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New plan for Freedom Tower in New York City announced

If built, the new Freedom Tower design will be the most robust (and expensive) television transmission tower ever conceived.

If built, it will be the most robust television transmission tower ever conceived. The latest design of New York City’s Freedom Tower was unveiled last week, showing a newly centered antenna structure that tops out at a symbolic 1776ft.

The proposed new design for the 82-story signature building at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan calls for an almost impermeable and impregnable 200ft concrete and steel pedestal, clad in ornamental metalwork and set at least 65ft away from Route 9A, the heavily trafficked state highway that runs along the west edge of ground zero.

The enormous pedestal, redesigned to make it more secure in case of terrorist attack, would overlook the Sept. 11 memorial. Above it would be a tapering tower of glass — some panes laminated and several layers thick — with 69 office floors topped by a restaurant, indoor and outdoor observation decks and the TV antenna system within a trellis-like sculpture.

The redesign has pushed the estimated completion date of the Freedom Tower back to 2010. It is unclear what the construction of the building — originally estimated at $1.5 billion — would ultimately cost.

David Childs, the Freedom Tower’s chief architect, told the New York Times that the 408ft spire and its setting, which will house the Manhattan Television Alliance (MTVA) broadcast facilities, have yet to be fully designed.

However it has been decided that the spire will bring the tower’s overall height to 1776ft, the symbolically patriotic height insisted upon by New York Gov. George Pataki.

Most of New York City’s television broadcast transmission facilities were located atop the original World Trade Center towers, which were lost Sept 11. The stations have since relocated to the Empire State Building. The MTVA was formed to plan new facilities for the rebuilt site.

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