After two and a half years of absence, there is a towering presence at ground zero.
That skyscraper of muscular concrete and sinewy steel on Vesey Street is not just overlooking the World Trade Center site, it is part of it. Building No. 7, the last tower lost on Sept. 11, 2001, is the first to be rebuilt. Its emergence has surprised out-of-towners and even New Yorkers who have not been to Lower Manhattan in a few months.
Now 314 feet tall, the building is destined to reach 52 stories and 750 feet. It will be sheathed in sheer, water-clear glass, with a kinetic, sculptural, stainless-steel wall by James Carpenter Design Associates around the Consolidated Edison substation at the base.
In a speech today, Gov. George E. Pataki is expected to announce that power will start flowing through the substation by the end of the month. After the speech, he will visit 7 World Trade Center.
(Mr. Pataki may also soon announce a chairman for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation, which will oversee the creation of the memorial and the cultural center. One prominent name mentioned among the possible candidates is Sanford I. Weill, chairman and chief executive of Citigroup and chairman of Carnegie Hall.)