Photo by AP Wideworld

Spire Tops Off One World Trade Center in Manhattan

The reconstruction of Lower Manhattan reached an important symbolic marker on May 10 as ironworkers bolted the final two sections of a spire into place at One World Trade Center. The building rises from the northwest corner of the 16.5-acre site, where the Twin Towers were felled by a terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

Now standing 1,776 ft tall, the structure is the dominant building in Lower Manhattan's most prominent commercial complex. "This milestone at the World Trade Center symbolizes the resurgence and resilience of our state and our nation," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). "Thanks to the hard work of thousands of construction workers throughout the region, we have filled the void left in the Manhattan skyline," said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). Owned by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and co-developed by the authority and the Durst Organization, the $3.8-billion, 105-story building is scheduled to open in late 2014.

Boston: Eighth U.S. City To Pass Energy-Use Reporting Law

On May 8, Boston's City Council approved the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance by a vote of 9 to 4. The law, advocated by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, requires all commercial buildings exceeding 35,000 sq ft and all residential buildings with more than 35 units to report whole-building water and energy use annually. The ordinance will be phased in over four years. Every year, the city will disclose energy and water use for its buildings, too. Besides Boston, the other U.S. cities to pass such a law are Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C. So far, 75% of New York City owners and 87% of Seattle owners are participating.

NYC Evaluates Its Response

New York City did a good job of informing the public before and after Superstorm Sandy, says a report from the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R). However, the report recommends 59 improvements, including 311 call-center upgrades, health-care facility evacuations, special medical-needs sheltering and community recovery services.

Trial of Ex-Berger Chairman Pushed Back to October

The trial of Derish M. Wolff, the former chairman of design firm Berger Group Holdings, on fraud charges has been delayed until Oct. 28, government and defense attorneys confirmed on May 13. The trial was set to begin in May in U.S. federal court in Newark, N.J. Wolff was charged with directing the firm's overbilling of the U.S. government on cost-plus work from 1999 to 2007. An attorney for Wolff says the delay relates to the case's complexity, but he declined to say if a plea agreement is in the works. Berger settled with the government in 2010. Two other employees pleaded guilty to fraud.