Updated 08:30 PM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

One World Trade Center to Have Elevated Park Overlooking 9/11 Memorial

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The new 1 World Trade Center building has revealed its newest feature: an elevated park. 

The park will be slightly larger than an acre and will hover 25 feet above Liberty Street. It will give a panoramic view of the National Sept. 11 Memorial when it opens to the public, which is projected for 2015. 

Dubbed Liberty Park, the elevated space will offer an east-west crossing between the financial district and Battery Park City as well as a landscaped forecourt for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, The New York Times confirms. It will also provide a space to hold as many as 750 people at once, and will allow visitors to look upon the memorial in one glance from treetop level. 

Right now, the park is an empty concrete space. The bridge that survived the Sept. 11 attacks will be elongated to connect West Street to Battery Park City, but it is not yet completed. 

The Port Authority remained quiet about the project until last month, when images surfaced of St. Nicholas Church and Liberty Park on the website of church architect Santiago Calatrava. The park was rendered in detail, which enabled the public to understand its basic design. However, some of the details in the renderings are subject to change. 

Yet, the renderings were sufficiently accurate, so the Port Authority finally spoke about the park last week, Gothamist reports. The principal architect of the park is designer Joseph E. Brown, a landscape architect who is the chief innovation officer at Aecom, an architectural and engineering company that is headquartered in Los Angeles. 

An interesting feature of the park will be a "living wall" along the facade of Liberty Street, which will be a vertical garden roughly 300 feet long and over 20 feet high made of periwinkle, Japanese spurge, sedge, winter creeper and Baltic ivy. 

There will also be a continuous overlook along most of Liberty Street, as well as a curved balcony near the base of the church. 

A staircase will be located behind the church, which will have wooden benches on the seating tiers. There will also be a small amphitheater-esque space at the other end of the park. 

There will be about 40 trees and shrubs planted in the park, including honey locust, apple serviceberry and stellar pink dogwood, as well as varieties of witch hazel. Foliage was chosen to represent different colors through the seasons. 

Port Authority officials expect that work will begin on the park, which is estimated to cost $50 million, early next year.

Catherine McVay Hughes, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, was among a group of neighborhood leaders who were given a tour of the space. 

"They have taken what could have been a barren rooftop and turned it into much needed public space for the community," Hughes said.

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