1, 2, 3 at Chambers St.; E at World Trade Center; R at Rector St.; 1 at Rector St.; A, C at Chambers St.; 2, 3 at Park Pl.
The cluster of financial offices, shops, and restaurants is, literally, a glassed-in mini metropolis: Thousands of workers shuffle through its opulent, tri-color marble corridors daily. Built in the eighties, the complex's four geometrically topped towers range in size from 34 to 51 stories, creating their own skyline. Together the structures cover eight million square feet by the Hudson River, and include the headquarters of Merrill Lynch, American Express, and Dow Jones. Chief among the attractions is the Winter Garden, a 10-story structure underneath a glass atrium situated between buildings Two and Three. The atrium, famously punctuated with sixteen 40-foot palm trees, is as an airy, pseudo outdoorsy venue for visual and performing arts events; its windowed walls define the other main attraction: the view. To the west, Manhattan’s thicket of buildings yields to a stunning eyeful of empty sky above a stone plaza that abuts the Hudson. The Statue of Liberty enters the panorama beyond the waterfront restaurants, among milling smoke-breakers and water ferries. At the atrium's opposite end, a sumptuous marble staircase spills down in semicircular ripples. At the top, second-story windows peer into the void where the two World Trade Center towers stood across West Street. Their collapse on 9/11 closed the WFC buildings for several months, and the Winter Garden for a year. The atrium underwent a $50 million reconstruction, which included replacing 60,000 square feet of marble and 2,000 panes of glass. A new eastern entrance also was built where there formerly had been a pedestrian bridge to the World Trade Center. The Courtyard, with restaurants and bars designed to look like they occupy an outdoor courtyard, have "open-air" seating that protrudes beyond the restaurants' awnings. The perimeter of the second floor overlooks the Courtyard and hosts exhibits in a gallery space.