Skip to main content

4 World Trade Center Comes into View; and A Walk on John Street

While walking around the city this month or while visiting friends with lofty views, it's easy to spot the soaring tower of 1 World Trade Center in the skyline of Lower Manhattan. The steel structure of this tallest of the World Trade Center buildings has now surpassed ninety floors, and workers have completed the facade more than half way up. 1WTC has been particularly showy at night during the holiday season, festooned with multicolor lights twinkling all the way to the sky. But walk to a different street - for example, Greene Street in Soho or even Fifth Avenue in the 40s - and look south, and the tower of 4 World Trade Center comes into play on the horizon.

Looking south on Greene Street in Soho. At the end - 4WTC.

Eventually rising to 72 stories, this minimalist work at 150 Greenwich Street by architect Fumihiko Maki, the recipient of the 1994 Pritzker Prize, will eventually become just as an important part of the visual and social landscape as the other nearby skyscrapers. As the building slowly slips into our peripheral city vision, 4WTC is worthy of our attention.



Zoom picture of Fifth Avenue, looking south. Near 42nd Street and the New York Public Library.
The building on the horizon is 4WTC, now under construction. 

Located at the southeast corner of the World Trade Center site, 4WTC will feature 1.8 million square feet of office space on 53 floors and 146,000 of retail on five floors near or below ground level. (see sources at end of this section.) The building very nearly stalled over financing issues. This past fall, Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority issued bonds to complete the building, scheduled to open in 2013. The Port Authority has signed on to move its main headquarters to the tower. While 1WTC's height make it "a proud and soaring thing," to use Louis Sullivan's words, 4WTC's geometrical configurations - the bottom half shaped as a parallelogram and the top floors as a trapezoid - will translate into a bulkier appearance from many viewpoints on the street.

4 WTC, 150 Greenwich Street, up close.

While 4WTC's future seems clearer, the construction schedule for 2WTC and 3WTC, the ones designed by Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, respectively, depends on the success of securing tenants. The 2WTC by Foster, with its sloping diagonal roofs and illusion of four tightly bonded towers, would have been the second tallest building in the city after its neighbor 1WTC and one of the most distinctive in the skyline. The building will be finished to street level this year, but its future is up in the air. In other words, the construction schedule of these two towers depends on market conditions. As the year begins, only 1WTC and 4 WTC are done deals.

For further reading:

For more on the rebuilding projects in Lower Manhattan, consult the website, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center.

To learn more about the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, visit the official site.

See website for Maki and Associates for more about the architect.

A Walk on John Street

A walk on John Street, looking back at the WTC site.

The previous post on this site featured another new project in Lower Manhattan, Pier 15 of the East River Waterfront Promenade, along with the suggestion to walk there via John Street. While the World Trade Center and the pier offer views of the new city, John Street reveals a combination of the old, the recent past, and the new. The narrow street is currently lined with old-fashioned convenient stores, everyday diners, new drugstores, and a mix of Beaux Arts, mid-century modern, and older buildings. Several new developments signify the area's residential renaissance, including 99 John Deco lofts, a condo development inside a repurposed office building from 1933 and visited by WOTBA during this past OHNY.

John Street United Methodist Church, 44 John Street. 1841.

No more is this time-challenged mixture on the street apparent than by a visit to John Street United Methodist Church and its little side park. The church here, built in 1841, is the third one built by the congregation, making it the oldest Methodist congregation in the United States. Next to this appealing church, situated close to the street near the intersection of John and Dutch Street, sits a small courtyard. Venture in the space to visit the small sculpted bust of John Wesley. With his back against a relentless office tower wall, the venerable minister seems to be trapped inside a dystopian urban nightmare.

bust of John Wesley in the church's small urban park

The building trapping Wesley is known by its address as 33 Maiden Lane, designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee and built in 1984. Check out the cool "street" within the building that provides access to the Fulton Street subway. In other developments near here, please note, too, that a 21-story hotel is planned for a site between Broadway and Nassau Streets at 24 John Street.


interior "street" at 33 Maiden Lane.

