The Oculus roof, which opens every September 11 to mark the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, will be taking a rain check on Tuesday.
When the futuristic World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened to the public in 2006, it contained a built-in way to memorialize 9/11: a retractable roof set to open once a year to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Architect Santiago Calatrava designed the 800,000-square-foot hub, which is meant to resemble a bird in flight, so that every September 11 at 8:46am, its wing-like roof could open with a view of One World Trade Center. Then, at exactly 10:28am (the time the North Tower collapsed), a beam of light would pass through the opening in the roof and shine down to the center of the Oculus floor.
This year, however, marks the first time that the Port Authority-governed structure has had to deal with the possibility of rain, so we reached out to the organization to see if the structure would still be following through with its striking open ceiling moment of remembrance. Steve Coleman, a spokesperson for Port Authority, has told us that it will not be.
One milestone still happening tomorrow that is worth celebrating, however, is the first time since the attacks of 9/11 that the subway station underneath the World Trade Center (and connected to the Oculus by an underground passageway) will be open. WTC Cortlandt, as the new station has been christened, cost $181.8 million to reconstruct and features a mosaic by the artist Ann Hamilton that uses words from the Declaration of Independence. It officially opened to the public on Saturday.
UPDATE: Since this post was published yesterday, the Port Authority of NY/NJ has reversed course and decided to go along with opening the roof. "It was very weather dependent but they decided to do it about 9:30 this morning," said Coleman. See below for a photo from this year's memorial.