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The WTC Oculus's Skylight Is Leaking

The Oculus in late January
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The Oculus in late January Port Authority

The Oculus—a whale carcass-esque train station and mall situated in lower Manhattan—has a crack in its skylight. The Wall Street Journal reports that the soaring $3.9 billion Santiago Calatrava-designed structure located at the World Trade Center site, which opened to much fanfare in 2016, has a rip in the rubber seal located along the spine of the Oculus's retractable roof, which cost $32 million.

Port Authority told the paper that it likely ripped in the fall, when it opened and closed in commemoration of the September 11th attacks. Ahead of its opening, Calatrava originally conceptualized the Oculus's 355-foot skylight to open up to 50 feet and function like wings, not unlike a bird taking flight. That didn't end up happening, given the project's ballooning price tag and many stops and starts. So now the Oculus's roof opens the morning of every September 11th, in an illuminating memorial for the victims called "The Way of Light."

Throughout the winter of 2018, Port Authority started hearing about more leaks in the skylight and apparently tried to plug them with tens of thousands of dollars' worth of Flex Tape—but it ripped again last week, according to the Journal. Port Authority is now slated to spend the summer repairing the rubber seal.

The agency did not immediately reply to Gothamist's request for comment. But the recent leaks are nothing new; leaks have been reported at the Oculus multiple times in recent years.

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