Behold the World Trade Center Oculus

WTC Oculus full view north sideThere’s a lot of hoopla today about the opening of the Westfield World Trade Center mall, and while it’s nice to see stores debut, they look like you expect them to. More exciting—to me, anyway—is that the street-level entrances to the Oculus are now open, so you can walk up and down those dramatic stairs (“God’s DJ booth,” as someone—Doug?—called it) on either end. And even better, the pedestrian plaza to the north of the Oculus is finally accessible. The Oculus is far more impressive when you can admire the whole shape at once—and the striped shadows cast by the quills are a kick.

The Oculus as seen from the east balcony:

WTC mall from east balconyThe stairs are a natural place to stop and take a photo—but that, along with the combination of no center handrail and people walking higgledy-piggledy, makes them a bit perilous. I took this shot trying to walk up the stairs.

people crowding the stairsAfter snapping one more photo of the Oculus interior….

WTC Oculus as seen from upper level east sideI meant to take one of the balcony from above, but I got distracted by the plaza open outside.

WTC Oculus plaza as seen from insideHere’s the east entrance….

east entrance to the WTC OculusAnd the west one….

west entrance to the WTC OculusAnd this is the plaza on the north side of the Oculus. There will also be a plaza on the south, but it’s not ready yet. The guard said that once the exterior of the north side is done being marbleized, the security cordons will be removed, and people will be able to sit on the ledge.

north side of WTC Oculusnorth side of WTC Oculus cordoned offshadows on north side of WTC Oculus



  1. Lovely survey of Oculus and plaza.

  2. Beautiful design. The vertical beams are reminiscent of the old Towers, but this design has a lightness, flow, and grace which the old structures lacked. (Presumably that similarity is an intentional tribute or memorial?)

  3. The stores are kind of out of place. Not working. Very upper Madison Avenue or Fifth Avenue Mall Chain Stores. This is more of a Family themed Tourist mecca.

  4. I am sure I agree with PerryR. Not suitable for the neighborhood only European tourist just like Brookfield. All high end stores. Maybe just the Apple store is helpful

  5. Actually there is a ton of high end, but also a brand new to me COS that I think is an H&M spin off with great design and not more expensive than Banana Republic. There is plenty of midrange too like Aldo, Sketchers and UnderArmor.