construction project. And then allow New Yorkers to interpret this site and allow it to be whatever it's going to be to them once we finally build the thing. But our job was to just get it built.
And this was just-- I thought it would be fun to show a few images. This was the original plans for the United Nations. And again, sort of this monumental idea. And when you look at the United Nations today, they still built something pretty spectacular, but ultimately, something more practical. Most people haven't seen this image. This was actually the original World Trade Center design. And this was supposed to go on the East side, and on the East River, and the dean rightly pointed out that out of the uniqueness of the Port Authority and the bi-state nature of this agency, a deal between the governor of New York and the governor of New Jersey were made. And in exchange for New York getting to build this incredible economic development project, the Port Authority assumed what is now the PATH Railroad, which was a dilapidated private corporation at the time, and subsequently it was moved to the current location where it is now, where you had a PATH station and the Hudson Tubes coming out of the river.
The second lesson that we learned was how to play what I call pick up sticks. And this sort of gives you a sense for what it is I'm talking about. Austin Tobin, who was the Executive Director of the Port Authority for 30 years, did not have to contend with this, Robert Moses did not have to contend with this. We do, and in large part, rightly so. But what this shows you is an image of one of the projects at the World Trade Center site. And in the middle there, the blue circle is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. And what we tried to show and give the public a sense when we first got there were all the different projects that the World Trade Center Transportation Hub touches, which you have here over on the right. And then all of the stakeholders that are involved and have some decision making authority over this one single project on this 16 acre site. And so one of the things that we had to do was get our arms around how we manage all of these different decision makers and stakeholders, and that was really a game of pick up sticks. You move one thing and you have to anticipate and understand how it's going to impact everything else.
And then a third lesson was pretty basic, and that was to prioritize. When we got there, the mission and the mandate and the sense was to try and build everything at once. And reality wouldn't allow that. And we had to prioritize and make some decisions. And ultimately, we prioritized the memorial first so that we could, in fact, deliver it on the 10 year anniversary. And so we physically had to go back and make design changes and changes to means and methods of construction so that we could take what is an interdependent pickup sticks-like site and make some sense out of it. So what this shows you is how the roof of the Transportation Hub, the PATH mezzanine, was originally supposed to be built, which is traditionally from the bottom up, the foundation up to the roof.
But because the roof of the Transportation Hub serves as the floor of the Memorial Plaza, it doubles as the floor of the Memorial Plaza. And in order to hit the 9/11 date and the 10 year anniversary that ultimately became the priority, we had to build the roof of the Transportation Hub first and come down. And in 2008, that's what we did. We redesigned the PATH hall roof and we were able to get the result that you see out there today. The amazing thing for someone who didn't come from construction or engineering is to actually see something work, and to see something go from here to go there. And these engineers said, I think we can do it if you put a few columns here and, you know, there's going to be some premium to it because this isn't how engineers normally like to build. But we ended up doing it, and you can see the result right there.
So this is the result. So I just wanted to give you a quick tour. You've seen the office space from the other presenters, but this is-- you're looking at the North Tower, the north pool. And this is not a rendering. This is a photograph. This is real, this is alive, it's outside today. And this is us testing-- the Port Authority was testing the north pool. And you can see the museum in the background and some of the trees. This is the museum entrance, and you can see it outside. This is one of those structures that is being literally built on top of that roof that we created, that is the roof to the Transportation Hub. And fortunately, it's up there and fortunately, it's ahead of schedule. You can see the South Tower and the waterfall there. We were testing on that day as well. And both of those waterfalls will be flowing on the 10 year anniversary.
One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower. It's up to 74 stories, looks incredible. The curtain wall's going up. Skidmore and David Childs just did a magnificent job of making a building that had to fit so many requirements on it, and security requirements and all the rest, and still come out with what is going to be a spectacular, iconic building. 4 World Trade, David went through this, that's flying up thanks to his good work and his team. This is just a rendering-- or rather, a photograph-- of the transportation hub that's taking shape. And what you're looking at is going to be a pedestrian passageway that's going to take you all the way from the Winter Garden just to the west at the World Financial Center all the way underground to the Fulton Street Transit Center which the MTA is building. So all the way over to Broadway. And you're going to be able to walk underneath and experience world class retail and connect to probably the greatest mass transit connections anywhere in New York, 13 subway lines, the ferry system from Battery Park. And this is one of the passageways that will take you there. And that's all underground right now.
