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WTC site design reportedly chosen

©Associated Press
February 27, 2003

NEW YORK -- A cluster of sloping, angular buildings with a 1,776-foot spire that would be the tallest in the world was chosen Wednesday as the blueprint to redevelop the World Trade Center site, the Associated Press has learned.

Architect Daniel Libeskind's design beat a plan by an international design team known as Think, which envisioned two 1,665-foot latticework towers straddling the footprints of the original towers, said a source familiar with the selection, according to the Associated Press. An official announcement is expected today.

The choice of the soaring design, which pays homage to the year America declared its independence, was made by a committee of representatives from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the offices of the governor and mayor.

Libeskind, who is based in Berlin, declined to comment.

The Libeskind design called for 70 stories of offices, with airy "gardens of the world" beckoning tourists above office level. It included five starkly geometrical towers and several smaller cultural buildings around the foundations of the fallen towers.

The plan, which may undergo revisions, also called for a Park of Heroes and a memorial encompassing the footprints of the fallen towers. The spire was designed to house a garden all the way to its top because "gardens are a constant affirmation of life," Libeskind said in December.

He estimated the cost of building his design at $330-million.

Developer Larry Silverstein, who owns the lease on the site, said earlier this month he was not satisfied with either plan.

Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for Silverstein, said Wednesday he "has great respect for the architect," and looks forward to working with him.

The two finalists each featured buildings surpassing Malaysia's 1,483-foot Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest in the world. Think architect Rafael Vinoly is also creating a new Tampa Museum of Art.

-- Information from Times files was used in this report.

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