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Work Begins on World Trade Center

Sweet gum trees were planted the first week of April as part of Landscape Architect Ken Smith's design for a plaza at 7 World Trade Center.

Work is finally underway on Manhattan's redesigned World Trade Center almost five years after the Sept. 11 tragedy.

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Work on New York City's World Trade Center has commenced with sighs of relief after a four-year deadlock.

Officials applauded workers as they arrived at the site on April 27.

The Freedom Tower will be the country's tallest building and fills the hole left in the city’s skyline in 2001. The plan includes several plazas, a 9-11 memorial and a public space called Liberty Park.

Site landlord Larry Silverstein and the city’s Port Authority approved the deal.

New York governor George Pataki, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Silverstein were on site on April 27 as the excavation trucks rolled in.

The agreement ends years of talk and argument between multi-millionaire developer Silverstein and port and city officials.

At every step, there have been disagreements over the design, financing and even ownership of the proposed redevelopment on the disaster site.

Officials say the deal means they are on course to finish the buildings by 2012.

Silverstein signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center less than two months before the 11 September 2001 attacks.

He was awarded $4.6 billion in insurance money after the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Earlier in April, The Municipal Art Society of New York gave three of its five awards to the Lower Manhattan projects at a ceremony inside one of the winners: 7 World Trade Center.

The society gave its MASterwork award for best new building to 7 W.T.C., its best residential restoration award to Historic Front Street in the Seaport and best privately-owned public space honor to the elevated plaza at 55 Water St. in the Financial District.

Landscape architect Ken Smith, who received an award for 55 Water St. got to see the new plaza he designed which is being built outside 7 W.T.C.

The fences surrounding the plaza were taken down the first week in April, and the fountain was turned on. A total of 60 sweet gum trees were planted and the plaza is expected to open in May.

Sources: BBC, Downtown Express

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June 18, 2019, 8:45 am PDT

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