April 29, 2012

Tomorrow, 1 World Trade Center will become the tallest building in NYC.

The addition of a steel column will put it 21 feet taller than the Empire State Building.
This is the second time a skyscraper called 1 World Trade Center has edged over the Empire State Building. The first was on Oct. 19, 1970, when a section of steel framework elevated the north tower of the trade center to 1,254 feet, four feet above Empire State’s 1,250-foot benchmark.

35 comments:

Jeff with one 'f' said...

And yet none of them are an improvement on the Empire State Building. To be fair even the ESB pales in comparison to the Chrysler Building or even the Woolworth Building. There's a good reason that the NYC real estate phrase "pre-war" means superior quality.

edutcher said...

It should have happened within a couple of years, but the enviro-nuts and the bean counters and the public interest lawyers and Nanny Bloomberg took what should nave been a testament to American resolve and turned it into just another example of the failure of the blue state model.

William said...

The architect should have designed it with cross section vaulted arches to form a large bullseye in the center of the building. For the next century or so, the destruction of this building will be the dream of every Moslem fanatic.

Alex said...

Jeff - I agree the Chrysler building is a work of art.

Charlie Eklund said...

About damn time.

bagoh20 said...

Empire State Building:

Tallest skyscraper in the world for 42 years.

Built in under 15 months - 3 months ahead of schedule.

Cost 372.8 million in 2012 dollars and 42% below budget.

It's just amazing how much we have let slip away - all that made us exceptional.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine if the current stimulus money was spent by 1930's America. We would have a titanium bridge built to Mars, a safe, pocket size nuclear reactor powering every home and and a life expectancy of 220 years, but today:

Empire State building: $373 million
Solyndra: $535 million

Both in 2012 dollars. Nuff said?

bagoh20 said...

One World Trade Center cost: $3.8 billion - 10 times the cost of The Empire State Building (ESB) compared in 2012 dollars. Today we have far superior methods, equipment and materials; and this building is not record breaking nor very ambitious. Shouldn't it be cheaper today instead of the most expensive building in history? Why is it 10X the cost of an ESB. Where does all the extra money go?

Palladian said...

Maybe it's the fact that we don't pay workers $1 a day anymore?

bagoh20 said...

I wonder if the ESB would survive a hit by a 767. I suspect it would, due to the difference in design and construction. It probably would still have burnt inside completely from the fuel. The ESB was hit by 10 ton B52 in 1945 with little damage. A 767 is 87 tons.

Of course, once you include the explosives that Bush and Cheney set off in the basement, then all bets are off.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrone Slothrop said...

From the article:

Unlike its predecessor, the new 1 World Trade Center is not the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds that title.

From Wikipedia:

The project's completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, and with vast overbuilding in the country, led to high vacancies and foreclosures.[15] With Dubai mired in debt from its huge ambitions, the government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa, said to honour the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support.[16]

Due to the slumping demand in Dubai's property market, the rents in the Burj Khalifa plummeted 40% some ten months after its opening. Out of 900 apartments in the tower, around 825 were still empty at that time.


The skyscrapers of New York were cost effective because of the skyrocketing cost of commercial real estate in the boom of the 1920's. The only justification for the Burj is that they wanted to have the tallest building in the world, no matter the cost. Such buildings are extremely expensive to operate and maintain. When the oil runs out, or before, the Burj Khalifa will be an amazing vertical ghost town.

bagoh20 said...

"Maybe it's the fact that we don't pay workers $1 a day anymore?"

Average wages paid on ESB in 1931 = $15 per day = $59K/yr in 2012 dollars. Average U.S. Wage in 2009 = $41K/yr.

So, no, wages is not the reason. Something else is robbing us blind, and making us impotent in solving our problems.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@bagoh20

Certainly you meant to type B-25, didn't you?

Bender said...

I hope they designed it in such a fashion that it can be brought down safely. Nothing stands forever, even if not the target of terrorists. The outer skin design of the first WTC was such that the collapse of a couple of floors at the top, for whatever reason, guaranteed the destruction of the whole thing from the collapse pancaking downward, rather than outward.

tim maguire said...