And so is this. There's literally a city that's being built five or six stories below ground, and this just gives you a sense for-- I think this is the chiller plant. David would probably know. Part of the chiller plant that's going to condition the air for a lot of the public spaces on the site. And there's literally about 700,000 square feet of space that's all below ground that had to be built before everything you see above ground was built. And this, as Janno mentioned, this was really the exclamation point on the last few years that I've been here.
And we were able to take something that really was a hole in the ground, and that was a pit, and was shrouded in the monumentalism that I think in many ways had prevented the progress and certain decision making, and taken what people referred to as a white elephant, the Freedom Tower, and land a 1 million square foot anchored tenant in Conde Nast. This is not going to be a government office building, it's going to be an office building filled with dynamic tenants like Conde Nast. It's going to change the face of Downtown. You're going to have a much more diverse and dynamic mix of office users. I think it's going to increase the demand in retail that we're building. I think it's going to pull Tribeca those last few blocks south. And I think this alone is really the ultimate validation of what we've been trying to do. And I think that's it. And that's a rendering of where we're headed. So that's all. Thank you.
KENT KLEINMAN: Oh my. Thank you, all four of you. Splendid, splendid presentations. I ended my written remarks with a comment claiming that you were, in addition to your other jobs, you were artists and philosophers. And I wasn't sure that was a little trite and maybe too monumental. But for me, artists and philosophers happened to be at the top of the occupations that humans can be involved in. And I really have to say, and you can correct me, and maybe this is in the form of a question, it feels like there's an aesthetic and philosophical camaraderie and shared set of values among very disparate, professional trainings that is extremely unusual. In my experience working as an architect, very unusual to find that kind of shared philosophical foundation or common ground in a project that must produce nothing but tensions.
And so I want to congratulate you, if my reading of your relationship is in the least bit accurate, I want to congratulate you on maintaining that. And let me lead that into a quick question, then I'm going to open this up to the audience because we have about 20 minutes for questions. Is it the case, do you think, that there is a new way of producing and delivering projects of this kind of complexity? This one is particular and unique, I understand that. But I'm following Drew in a little bit, your presentation. Is there a way to, at least for this conversation, strip away some of the anomalous conditions and see if there are lessons to learn that are transferable to other complex urban projects on the basis that building strong and good cities will require this kind of collaboration in the future?
DREW WARSHAW: Hello? I don't know if this is on. It is? Great. I think one of the lessons that we learned was in order to do that, in order to build something truly great, you just have to strip away all the other inputs that in the case of the Trade Center were really crowding out the sort of logical and rational decisions that a builder would normally make or that someone in real estate finance would normally make, and try and isolate just what you're doing. And I think once we did that, once we turned this into a construction project, I think a lot of other things followed. I mean, there were challenges along the way and many, many, many tensions that we had to work through. But I think to really treat it like what it is, and then allow the end result to be monumental and truly great was probably the biggest single factor. And that had nothing to do with the design and it had nothing to do with the equity or tenant mix. It really was just a cultural shift that I think a lot of people had to finally make and realize.
KENT KLEINMAN: Robin, can you-- I did not expect you of all people to be giving us an urban history lesson. It was so beautiful when you showed the legacy of Greenwich Street. I didn't expect that from you. Could you follow-- could you answer the same question? Is there a philosophical dimension to the way you now think of your profession that's changed?
ROBIN PANOVKA: You know, I was a philosophy major at Cornell. So maybe--
--before I got corrupted and became a lawyer.
KENT KLEINMAN: I knew--
ROBIN PANOVKA: But I guess I would say that while what Drew says is absolutely correct, it was necessary to turn it into a construction project, I think what ultimately made it work for many of us is that this was about a lot more than just building a building. My firm, for example, doesn't get involved in construction projects typically, or development projects. We're M&A lawyers. But for this one project, we were willing to suspend other things and focus on it because we believed in the mission. We believed in rebuilding, for the city and for the country. So that to me is, I guess to come back to your question, is there something about this project that's anomalous or was anything transferable. There probably are transferable things, but ultimately this is a one of a kind type project to me.
