Liberty Plaza: Leading the way in Downtown Manhattan After September 11

street in NYC

In 2005, just a few years after we all had predicted that the horrific attacks of 9/11 would change New York City forever–and, more specifically, the neighborhoods of downtown Manhattan–those changes did indeed start to happen… but in ways that were much better than most of us could have dared hope. You see, 2005 was the year that Glenwood’s newly constructed Liberty Plaza opened (the entrance is pictured above), a towering, 45-story building located at 10 Liberty Street, just blocks from the World Trade Center site. Liberty Plaza was the first new building to go up in downtown Manhattan after 9/11, leading the way for what has become a remarkable rebirth of the entire community. In fact, Glenwood’s Liberty Plaza at 10 Liberty Street was recently given special recognition on the New York State and Federal Registers of Historic Places, as a marvelous example of how new buildings should be built in historic districts.


graphic of NYC

Of course, in the half-dozen years since Liberty Plaza NYC was completed it’s been joined by a remarkable number of other new buildings, as well as thousands of new homes in redesigned, renovated, and repurposed old Financial District buildings. The above graphic appeared in the New York Times this fall as part of their excellent tenth anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 attacks, and it clearly shows exactly why Downtown Manhattan is considered to be this island’s fastest growing neighborhood–the area has added more than 28,000 people since 2001!–an extremely welcome development that no one would have predicted a decade ago. 

people in the street

And it’s not just new and repurposed buildings that have transformed the Financial District into what feels like a real residential neighborhood. Six new public schools and one private school have opened in the community since 2001, supermarkets (including a huge Whole Foods on West Street) and other necessary stores and services have been popping up all over the place, and, to take just one example, the restaurants of Stone Street–that lovely pedestrian-only three-block stretch of cobblestones and historic buildings that always feels like a mini-vacation to us, and features some of our favorite pizza in all of New York City, at Adrienne’s–are bustling even on weekends, and not just with tourists and traders, as in the image above during the annual oyster festival. The beautifully-designed East River Waterfront Esplanade, the New Amsterdam Market, the Imagination Playground, the Shake Shack in Battery Park City have all proven to be big crowd-pleasers, and the boom is not over yet: when the Fulton Street Transit Center, the Santiago Calatrava PATH train station and One World Trade Center are finished, all those additional people who will be spending the day (and evening) in the Financial District will need places to eat and shop and play, too. It’s an exciting time for all of Downtown Manhattan, and maybe especially for those post-9/11 pioneers at Glenwood’s Liberty Plaza, who seemed to have been proven right that this was a great place to live.   

Manhattan skyline

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