Since 2016, the skylight of the World Trade Center’s Oculus has reopened on each anniversary of September 11 as part of the “Way of Light” ceremony. But the annual event may not happen this year. The skylight, which has been leaking since last fall, may not be repaired in time for this year’s anniversary, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The rubber seal that runs along the center of the skylight ripped, causing leakage since last fall. The Port Authority, which owns the World Trade Center site, said the tear may have happened during the opening of the skylight during last year’s Sept. 11 anniversary.
The agency spent more than $30,000 this winter filling the cracks, but leaks were found as recently as last month. The Oculus was designed by Santiago Calatrava to allow for sunlight to cross the floor. The skylight, which cost $32 million to construct, contains 224 pieces of glass in 40 panels and reopens every Sept. 11 at 10:28 a.m., at the same time the North Tower fell in 2001.
Original designs from Calatrava called for both sides of the transit hub to open up to simulate a bird’s flapping wings. But as the Oculus’ final price tag hit over $3.9 billion, that idea was abandoned.
While the Port Authority expected to repair the skylight ahead of this year’s ceremony, a spokesperson told the WSJ that the chance of a “timely repair” is still being determined.
“We’re reviewing carefully the best approach to repair a complex, one-of-a-kind architectural feature. Our priority is to get it right,” the spokesperson said.
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