Gallery: The Freedom Towers That Could Have Been: 7 Unrealized Designs ...

This article was originally published on September 9, 2012.

The 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks is just days away, and all eyes are on Ground Zero, where One World Trade Center, formerly known as Freedom Tower, is currently being built. The tower is part of Daniel Libeskind’s “Memory Foundations,” which won an international competition hosted by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to redesign the WTC site. Impressive as it is, Libeskind’s plan, which has been heavily edited, was just one of half a dozen awe-inspiring designs for a new World Trade Center. From sunken gardens to hovering towers, the other hopeful designs are worth remembering. Click through to browse what the new World Trade Center could have been.

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  1. jointheleanrat January 25, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks for reminding us of the the mediocrity that has risen there but it’s not untypical for NYC… Look at the Time Warner building…. We rarely get the great architecture and when we do it’s still compromise! I cite Sir Norman Foster’s Hearst tower!

  2. feline74 November 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    If memory serves correct, the proposal I liked most at the time was from Paolo Solieri–it was for a cone structure with a concave curve to the vertical rise. The result was that building occupants could climb out of their windows and slide to safety in an emergency!

  3. caeman September 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Those big ugly towers may be ugly, but they are space-efficient. Because they are square, there is no wasted living/working space.

  4. mary 33492104 September 15, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Liebiskind design was best, too bad when they don’t build the best Ugly stays for a long time. The towers were ugly as least they didn’t rebuild them, there were lots of good planning solutions, yet we don’t use them why? It is like people who don’t believe in climate change, there is a science to urban planning we know how people behave best in spaces, lets make it happen, missed opportunity.

  5. Chas September 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    The winning Liebiskind scheme would have been so much better that what we’ve ended up with. Any of these 6 six schemes would have been better than generic McTower garbage.
    For something so emotional, it’s really depressing to see what could have been.
    these towers are so generic and forgetable that you could pick them up and plop them in any downtown and it’s doubtful if anyone would even notice.
    the only shining light in all this is Calatravas train station which should be amazing.

  6. caeman September 8, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Simple is good. Some of those designs look really neat, but a simple talk building back where it used to be is what is really needed. Does everything have to look like art?

  7. r4gm4n September 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    The design that should have ( and can still be used ) is the design to recreate the original towers ether be bigger, stronger, taller / the ultimate standpoint to the evil that destroyed the originals. Also aesthetically pleasing too