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(New York Times) — The planned skyscraper once known as the Freedom Tower was scorned for years by urban planners, downtown residents and real estate executives who regarded it as an oversize and unnecessary exercise in waste and hubris.

But the acrimonious debates, cost overruns and lengthy delays in building the tower appear to be over. More than 1,400 workers are pouring concrete and installing girder upon girder. And with the red steel latticework for the obelisk-shape building now rising more than 240 feet at ground zero, it has turned into an object of desire.

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