KENT KLEINMAN: Let me open it up to the audience because I'm sure you have lots of questions. And maybe start with this gentleman right in front of me. There's a microphone circulating.
SPEAKER 1: I'm not an architect, but an engineer by training. One of the things that I remember from the Trade Center was that it was really integrated. Tower One and Tower Two seemed very similar, the other buildings seemed similar. What were the problems or what was the concepts of having different architects do all the different buildings? Because that seems very different than the original construction.
JEFFREY HOLMES: It was a fundamental principle, to do something different from the first Trade Tower in that very way of being more like the city that grid that we all talked about, in one way or another, allows a kind of parcelization of land and development that happens over time. And it's that process of building over time with different people, different ideas, challenging each other that creates an urban fabric that, again, I think is just incredibly unique here in New York. Trying to do it all, trying to build eight blocks at the same time with one architect probably isn't the right way to make great cities.
KENT KLEINMAN: Yes, sir?
SPEAKER 2: You talked about trying to change the original World Trade Center of 10 million square feet, but now you have five, six buildings of another [INAUDIBLE] not a single housing unit in the entire complex. What were the obstacles to building housing within the 16 acres?
JEFFREY HOLMES: I have an opinion about that.
KENT KLEINMAN: That's a Janno Lieber question?
DAVID WORSLEY: I think-- correct me if I'm wrong, Drew-- because the property belongs to the Port Authority, the Port Authority charter does not allow residential use on the land. So that kind of ruled it out from day one.
DREW WARSHAW: Yeah, I mean, I obviously wasn't here during the master planning process back in '03. There were at least a couple of factors. One was that the city had lost 10 million square feet, and I think there was a desire to get that back and get that back as quickly as possible. And I also think there was the expectation that there certainly was the demand for it given that on September 11th 2001, the occupancy was pretty much in the low 90s throughout the complex. I think just the fact that the demand existed and they wanted to get those office towers and office space back.
And to David's point, we are not in the business of building residential. So that was something that we simply couldn't do. And then another factor was simply that the Port Authority itself relied on the 16 acres as a revenue stream. And it was important to, not just because of the insurance battles that Silverstein and we had to get that money back and to restore what had been lost, but also to make sure that we were able to restore a line of revenue so that we could continue to be not just a development agency but a transportation agency.
JEFFREY HOLMES: A fourth element, if I might. A fourth element is simply that there was clearly in 2001 or around that time an emerging, very strong residential market and supply Downtown. It was all of those C class, B Class office buildings that were struggling. So by building 10 million square feet of class A office space, revitalizes Downtown, reestablishes the third largest business district in this country, and puts the pressure off those B and C class office buildings to convert to residential. So I mean, it's a great mixed use story.
KENT KLEINMAN: Can we go-- swing right now, swing left. This, I think, where mosst of the beer bottles were.
SPEAKER 3: Hi. So I'm coming from an urban studies perspective, and I think Jeff said that without such buildings, cities lose themselves. And without cities, people lose their souls. So how can you say that these buildings will influence New York's impact within the international structure, within its cultural representation around the world?
JEFFREY HOLMES: That's a big one. I think foremost, it allows Downtown, as I was saying, to be a place that can compete with other places around the world. And it's that competition, as global cities emerge, that makes innovation happen, makes all of us come together in new and unique ways. I do think that this development, with its mix of infrastructure and cultural institutions, and then, again, the residential that's emerging and hospitality, education we heard about-- it's the balancing and ensuring that there is that great mix of opportunity downtown that will make New York, will make Lower Manhattan different than Midtown, and will make Lower Manhattan be able to compete across and around the world.
KENT KLEINMAN: Let me ask one question here, and then we'll come over to the side of-- wait for the mic.
SPEAKER 4: You mentioned that we were looking to replace 10 million square feet of office space. What amount of office square footage does this project provide now?
