Exciting and long-awaited news has been announced in the Financial District, as a return to the original architect for Two World Trade Center has been confirmed. The New York Post reports that Norman Foster’s original 2006 supertall proposal, aka 200 Greenwich Street, is getting another shot at becoming a reality with a more updated design. In 2018, YIMBY was the first to indicate this was a possibility in an interview with Larry Silverstein, head of Silverstein Properties, who said Foster’s vision was still on the table, although at that point the Bjarke Ingels design was the apparent lead contender for construction.
The final segment in the redevelopment of the 16-acre site has been stalled since the early 2010s, and was subsequently redesigned by Bjarke Ingels of BIG. News that the Danish architect would lead the project was announced in 2015, and his striking and monumental stack of giant glass blocks would be publicly revealed the following June. The BIG version was a far cry from the elegant diamond-topped concept Foster had envisioned, which was designed to point directly downwards at the two reflecting pools of the 9/11 Memorial, synchronizing with the rest of the site’s architecture. A potential deal with 21st Century Fox and News Corp. fell through later in 2016, as media giant Rupert Murdoch decided to stay in his current Midtown headquarters on Sixth Avenue, halting plans for the redesign.
The main issue for the delay of Two World Trade Center is finding an anchor tenant. Silverstein wants to focus on filling up the current office skyscrapers he owns, particularly Three World Trade Center, before moving on with Two WTC. So far, the foundations are complete, along with portions of the ground floor, which is only being used on an entrance to the Westfield mall, PATH station, and nearby subways. Murals spray painted by commissioned local artists on columns, corrugated sheets of metal, and walls attract millions of tourists that walk by the site all year round and offer a colorful backdrop for selfies and Instagram posts.
Foster’s original design would have risen 79 stories high, standing 1,350 feet tall, which is just 18 feet below the rooftop parapet of One World Trade Center. Within, there would be just under three million square feet of rentable office space.
YIMBY will be on the lookout for any new renderings and announcements in the future.