World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York

Photo of World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York, New York
Image courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Photo of World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York, New York
Image courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
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World Trade Center Transportation Hub
Official name:Permanent World Trade Center PATH Terminal
Also known as:World Trade Center PATH Station
Formerly:Hudson Terminal

Church and Vesey Streets, New York, New York, World Trade Center
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Another signature Santiago Calatrava piece. The World Trade Center Transit Hub combines light and soaring architectural elements with the need to move tens of thousands of people each day in safety. The wings of the building bear a striking resemblance to the work Calatrava did for the Milwaukee Art Museum, which now bears a pair of bird-like wings that move with the sun. The New York project's ribbed canopy is similar, but this time called an "oculus." It is 330 feet long, and supports panes of glass which curve and soar above the main hall, creating a space much like a cathedral. In fact, entry to the building puts pedestrians at a balcony level, looking at the expanse of space above and below them, helping reinforce the magnificence of the space. Just like in Milwaukee, these wings will move as well, but instead of being merely decoration, they will be able to open up about 30 feet wide and allow the sun and air in on nice days.

While Santiago Calatrava has earned the benefit of the doubt, early renderings of this building make it look less like a magnificent transportation center than a giant dead fish with its glistening skin and ribs bleaching in the sun. Of course, in spite of technological advances, few buildings end up looking like their renderings, so we remain hopeful that Calatrava will deliver another masterpiece.

Quick Facts
    > The hall will feature a hanging American flag recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center's twin towers. The 8-foot by 12-foot flag used to fly in the plaza of the World Trade Center. It was buried under rubble for three days before being recovered. It has since flown over Yankee Stadium, the SuperDome in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, and at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    > This building will provide connectivity between PATH trains; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, E, J, M, R, W, and Z subway lines; the World Financial Center, Hudson River ferries, and the Fulton Street Transit Center.
    > The main hall will be 80 feet tall.
    > Though it's only expected to serve 50,000 people each day when it opens, this station has been designed to handl up to 250,000 people per day.
    > $1,900,000,000 of the cost is being paid for with federal tax dollars.
    > Santiago Calatrava says the design is inspired by the crown on the Statue of Liberty. Architecture critics have compared it to a winged dinosaur, a dead fish, and an armadillo.
    > January, 2004 - Santiago Calatrava's original plan for this building is unveiled.
    > July 28, 2005 - A revised plan is presented to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Uses less glass, more structural redundancy, and more safety elements.
    > September 6, 2005 - Groundbreaking.
    > 2006 - Anticipated start of construction.
    > December, 2009 - Anticipated public opening.
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Your Thoughts

There are five comments.

  A nice design but the price tag is way too high. It will cost $3-4 billion to build, more than any of the towers. Perhaps the design would serve better as an entrance to the underground WTC Museum., if it can be done without huge costs.

Joshua - Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 @ 6:31pm  

  This building is sweet!!! I mean c'mon Luis... How is it a vulgar piece of architecture? Your going way too far. The building, while it is expensive, has an interesting architectural design. I think the goverenment can spend their money more wisely but when its done, why dont we just accept it?

John M. - Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 @ 11:58am  

  It is shameful to think that 2 BILLION dollars in federal tax dollars are being spent on the 'Calatrava', which is so absolutely inappropriate to the World Trade Center site, as the new transportation hub. If the public knew that this project looked as offensively as it does (claws of death on a sterile plaza that does not harmonize in any way with the context of the site, nor the post-9/11-tragedy master plan) AND how costly this horrifying landing of steel & glass onto the area are, then this would surely be scrapped as the proposed transportation hub. Why build the 'Calatrava', as proposed? Why allow for such an inconsiderate and vulgar piece of architecture be a part of the new World Trade? THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED!!!

Luis Plate - Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 @ 2:45pm  

  As how Sir.Norman Foster says that architecture should have a delicate embrace between the intellect and soul;so does the holy bible say that peace and righteousness kiss each other.So is it to look at this astounding archiectural marvel where tradition and technology have been so wonderfully interwooven!

wilson frederick - Wednesday, September 21st, 2005 @ 3:11am  

  I like it very much because of the entrance of natural light it would be nice if he used some designs from the previous Twin Towers for example the main columns it could be nostalgic to few erie for others its complicated, I also imagine the first aerial foto of the new complex, right between the Freedom and tower 2,3,or 4 a big Dead Fish! Analize that!

Wilbert NYC - Sunday, August 7th, 2005 @ 1:44am