Only two, not five iconic skyscrapers for New York's World Trade Center

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New York, May 11 (ANI): The incredible shrinking World Trade Center will be cut back from five iconic skyscrapers to just two signature towers under a new Port Authority plan, the Daily News has learned.

Bludgeoned by recession and a war with developer Larry Silverstein, the Port Authority is proposing halving the office space it will build at Ground Zero - from 10 million square feet to five million square feet, sources familiar with the plan say.

The sources say the agency's new vision for the site calls for scrapping one tower that would have been taller than the Empire State Building and nixing two others that would have dwarfed the nearby Woolworth Building.

In place of two Silverstein behemoths, each designed by a British lord and soaring 79 stories, the PA would erect a pair of short, squat buildings no taller than four or five floors - coined "stumps" - that could be used for retail shops, according to the proposal.

The vastly scaled-back site plan was disclosed on Friday.

Revamping the sacred spaces where nearly 3,000 people were killed on 9/11 marks a dramatic break from the original 2003 Daniel Libeskind master plan, which called for a row of cascading office towers to replace the 10.4 million square feet of office space destroyed by terrorists.

Although the Freedom Tower will still climb to its symbolic 1,776 feet, and the Memorial will occupy the heart and soul of the site, the showcase buildings designed by world-class architects - on which Silverstein has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars - will be absent. (ANI)

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