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Freedom Rises In New York City as One World Trade Center Opens For Business

November 4, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Freedom Rises In New York City as One World Trade Center Opens For Business Image courtesy of nypost.com

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“The New York City skyline is whole again,” Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, declared.

Its been a bit more than 13 years since the 9/11 attacks brought down the Twin Towers in New York City. The rebuilding is complete, Freedom has risen and it officially opened for business yesterday.

The first tenants from publishing giant Condé Nast began moving into the Freedom Tower, the 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper that is the showcase of the 16-acre site.


Image courtesy of nydailynews.com

Image courtesy of nydailynews.com

“This is a terrific day for Lower Manhattan, a wonderful day for New York City, and a great day for Condé Nast,” the company’s chief executive Chuck Townsend said.

It was also an emotional moment for the city of New York who lived through the tragedy of the Sept. 11 attacks. Since the towers fell, taking 2.700 innocent souls with them.

The feeling of emptiness lingered above not just Ground Zero but the entire city. The Twin Towers were the symbol, which represented everything that is great not just about New York but America itself.

Now New York has a new symbol, out of the ashes has risen One World Trade, “The Freedom Tower” as it’s rightly called.

“One World Trade Center serves as a symbol of the resilience of the people of New York,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “Today, as we open its doors for the first time, we remember that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice, and that the American spirit, defended by proud New Yorkers, will not be defeated.”

“I think some people are nervous, but most people are just excited to start downtown,” said John Duffy, director of policy and control at Condé Nast, which is moving from Times Square.

“I think it’s spectacular,” chimed-in Maryanne Casey, a corporate paralegal at Condé Nast. “And I think it’s a great tribute to America to see this. I’m proud to be able to work here.”

Casey said she is especially proud because her brother is a New York City firefighter who worked “on The Pile” after the attacks.

Peter Matthew, 37, said moving into the building was like being “part of history.”

“You know, a lot of sad things happened here and this is a good start to get things going in the right direction,” he said. “It will turn out fine. Condé Nast has a great security team.”

Vijay Ramcharitar, a 25-year-old finance analyst who works on the 21st floor, said he’s got a great view — and refuses to live in fear.

“I could understand the fear behind it, but fear is something they want you to live with,” he said. “I mean what is safe? Every day is another day and you live it like that.”

 For now Duffy and Casey will have plenty of elbow room in the five floors Condé Nast has leased in the tower. About 3,000 more of their co-workers won’t be arriving until next year, company spokeswoman Patricia Rockenwagner said.

The glistening tower, that draws from iconic Manhattan spires like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, is 60% leased.

Other commercial tenants include the advertising firm Kids Creative, the stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the BMB Group investment adviser and Servcorp, a provider of executive offices.

The government’s General Services Administration will occupy some 275,000 square feet and the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, is leasing 191,000 square feet.

Construction of the tower took eight years to complete, which was plagued by political bickering and legal issues.

Architect T.J. Gottesdiener of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill reassured its new tenants — steel-reinforced concrete that makes it impervious to terror attacks. Forget planes, you can fly the Space Shuttle into this building and it’s going no where.

The Freedom Tower has risen, and with that. we give the terrorists who thought they could defeat what America stands for, ‘The Middle Finger Salute’.


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