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11 YEARS LATER: WTC again dominates lower Manhattan

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This layout shows where the new World Trade Center buildings are being erected, around the site of the old twin towers that were attacked eleven years ago.

WTC PROGRESS ON MANHATTAN. Eleven years have passed since the attacks that changed a whole world, but the new World Trade Center is still far from finished.

Most buildings are more than a year from their inaugurations. But now, as yet another 9/11 memorial day arrives, Manhattan’s lower parts are again dominated by the rising superstructures of a new World Trade Center area.

Critics point out that costs for many features of the new WTC will turn out too high. The foundation that runs the memorial estimates that once the roughly $700 million project is complete, the memorial and museum will together cost $60 million a year to operate, the Greenbay Press Gazette reported. The anticipated cost has bothered some critics and raised concerns even among the memorial’s allies that the budget may be unsustainable without a hefty government subsidy.

RELATED Editor’s blog: 10 places I’m especially glad that I went to (including New York prior to 9/11)

[pullquote]One year later, on the day, two hijacked airliners changed everything – New York, the U.S., the world. It feels good to be able to remember a part of New York from before 9/11, 2001. A world that, in a broad sense, does no longer exist.[/pullquote]

Here is the status of the various new WTC buildings:

A memorial on the site of the old WTC has been open for a year, but some parts of the area around where the twin towers once stood are still incomplete. Joseph Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said to ABC News that once construction resumes it will take more than a year to finish the job, meaning the museum might not open until 2014.

Two new buildings are being erected close to the site of the old TWC. One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will open in 2014 on the northwest corner of the trade center site. The spire atop the 104-story building will reach the symbolic height of  1,776 feet (541 meters). A smaller building to the side has already reached its destined height of 1,368 feet (416 meters).

Construction work around the trade center area.

The first office building to open will be the 72-story 4 World Trade Center at the southeast corner of the site. It has reached its full height of 977 feet and is scheduled to open in October 2013. Just north of 4 World Trade Center is 3 World Trade Center, which is now an eight-story stub but will reach 80 stories and 1,150 feet when it’s complete, ABC News reports.

At the site’s northeast corner, 2 World Trade Center is up only to street level. The building is planned as an 88-story skyscraper but will not be built until the commercial real estate market picks up enough to fill it.

The new transportation hub at the trade center will connect 13 subway lines and PATH trains to New Jersey when it opens in 2015. It will replace the temporary PATH station that was built after the Sept. 11 attacks. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the station will serve 250,000 travelers a day, according to ABC News.

MAP: The New WTC area

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The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.