Observations from the WTC bedrock

(Credit: Urbanite)

Work at Ground Zero continues on Friday. Explore

a photo gallery of a tour Urbanite took of the site

on Friday. (amNY/Emily Anne Epstein)

Almost seven years after it became a target of the worst tragedy in American history, Ground Zero is today a site caught between states of being.

For some, especially those who lost a family member or loved one, it is still a place of grief. For the visitors from the around the world who come to snap pictures, it is one more monument on the tour of the city. Developers, neighbors, planners, and politicians still project their visions on to the empty site even as tentative progress peaks its head above the street.

Eighty feet down, the footprint where the Towers stood has the dusty, uneven terrain of another planet.

Earthmovers and tractors scramble up and down steep, rocky inclines. Cranes tower overhead. Every few hours, the 800 workers there pause so that the blast team can dynamite through Manhattan schist.

The sixteen acres are today a palimpsest of urban use. Still visible are traces of the old Hudson and Manhattan railway, the precursor to the PATH train, which today cuts a wide swath through the middle of the site. The scraggly remains of the Twin Towers are stubbornly still rooted into the rock.

But even as workers labor to make the site new again, pieces of progress poke through the pit like flowers in the crack of a sidewalk. The base of the Freedom Tower is nearly complete and rearing its head above street level. The rest of the sixteen acres are steadily being cleared so work can begin in earnest, and the hole in the heart of Lower Manhattan can finally begin to heal.

-- David Freedlander

Tags: Sept. 11 , ground zero , world trade center

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