April 26, 2005
The Freedom Tower's current
Rendering By DBOX
The New York Police Department's security-related
concerns about the World Trade Center Freedom Towers
design may force the buildings developer and architects
to rethink their plans.
Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Freedom
Tower developer Larry Silverstein acknowledged in a statement
dated yesterday that the NYPD had "recently raised new
questions," about the Freedom Tower, "which we are
now addressing with all our governmental partners."
Silverstein Partners did not reveal the
specific date of the interaction, but Perrone said it was
some time in the last three weeks. He would not discuss the
specific design changes being discussed, citing security concerns.
The NYPD could not be reached for comment at this time, while
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Skidmore Owings
and Merrill, the towers designers, declined to comment.
The 1,776 foot tower, is now designed
with a torquing exoskeleton, an upper structure of tension
cables, and an off-center spire meant to evoke the Statue
of Liberty. It is planned to contain about 2.6 million square-feet
of office space and be completed by late 2008 or early 2009.
Significant changes would presumably push this date back some
Some regard the tower as an obvious terrorist
target. Daniel Benjamin, a senior fellow at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies, noted in a March, 2004
editorial in the New York Times, that the tower "will
become a top target for Islamic terrorists as soon as it is
Silverstein and SOM have worked on the
Towers design for well over a year (renderings were
first released on December 19, 2003), under the Port Authority
of New York and New Jerseys safety standards, which
Perrone calls "extremely rigorous," and "far
exceeding all applicable building codes." The plans unveiled
last January included a solid concrete core, with extra support
from its top level steel cables and its twisting, diagonal
structural grid. Other planned safety elements included extra-strong
fireproofing, biological and chemical filters in the air-supply
system, and very wide stairways.