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Transforming a tower: how did the One World Trade Center eclipse the Freedom Tower?
Article first published online: 24 JUN 2014
© 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Volume 46, Issue 3, pages 249–255, September 2014
How to Cite
Charney, I. (2014), Transforming a tower: how did the One World Trade Center eclipse the Freedom Tower?. Area, 46: 249–255. doi: 10.1111/area.12109
- Issue published online: 11 AUG 2014
- Article first published online: 24 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 27 APR 2014
- real estate;
- supertall skyscrapers;
- World Trade Center;
- Lower Manhattan
This article explores the transformation of a world-famous supertall skyscraper in Lower Manhattan. Due to unique circumstances and wide exposure via the media, the case of the Freedom Tower/One World Trade Center makes possible looking at the intricacies that remain largely out of the public eye in less-publicised projects. Dictated by powerful real-estate interests, the initial vision of rebuilding was to replicate the bulk of commercial space. Next, in the stormy planning stages, rhetoric of architecture and design was intended to alleviate antagonism towards rebuilding a commercial superblock. Finally, as construction progressed, financial calculations began to occupy a critical role in the rebuilding process, giving the impression of a standard and, at the same time, a distinctive corporate tower. The case of this supertall does not simply conform to the standard logic of skyscrapers; instead, with state intervention and prolonged development, the interpretation of supertalls questions the logic of high-rises we have known so far. A better understanding of these mushrooming towers requires looking beyond simplistic explanations and stressing the textures that generate and uphold such structures.