At the end of the street near the water, John takes a playful turn with the "Imagination Playground." Beyond, we see the Seaport. And, finally, needing to take a break from our old and new urban canyons, we finally see boats and piers and the East River and the sky.

Imagination Playground

John Street ends at the South Street Seaport.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.

Further reading: Website for John Street Church.


View East River Waterfront Esplanade Pier 15 in a larger map

Comments

Anonymous said…
3 WTC is actually underway (next to 4). I believe they are just doing the base of 7 or so stories for now, and adding the rest of it later.

Enjoyed your walk on John Street. The inside of the Methodist Church is sometimes open to visitors.
Teri Tynes said…
Thanks for the update. My understanding was that 3WTC was being built to street level.

Popular posts from this blog

Editorial for Blog Action Day

I was so scared when I saw An Inconvenient Truth that I changed my prodigal ways. Today, Walking Off the Big Apple is participating in Blog Action Day, an event that challenges 15,000 or more people who are in a similar line of work to write posts about the environment. New York City will be in enormous trouble should the prevailing tide of climate change continue. I mean that literally. With the rise in sea levels, a strong storm surge would devastate many of the low-lying residential areas. Lower Manhattan would suffer enormous consequences but also parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island would be affected. The warmer weather we've experienced here over the past few years is also likely to continue. Warm weather leads to more smog, pollution, and the likelihood of disease and asthma. I could get really sick just walking around. The economic impact of climate change would be serious. All the plans for new uses of the waterfront for housing and recreation would be a no-start

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Please see this post for current announcements of reopenings . Please consult the museum websites for changes in days and hours. UPDATED September 23, 2020 Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details. • The  Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)  reopened to the public on  August 27 , with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  on Mondays for MoMA members on ly. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this  new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum . •  New-York Historical Society  reopened on  August 14  with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine

25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

(updated 2016) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at 11 W. 53rd Street is near many other New York City attractions, so before or after a trip to the museum, a short walk in any direction could easily take in additional experiences. Drawing a square on a map with the museum at the center, a shape bounded by 58th Street to the north and 48th Street to the south, with 7th Avenue to the west and Park Avenue to the east, proves the point of the area's cultural richness. (A map follows the list below.) While well-known sightseeing stops fall with these boundaries, most notably Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the great swath of famous Fifth Avenue stores, cultural visitors may also want to check out places such as the Austrian Cultural Forum, the 57th Street galleries, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the Municipal Art Society. The image above shows an intriguing glimpse of the tops of two Beaux-Arts buildings through an opening of the wall inside MoMA's scu

25 Things to Do Near the American Museum of Natural History

After visiting the American Museum of Natural History, explore attractions on the Upper West Side or in Central Park. Visitors to New York often run around from one major tourist site to the next, sometimes from one side of the city to the other, and in the process, exhaust themselves thoroughly. Ambitious itineraries often include something like coffee in the Village in the morning, lunch near MoMA, a couple of hours in the museum, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry in the afternoon, cocktails at the midtown hotel, a quick dinner, and then a Broadway show. It's a wonder people don't pass out at the theater. While sitting on the steps of the American Museum of History, consider exploring the Upper West Side and nearby sites of interest in Central Park. There's a better way to plan a New York trip. Consider grouping attractions together geographically. Several posts on this site address this recommended approach. The Wild West of the Tecumseh Playground Groupin

25 Things to Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

(updated) Sitting on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of those iconic things to do in New York City. On a sunny day, the wide steps can become crowded with the young and old, the tourist and the resident. It's tempting to stay awhile and soak in the sun and the sights. Everyone has reasons for lingering there, with one being the shared pleasure of people watching along this expansive stretch of Fifth Avenue, a painting come to life. Certainly, just getting off one's feet for a moment is welcome, especially if the previous hours involved walking through the entirety of art history from prehistoric to the contemporary. The entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a singular pilgrimage, uninterrupted by feeble attempts to take in more exhibitions along Museum Mile. Pity the poor visitor who tries "to do" multiple museum exhibitions in one day, albeit ambitious, noble, and uplift

