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Edward
January 29th, 2002, 12:56 PM
The pictures of Winter Garden of World Financial Center (/skyscrapers/winter-garden/) taken on 26 January 2002.

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/winter_garden_front_26jan02.jpg

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/winter_garden_3wfc_26jan02.jpg

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/winter_garden_woolworth_26jan02.jpg

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/winter_garden_broadway_26jan02.jpg

Edward
January 31st, 2002, 10:57 AM
This is a May 2000 picture of the Winter Garden and the World Trade Center towers

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/winter_garden_wtc_29may00.jpg

CityGod5
February 4th, 2002, 07:05 PM
Is is open again? *I remember going in there on my first trip to the city...very cool place. *I liked the idea of palm trees in Manhattan. *Now that's not something you see everyday!

Fabb
February 5th, 2002, 09:44 AM
The palm trees are dead, but hopefully, they'll be replaced.

The winter garden should be extended to the new WTC. That would be a great city-within-a-city...

Edward
February 5th, 2002, 11:17 AM
NEW YORK TIMES February 5, 2002
World Financial Center Reopens a Bit
By GLENN COLLINS

For a while yesterday, office workers near ground zero could entertain the illusion that life was back to normal at the World Financial Center.

There were 18 lunch hounds queued up at the newly opened California Burrito. Bill Anastasakis, a florist who lost $100,000 worth of flowers on Sept. 11, was rewarding regular customers with stems from his riotous new stock. And the recently polished marble of the food court near the still-ravaged Winter Garden, once begrimed in dust and debris, echoed again with the laughter of employees lounging at the lobby tables.

"It used to take us half an hour to get to the food over at Chambers Street," said Theresa Xanthos, a secretary at Merrill Lynch, delighted to order an Escondido bean burrito without having to put on coat and gloves.

She and the other employees were permitted for the first time into the previously off-limits space yesterday — the courtyard between World Financial Center office towers 3 and 4 — in an in-house, trial visit to five reopened stores.

Today, the public will be invited into the food court and to navigate a new 300-foot-long walkway connecting them to another reborn restaurant, SouthWest NY, in 2 World Financial Center. Ibrahim Merchant, the restaurant's owner, said he had spent $500,000 on the restoration — including the cost of replacing the $90,000 computerized order system, which was destroyed.

"Being here, it's like coming home," said Royanna Commisso, a nurse who was heading through the walkway back to the Merrill Lynch clinic in 4 World Financial Center. "But I don't think that the North Bridge is ever coming back."

She referred to the famously missing pedestrian walkway that carried 80,000 scurrying people over West Street between the World Trade Center and the Winter Garden on weekdays. It was crushed by the collapse of the north tower.

The new walkway, like the old, is intended to protect pedestrians from the elements as they trudge between mammoth office towers. The old one was a multimillion-dollar, climate- controlled bridge of concrete, steel and glass. The new one is 10 feet high and constructed from blue-painted plywood. Covered with corrugated iron, it cost $60,000.

The World Financial Center was once home to 40,000 workers; now it is 25 percent occupied, and its buildings, all of which survived, are slowly being recolonized. Many of the 50 former Winter Garden stores like Godiva Chocolatier, Watch Station and the Coco Marina Restaurant are now sheathed in plywood. But a temporary new Godiva has arisen — a kiosk on the south side of the courtyard. A Starbucks Coffee shop, the World Financial Center Florist and the Faber, Coe & Gregg newsstand will also be opening to the public today.

Before the twin-tower disaster, office workers used to migrate from the four World Financial Center office towers to shopping opportunities by traversing the Winter Garden, the glass-enclosed 45,000-square-foot public space that served as the centerpiece of the World Financial Center. But now the Winter Garden is verboten to all but the workers toiling to complete a $50 million restoration by this fall.

The new walkway runs from the lobby of 2 World Financial Center outside onto the Hudson River plaza. It wends past the North Cove Yacht Harbor on its way to the south vestibule of the Winter Garden, which opens on the courtyard where, yesterday, the Starbucks had finally reappeared.

