Deutsche Bank Building

Coordinates: 40°42′35″N 74°00′48″W / 40.70972°N 74.01333°W / 40.70972; -74.01333
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Deutsche Bank Building
View from the southeast in 1997
Former namesBankers Trust Plaza
Alternative names130 Liberty Street
General information
Location130 Liberty Street, Manhattan, New York, United States 10007
Coordinates40°42′35″N 74°00′48″W / 40.70972°N 74.01333°W / 40.70972; -74.01333
Construction started1971
DemolishedMarch 2007–January 2011
Cost$120 million
OwnerDeutsche Bank
Roof535 ft (163 m)
Technical details
Floor count39
Design and construction
Architect(s)Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
DeveloperBankers Trust
Structural engineerJames Ruderman
Main contractorTurner Construction Company
Overview of the site following the attacks. The Deutsche Bank Building is visible behind an angled red crane.

The Deutsche Bank Building (formerly Bankers Trust Plaza) was a 39-story office building located at 130 Liberty Street in Manhattan, New York City, adjacent to the World Trade Center site. The building opened in 1974 and closed following the September 11 attacks in 2001, due to contamination that spread from the collapse of the South Tower. The structure was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, which also designed the Empire State Building.

The building was purchased by Deutsche Bank when it acquired Bankers Trust in 1998. It was part of the skyline of Lower Manhattan, and was demolished between 2007 and 2011. 5 World Trade Center will eventually replace the building, expanding the ground space on which the World Trade Center stands, as this land was not part of the original World Trade Center.

After the September 11 attacks[edit]


Detail of gash in the facade imparted by the collapse of the World Trade Center. A segment of South Tower exterior columns are visible hanging from the gash.

The collapse of the South Tower during the September 11 attacks tore a 24-story gash into the facade of the building. An elevated plaza[3] that was located at the base of the building was destroyed by the collapse.[4] Steel and concrete protruded from the building for months afterward, which was eventually cleaned up. However, due to extensive contamination, Deutsche Bank decided that the 39-story ruin was to be taken down. During the cleanup and recovery period, netting was placed inside gashes and holes to prevent collapse. The owner maintained that the building could not be restored to habitable condition, while its insurers sought to treat the incident as recoverable damage rather than a total loss.[5] Work on the building was deferred for over two years during which the condition of the building deteriorated.

In September 2005, human remains were found on the roof,[6] and in March 2006, construction workers found more bone fragments and remains. This prompted calls from victims' family members for another search of the building by forensic experts. Between April 7 and 14, 2006, more than 700 human bone fragments were discovered in the ballast gravel on the roof.

The cost of demolition had steadily increased to $75 million by Bovis Lend Lease, as large amounts of asbestos, dioxin, lead, silica, quartz, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chromium, and manganese had been found within the building.[7]


In 2004, an agreement was announced to settle the disposition of the building and insurance claims. As part of this agreement, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation acquired the land and commenced demolition work.[8] On December 7, 2006, the Associated Press reported that the building would be dismantled. The report indicated that nearby residents were fearful of possible toxic dust associated with the Twin Towers within the building.[9]

Deconstruction began in March 2007, but on May 17, 2007, work was halted after a 22-foot section of pipe fell 35 stories and landed on the roof of "The Ten House", home to Engine 10 and Ladder 10 of the New York City Fire Department. Two firefighters were injured by falling debris, although they were not struck by the pipe itself.[10]

View of the building during the fire of August 18, 2007

On August 18, 2007, at approximately 3:40 pm, a seven-alarm fire broke out on the 17th floor of the building, caused by workers smoking in violation of the building's safety rules. Around this time, crews were removing one floor per week, and the building had only 26 more. At the time of the fire, crews were removing asbestos. The fire spread in both directions, affecting a total of 10 floors. The floors were also filled with a maze of protective polyethylene sheets, which were designed to prevent the spread of asbestos, and also trapped smoke. The building lacked a standpipe, making it extremely difficult to put out the fire. The building had not been inspected since March, when it should have been inspected every 15 days. The fire burned into the night before being extinguished, and numerous special and support units responded from the New York City Fire Department to combat the fire. The fire killed two FDNY firefighters, Robert Beddia of Engine Company 24, and Joseph Graffagnino of Ladder Company 5, who succumbed on the 14th floor to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. The fire also injured 115 other firefighters, 46 of which were seriously enough to require medical leave. Plans to demolish the building continued as quickly as possible.[11][12] In 2008, the Manhattan District Attorney indicted three construction supervisors and the demolition subcontractor, John Galt Corporation.[13] A city stop-work order was lifted in April 2008 and decontamination work began again in May of the same year.[14] The fire emergency plan filed with the city, had various chapters sending the reader in circles ending up on a page that said call 911, and had no other plan for fire evacuation.[citation needed]

Dismantling in January 2008.

Dismantling was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008, and later by the end of 2010. In October 2009, it was announced that dismantling of the building would finally resume.

Demolition was completed on January 20, 2011, with the removal of the crane.[15] Demolition of the first floor and foundation was finished on February 28, 2011. It was the last part of the building to be removed.[14][16]


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took over the site as its developer. The site is occupied by the Vehicular Security Center and Liberty Park, while the 5 World Trade Center is in the planning stages.

