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Progress at Ground Zero

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A year ago, I snapped this picture of the big hole that was Ground Zero five years after 9/11.

The New York Post created this graphic to show what the plans are for the site. According to the article, rebuilding has started in earnest now, with 600 workers on site to have the area completely rebuilt by 2012. See the full-size version here.
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See the progress, after the jump.

Below-ground construction on the Freedom Tower began in April of 2006. As of now, steel beams have been erected around the perimeter, and visible progress should be seen by the spring of 2008. This is what it looked like last month.
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And this is how it will appear when completed. See more pictures at the website of architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.
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The World Trade Center Memorial and Museum will be 30 feet below ground level. 121 of the 150 concrete footings for the memorial have been poured. The design is named Reflecting Absence. When finished, the walls will be waterfalls along the original footprints of the Twin Towers (although 30 feet shorter, for technical reasons). The names of those who died on 9/11 will be included in the memorial.
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7 World Trade Center, which also collapsed on 9/11 was rebuilt beginning in 2002 and completed in 2006. The new building is 52 stories tall (five stories taller than the orginal). This photo is by Aude (cc). You can see it as a bluish building in the background of the picture I took last year.
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The Port Authority has built a temporary train station to be used until 2009, when a new permanent (and artistic) transportation hub opens. Here is what construction looked like this summer. Note the many cranes in use.
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And here's an artist rendering of the entrance to the permanent station.
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Gothamist predicts that the Freedom Tower will open in 2011 whether it's finished or not, to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. When completed, the $16 billion World Trade Center rebuilding project will be the most expensive ever for New York City.

If you'd like to follow the rebuilding in real time, bookmark this live webcam at Ground Zero. There may be outages today, as more than usual traffic is expected for the anniversary of 9/11. There are more anniversary links today at Ursi's Blog.

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This Russian Kindergarten Looks Just Like a Castle
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A group of lucky kindergarteners in Russia don’t have to wear poufy dresses or plastic crowns to pretend they’re royalty. As Atlas Obscura reports, all they have to do is go to school.

In a rural area of Russia's Leninsky District sits a massive, pastel-colored schoolhouse that was built to resemble Germany's famed Neuschwanstein Castle. It has turrets and gingerbread-like moldings—and instead of a moat, the school offers its 150 students multiple playgrounds, a soccer field, a garden, and playhouses.

Tuition is 21,800 rubles (about $360) a month, but the Russian government subsidizes it to make it less expensive for parents. As for the curriculum: it’s designed to promote social optimism, and each month’s lesson plan is themed. (September, for example, will be career-focused.)

Take a video tour of the school below, or learn more on the school’s website.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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This Chinese Library's Interior Is Designed to Look Like an Infinite Tunnel of Books
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The Chinese city of Yangzhou is known for its graceful arched bridges and proximity to the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Architects kept these unique local features in mind while designing Zhongshuge Yangzhou, a new bookstore and library that was completed in 2016.

Designed by Shanghai studio XL-Muse Architects, the building has black, mirrored floors and arched ceilings that symbolize Yangzhou’s famous waterways and overpasses. The floor reflects the store’s curving shelves to create the illusion of a never-ending tunnel of books—a true bibliophile’s dream.

Learn more about Yangzhou’s unique library/bookstore below, courtesy of Great Big Story.

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