Freedom Tower Groundbreaking On July 4th May 5, 2004 At a speech in Lower Manhattan, Governor Pataki announced that the groundbreaking for the Freedom tower will take place on July 4th. Pataki's comments included... "On July 4th, as we celebrate the birth of our democracy, we will also celebrate the rebirth of our city," the governor said. "We will begin to reclaim our skyline with a permanent symbol of our freedom. On July 4th, 2004, we will break ground on the Freedom Tower," he said.Silverstein Suffers Defeat In Insurance Case May 4, 2004 After a long ordeal, Larry Silverstein suffered defeat in his insurance case where he seeked to get double the insurance payment claiming the 9/11 attacks were two seperate attacks as opposed to one. The jury's latest decision reduces the maximum possible payout to $4.5 billion, if Mr. Silverstein wins every remaining legal battle, including a second trial that could start in August. Silverstein maintains that he will proceed with the plans for the WTC site despite this outcome. WTC Site Won't Grow To Full Height Right Away March 11, 2004 The latest plans for the near future are calling for three small buildings which would serve as retail use being built temporarily to serve as structural bases for high-rise towers rising above these "podiums." This place holding approach endorsed by the City Planning Commission is being called feasible, logical and pedestrian friendly. World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein is said to have endorsed the broad concept of this approach. The plan is not going uncriticized however. Some question if high-end retailers would want to move into such "podiums" knowing construction on a tower will go ahead above. Other concerns include the lack of activity in customers these retail buildings would contain and the limitations in design these place holders would create. WTC Design Guidelines Eased March 5, 2004 Officials overseeing the WTC redevelopment have eased the design guidelines that will be implemented towards the buildings in the new complex. The guidelines have been revised from their previous version and it's being said that they will aide the world class architects of Foster, Maki and Nouvel in creating innovative buildings for the site. The new guidelines state that "each roof should be inflected toward the memorial" and that their slopes should increase from the shortest building on Liberty street to the tallest, the Freedom tower.