Critics said these first proposals for the site, presented in July 2002 by Beyer Blinder Belle, had too much office space and lacked imagination. Instead, a contest was held to pick the current design, by Daniel Libeskind. The "Memorial Plaza," featured an eight-acre open space, which would have included a memorial and cultural facilities such as a museum.
This design had 10-acre open square accommodating a range of cultural and memorial spaces, including a tower that would serve as a focal point along key view corridors, and a multi-level cultural and memorial walkway that would extend to Battery Park, Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
Featured memorial sites included in a six-acre park, partially situated on a deck that would cross from West Street to the World Financial Center. The plan included five office towers, and a 1,500-foot-high beacon at Church and Liberty streets.
Featured a five-acre triangular open space surrounded by memorial buildings. The plan included memorial, cultural, and commercial facilities, six towers and 13.2 acres of public space to contain a promenade, streets, squares, walkways and an enclosed galleria.
Featured a four-acre open space bordered by extensions of Greenwich and West streets. The southwest section of the site would house memorial and cultural facilities. The plan included five office towers, 6.8 acres of new public space.
A grand 18--acre promenade would connect a museum to be built on the site to Battery Park lined by trees to remember the victims of Sept. 11. The plan included six towers and 27.7 acres of public space.