DREW WARSHAW: It's 10 million.
SPEAKER 4: It's exactly 10 million, it's not more?
DREW WARSHAW: Yeah. it's about 10 million square feet.
ROBIN PANOVKA: Yeah, effectively what happened is the footprints of the Twin Towers were swapped for footprints for five buildings around what's now the memorial, because it wasn't feasible to build where the Twin Towers had gone. But there was basically a very simple swap agreement between the Port Authority and Silverstein where we said take 10 million square feet that had been in the Twin Towers and move them around the perimeter of the site.
SPEAKER 4: So it wasn't expanded?
ROBIN PANOVKA: No.
DREW WARSHAW: It was-- I should say the site was expanded, which is sort of interesting. And the master plan dictated that the memorial would assume the eight acres where the original towers, the twin towers, stood. And so the main feature of the memorial are the two pools that are the circumference of the original foundations. Because of that, we had to figure out a way to still build 10 million square feet. And what we did was we took that original 16 acre site and moved it a block south and expanded it a block south. And so if you look out the window after the program, and you look at the far southern side-- across, basically, the street, what is now Liberty Street, you'll see an excavation going on. And what's happening there is they're building the Vehicle Security Center, basically the entrance to the underground garage and roadway. And on top of, I guess, really, just to the south of the top of the Vehicle Security Center is going to be the fifth tower, which is going to be built when the market finally returns.
ROBIN PANOVKA: And it's interesting, we talked earlier about building this building, 7 World Trade Center, on land that wasn't owned. The fifth building, which was part of the 10 million square feet, was to go on land the Port Authority didn't own at the time. They agreed to lease it to Silverstein. It was the Deutsche Bank building. And again, another leap of faith by everybody involved that somehow the Port Authority would acquire it and lease it.
SPEAKER 5: This question is regarding [INAUDIBLE] mostly engineering prospect. This is a massive project, and the foundation is one of the important parts of the project, as everybody knows. Would you tell me if the foundation is in the rock foundation? If you're using rock foundation, are you using these towers anchor [INAUDIBLE] and is the slurry trench or curtain wall has been used in this project or not?
DAVID WORSLEY: Yes.
ROBIN PANOVKA: An engineer's answer.
DAVID WORSLEY: The answer is yes. Starting with a slurry wall, it's amazing that the public knows what a slurry wall is now because it's such an esoteric thing. You know, and we call it the bathtub. You see it in the press, and it's basically a reverse bathtub. The water isn't inside, you're keeping the water outside. The old World Trade Center had a very deep foundation, the same depth that you see out here. It's about 80 to 90 feet below sidewalk level, which is unconventionally deep for an office complex. But there's a lot of stuff that had to go underground. The old World Trade Center had a slurry wall built back in the '60s, late '60s, which was basically a concrete perimeter wall that gets tied into the bedrock and keeps the Hudson River from flooding the basement, OK, because there's a lot of water pressure because the Hudson River is right over there. And the ground water would flood in, so that original slurry wall was there. When the cleanup was going on after-- post-9/11, the world saw what a slurry wall was and everybody became an expert in what they're all about.
When the Port Authority, as Drew just mentioned-- and this was a result of the master plan-- the office buildings now were around the perimeter of the site and vacated that old foundation area, we needed to build a new slurry wall around what we call the east bathtub, which is on the other side of Greenwich Street. One of the things that we didn't mention is right down the middle of Greenwich Street, in the middle of that construction site, is the 109 subway line, active, running. We're building this whole big thing out here with the subway going through it every day. So that just adds a little bit more--
DREW WARSHAW: And with the PATH train going on underneath as well.
DAVID WORSLEY: Yeah, the PATH underneath.
JEFFREY HOLMES: And the R, don't forget the R.
DAVID WORSLEY: Just--
DREW WARSHAW: Yeah. And the R just to the east.