Anton Schubert, a fixed-income trader at Merrill Lynch, ordered his first coffee there since Sept. 11 (a grande, black, one Equal). "We could go to our cafeteria, but the feeling was claustrophobic," he said. "Being able to return here — it's a watershed event."

Ptarmigan
February 5th, 2002, 10:37 PM
That's nice to hear for a change. Life resumes, even in the worst terrorist attack in world history.

Edward
October 27th, 2002, 11:45 PM
The restored Winter Garden (http://wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/winter-garden/) and the new palm trees.

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/wfc_palm_trees_27oct02.jpg



The view of Ground Zero from the restored Winter Garden (http://wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/winter-garden/).

http://wirednewyork.com/images/skyscrapers/winter-garden-world-financial-center/wfc_ground_zero_27oct02.jpg

Jessica
October 28th, 2002, 10:53 AM
Does anyone still have the silhouette looking picture? *It was posted before the forum was lost.

Merry
October 29th, 2002, 06:35 AM
Jessica.

Hope you get my e-mail with pic attached (hope it's the right one!).

(Edited by Merry at 6:36 pm on Oct. 29, 2002)

Fabb
October 29th, 2002, 12:29 PM
The palm trees look good and healthy.
I hope they'll adapt to their new environment.

Fabb
October 29th, 2002, 12:31 PM
Also, from the winter garden, the Millenium Hotel (or whatever its name is) really looks like the TWT.

NYC kid
October 29th, 2002, 06:27 PM
wow, its looking really nice. :) *I'm definately making this one of my destinations for my next trip to New York this winter. That glass wall looks like it gives a good view!

Jessica
October 30th, 2002, 11:31 PM
Quote: from Merry on 6:35 am on Oct. 29, 2002
Jessica.

Hope you get my e-mail with pic attached (hope it's the right one!).

(Edited by Merry at 6:36 pm on Oct. 29, 2002)


Thanks Merry!

ZippyTheChimp
February 17th, 2010, 08:16 PM
Got this word of mouth:

WFC owner Brookfield Properties is considering a major alteration or complete demolition of the grand staircase in the Winter Garden.

At a Feb 02 CB1 BPC Committee meeting, a Brooklfield rep said that the staircase was originally built to lead to the North Tower bridge over West St that was destroyed on 09/11. With the bridge gone, it's become a "staircase to nowhere."

Actually, it was never a primary route to the bridge. The office employee exits to the four towers are all on the second level, same as the bridge. The staircase became something more; a place to sit in groups, space defining.

The other reason mentioned was that the new underground concourse from the WTC would lead pedestrians to "a dead end behind the staircase."

I somewhat agree with this, although the "dead end" is really a wide horseshoe shaped corridor. The problem as I see it is that workers would now be entering the complex on the first level, and would have to get to the turnstiles on the 2nd level. Besides the staircase, there are two escalators at the opposite end of the Winter Garden.

At street level, the entire east side of the WFC is poorly designed.

Any change in the structure would be considered a major modification of the property, and BPCA approval would be required.

HoveringCheesecake
February 17th, 2010, 10:46 PM
Ugh. I like that staircase.

Here's an article from last month that we discussed in the commercial real estate thread.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100115/FREE/100119903

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4949&page=70

Derek2k3 had a really good idea in that thread.

Derek2k3
February 18th, 2010, 01:10 AM
Ugh. I like that staircase.

Here's an article from last month that we discussed in the commercial real estate thread.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100115/FREE/100119903

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4949&page=70

Derek2k3 had a really good idea in that thread.

After visiting I realized that idea wouldn't work, but there's still ways they can install some kind of grand staircase. It would stink if they replaced the marble stairs with a few escalators.

Seeing the pics in this thread again reminds me why I like old threads bumped up. Thanks.

lofter1
February 18th, 2010, 08:43 AM
If they remove the staircase it will totally minimize the Court as a performance space. Removal will turn it into a big hallway with palm trees and little more. It will become more like a fancy airport concourse.

If alteration is absolutely necessary, could they not figure out a way to do it so that it becomes a double sided stair, facing both east and (as now) west?

