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WTC Architects Reach Compromise

After months of feuding over the size and shape of the tower that will rise at the World Trade Center site, two world-renowned architects have reached a compromise design for what could be the world's tallest building.

Negotiations have been contentious between Daniel Libeskind and David Childs, but the two were able to meet a deadline set by Gov. George E. Pataki and the results were expected to be unveiled Friday.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which oversees the rebuilding, says the tower will rise 1,776 feet, culminating in a spire and evoking the Statue of Liberty. To that degree, the plan follows the original, asymmetrical structure proposed by Libeskind, who was originally tapped as the architect to remake ground zero.

But Childs succeeded in including a lattice structure filled with energy-generating windmills at the top of the building, officials who have seen the plans said, featuring turbines and cables resembling a suspension bridge. Childs was appointed lead architect of the project by leaseholder Larry Silverstein.

Libeskind's attorney, Ed Hayes, said the design is "significantly similar" to Libeskind's vision. The tower would include 70 stories of office space and a 276-foot spire and would be topped by broadcast antennas.

Libeskind, who created the Jewish Museum in Berlin but has little experience with major commercial projects, has likened the relationship with Childs, who designed the new Time Warner building in Manhattan, to a "forced marriage."

Richard Meier, an architect who was a finalist for the trade center design competition won by Libeskind, questioned the timetable set by the governor, who wants construction on the tower to begin next summer before the national Republican convention begins.

"We're not just talking about a building here; we're talking about a large area of the city that's being developed and there's a relationship between this new building and everything else that's going on," Meier said. "If the rest of this site is developed this way, it's going to be chaotic."

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