DAVID WORSLEY: Just to raise the degree of difficulty just a little bit, OK. So an east bathtub slurry wall was built to create the foundations for the three office buildings, towers two, three, and four, and the Calatrava train station. And it's the same kind of thing, a concrete wall socketed into the rock around the perimeter to keep the water out of, now, a much bigger box. OK. The foundations are all on bedrock. That's Manhattan schist, if anybody wants to know. Schist is a type of rock. It's what you see in Central Park that comes out in the rock in Central Park, it comes up there.
One of the interesting things that, since I have a captured audience, the skyline of New York. You see there's high, tall buildings Downtown and there's tall buildings Midtown, and then Chinatown and the rest of it is low. Rock is near the surface Downtown, rock is near the surface in Midtown, as you see in Central Park, and there's a lot of bad foundation conditions in the middle of the city. So the profile of New York kind of shows you the profile of the rock down below. My engineering professors would be proud of that.
The foundations are all in rock and it's spread concrete footings on rock bearing on it. There's no piles or any of those kind of complicate things. There is a very interesting thing that happened here on tower four. As you saw from Robin's original diagrams, the Hudson River coastline used to be very close to Greenwich Street, back to 1821. We've progressed and Battery Park City is all landfill that went out there. And you saw it, it got further and further away from Greenwich Street. Back in the times of glaciers, Hudson River was right down Greenwich Street. And we know that because that's what geologists do.
But when we were excavating the foundation for tower four, all the other foundations are right about that 80 foot level. That's where the rock surface is, which was nice and convenient for the original stuff. But when we got to tower four, there was a huge scour area. Monumental scour area. What I mean is like it was almost artwork. It was smooth rocks of like, pools had scoured it out of the rock. And it was cavernous. And it was right under the core of tower four. So we had to go down, probably about 120 feet, to get all the way down to a good bearing rock. And we took a lot of wonderful pictures. Our geologists here did wonderful presentations throughout the technical community. And there's some really pretty pictures which maybe next time we'll throw in there just to show you that foundations aren't all ugly. And we, unfortunately, fill it up with concrete. Heavy grade concrete.
DREW WARSHAW: Punch line.
DAVID WORSLEY: Because you don't want to have a 900 foot building on a bad foundation. But it's all very strong, heavy rock.
[? SPEAKER 5: ?] [INAUDIBLE]
KENT KLEINMAN: You can buttonhole him over the keg that we're going to open.
DAVID WORSLEY: You're using--
KENT KLEINMAN: Go to this side, please. Any questions here? Yeah?
SPEAKER 6: I enjoy the completion, the symbolism of the 1776 feet for the Freedom Tower. But at the time of the completion for the old towers, they were the tallest in the world. And I was just wondering if there was any thought of creating the new tallest building in the world here. Was there a monetary reason why that wasn't done? Or was it purely symbolism?
DREW WARSHAW: Yeah, I can take that.
Well, we designed it-- or SOM designed it to be as tall as it is, and one, to go through a redesign process to, as the building is going up, to try and figure out how to make it taller would be pretty time consuming and you'd experience further delays in costs. But I also think the beauty of, it in some ways, these buildings-- and also, if I can say, the humility-- is that it's OK to not necessarily be the tallest building in the world. And I think these buildings are going to stand and they're going to stand very proud. But I think the nice thing about what we're building is it doesn't have to be necessarily the tallest or with those superlatives. I think it's going to be what it's going to be. And I think it will be great.
KENT KLEINMAN: Just to add, there's time for one more question. Maybe this gentleman here? Get the mic.
SPEAKER 7: The old--
KENT KLEINMAN: I'm sorry, I meant this gentleman in front here.
SPEAKER 8: I have a very quick question. Are these LEED buildings? Was LEED design incorporated?
DAVID WORSLEY: Yes. We are LEED Silver certified and Gold certified buildings. In fact, 7 World Trade was the first certified building in the city.
KENT KLEINMAN: Let's have one more question. This gentleman in the back, since we've [INAUDIBLE]
SPEAKER 7: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off.
KENT KLEINMAN: No problem.
SPEAKER 7: The old number 6 World Trade Center, I believe, was the Vista Hotel. And just wondering, contemplating quite a few international visitors to the monument site, the museum, any sort of rebuilding the hotel space that was lost?