ZippyTheChimp
February 18th, 2010, 09:34 AM
http://alexrossmusic.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/01/img_3428.jpg

Sometimes the stairway becomes a stage.
http://web.me.com/broadsheet/Broadsheet/Home/Entries/2010/2/17_WednesdayFebruary_17,_2010_files/EthelBBB.jpg

BStyles
June 1st, 2010, 09:00 AM
I say don't destroy the stairway; instead, bring the concourse of the WTC right back into the winter garden. Reverse the stairs so that they lead down into the E/W connector, instead of having the entrance outside.

Merry
June 4th, 2010, 05:54 AM
Will Winter Garden's Grand Stairs Be Destroyed, Yet Again?

By Matt Dunning

http://www.tribecatrib.com/images/stories/2010/06-June/stairs-wide-w.jpg
For workers, tourists and those who just want a place to gaze upon the Winter Garden,
the marble staircase is one of the most popular public spaces in the World Financial Center.

The grand marble staircase of the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, rebuilt with exquisite care after its destruction on Sept. 11, 2001, may be destroyed again—this time a victim of the World Trade Center’s rebuilding.

Brookfield Properties, owners of the World Financial Center and Winter Garden, may plan to remove the staircase to accommodate the western entrance to the pedestrian tunnel connecting the Winter Garden with the new World Trade Center transportation hub. The proposal, first reported by Crain’s in January, has not yet been released to the public. But members of Community Board 1 want to know what Brookfield is contemplating for the imposing staircase.

According to Yume Kitase, CB1’s Community Liaison, a Brookfield executive has agreed to meet with the board’s Battery Park City Committee next month to discuss the tunnel’s potential impact on the Winter Garden, including the grand staircase.

“We’ve extracted out of Brookfield a promise that they’ll come to us in July, and we’re hopeful that they’ll stick to it,” Kitase said.

Melissa Coley, Brookfield’s Vice President of Investor Relations and Communications, would not say if the company was planning to demolish the staircase or when its plans might be made public, only that the company is still in the “planning phases.”

“Unfortunately, there’s nothing specific to report,” Coley said. “We’re not quite there yet, but we hope to be soon.”

http://www.tribecatrib.com/images/stories/2010/06-June/stair-girl-w.jpg
A girl eats a snack on the Winter Garden's staircase.

Today, visitors climb the staircase to reach the expanse of windows that overlook the Trade Center site. It is also frequently used as event seating during performances, as well as a popular backdrop for photographs. Over time, some Battery Park City residents said they’ve also come to think of the staircase a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s resilience in the aftermath of the attacks.

“That staircase, for me, has become a memorial,” Battery Park City Committee Chairwoman Linda Belfer said at the committee's meeting on Tuesday, June 1. “It’s a monument to what happened that day, and I think it would be terrible if we were to lose it.”

Belfer said Community Board 1 sent a letter to the Department of City Planning, which the board believes would need to sign off on Brookfield’s plan, asking that the department not render a final decision on the matter without first consulting them.

“We just want to let them know how we feel about it,” Belfer said. “I’ve asked that...they come to no final decision until they come before us and hear what we have to say.”

http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2010/june/635_destruction-may-await-winter-gardens-grand-staircase-rebuilt-after-sept-11.html

ZippyTheChimp
June 18th, 2010, 12:48 PM
http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/8325/wintergarden03.th.jpg (http://img576.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden03.jpg/) http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/8362/wintergarden04.th.jpg (http://img411.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden04.jpg/)

ablarc
June 18th, 2010, 01:30 PM
^ Comments please, Mr. Zip. It's possible not all of us know what we're looking at.

ZippyTheChimp
June 18th, 2010, 02:46 PM
A summer backyard cookout.

The house is a a display by a company that sells factory-made homes (New Jersey company I think). It was assembled on site in less than two weeks.


The grills are. I hope, more permanent. Brookfield set up tables on the plaza fronting the Winter Garden, and brought in three food kiosks.

Transformed the space overnight. A big hit, and the food is pretty good.

http://www.travelandtourismnews.com/three-new-york-based-culinary-magnates-open-kiosks-at-world-financial-center-plaza/

lofter1
June 18th, 2010, 11:34 PM
Very smart move. The other restaurants in WFC must be pissed.

