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Scar is healing at World Trade Center

One of the most controversial and emotional construction projects in New York City history is quickly reaching important milestones on the way to completion, 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.The latest photographs and renderings of the in-progress World Trade Center (WTC) complex were released last week, ahead of the public opening of two giant square reflecting pools, surrounded by man-made waterfalls in the footprints of the destroyed Twin Towers. The dedication is set for next Monday, Sept. 12. Among the new images released by WTC developers are sparkling renderings of the new One World Trade Center — the Freedom Tower — a 1,776-foot-tower featuring 104 floors topped by a futuristic-looking radio antenna. Even as an artist’s rendering, the structure is striking, as it looms over a family of shiny new siblings, along with familiar old friends.As of the beginning of this month, the steel has been assembled for more than 80 floors of the Freedom Tower. Last week, steelworkers on the job were featured in a pictorial in The New York Times Magazine, peering out over the Hudson River and toward uptown Manhattan.Current plans indicate the building will be finished in two years, and that the floors below are being completed at the rate of one per week. When victims’ families gather at the WTC memorial on Sept. 12, they will see that more than 40 floors of the city’s soon-to-be tallest building have been glassed in, while a steel skeleton rises more than twice as high.Below, along the edges of the reflecting pools, they will see the names of the deceased inscribed in bronze on the outer walls, offset by rows of newly planted swamp oak trees and finished sidewalks. The area is still surrounded by construction equipment, for the various ongoing projects including the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, scheduled to open on Sept. 11, 2012.September 11 Memorial designer Michael Arad said last month that the completed project is intended to give visitors a chance to mourn but also to find comfort. “This is a scar, and it’s a scar that is healing,” he said. “It’s not a scar we’re going to hide. It’s just part of day-to-day life in the city.”

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