By: Aline Reynolds | Tribeca Tribune Online
Elected officials joined Larry Silverstein at the developer’s 977-foot-high 4 World Trade Center on the sub-freezing morning of Wednesday, Nov. 13, to celebrate the opening of the first completed office building on the original 16-acre World Trade Center site. In addition, a small portion of Greenwich Street, which will eventually run through the site, opened in front of the building.
The 72-story tower—designed by Fumihiko Maki and the smallest of the three buildings Silverstein is constructing on the site—contains 2.3 million square feet of rentable office space on 56 floors. The building’s official opening marks the beginning of the build-out of its interior, as well as the completion of its lobby, now open to the public.
The lobby, which overlooks the eight-acre National Sept. 11 Memorial plaza, has 46-foot glass-and-marble walls on three sides and features a cantilevered sculpture called “Sky Memory.” Videos of nature scenes stream on the walls of the elevator corridors.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the site’s owner and a tenant in the former World Trade Center, is expected to move its headquarters into the building in early 2015. The city’s Human Resources Administration, currently housed at 180 Water Street, is also scheduled to move into 600,000 square feet of space there in 2015.
Eventually, the office building’s Church Street side will comprise five floors of restaurants and shops and connect to an underground concourse that will have access to 11 subway lines, the PATH train and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
“As we open its doors,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, addressing the shivering crowd, “the site once again becomes a part of New York’s continued growth—reconnecting with the city that surrounds it, and the people who live and work in this neighborhood.”
“As great of an achievement as this building is today,” Silverstein said, “we also have the joy of celebrating far more than that. Many of you right now are standing on a section of Greenwich Street that has not existed for more than half-a-century, since the construction of the original World Trade Center back in the late 1960s.”
The building and street openings come a day after the official recognition of the neighboring 1 World Trade Center, by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, as the tallest building in the U.S.