MidtownGuy
June 19th, 2010, 02:38 AM
That's excellent! (the set up, not that others are pissed :-)
The more waterfront dining options the better.

Merry
July 17th, 2010, 01:22 AM
Brookfield CEO: Decision on WFC Staircase Could Come ‘This Year’

By Matt Dunning

Brookfield Properties’ top executive said this week the company hopes to announce the fate of the Winter Garden’s grand marble staircase before the end of the year.

The stairs, rebuilt with exquisite care after its destruction on Sept. 11, 2001, could be torn down to accommodate the western entrance to the pedestrian tunnel connecting the Winter Garden with the new World Trade Center transportation hub. Along with the construction of the entryway to the tunnel, Brookfield Properties—which owns the World Financial Center and the Winter Garden—plans to overhaul much of the retail space inside the Winter Garden where it meets the tunnel. How the staircase will fit into Brookfield’s construction plans has yet to be determined, according to Dennis Friedrich, the company’s president and CEO.

“It hasn’t been finalized yet, but we’re getting closer and closer,” Friedrich told the Trib. “I’d like to see that out by the end of this year.”

Brookfield’s contemplation of removing the staircase, first reported by Crain’s New York Business, has stirred the emotions of Battery Park City residents, local community leaders and those who frequently pass through the Winter Garden.

Today, visitors climb the staircase to reach the expanse of windows that overlook the Trade Center site and it is also often used as event seating during. Over time, some Battery Park City residents said they’ve also come to think of the staircase a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s resilience in the aftermath of the attacks.

Over time, some Battery Park City residents said they’ve also come to think of the staircase as a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s resilience in the aftermath of the attacks.

“The steps are so peaceful and pleas*ant, especially when they have the orchestras play,” said Tim McInness, a security guard who works in the area. “And when you think of all the negative stuff this part of the city brings to mind, it's important to have somewhere like this that feels so complete.”

In interviews with visitors and workers in at the Winter Garden recently, most agreed that the stairs were an important feature of the Winter Garden that would be missed.

“Even when you get annoyed with the tourists, you know that this place is im*portant,” said Amen Patel, a systems analyst who works in the World Financial Center. “We are still here, and this staircase is a sign of that.”

“They’re here, they serve their purpose, everyone uses them, everyone’s used to them,” said Yoel Asplund, a restaurant manager. “I think they should stay. It’s too easy to give in and just change everything all the time.”

Linda Belfer chair of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee, sent a letter to the Department of City Planning asking that the department not render a final decision on the matter without first consulting them. The board believes that City Planning would need sign off on an alteration to the stairs.

“We just want to let them know how we feel about it,” Belfer said. “I’ve asked that...they come to no final decision until they come before us and hear what we have to say.”

Representatives of Brookfield Properties declined to appear before the committee at its July meeting.

http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2010/july/674_brookfields-decision-on-wfc-stairs-could-come-this-year.html

Hof
July 18th, 2010, 03:20 PM
When I abandoned New York in the early '70s, I moved to Fort Myers, a small tourist/retirement town on the Gulf Coast of Florida, a place that ( in the Summertime off-season anyway) was primarily an agricultural community. It doesn't snow there so things grow all year long, making for some strange agriculture.
The Royal Palm /Washingtonian Palm are among the nicest of S. Florida's agricultural efforts, and they grow wild around Ft Myers. They are a HUGE tree at maturity, and very elegant -- like organic Doric columns with massive tophats of green, 60-70 feet tall, or more; they're tough plants that can survive hurricanes, lovely palms with bases that look like solid concrete and that are the signature of Tropical South Florida.
They never stop growing--plant one as a seed and in five years it's 15 feet tall-- wait twenty, it's a giant.
They look GREAT lining the boulevards of Florida. They are the reason Ft Myers is known as "The City of Palms" . They'd look great anywhere, even inside.

One of the jobs I had in Ft M. was selling insurance, and one of the first clients I had was a tree farmer who grew palms at his ornamental tree farm.

As I was writing up his applications he was proudly telling me that ALL the monumental Royal/ Washingtonian Palms in the new Winter Garden in New York City came from his farm. So did the sod, the very dirt the trees were each planted in. He had just finished the job and I remember his pride as he told stories of the work. He thought it absurd that he would have trucked several tons of Florida earth several thousand miles, at great expense, to plant palms where it snows, but the contractor wanted it that way and it was done.

