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One World Trade Center Officially Opens

Curators’ corner

One World Trade Center Officially Opens

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

After roughly a decade of planning, construction and politics, the 104-story Freedom Tower is officially open for business.

Workers removed the last of the construction fencing and trucks began delivering office furniture to One World Trade Center last week as anchor tenant Condé Nast began moving into their new home downtown. The media giant, which owns Vanity Fair, Vogue and Glamour among its many brands, will bring 3,000 employees and occupy floors 20-44 of 1 WTC. The move is expected to be complete by early 2015.

The opening of the Freedom Tower is impactful in so many ways. Economically, it marks the rebirth of a new lower Manhattan after the devastating terrorist attacks that took more than 2,700 lives here on Sept. 11, 2001.

“The old Lower Manhattan and the old World Trade Center was a typical nine-to-five neighborhood. It was our parents’ or grandparents’ Lower Manhattan,” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Vice Chairman Scott H. Rechler told the Washington Post. “This is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, vibrant business district with a diverse group of tenants and a lot of creative, Millenial-type workers.”

Come springtime, One World Observatory on Floors 100, 101 and 102 will welcome tourists for admission. Media outlets are already offering sneak peeks at the breathtaking, panoramic views from the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Most importantly, this chapter in New York City history symbolizes the resolve and resilience of America. While the beautiful 9/11 Memorial Museum pays tribute to those who perished, the Freedom Tower offers a glimmer of normalcy for their loved ones. It re-completes the downtown Manhattan skyline, and is a testament to the countless individuals who helped it rise from the rubble of the most horrid terrorist attack in history.

Louis Medina, a security guard at 1 WTC, was emotional, even tearful on his first day of work Monday.

“Even 10 years from now, my son will ask me or my daughter will ask me, and I will be like, ‘I was there when the building opened [and] my job was to protect the building,’ ” he told the Wall Street Journal. “A lot of people don’t get a chance to be a part of history even if it is a small part.”

Conde Nast CEO Chuck Townsend told the Washington Post that there is “a great deal of pride” in anchoring One World Trade, comparing it to the company’s move to Times Square 15 years ago.

“We pioneered Times Square and I’m telling you it was no jewel at that time,” he said. “In a way it was a much more challenging move than moving into this well-developed, well-cultivated neighborhood where there are beautiful offices and residential buildings and a gorgeous park and a wonderful memorial.”

Duggal Visual Solutions is proud to have played a part in the long journey of revival at Ground Zero. In 2012, we created a 625-square-foot interactive map with 3D building models for Silverstein Properties; and earlier this year, we provided 15-foot-tall banners for Westfield World Trade Center in the new WTC Transportation Hub, scheduled to open in 2015.

Interactive WTC Map created by Duggal.

Interactive WTC Map created by Duggal.

Westfield World Trade Center graphics produced and installed by Duggal.

Westfield World Trade Center graphics produced and installed by Duggal.

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