5 World Trade Center[edit]

Negotiations over the World Trade Center site concluded in April 2006 with private developer Larry Silverstein yielding his right to develop on the site designated for One World Trade Center and Tower Five to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in exchange for assistance in financing Towers Two, Three, and Four.[citation needed] Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed there wasn't enough demand for office space to fill the five skyscrapers included in the World Trade Center's master plan, and called for a major revision of the plan to include housing or hotels. However, the demand for Manhattan office space, including downtown, has been booming since 2006, and on January 16, 2007, the investment bank JPMorgan Chase was in talks with the Port Authority about developing a 42-story skyscraper, which would prevent Mayor Bloomberg's push to use the site for housing.

Several sources familiar with JPMorgan Chase's talks with Port Authority officials said the firm's bid to develop a proposed 42-story tower for major corporate tenants is being taken seriously by the bistate agency. To make the commercial deal work, the Port Authority would have to agree to expand the size of Tower 5's base to accommodate the large, lower-level floors needed for trading rooms, a requirement for most large financial-services firms. The Port Authority hired Kohn Pedersen Fox to design a 42-story skyscraper with a cantilevered section starting at the 14th floor to accommodate the large trading floors.[citation needed]

On June 14, 2007, Bloomberg and then-Governor Eliot Spitzer announced that JPMorgan Chase had won the bid to buy and build the new tower at 130 Liberty Street to replace the Deutsche Bank Building. However, after the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase in March 2008, the future of 130 Liberty Street has been put into question as JPMorgan Chase has announced that it intends to move into Bear Stearns' old headquarters at 383 Madison Avenue. If JPMorgan Chase does not renew their bid, the site would likely be used for a residential or hotel tower, as per Bloomberg's plan prior to JPMorgan Chase's bid. Recently, community and civic leaders met to discuss the site's future with community leaders favoring a hotel or residential development and outgoing deputy mayor Robert Lieber favoring an office tower.[17]

Church and Vehicular Security Center[edit]

On October 14, 2011, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls rebuilding at Ground Zero, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church announced an agreement that allows the church to build a 4,100-square-foot church and interfaith bereavement center at 130 Liberty Street.[18] The original church, which was located at 155 Cedar Street and founded by Greek immigrants in 1916, was the only religious building to be completely destroyed during the 9/11 attacks. As of 2020, the church has not been completed.[19] Construction restarted after a several year pause on August 3, 2020, with an aim to be completed by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in 2021.[20]

Delays in taking down the Deutsche Bank at Ground Zero forced the Port Authority to delay the expected completion date of the crucial Vehicular Security Center. Repeated delays had also added roughly $100 million to the cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center. Originally projected to open in 2013,[21] it opened in June 2016 following the completion of Liberty Park, which is on top of the garage.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "130 Liberty Street". Emporis. 2016. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  2. ^ "Deutsche Bank". The Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "130 Liberty Street".
  4. ^[bare URL image file]
  5. ^ Varchaver, Nicholas (March 20, 2008). "The tombstone at Ground Zero". CNN. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  6. ^ Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. "Frequently Asked Questions – 130 Liberty Street and Findings of Potential Human Remains". Archived from the original on August 22, 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2006.
  7. ^ Dunlap, David W. (September 1, 2005). "Bovis is Awarded Deal to Demolish a Tainted Tower at Ground Zero". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "GOVERNOR PATAKI: DEUTSCHE BANK SETTLEMENT REACHED" (Press release). New York Governor's Office. February 2, 2004. Archived from the original on September 6, 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2006.
  9. ^ "New York's Toxic Tower". The New York Times. August 25, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Smith, Greg B. (May 17, 2007). "Debris from WTC skyscraper hits firehouse". The New York Daily News. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  11. ^ Frazier, Michael; Farnam, Tim (August 20, 2007). "Fire was 'a horror show'". Newsday. Associated Press. Retrieved August 20, 2007.[dead link]
  12. ^ Givings, Ann (August 27, 2007). "Lack of plan cited in Ground Zero fire". Newsday. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2007.
  13. ^ "Deutsche Investigation Finds Many More to Blame", Downtown Express, June 26 – July 2, 2009, p. 3
  14. ^ a b "Project Updates: 130 Liberty Street". March 25, 2011. Archived from the original on March 28, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "10 Years After 9/11, Deutsche Bank Tower Vanishes". The New York Times. January 12, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  16. ^ "February 2011 Progress Report on the Deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street" (PDF). Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 1, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  17. ^ Dunning, Matt Dep. Mayor: 130 Liberty St. Should be Reserved for Office Tower Deutsche Bank Building at the Wayback Machine (archived July 17, 2011)
  18. ^ Eckstrom, Kevin (October 15, 2011). "St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church To Be Rebuilt At Ground Zero". The Huffington Post.
  19. ^ "Construction Resumes on St. Nicholas Orthodox Greek Church". January 3, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  20. ^ "Construction Set To Resume On The St. Nicholas National Shrine". Greek City Times. August 3, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  21. ^ "World Trade Center Reconstruction Delayed to 2013". Fox News Channel. April 3, 2010.
  22. ^ "World Trade Center Construction Fact Sheets – August 2011" (PDF). Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. August 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2014.

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