One day, sometime in the mid-'90s while visiting the area, I went into the Winter Garden for the first time and I saw the trees and remembered some of the stories about transportation and setup that my client had told me a few years before. The building looked great. It COULD have looked like one of Speer's ideas for a postwar Berlin, or a weak copy of one of London's glass palaces-- but it didn't. It was a hard building, but still elegant.
The grand staircase was a stone waterfall, an element that screamed "signature", something that, from the main mezzinane, would lure the eye ever higher, level by level, leading you to see upward through the blue-green glass and finally, to see all the skyscrapers that mattered.
The building, while all cold stone and hard and flinty glass, had a curious sense of accessability and motion and there was an airy humor about it, making it the perfect execution of how to do a New York atrium.
From the top of the Trade Center, it looked like an insect that just climbed out of the river.
It made a very good public space, while being privately owned.

The trees were healthy, presumably flourishing in the controlled atmosphere, breaking up the stone, glass and steel with a nice, soft tropical element that complimented the cavernous hall well. The palms seemed as much a part--a component-- of the architecture as did the glass panels or the stairs.
As I stood in the huge hall and absorbed the details, I couldn't help but focus on the sweeping staircase and how things were designed around it, the pillars and overhead floors, the parallel orientation of the trees and the impressive expanses of outdoors brought inside. It all focused on those stairs.

I also felt a curious mixed sensation...

Here I was, standing in this relatively new structure in my OLD home town (I used to live but a couple miles from the BPC--in the South Village--and I worked directly across West St from the place for 5-6 years) and I was looking at --hell, smelling and touching-- little patches of my NEW hometown, a part of Tropical Ft Myers lined up on a cold marble floor at the edge of the Hudson instead of the Gulf.

(I wondered if they sometimes replenish the dirt with genuine Florida soil ??? They probably should.
-- It's like New York water being sent to Florida so chefs can make the "perfect" NY pizza crust...).

I left New York for the Gulf Coast a few years before Olympia and York went broke developing the BPC, so I had never set foot in the place before and it was somehow comforting to me that the same palms I saw everyday at home were flourishing up here in The City, right near the old neighborhood, comfortably cocooned in their own ecosystem.

When everything came crashing down on 9/11, the Winter Garden was one of the many architectural victims. Large chunks of Trade Center punctured the glass canopy and distorted the frame, the stairs were heavily damaged and a toxic coating of dusty DNA from the doomed buildings smothered and killed the palms. During those early days, the fate of the trees crossed my mind. I didn't have friends who perished when the towers fell, but I had those trees to consider...
At some point, the husks of the trees were carried off, probably to Staten Island with everything else, and the Winter Garden was rebuilt.

I remember reading somewhere that the NEW Winter Garden would once again have a forest of palms, and that the same Ft Myers tree farm was doing the installations !!!

In 2007 I paid a visit, my second since the reconstruction and reopening of the Winter Garden --now with the impromptu museum of the goings-on of September 11. I have gone there with both of my kids, and I told each of them the story of how a little bit of their hometown ended up planted in Florida soil in Manhattan, twice.
From the base of the staircase, I admired the healthy, statuesque palms, saw how nicely they framed the river, how they still give a soft contrast to a stone and glass megastructure-- growing tall and fulfilling THEIR architectural destiny-- and I felt that old feeling return again.

I climbed the staircase, glancing back at the lines of receding palms.
From the Eastern windows I had a panorama of the glacially-slow reconstruction of the area. I lingered for a long time, in ennui, and took in the view--both indoors and out. I meandered along the displays set up to remember 9/11...
The Winter Garden-- this KIND of a building-- is truly a set piece, a jewel box, a holy window on the New World. That it survived it's own near-obliteration and emerged anew is a fascinating story in itself. It would be a sin to alter it yet again. It should be left as is, even if the view from the Winter Garden is mostly the West St traffic jams and the backyard skin of the "Freedom Tower" (or whatever it winds up being named)...

