Rebuilding Ground Zero

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 rapidly approaching, workers have been racing to achieve their goal of completing 1,000 feet of construction of the new Tower 1 at One World Trade Center in time for the official opening of the WTC Memorial.  The massive effort and creativity involved in this undertaking is something that everyone can find inspirational. 

The Discovery Channel premiered a six hour documentary on the design and rebuilding effort last week, entitled ‘Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero’.  For someone who has kept an eye on the progress through personal visits, blogs (one of my favorites Gothamist for NYC news) and Google Earth, I found this to be a wonderful inside look at what is being considered the most complex, demanding and detailed construction project ever attempted.  On a technical level, One World Trade Center has been designed and constructed with new techniques and technologies – many of them never attempted before – to make it the most secure skyscraper in the world.  Innovative techniques and materiality such as the super-strong laminated glass curtain wall and the reinforced concrete bunker that serves as the tower’s 20-story podium make Tower 1 a model of blastproofing a building.  It will also include the fastest elevators in the country, state-of-the-art utility systems and will be one of the greenest skyscrapers ever built, setting new standards in sustainability for a building of its size.  In a nod to independence and the American spirit, the finished Tower will stand exactly 1,776 feet tall.

But perhaps more fascinating and inspirational are the personal stories behind the lives of the individuals who are bringing it to reality.  The project schedule is beyond grueling, and what most would call impossible for a building of this size:  in an effort to meet the goals established for the 10th anniversary, crews have been tasked with completing an average of one floor per week for the last year plus.  But this is no ordinary construction project and the documentary sheds light on the very personal and emotional reasons that every man and woman involved in the project will not give up until the job is done, on time and beyond all expectations.

Nearly ten years ago we all made the promise to “Never Forget”.  On September 11, 2011 as we take time to
reflect, remember and honor those who sacrificed everything on that tragic day we must also give thanks for those who are giving it their all to rebuild Ground Zero into something that all Americans can be proud of.

Rendering via

Images via and Associated Press.

About mikeotto
I'm the Director of Human Resources for FRCH Design Worldwide. Fulltime Dad, part-time rocker and occasional blogger, I believe that Human Resources professionals in the design industry need to be as creative as the designers they work for.

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