A good part of it is we don't pay workers $1 a day anymore (quite right Palladian), but another part if it is that 1 World Trade Center will be a far superior building. State of the art everything, while the Empire State Building is a dump.

ESB may have been state of the art at one time, but the art was very different in that state.

tim maguire said...

bagoh, I'm assuming (safely, I think) that Palladian was using "$1 a day" as shorthand for saying we treat our workers better today and it is more expensive to do so.

First of all, they are not making the US average, more like 2X (and for some 3X). Plus they get a whole host of benefits that workers in the '20's didn't get.

bagoh20 said...

"Certainly you meant to type B-25, didn't you?"

Oops. Yea, although it would have saved a lot of lives if we had a few B52s in the early 1940's.

Thanks.

PatCA said...

Amen.

Finally.

bagoh20 said...

"First of all, they are not making the US average, more like 2X (and for some 3X). Plus they get a whole host of benefits that workers in the '20's didn't get."

But it's all relative. We"re talking 10x the cost. The workers in 1931 were paid well above average too for their time. The workers today are not getting paid 10X as much - that would be $590K per yr., average.

The technology of the building is better of course, but so are all the materials and equipment used to make it much more efficiently. There should be savings and certainly savings in time to construct. In 1931, they had to compute and draw everything by hand - no computers, no helicopters, no lasers, not even a hand calculator. Their construction equipment was prehistoric by comparison. There should be savings. The building is also not 10X as good. The ESB was phenomenally beautiful and advanced for it's day. It was unsurpassed for 4 decades. Is this new one 10X that compared to it's rivals? The only way it's anything but average among it's peers is in cost, where it is truly exceptional. Give 1930's America half the money we spent on this and they could rebuild this building, throw in a wonderful new ESB on top of it and make everyone who worked on it truly wealthy for their time.

We don't even realize our potential because we are so resigned to what we have become.

Imagine what we could build with even half the money we are spending to do nothing.

I think all the added cost is giving us less than nothing in return.

bagoh20 said...

The workers on the ESB in 1931 made over 2X the average wage of the time.

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

I think the majority of the added multiples of cost is going to regulation and graft which have both grown exponentially and are now inseparable from each other. The graft is embedded in regulations that send enormous amounts of money to people who contribute little or nothing to the building. Every task that could be done by a man with a tool and some material is now regulated, watched over, controlled, evaluated, documented, investigated, and latched onto by parasitic forces from all directions looking for a piece of the action by getting their forms signed off. The people behind these forces don't care if the project succeeds or fails, and in fact the longer it takes and the more it cost the better for them all.

That's end-of-empire stuff. No empire ever stopped and said: "We are not gonna let this happen." Will we?

CWJ said...

Bagoh2o

Hear hear! I don't want to believe your last comment, but absent someone with a counter argument, its hard not to believe.

Are workers better paid? Are working conditions safer and less exploitative? I think so. Are building standards better? I'll say yes for the sake of argument, but I don't know. Even so, are they monitarily 10X better? You've got to be kidding! We have long passed the point of diminishing returns, but the demand for more "investment" and more regulation continues unabated.

slumber_j said...

Somewhat off-topic...a fictional short subject (also somewhat off-color) based on the Ebbets photo of ironworkers eating lunch during the construction of Rockefeller Center:

http://leveritt.com/girder/?series=63&redirect=true&CFID=43605064&CFTOKEN=2e62eb410cf6b43b-3BFF503A-ACE0-E6F1-2C292A70A8510711

Big Mike said...

I still assert that the US would have done vastly better to reconstruct the World Trade Center exactly as it was, except taller and less vulnerable to airplanes flying into it (e.g., by better hardening the emergency stairwells). And helicopter landing zones on both roofs. Plus anyone caught chaining the doors to the roof closed should result in an immediate life sentence.

Chuck66 said...

My first time to NYC was about 7 years ago. Took the train from Philadelphia. As we approached from the south and the skyline came into view, I was amazed at how the Empire State Building dominated the city. After 75 years, it was still a huge structure (and tallest in NYC at that time).

bagoh20 said...

If we were not paralyzed by our caution and bureaucracy, I'd like to have seen them rebuilt with the theme being "If you strike me down now I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

Rebuild three towers, all taller than the two, shaped like the crosses on Golgotha. With anti-aircraft missile installations on top.