To take the staircase away, or even alter it to accomodate PATH riders, is a wrongheaded idea and should not be considered. It would also diminish the grandeur of all those Florida palms. Leave the place alone!!!

(I no longer live in Fort Myers, haven't for 20 years, so in '07 it was nice to see TWO elements of my ex-hometowns find their way back together again on the Hudson's shore.).

(...And I still wonder if they truck in the dirt from Florida, the stuff that makes the trees feel at home ??? ).

stache
July 18th, 2010, 04:46 PM
I'm guessing the native dirt lessened the shock of the move.

ZippyTheChimp
July 18th, 2010, 09:33 PM
Sorry Hoff, but that client was telling a tale. Hope you didn't give him a discount.

The palms are Washingtonia Robusta; although found elsewhere, they are native to the American southwest. The 16 palms (and I think four or more spares) were acclimated on a farm at Borrego Springs, CA, near San Diego. It was 1988.

All the original 16 did not survive until 09/11. During the 90s, several were growing too fast; the upper trunks were narrow and in danger of snapping. Definitely some, but maybe all were replaced.

lofter1
July 18th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Ouch. What's Hof going to tell his kids?

ZippyTheChimp
July 19th, 2010, 07:43 AM
Easier than the Santa Claus thing.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2010, 05:17 PM
All the original 16 did not survive until 09/11. During the 90s, several were growing too fast; the upper trunks were narrow and in danger of snapping. Definitely some, but maybe all were replaced.

There's a large yellow 'cherry-picker' truck that I think is permanently stored at the WFC. A few weeks ago, it was inside the Winter Garden, and i thought they were cleaning windows, or repairing leeks.

The other day I noticed steel cables disappearing into the tops of some of the palm trees. A zoom revealed...

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/9287/wintergarden06.th.jpg (http://img543.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden06.jpg/) http://img810.imageshack.us/img810/2646/wintergarden05.th.jpg (http://img810.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden05.jpg/)

Some of the palm trees are growing off center. Maybe seeking the light?

Derek2k3
September 21st, 2010, 12:50 PM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/5012288422_2e7fbbc526_z.jpg
DBox

Larger image at the site.
http://www.dbox.com/

HoveringCheesecake
September 21st, 2010, 04:43 PM
Feh...

scumonkey
September 23rd, 2010, 12:48 AM
please tell me that's not what thy are replacing that grand staircase with?

ramvid01
September 23rd, 2010, 02:09 AM
I am shocked that they are planning to get rid of the marble staircases, and the fact that those palm trees are actually real.

Looking at the picture above, it is hard to tell if the stairs would be replaced by that, since the escalators are currently located outside of the Winter Garden. This looks more like an extension (I hope).

Derek2k3
September 23rd, 2010, 08:40 AM
Yea, this is the extension,. The view from which it is taken seems to be the same view that's at the top of the staircase. You can also tell by the driveway on the right. The Winter Garden now is tucked into the complex and does not extend out like the rendering shows.

Surprised there's not a glass ceiling, makes me believe Brookfield is planning additional office space or retail above it.

I believe they plan to bump much of the WFC's eastern frontage. Perfect opportunity for some elevated outdoor eating areas overlooking the memorial..


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/5012288422_2e7fbbc526_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/5017602474_d33d45b5b6_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/5017602474_d33d45b5b6_b.jpg


In case you haven't seen this video yet:
http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/07/28/tomorrows-transit-hub-the-32-billion-wtc-train-station/

HoveringCheesecake
September 23rd, 2010, 11:35 AM
Even if it's an extension, the staircase is probably still toast. Although, there is a slight chance that the community in BPC got their point across and persuaded them to integrate it into this extension.

I'm kind of disappointed about the retail additions, too. I rather like the little patches of grass that the WFC buildings have in front of them. It's like their own itty bitty lawns.

lofter1
September 23rd, 2010, 12:43 PM
Yea, this is the extension,. The view from which it is taken seems to be the same view that's at the top of the staircase. You can also tell by the driveway on the right.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/5012288422_2e7fbbc526_b.jpg


Seems this shows this expanded area will be at level with the existing exterior walkway, rather than at the level of the elevated viewing platform at the top of the marble staircase. Note the doorway at the left and people walking along an exterior expanse. The current construction in the photo shows that the escalators (and stairs?) will rise about 30' to the east of the existing frontage of the WFC (much more apparent in person). Not sure where those weird bird cage columns will be located.

