Nothing to do with the former World Trade Center site can ever be easy, can it? The long, expensive road to seeing a complete
Freedom TowerOne World Trade Center hit another bump recently when the Port Authority decided to scrap plans to cover the building's bunker-like base with special prismatic glass panels after spending $10 million dollars trying to get the special glass to work.
The glass was added to starchitect David Childs' design after his first plan was found to be too vulnerable to attacks and his second take, with a concrete base, was deemed too bunker like. The plan was to drape the 187-foot-high, bomb-resistant concrete base in a screen of clear glass prisms and welded aluminum screens to create, in the the words of Childs, “a dynamic, shimmering glass surface.”
Cool, right? The only thing is that the kind of glass that was being called for, which among other things would shatter into relatively harmless bits like a windshield, turned out to be terrifically hard to create at the size and scale required. So, after the Port Authority had already spent $10 million on the glass (the contract was for $82 million) they decided to cut their losses and scrap it.
According to the Durst Organization, which is in charge of leasing the building, the change should not stop the building from its planned January 2014 opening. And though a final decision has yet to be made, it is presumed that the new facade for the bottom of the building will now be made of "more traditional clear glass panels, possibly with granite elements to tie it into the surrounding plazas."
At least One World Trade isn't the worst offender in the area when it comes to budget cuts taking all the pretty away. That title clearly goes to the once-soaring, incredibly expensive, WTC Transit Hub. But on the plus side: Hey! One World Trade Center has reached the 65th floor!