While we're dreaming, I would like a hang gliding launch on the top as well. It would be an easy glide out to a landing zone at the feet of the Statue of Liberty.

tree hugging sister said...

Blah blah blah. They should have built at least one of the old towers back EXACTLY the same.

PISS on everybody else and especially those homocidal, misogynist goat fuckers, may they rot in Hell.

But that's just a New Jersey girl, Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and someone who was talking to her brother in a building two blocks from the towers as the first one came down at heart talking.

Did you see they killed 16 Catholics during Mass in Nigeria this morning by setting off small bombs and shooting them as they ran outside? But big, brave Dan Savage says we're the sauvages...

Don't mind me.

Dante said...

bagoh20:

Really like your points about relative costs. There were five deaths on the Empire state building during construction. I'm not sure what is acceptable today, nor how expensive that is. I'm not saying the trade-offs are right, only speculating.

But if one were to compare the very few deaths on the Empire state building to others of its time, it was an amazing accomplishment.

I agree with you. Something very bad has happened. Sorry, Ann, but part of it is lawyers. Part of it is government, which is laying down rules for how everything has to be done.

For states like CA, where I live, it seems like a train wreck ready to happen. I mean, we have a massively growing Hispanic demographic that has proven impervious to integration with the 21st century imperatives, yet today they consume $30B of the $90B or so state budget in K-12 alone. Then there are the insane local issues, of massive pensions and salaries for essentially low skilled labor.

Ugh. Well, I suppose something magical might happen, but I don't see it from the left, or the traditional right.

Rusty said...

Bender said...
I hope they designed it in such a fashion that it can be brought down safely. Nothing stands forever, even if not the target of terrorists. The outer skin design of the first WTC was such that the collapse of a couple of floors at the top, for whatever reason, guaranteed the destruction of the whole thing from the collapse pancaking downward, rather than outward.


You're going to get that anyway in a building that has a steel skeleton.
Once the steel reaches its transition temperature where the crystal structure realigns any steel structure will fail. It's the nature of the material.
Besides, for demolition purposes you want a tall building to pancake.

Tibore said...

"bagoh20 said...

Shouldn't it be cheaper today instead of the most expensive building in history? Why is it 10X the cost of an ESB. Where does all the extra money go?"


Probably the extra fire and safety egress engineering mandated in the wake of the prior WTC buildings collapses.

"bagoh20 said...
I wonder if the ESB would survive a hit by a 767. I suspect it would, due to the difference in design and construction. It probably would still have burnt inside completely from the fuel. The ESB was hit by 10 ton B52 in 1945 with little damage. A 767 is 87 tons."


Actually, September 11th showed engineers that the biggest problem isn't from the jet fuel - which burns off in seconds to minutes and tends to be reduced by up to half in the initial fireball to begin with - but by the office contents, which can potentially burn for weeks to months. As was shown in the aftermath of 9/11.

Also: I was told by high rise architects and a few engineers that they don't design a building to survive such catastrophic incidents. Rather, they engineer them as best they can to stay standing as long as they can so that 1. People can escape and 2. Firefighters can arrive and do their best to salvage what they can. A lot of people - 9/11 truthers especially - totally miss the fact that the NIST Reports on the September 11th World Trade Center collapses were written to encapsulate the lessons learned from the collapse and work towards improving both 1. Resistance to failure, and 2. Occupant egress.

A lot of folks also miss the fact that the original Twin Towers did indeed withstand the impact. The fires themselves, though, screwed the damage building entirely by shifting loads from damaged areas to undamaged ones until those areas could no longer support the load. It's worth noting that the original buildings did indeed survive the impact itself amazingly well. But not the fires. To the eternal and openly voiced sorrow of the lead design engineer of the World Trade Center Twin Towers design Leslie Robertson, who came out and comisserated over the lack of understanding and ability to understand high rise fire progressions decades ago when they designed the buildings.

"
Of course, once you include the explosives that Bush and Cheney set off in the basement, then all bets are off."


Well, according to Dr. Judy Wood, it was microwave beams from satellites, not explosives. So there! ;) :D

Tibore said...