Currently the exterior pathway along the east side of WFC is elevated, with the (former) grassy area sloping down towards West Street. It's a tricky spot for an extension as the area between the existing WFC buildings and West Street is narrow, and will still have to accommodate both the bike path and a pedestrian walkway. And, if I remember correctly, there used to be cut-ins from West Street along here for bus stops.

When I first saw this render I thought it was one of the the (re-worked) 2007 proposals for Hudson Yards and had nothing to do with the WTC / WFC :o . What I now recognize as the Calatrava Hub (in the distance, above) I'd mistaken for the awkward pavilion proposed by Brookfield / SOM / SANAA at HY:

.10988

Derek2k3
September 23rd, 2010, 01:03 PM
Seems this shows this expanded area will be at level with the existing exterior walkway, rather than at the level of the elevated viewing platform at the top of the marble staircase.

Isn't that what I described?

lofter1
September 23rd, 2010, 01:15 PM
A quick attempt to try and make some sense of what that render indicates ...

RED: Extension / Escalators

ORANGE: Columns

BLUE: Exterior Pedestrian

GREEN: Bike Path

.10989

lofter1
September 23rd, 2010, 01:18 PM
Isn't that what I described?

Aha, yep -- Sorry, I clearly need another cup of coffee :o . I misread this:



The view from which it is taken seems to be the same view that's at the top of the staircase

ZippyTheChimp
September 23rd, 2010, 01:36 PM
I'll try to stop by and take a look at the area with this rendering in mind.

The walkway pre-09/11 was about at the distance of the freight entrance walls. About 100 feet from the Winter Garden glass.

There was the walkway, a separator, the bikeway, another separator, a two-lane road for trucks and taxis, another separator, and the main roadway.

The tempy roadway now bends to about where the bikeway was. The permanent road will also bend, while the original road was straight. But that road had a very large median to accommodate the WTC garage portals. Remember the hairpin garage exit ramp at Vesey?

Hard to say if more or less room will be available.

*

ZippyTheChimp
September 23rd, 2010, 01:42 PM
Although, there is a slight chance that the community in BPC got their point across and persuaded them to integrate it into this extension.Major alteration. Brookfield doesn't have the final say; they have to convince BPCA to allow it.


I'm kind of disappointed about the retail additions, too.The grass is nice, but it always was a dead zone.

lofter1
September 23rd, 2010, 01:54 PM
That stretch of West Street fronting onto WFC also had big vent structures in the median just to the west of the North Tower. (And a ~40' wall rising to the superblock / plaza level above.)

PHOTO (http://img299.imageshack.us/i/img1806ormediumqh9.jpg/) of street level outside 1 WTC pre-9/11, looking across West Street.

Map showing the medians along this stretch:

10992

HoveringCheesecake
September 23rd, 2010, 05:58 PM
Major alteration. Brookfield doesn't have the final say; they have to convince BPCA to allow it.

The grass is nice, but it always was a dead zone.

Huh. Did the BPCA allow it, then? The stairs, that is.

The grass may have been a dead zone, but it adds that little extra flair as seen in lofter's pre-9/11 photo. (Taken on September 2nd, according to the exif data)

ZippyTheChimp
October 4th, 2010, 01:12 PM
the problem as i see it is that workers would now be entering the complex on the first level, and would have to get to the turnstiles on the 2nd level. Besides the staircase, there are two escalators at the opposite end of the winter garden.


October 4, 2010


World Financial Overhaul Hits Snag

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NY-AN363_NYWINT_DV_20101003174619.jpg

By ELIOT BROWN

The owners of the massive four-tower World Financial Center complex in Lower Manhattan are slated to unveil on Tuesday plans for a major overhaul of the complex's retail and a remake of its eastern entranceway and signature Winter Garden indoor plaza.