DAVID WORSLEY: Funny you should mention that. You see the building lit up in the back to the left? That's 99 Church Street, which is one block over and one block up. That's a Silverstein development that will be a Four Seasons Hotel. So, yes, there's some thought been given to that. Just happens to be off to the World Trade Center site.
KENT KLEINMAN: OK. Thank you, we're going to wrap up. I believe it's the case that we have a video to show? John, do you want to explain what's coming?
JOHN ZELENKA: Yes, we do. Hi everybody, thank you. I just want to give one round of applause to Ken and our panelists.
This was a great opportunity. Thank you.
- The story of--
JOHN ZELENKA: Where is their thank you?
KENT KLEINMAN: Thank you to the panel one more time.
- The story of Manhattan is really the story of the World Trade Center.
- You know, the whole rebuilding process, I think, has made it possible for not just the large financial venture, but small mom and pop operations.
- I think it's an important part of the American psyche to get this place up and running. Being part of it is inspiring.
- From a restaurateur and from a businessman, it's bringing an entirely new audience of customers, which I think will be contributed with the growth.
- If I say I'm at 7 World Trade Center, people know where that is. As an address, it's known throughout the world. All the amenities and the design of this building actually is what attracted me to it. There are no columns in our space. From the core of the building out to the windows, it's totally open.
- This is amazing stuff. And the architecture of this particular building, obviously, is all about that. So there was a moment this afternoon-- or actually about 5 o'clock today, it was kind of dark. And then suddenly, a ray of light just burst through the office and the entire office kind of said, what was that at the same time. And you know, the clouds have parted over New Jersey and the sun just came streaking through. And for about five minutes it was illuminated like some kind of a painting. It was wild.
- There's nothing oppressive about being in this building whatsoever. And then when you add the window space, I walk in feeling light as a feather. And I must say, I walk out feeling light as a feather. And on a clear day, it looks as though you can touch the Empire State Building.
- You have everything at your fingertips. We're right about the largest transportation station hub. We're a couple blocks away to the Hudson River, another couple blocks away to the East River.
- You're looking at the harbor, you feel like you're anywhere. You could be in San Francisco, you could be in Corsica. You know, it's incredible.
- Here you can walk 12 blocks and walk from the 16th century into the 21st century. And this is very exciting.
- It's actually easier for me without a car to come and do my shopping down here rather than heading somewhere into New Jersey.
- We have a Whole Foods that made me happy when it moved in. That's really a great thing to go to. It's another place where you see nothing but young couples with babies, which kind of makes you feel optimistic about the future.
- I think this is going to be the hottest place to be.
- It's going to continue to be stunning.
- I'm very, very excited to see what it really looks like in between these buildings when it's finished, walking around, looking up, looking at the fountains.
- It's a wonderful place to live.
- You know, great shops. You can sit outside and have a drink, you can grab some great food.
- It's just an amazing place historically, architecturally. So I think there are a lot of people who are coming down here with the same dreams that I had in 1984 and 1985 that see potential to express themselves in a really wonderful part of Manhattan.
- We're already moving. There's no momentum to pick up. We're on our way.
- We have an amazing resilience and a possibility of rebuilding something in Lower Manhattan that just hasn't been seen before.
- It's really about sustainability. It's about the 21st century version of New Amsterdam. It's everything in one square mile. That's New York.
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Opened in May 2006, the rebuilt 7 World Trade Center -- a 52-story, 1.7-million-square-foot office tower -- marks the gateway to a new landscape of lower Manhattan.
In a July 20, 2011 panel discussion at the Silverstein Property offices at 7 World Trade Center, key players involved with the World Trade Center redevelopment provide an inside look at the planning, design, and reconstruction of the iconic New York City landscape.
Opening Remarks: John "Janno" Lieber, President, World Trade Center Properties.
Moderator: Dean Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean, Cornell University College of Art, Architecture & Planning.
Panelists: Jeffery Holmes '88, Principal, Woods Bagot; Robin Panovka'83, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz; Drew Warshaw '03, Chief of Staff to the Executive Director, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; and David Worsley '83, MEng '84, Senior VP, World Trade Center Properties.