Something I feel needs to be emphasized:

The radical islamicist terrorists struck two tall towers in New York, resulting in the collapse of both of those plus a third one (The Salomon Building, aka "7 World Trade"), and also wrought damage to another building in DC. By the time 1 World Trade is completed, America will have rebuilt all the damage that was caused. And not only that, but Americans and all their friends (Europeans, all of Asia too) have incorporated lessons leared about tall building design vulnerabilities into new building codes, ensuring the survivability of future structures (this we've seen in action in the Beijing CCTV building fire, which gutted the entire structure yet didn't result in collapse. The design engineering firm Arup came out and credited knowledge gained from studying the Twin Towers for their ability to design it to survive).

Contrast this to southern Lebanon in the wake of the last adventure against the Israelis, as well as the areas ceded by Israel to the Palestinians several years ago. The radical islamicists f---ed those areas up, and too many of them are still disaster areas.

What does that tell everyone about relative social values?

Just sayin'.

Rusty said...

. The fires themselves, though, screwed the damage building entirely by shifting loads from damaged areas to undamaged ones until those areas could no longer support the load. It's worth noting that the original buildings did indeed survive the impact itself amazingly well. But not the fires.


Both planes were fully fueled. That translates into TONs of jet fuel. The fires fueled by paper and plastic and anything else that would burn. Hell once the fires got to @ 1100 deg F the aluminum had melted and started to burn. I don't think better fire shielding could have saved the buildings, but a really good fire supression system might.

Tibore said...

"Rusty said...

Both planes were fully fueled. That translates into TONs of jet fuel. The fires fueled by paper and plastic and anything else that would burn. Hell once the fires got to @ 1100 deg F the aluminum had melted and started to burn. I don't think better fire shielding could have saved the buildings, but a really good fire supression system might."


Well, not to nitpick, but: The best estimates NIST came up with regarding the jet fuel load were not quite "fully fueled". UA11 was estimated to have right aroun 10,000, which is just under half of the plane's full capacity (23,980 gallons). Ditto Flight 175: The estimate NIST gave was around 9,100 gal.Those figures are given in NCSTAR 1, the summary segment of the overall report. I don't recall which subreport laid out how that was guesstimated, but IIRC, that info is in one of the subreports somewhere.

Anyway, don't get me wrong; I'm not diminishing the amount of jet fuel. Even just half the 767's capacity is a HELL OF A LOT of fuel. It works out to 60,000+ pounds, more or less, per jet, and it also impacted the towers at over 400 MPH. As an aside: NIST actually theorized that the impact force of the jet fuel played a notable part in the destruction of the load-bearing columns at the impact points on the towers. This is before considering the mass of the jetliners themselves. And all of that is before they considered the fires they touched off.

But yes, you are indeed correct about the fires fueling all combustibles inside the building. NIST laid a great deal of the fires' fuel loading on furniture and combustible plastics in the computer equipment. An analysis by the EPA air pollution surveys taken in the aftermath of the collapses backs this up. Another analysis was undertaken by the UC Davis "Delta" group and that, too, backs up the conclusion about what burned. But anyway, NIST's studies and modelings revealed that even in the "worst" case scenario regarding the JP4 contribution to the fires that it had next to no direct effect on heating the structure to the point of failure. That was partially because it burned off so quickly, and also partially because it was actually small compared to the amount of combustibles available in the towers themselves: UC Davis estimated that the office content fires accounted for about 6.4x10^12 joules. Calculating the energy from the jet fuel, only 1.3x10^12 joules per jet would've been available from that, and that's only if it all burned (remember, some went up in the fireball, some fell to the basement, etc.). The office contents themselves were estimated to have a total potential energy of combusion of 4.3x10^14 joules. Two orders of magnitude higher than what burnt, or what could've been contributed by the jet fuel. So yes, those office contents - carpet, furniture, computers & their monitors, etc. - by far comprised the bulk of the fuel for the fires.

Of course, the jet fuel started the fires - that much is obvious - but it was the office contents burning that really heated the structure to the point of failure.

Anyway... horrific analysis, I know. But yes, the event has been well studied. Saddening, too. But, at least a heck of a lot has been learned regarding fire engineering and safety from the collapses.