Monday, February 14, 2011

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 126

The installation of the 152 bronze memorial plaques bearing the names of the nearly 2,800 people who were murdered in the 9/11 attacks has begun.

Finally, the World Trade Center is beginning to bear the names of those who died there.

These exclusive photographs obtained by the Daily News show workers installing the first of 152 bronze panels at the 9/11 memorial where the twin towers once stood.

By the time the memorial opens this fall - on the 10th anniversary of the attacks - almost 3,000 names will be emblazoned there in a permanent tribute to their memories.

"It just gave me the chills that Jeff's name is up there, because 10 years doesn't make the pain go away," Christie Coombs said after seeing the picture of her husband Jeffrey's name there.

"The permanence of it is a really hard reminder," added Coombs, 50, who lives in Abington, Mass., with their three kids. "Seeing this hits home that this is forever, and his name will be read by millions long after I'm gone."
The names will be lit from below and heated during the winter to prevent snow and ice buildup and cooled in the summer to prevent the metal from burning the hands of the millions expected to visit the site annually.

Meanwhile, there will soon be an app that enables visitors to see the site as it was on 9/11 and point out various landmarks throughout Ground Zero.

While the Freedom Tower continues rising skyward, developers are courting businesses around the world to become tenants at the tower. Vantone, a Chinese company, has already signed a lease for 200,000 sf, and Conde Naste is also expected to take a significant chunk of space (up to 1 million sf), but the developers are again looking to China for tenants to fill the rest of the building, rather than government agencies, which would drive down the asking rents too much. As it is, the Port Authority is scheduled to take up the bulk of the space at 4WTC, which is rising on the southeast corner of the site.

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