Freedom Tower; Photo: LMDC

It's official: Work on Freedom Tower will start this July 4. Governor Pataki said yesterday:

On July 4th, as we celebrate the birth of our democracy, we will also celebrate the rebirth of our city. We will begin to reclaim our skyline with a permanent symbol of our freedom. On July 4th, 2004, we will break ground on the Freedom Tower.

Originally, work was going to begin during the Republican National Convention. Pataki's advisers probably told him to wise up and distance himself from what will be a contentious convention in NYC. Then there's the fact that Freedom Tower's height is 1776 feet. July 4 is on a Sunday this year, plus it's a national holiday, so the construction crews will probably be paid double time plus.

WTC developer Larry Silverstein was also on hand at Pataki's talk to the Assocation for a Better New York. He said, referring to the two recent court losses about collecting insurance money, "The loss we sustained in court was a loss that New Yorkers sustained in court, because that's the money that's needed for the rebuilding of the Trade Center and so it's a loss of all of us, not just me."

Gothamist on Freedom Tower.