One of the most desolate places after dark, New York’s financial district used to be more or less for bankers only. Residential development in the area was lacking and as a result commercial activity was mainly geared towards servicing office workers and shut down entirely in the evenings. And then came 9/11

In the post 9/11 rebuilding process, the Lower Manhattan area is being revamped to be more welcoming area that will include a healthy mix of residential, commercial and cultural activity. Much of the redevelopment is focusing on sustainable building. New green residential buildings, such as the Solaire and the Verdisian are the result of mandatory green guidelines for all new residential buildings imposed by the Battery Park City Authority.


And of course, work progresses on the World Trade Center site. Like the mythic Phoenix, 7 World Trade Center is the first building to rise out of the ashes of September 11th. The spectacular new building rises 52 stories and if it passes review, will be the first New York City office building to earn LEED silver certification.

WTC 7, World Trade Center 7 Building, David Childs, SOM, LEED

Providing power to Battery Park City and other downtown neighborhoods, the bottom ten floors for the building house a Con Edison electrical substation. Green design aspects include rainwater collection for building cooling and park irrigation. During the building process, recycled materials were used and any resulting building refuse was recycled. In order to conserve energy and provide more natural light for tenants, the latest in glass technology has been used. Expected to influence future building codes, 7 WTC features a reinforced concrete core rising through its center, making it “the safest high-rise office building in America.”

Restoring the street grid to the WTC’s 16 acres, integrating public space and new parks are all part of the design strategy for the area. As a result, the building’s redesigned footprint will no longer block off Greenwich Street, creating space for a triangular park at Vesey and Greenwich Streets.

“Not only will this building and its park serve as the gateway to the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan,” said David Childs. “We believe it will set a new standard of commercial building design and construction in New York and across the country.” Already one of the greenest cities in the United States, New York still has a ways to go in terms of greening up its act, but so far, developments in lower Manhattan are promising. We’re looking forward to the future.