Ground zero is a ghost town no more.
Following the attacks of September 11th, a pall fell over the site as New Yorkers who witnessed the atrocities still felt afflicted by them. Being down there only drew up painful memories. And even though the call to rebuild was strong, the first few years after 9/11 was marred by constant infighting and political posturing. Not much got done, and the tone of the area worsened still. Yes, tourists flocked to the site to pay tribute, but we were still arguing over proposed mosques and crosses to notice the area coming back to life.
But now that the tower is rising rapidly, peaking its head over the largest structures downtown so that it's visible blocks away, the mood is changing. The tower has new, high end tenants like Conde Nast, and you only need to look to the recent rallies following Osama bin Laden's death to see how New Yorkers still cling to the site as a source of hope.
Getty photographer Mario Tama captured some of this resurgent energy recently with these stunning images: