Four years after the 9/11 attacks Donald Trump trashed the initial concept of building what is now known as the One World Trade Center, calling it “junk” and “disgusting.” Trump, instead, proposed to erect a replica of the Twin Towers but with one extra story for each building, even though, one week after the towers crumbled from terror attacks, he told The NY Post’s Page Six that replicas should not be built.
“To be blunt, they were not ‘great’ buildings,” Trump said. “They only became great upon their demise last Tuesday.”
“What goes up there should be a form of memorial to the dead,” he said. “The buildings need to be a soul-soaring statement of our faith in the future.”
Two gaping holes of rubble sat on lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers once stood for a few years before construction finally began in April 2006.
The Freedom Tower went through several redesigns starting in 2003. Daniel Libeskind’s initial design was chosen by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and then-Gov. George Pataki coined the name “Freedom Tower.” Plans for Towers Two, Three, Four, and Seven, which surround One World Trade, were later revealed and built thereafter.
Trump trashed the design of the tower that was revealed in May 2005 by the LMDC, telling MSNBC host Chris Matthews that it would be better to have nothing than erect The Freedom Tower.
“I’d rather have nothing than what they are building, Chris. It’s a terrible design. It’s designed by an egghead architect, who really doesn’t have a lot of experience designing something like this. It’s just a terrible design. It’s wrong angles–I mean, worst of all it’s a skeletal building,” Trump said.
He added, “If you look at it, what is it really? It’s a 60-story building with the skeleton on top of it that goes 40 or 50 stories with nothing in between and it’s a disgusting design.”
Matthews asked Trump whose fault he thought the building’s design was and Trump responded that he did not even blame the architect for what he called a “terrible design.” Additionally, Trump slammed the designs of the buildings around the Freedom Tower.
“And not only the freedom Tower but the buildings around it. They have roofs at all different angles. It looks like a junkyard. And it shouldn’t be built. And instead of not being built they are pushing forward to get it built faster and, frankly, I’d rather see nothing than see that pile of junk,” he said.
Trump predicted that the proposed tower, which New York developer Larry Silverstein became involved in by leasing out office space in the building, would remain empty as a result of its location.
“To be honest with you, I think it’s economically a very, very tough deal. Because whether you build the World Trade Center or the Freedom Tower people aren’t going to go in. Larry’s having a hard time getting tenants for a building that’s a block away and it’s sitting there empty almost complete and a lot of people aren’t going to want to go in,” Trump said. “The fact is whether you build the World Trade Center or the Freedom Tower or anything on that site, I think, personally, it’s going to be a very hard rent. So I’m very happy to have my building at 40 Wall Street.”
Another redesign of the Freedom Tower, which looked similar to the initial design Trump criticized, happened in June 2005, and the building was later renamed One World Trade Center in April 2006. Construction began months later. According to The Tribeca Citizen, a local media outlet in near the financial district in Manhattan, 65 percent of the Freedom Tower is leased.
Trump and his wife Melania visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which is located near the site of the Freedom Tower, for the first time on Saturday. His campaign released a statement about the visit.
“Mr. and Mrs. Trump were proud to pay their respects at the 9/11 Memorial Museum today in downtown Manhattan. They were given a tour by museum President and CEO Joe Daniels, along with other museum officials and representatives of the NYPD and PAPD,” the statement read.
“They were incredibly impressed with the museum, a monument representative of all of the wonderful people who tragically lost their lives and the families who have suffered so greatly. It is also symbolic of the strength of our country, and in particular New Yorkers, who have done such an incredible job rebuilding that devastated section of our city.”
“This is what ‘New York values’ are really all about,” the statement added, taking a jab at Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore].