7 World Trade Center refers to two buildings that have existed at the same location in the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The current structure is the second building to bear that name and address in the World Trade Center. The original structure, part of the old World Trade Center, was completed in 1987 and was destroyed in the September 11 attacks. The current building opened in 2006. Both buildings were developed by Larry Silverstein, who holds a ground lease for the site from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The original 7 World Trade Center was 47 stories tall, clad in red masonry, and occupied a trapezoidal footprint. An elevated walkway connected the building to the World Trade Center plaza. The building was situated above a Consolidated Edison power substation, which imposed unique structural design constraints. When the building opened in 1987, Silverstein had difficulties attracting tenants. In 1988, Salomon Brothers signed a long-term lease, and became the main tenants of the building. On September 11, 2001, 7 WTC was damaged by debris when the nearby North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. The debris also ignited fires, which continued to burn throughout the afternoon on lower floors of the building. The building’s internal fire suppression system lacked water pressure to fight the fires, and the building collapsed completely at 5:21:10 pm, according to FEMA, while the 2008 NIST study placed the final collapse time at 5:20:52 pm. The collapse began when a critical internal column buckled and triggered structural failure throughout, which was first visible from the exterior with the crumbling of a rooftop penthouse structure at 5:20:33 pm. The collapse made the old 7 World Trade Center the first tall building known to have collapsed primarily due to uncontrolled fires, and the only steel skyscraper in the world to have collapsed due to fire.
Construction of the new 7 World Trade Center began in 2002 and was completed in 2006. The building is 52 stories tall (plus one underground floor), making it the 28th-tallest in New York. It is built on a smaller footprint than the original, allowing Greenwich Street to be restored from Tribeca through the World Trade Center site and south to Battery Park. The new building is bounded by Greenwich, Vesey, Washington, and Barclay streets. A small park across Greenwich Street occupies space that was part of the original building’s footprint. The current building’s design emphasizes safety, with a reinforced concrete core, wider stairways, and thicker fireproofing of steel columns. It also incorporates numerous green design features. The building was the first commercial office building in New York City to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, where it won a gold rating. It was also one of the first projects accepted to be part of the Council’s pilot program for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Core and Shell Development (LEED-CS).
Original building (1983–2001)
The original 7 World Trade Center was a 47-story building, designed by Emery Roth & Sons, with a red granite facade. The building was 610 feet (190 m) tall, with a trapezoidal footprint that was 330 ft (100 m) long and 140 ft (43 m) wide. Tishman Realty & Construction managed construction of the building, which began in 1983. In May 1987, the building opened, becoming the seventh structure of the World Trade Center.
The building was constructed above a Con Edison substation that had been on the site since 1967. The substation had a caisson foundation designed to carry the weight of a future building of 25 stories containing 600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2). The final design for 7 World Trade Center was for a much larger building than originally planned when the substation was built. The structural design of 7 World Trade Center therefore included a system of gravity column transfer trusses and girders, located between floors 5 and 7, to transfer loads to the smaller foundation. Existing caissons installed in 1967 were used, along with new ones, to accommodate the building. The 5th floor functioned as a structural diaphragm, providing lateral stability and distribution of loads between the new and old caissons. Above the 7th floor, the building’s structure was a typical tube-frame design, with columns in the core and on the perimeter, and lateral loads resisted by perimeter moment frames.
A shipping and receiving ramp, which served the entire World Trade Center complex, occupied the eastern quarter of the 7 World Trade Center footprint. The building was open below the 3rd floor, providing space for truck clearance on the shipping ramp. The spray-on fireproofing for structural steel elements was gypsum-based Monokote which had a two-hour fire rating for steel beams, girders and trusses, and a three-hour rating for columns.
Mechanical equipment was installed on floors four through seven, including 12 transformers on the 5th floor. Several emergency generators installed in the building were used by the Office of Emergency Management, Salomon Smith Barney, and other tenants. In order to supply the generators, 24,000 gallons (91,000 L) of diesel fuel were stored below ground level. Diesel fuel distribution components were located at ground level, up to the ninth floor. After the World Trade Center bombings of February 26, 1993, New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani decided to situate the emergency command center and associated fuel tanks at 7 World Trade Center. Although this decision was criticized in light of the events of 9/11, the fuel in the building is today not believed to have contributed to the collapse of the building. The roof of the building included a small west penthouse and a larger east mechanical penthouse.
