Deutsche Bank Building

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Coordinates: 40°42′35″N 74°00′48″W / 40.70972°N 74.01333°W / 40.70972; -74.01333

Deutsche Bank Building
View from the Southeast in 1997.
Deutsche Bank Building is located in Lower Manhattan
Deutsche Bank Building
Deutsche Bank Building is located in Manhattan
Deutsche Bank Building
Deutsche Bank Building is located in New York City
Deutsche Bank Building
Deutsche Bank Building is located in New York
Deutsche Bank Building
Deutsche Bank Building is located in the US
Deutsche Bank Building
Location within Lower Manhattan
Alternative names
  • Bankers Trust Plaza
  • 130 Liberty Street
General information
Status Demolished
Type Commercial Office
Location 130 Liberty Street, Manhattan, New York 10007
Construction started 1971
Completed 1973
Opening 1974
Demolished 2007-2011 (temporarily halted after the 2007 fire)
Cost $120 million (1973 USD)
Roof 157.6 m (517 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 39
Design and construction
Architect Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
Developer Bankers Trust
Structural engineer The Office of James Ruderman
Main contractor Turner Construction Company
Overview of the site following the attacks. The Deutsche Bank Building is visible behind an angled red crane.

The Deutsche Bank Building was a 39-story skyscraper at 130 Liberty Street in New York City, United States, adjacent to the World Trade Center (WTC). The building, which existed from 1974 to 2007, was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon which also designed the Empire State Building and Peterson & Brickbauer.

Opened in 1974 as Bankers Trust Plaza, the building was acquired by Deutsche Bank when it acquired Bankers Trust in 1998. It was part of the skyline of Lower Manhattan. The Deutsche Bank Building was heavily damaged in the September 11 attacks in 2001 after being blasted by the avalanche of debris, ash, dust, and asbestos that spread from the collapse of the South Tower. 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. The structure has since been completely dismantled, clearing the way for the construction of 5 World Trade Center and the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center.



Detail of gash in the facade imparted by the collapsing World Trade Center. A segment of WTC facade is 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 Deutsche Bank Building. Steel and concrete protruded from the building for months afterward. This was eventually cleaned up, but due to extensive contamination owners decided that the 39–story ruin was to be taken down. After the 9/11 attacks, netting was placed around the remains of the building. The bank 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.[3] 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.[4] In March 2006, construction workers who were removing toxic waste from the building before dismantling 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 April 14, 2006, more than 700 human bone fragments were discovered in the ballast gravel on the roof. Workers sifted through the gravel to find more remains.

The cost of this dismantling had steadily increased to $75 million by the Bovis Lend Lease construction company as large amounts of toxic dust associated with the collapse of the World Trade Center, asbestos, dioxin, lead, silica, quartz, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chromium and manganese had been found in the building.[5]


In 2004, an agreement was announced to settle the disposition of the building and insurance claims. Later that year as part of this agreement, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation acquired the land and commenced dismantling.[6] An Associated Press December 7, 2006 report indicated that the building would be dismantled. The report indicated that area residents were fearful of possibly toxic dust associated with the two towers' collapses within the building.[7]

On May 17, 2007, work was halted after a 22-foot section of pipe being cut by workers fell 35 stories and through the roof of "The Ten House", home to Engine 10 and Ladder 10 of the Fire Department of New York. Two firefighters were injured by the original falling debris, although they were not struck by the pipe itself.[8]

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

On August 18, 2007 at approximately 3:40 p.m., a seven-alarm fire broke out on the 17th floor of the building, caused by workers' carelessly smoking in violation of the building's safety rules. By this time, crews were removing one floor per week so the building had only 26 stories at this time. 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 filled with a maze of protective polyethylene sheets which were designed to prevent the spread of asbestos, but which also trapped smoke; the building also lacked a standpipe, making fighting the fire extremely difficult. 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, Firefighter 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, and injured 115 firefighters, 46 seriously enough to require medical leave. Plans to dismantle the building continued as quickly as possible.[9][10] In 2008, the Manhattan District Attorney indicted three construction supervisors and the demolition subcontractor, the John Galt Corporation.[11] A city stop-work order was lifted in April 2008 and decontamination work began again in May of the same year.[12]

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 of the former Deutsche Bank Building finished on January 20, 2011 with the removal of the crane.[13] Dismantling of the first floor and the foundation was finished on February 28, 2011. It was the last part of the building to be taken apart.[12][14]


The Port Authority has taken over the site, which will be used for the Vehicular Security Center, and to build 5 World Trade Center if the proposed building finds approval.

5 WTC[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 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 later claimed there wasn't enough demand for office space to fill the five towers included in the World Trade Center's master plan and called for a major revision of the plan to include housing and hotels. But the demand for Manhattan office space, including downtown, has boomed since 2006, and January 16, 2007, financial giant JPMorgan Chase was in talks with the Port Authority about developing the new 5 World Trade Center skyscraper into a corporate tower, which would prevent Mayor Bloomberg's push to use the site for housing.

Several sources familiar with JPMorgan Chase's talks with state and Port Authority officials said the firm's bid to develop the proposed 57-story tower for major corporate tenants is being taken seriously by the bistate agency. In fact, sources said, JPMorgan Chase is not the only corporate bidder for the site. To make the commercial deal work, the Port Authority would have to agree to expand the size of Tower 5's base in order to accommodate the large, lower-level floors needed for trading rooms, a requirement for most large financial-services firms.[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 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.

Delays in taking down the Deutsche Bank at Ground Zero have 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 delayed to 2013,[17] it will now open once the surrounding construction of the WTC is finished.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "130 Liberty Street". Emporis. 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Deutsche Bank". The Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Varchaver, Nicholas (March 20, 2008). "The tombstone at Ground Zero". CNN. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  4. ^ Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. "Frequently Asked Questions - 130 Liberty Street and Findings of Potential Human Remains". Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  5. ^ Dunlap, David W. (2005-09-12). "Bovis is Awarded Deal to Demolish a Tainted Tower at Ground Zero". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  6. ^ "GOVERNOR PATAKI: DEUTSCHE BANK SETTLEMENT REACHED" (Press release). New York Governor's Office. 2004-02-27. Archived from the original on September 6, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  7. ^ "New York's Toxic Tower". The New York Times. August 25, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ Smith, Greg B. (May 17, 2007). "Debris from WTC skyscraper hits firehouse". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  9. ^ Frazier, Michael; Farnam, Tim (August 20, 2007). "Fire was 'a horror show'". Newsday. Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-08-20. [dead link]
  10. ^ Givings, Ann (August 27, 2007). "Lack of plan cited in Ground Zero fire". Newsday. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  11. ^ "Deutsche Investigation Finds Many More to Blame", Downtown Express, June 26-July 2, 2009, p. 3
  12. ^ a b "Project Updates: 130 Liberty Street". March 25, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-03-28. Retrieved September 13, 2016. 
  13. ^ "10 Years After 9/11, Deutsche Bank Tower Vanishes". The New York Times. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "February 2011 Progress Report on the Deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street" (PDF). Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Retrieved September 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ Dunning, Matt Dep. Mayor: 130 Liberty St. Should be Reserved for Office Tower
  16. ^ Eckstrom, Kevin (October 15, 2011). "St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church To Be Rebuilt At Ground Zero". The Huffington Post. 
  17. ^ "World Trade Center Reconstruction Delayed to 2013". Fox News Channel. April 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ "World Trade Center Construction Fact Sheets - August 2011" (PDF). Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. August 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 

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