Taking a Constitutional Walk

A long time ago individuals going out for a walk, especially to get fresh air and exercise, often referred to the activity as "taking a constitutional walk." The word "constitutional" refers to one's constitution or physical makeup, so a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one's overall wellbeing. (Or, as some would prefer to call it, "wellness.") The phrase is more common in British literature than in American letters. As early as the mid-nineteenth century, many American commentators expressed concern that their countrymen were falling into lazy and unhealthy habits. Newspaper columnists and editorial writers urged their readers to take up the practice of the "constitutional" walk. One such essay, " Walking as an Exercise," originally printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and reprinted in New England Farmer , Volume 11, 1859, urges the people of farm areas to take up walking. City dwellers seemed to have the

14 Useful Mobile Apps for Walking New York City

Texting and walking at the same time is wrong. Talking on the phone while strolling down the street is wrong. Leaving the sidewalk to stop and consult the information on a cellphone, preferably while alone, is OK. What's on Walking Off the Big Apple's iPhone: A List Walkmeter GPS Walking Stopwatch for Fitness and Weight Loss . While out walking, Walkmeter tracks routes, time, speed, and elevation. This is an excellent app for recording improvised or impromptu strolls, especially with many unplanned detours. The GPS function maps out the actual route. The app keeps a running tally of calories burned while walking, useful for weight loss goals. Another welcome feature is the ability to switch over to other modes of activity, including cycling. An indispensable app for city walkers. $4.99  New York City Compass , designed by Francesco Bertelli, is an elegant compass calibrated for Manhattan, with indications for Uptown, East Side, Downtown, and West Side. While facing a cert

From Penn Station to New York Landmarks: Measuring Walking Distance and Time in Manhattan

(revised 2017) How long does it take to walk from Penn Station/Madison Square Garden to well-known destinations in Manhattan? What are the best walking routes ? What if I don't want to see anything in particular but just want to walk around? In addition to the thousands of working commuters from the surrounding area, especially from New Jersey and Long Island who arrive at Penn Station via New Jersey Transit or the Long Island Rail Road, many people arrive at the station just to spend time in The City. Some have questions. Furthermore, a sporting event may have brought you to Madison Square Garden (above Penn Station), and you want to check out what the city offers near the event. This post if for you.  The map below should help you measure walking distances and times from the station to well-known destinations in Manhattan - Bryant Park , the Metropolitan Museum of Art , the Empire State Building , Times Square , Rockefeller Center , Washington Square Park , the High Line

Museums in New York Open on Tuesdays

American Folk Art Museum , 45 W. 53rd St. Asia Society and Museum , 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street) Guggenheim Museum , 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th St.) Pictured left International Center of Photography , 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street The Metropolitan Museum of Art , 1000 Fifth Avenue NEW: Beginning May 1, 2013 MoMA will be open seven days a week. 11 W. 53rd St. The Morgan Library & Museum , 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street Museum of the City of New York , 1220 Fifth Avenue New York University, Grey Art Gallery , 100 Washington Square East Mondays and Tuesdays are the hardest days to remember which museums are open. See the list for NY museums open on Mondays here .

The Marx Brothers in New York: Interlude - On Groucho Walking

This special new series about the Marx Brothers in New York continues this week, following the brothers into a career in Broadway and into the movies, but first I would like to take a little time to discuss Groucho's peculiar way of walking. Sometimes described as a "lope" or "stoop," Groucho's silly and often lecherous walk became just as an important part of his persona as his glasses, eyebrows, cigar and greasepaint moustache. He didn't walk this walk all the time, but as you recall from the films, Groucho would often bend his knees and lean forward as he proceeded from point A to point B. To imitate Groucho properly at a costume party, it's important to get this part down. • Groucho explained that it was simply a bit of inspired improvisation. From the book Hello, I Must Be Going by Charlotte Chandler, he says, "I was just kidding around one day, and I started to walk funny. The audience liked it, so I kept it in."(pps. 153-154) Chand