Each floor had 47,000 sq ft (4,400 m2) of rentable office space which made the building’s floor plans considerably larger than most office buildings in the City. In all, 7 World Trade Center had 1,868,000 sq ft (173,500 m2) of office space. Two pedestrian bridges connected the main World Trade Center complex, across Vesey Street, to the third floor of 7 World Trade Center. The lobby of 7 World Trade Center had three murals by artist Al Held: The Third Circle, Pan North XII, and Vorces VII.
The new 7 World Trade Center has 52 stories and is 741 ft (226 m) tall. The building has 42 floors of leasable space, starting at the 11th floor, and a total of 1,700,000 sq ft (160,000 m2) of office space. The first ten floors house an electrical substation which provides power to much of Lower Manhattan. The office tower has a narrower footprint at ground level than did its predecessor, so the course of Greenwich Street could be restored to reunite TriBeCa and the Financial District.
Construction of the new 7 World Trade Center began on May 7, 2002, with the installation of a fence around the construction site. Tishman Construction Corporation of New York began work at the new 7 World Trade Center in 2002, soon after the site was cleared of debris. Restoring the Con Ed electrical substation was an urgent priority to meet power demands of Lower Manhattan. Because 7 World Trade Center is separate from the main 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site, Larry Silverstein required approval from only the Port Authority, and rebuilding was able to proceed quickly. Building Seven was not included in the original World Trade Center master plan by Daniel Libeskind, but was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill under the leadership of David Childs, who largely redesigned One World Trade Center.
Once construction of the power substation was complete in October 2003, work proceeded on building the office tower. An unusual approach was used in constructing the building; erecting the steel frame before adding the concrete core. This approach allowed the construction schedule to be shortened by a few months. Construction was completed in 2006 at a cost of $700 million. Though Silverstein received $861 million from insurance on the old building, he owed more than $400 million on its mortgage. Costs to rebuild were covered by $475 million in Liberty Bonds, which provide tax-exempt financing to help stimulate rebuilding in Lower Manhattan and insurance money that remained after other expenses.
A 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) triangular park was created between the extended Greenwich Street and West Broadway by David Childs with Ken Smith and his colleague, Annie Weinmayr, of Ken Smith Landscape Architect. The park comprises an open central plaza with a fountain and flanking groves of sweetgum trees and boxwood shrubs. At the center of the fountain, sculptor Jeff Koons created Balloon Flower (Red), whose mirror-polished stainless steel represents a twisted balloon in the shape of a flower.
The building was officially opened at noon on May 23, 2006, with a free concert featuring Suzanne Vega, Citizen Cope, Bill Ware Vibes, Brazilian Girls, Ollabelle, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Ronan Tynan (of the Irish Tenors), and special guest Lou Reed. Prior to opening, in March 2006, the new 7 World Trade Center frontage and lobby were used in scenes for the movie Perfect Stranger with Halle Berry and Bruce Willis.
Since the building opened, several unleased upper floors have been used for events such as charity lunches, fashion shows, and black-tie galas. Silverstein Properties allowed space in the new building to be used for these events as a means to draw people to see the building. From September 8 to October 7, 2006, the work of photographer Jonathan Hyman was displayed in “An American Landscape”, a free exhibit hosted by the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation at 7 World Trade Center. The photographs captured the response of people in New York City and across the United States after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The exhibit took place on the 45th floor while the space remained available for lease.
By March 2007, 60 percent of the building had been leased. In September 2006, Moody’s signed a 20-year lease to rent 15 floors of 7 World Trade Center. Other tenants that had signed leases in 7 World Trade Center, as of May 2007, include ABN AMRO, Ameriprise Financial Inc.,, law firm WilmerHale, Darby & Darby P.C., Mansueto Ventures LLC, business publisher of Fast Company and Inc., and the New York Academy of Sciences.
The space occupied by Mansueto Ventures has been designed to use the maximum amount of natural light and has an open floor plan. The space used by the New York Academy of Sciences on the 40th floor, designed by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, works with the parallelogram shape of the building. Keeping with the green design of the building, the NYAS uses recycled materials in many of the office furnishings, has zoned heating and cooling, and lights that detect motion, coming on automatically only when people are present, and adjust according to incoming sunlight.
Silverstein Properties also has offices and the Silver Suites executive office suites in 7 World Trade Center, along with office space used by the architectural and engineering firms working on 1 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street, 175 Greenwich Street, and 200 Greenwich Street. The building became fully leased in September 2011 when MSCI Inc. was reported to have leased a 125,000-square-foot space on the top floor.
May 7, 2002
May 23, 2006
743 ft (226 m)
741 ft (226 m)
679 ft (207 m)
1,681,118 sq ft (156,181 m2)