Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Silverstein Properties President Larry A. Silverstein and approximately 500 construction workers at a topping out ceremony marking the completion of steel erection for the new 7 World Trade Center, which will replace the original Silverstein office building destroyed on September 11, 2001.
The final steel beam, which was adorned with the same American flag used in the topping out ceremony for the original 7 World Trade Center, was signed by Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg, Mr. Silverstein and other dignitaries. It was then raised 750 feet in the air and placed at the top the 52-story building, which is striving to be the first certified "green" commercial building in New York City. The new 7 World Trade Center is taller and sleeker than the original. Its 47-story predecessor rose to a height of 640 feet.
"Today, we celebrate the return of 7 World Trade Center to New York City's skyline," Governor Pataki said. "This building will set new standards in safety, efficiency and environmental sensitivity, and serve as a shining example for new construction. 7 World Trade Center was the last building to fall on September 11th, but I am proud that it is the first building to return and mark our progress in the rebuilding process. This building, like all of our efforts in Lower Manhattan, show that New York has the courage to rebuild and the commitment to honor the heroes we lost."
Mayor Bloomberg said, "Three years after terrorists brought down 7 World Trade Center, our strength and resolve is putting it back up. In addition to the unmistakable message we send to the world through the rebuilding effort, the return of 7 World Trade Center will serve as a vital economic boost for Lower Manhattan and the region, and will prove to be an inviting gateway to the full World Trade Center site."
Larry Silverstein said, "This is the perfect example of the magnificent things that can be accomplished when government, labor and the private sector are working hand in hand toward a common and inspired goal. In raising the final beam of steel 750 feet into the air, we are returning 7 World Trade Center to its rightful place in Lower Manhattan."
Like the original building, 7 World Trade Center is built on land leased by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "New York will always be a city of skyscrapers and today we top off another building that will grace the New York skyline. Since Sept. 11, we've disbursed almost $1 billion to assist in the economic recovery of Lower Manhattan. We've helped to stabilize more than 16,000 businesses, keeping hundreds of thousands of jobs downtown. We're rebuilding and reshaping the skyline, bringing glass, steel and concrete together. According to estimates, the physical rebuilding of the World Trade Center alone will generate $15 billion in total economic output in New York City and an average of 8,000 jobs each year for over a decade."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, "We should be proud of how much we have accomplished at the Trade Center site in such a short time, and as I prepare to leave my job as Executive Director, I am honored to have been a part of this historic process. We began planning work within weeks of the September 11th tragedy, dedicating our efforts to the memory of those we lost and vowing to remain unbowed. In short order, we restored critical PATH service in record time, developed designs for a spectacular memorial and transportation hub, and broke ground on the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower. Today, led by the unwavering vision of Governor Pataki, we top off the first new skyscraper to be rebuilt in Lower Manhattan, and in doing so, we note yet another milestone while recommitting ourselves to completing the important work that remains."
John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said, "Who could have believed three years ago, in the midst of the most horrendous terrorist attack in American history, that anything would have arisen so quickly from those ashes, let alone a beautiful skyscraper that will provide thousands of jobs for New Yorkers. This is a tribute not only to New York and Lower Manhattan, but to all the hundreds of men and women who made this possible under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, and the tireless determination of the never yielding, driving force of Larry Silverstein."
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Kevin M. Rampe said, "A great milestone has been reached today in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan where the last building to fall is now the first building to rise. Today's topping out has been made possible by the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg and the outstanding public-private collaboration of all those involved in the rebuilding and revitalization efforts."
The new 7 World Trade Center is bound by Greenwich, Vesey, Washington and Barclay Streets. In bid to create a more vibrant and interconnected neighborhood, Mr. Silverstein's architect, David Childs, Consulting Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, designed a sleeker building, which allows for the re-introduction of Greenwich Street through the World Trade Center site and for the creation of a new neighborhood park.
David Childs said, "Not only will this building and its park serve as the gateway to the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan, we believe it will set a new standard of commercial building design and construction in New York and across the country."
Tishman Construction Corporation, which built the original 7 World Trade Center for Mr. Silverstein, is Contractor for the project as well as for the Freedom Tower. During the ceremony, Daniel R. Tishman, Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corp., presented Mr. Silverstein with a painting of the building by New York artist Robert Neffson.
Daniel Tishman said, "On behalf of all the construction workers and the Tishman management team here at 7 World Trade Center, I want to personally thank Larry Silverstein for championing this incredible rebuilding effort and never giving up. We appreciate this historic opportunity to build 7 again to even higher standards than before, and today's topping out marks a significant milestone in achieving those objectives."
Silverstein Properties has incorporated a host of life-safety and environmental enhancements into the 1.7 million square foot 7 World Trade Center. When completed, it is expected to become a prototype for all new high-rise construction, including the Freedom Tower and four other buildings that Mr. Silverstein will build on the World Trade Center site.
The office tower also was designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, and Silverstein Properties has already been recognized with an award from the Environmental Protection Agency for "demonstrating clean construction and improved air quality" and providing a "model for other businesses."
In September 2004, Silverstein Properties selected the world's largest commercial real estate services firm, CB Richard Ellis, to serve as the exclusive leasing agent for 7 World Trade Center.
Tenant floors begin at the 11th floor above grade; the entire building is 52 stories. The untenanted first 10 floors largely are given over to a series of huge bays housing transformers for a Consolidated Edison substation and the street-level lobby facing Greenwich Street, which leads to elevator banks to the tenant floors. The Con Ed substation supplies electrical service to all of Lower Manhattan and replaces equipment destroyed by the attacks on the World Trade Center.