But even before the design of the $200 million-plus project has been widely released, the owners, Brookfield Properties, have hit a possible snag. The firm faces resistance to its plan to remove the Winter Garden's sprawling marble staircase. City Planning Commission chairwoman Amanda Burden has objected to designs for the revamped plaza, and community members fear the loss of an iconic space that once led to a bridge to the old World Trade Center before it was destroyed.

"People walked up on the bridge to go from the Trade Center to the World Financial Center and the staircase at that point served as a monumental entrance," said Linda Belfer, chairwoman of the local community board's Battery Park City committee. "Much of the community is concerned about it."

For years, Brookfield has been pondering a redo of the complex's retail and its Winter Garden, the expansive palm tree-lined indoor space that sits below a signature bubbling glass atrium. The popular area and tourist attraction often holds concerts, festivals and other public events with the staircase serving as an amphitheater of sorts where people sit.

Facing a series of major lease expirations in the next few years that Brookfield is seeking to replace, the project has gained urgency lately given that the leasing job could be made easier by the prospect of a renovation.

Under Brookfield's plan, the firm would remove the stairs at the eastern end of the 1980s Cesar Pelli-designed complex. That would effectively extend the open plaza to a revamped entrance at West Street to meet an underground connector with the PATH and subway system under construction at the World Trade Center site. The plans call for new escalators by the eastern entrance.

With thousands of commuters expected to pour through that entrance every morning, Brookfield argues the stairs' removal is essential given that workers and residents would otherwise be funneled into the existing narrow entrance constrained by the staircase. The firm plans to present the plans to the local community board Tuesday.

"People that are coming into the World Financial Center for the first time will be entering the complex from the street level—that's basically the new reality that we've had to deal with," says Ric Clark, Brookfield's CEO. Having the bulk of commuters come through the existing entrance, keeping the stairs in tact is "not appropriate, and it's not safe," he added.

"Had this new reality been in existence at the onset, the complex wouldn't have been designed with steps," he says.

But Brookfield's plans haven't been embraced by the Department of City Planning in earlier presentations, meeting criticism from Ms. Burden, who cut her teeth in planning at Battery Park City and is known for her obsession with detail of design.

This has put her at odds with John Zuccotti, the co-chairman of Brookfield's board who was Chairman of the City Planning Commission in the 1970s. In a June letter to Mr. Zuccotti, she wrote that "removing the stairs creates a substantial void which cannot be filled by a small temporary stage and curtain," which Brookfield had proposed. "We think it is highly questionable as to whether there is compelling rationale for removing the stairs, which are used regularly by a broad range of people throughout the day," she wrote.

Should revisions by Brookfield fail to appease Ms. Burden, it's not clear that she would have the ability to block the stairs' demolition. Brookfield believes it doesn't need her direct approval. However, her assent would be needed for a planned glass-clad pavilion that would expand out of the eastern entrance and enclose the entranceway to the PATH and subways.

The pavilion and Winter Garden redo would be coupled with a major renovation of the complex's retail. Mr. Clark said food-service retail currently takes in about $55 million in revenue a year, a number he would hope to expand. Leasing retail space at the World Financial Center has always been challenging partly because there's far less traffic there during nights and weekends. However, the residential population of Battery Park City has grown substantially over the years, a market Brookfield seeks to better target.

Brookfield hopes to start construction by the end of the year, targeting early 2013 for a full completion.

"When the World Financial Center was built, the retail was really an afterthought," Mr. Clark says.

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved


I originally thought that the only way to preserve at least the central part of the stairway was to put the escalators to the 2nd level on the sides of the stairway. But looking at the renderings of the tunnel headhouse, which appears to be extended from the Winter Garden glass wall, it's possible to put the escalators in the headhouse. About 40 feet of run would be needed.

lofter1
October 4th, 2010, 01:59 PM
There is empty space at the perimeter of the first floor encircling the staircase (for a few years those glass enclosed areas were used to display models and plans for the new WTC site, but have sat empty for months). Brookfield seems to want to create more retail space, but perhaps it's just not appropriate here. i'd not be surprised to see that they would prefer to take up some additional space at the perimeter of the Winter Garden for retail / food concessions. They should look into opening up the space to the sides of the stair case to allow a widened pedestrian area on the first floor.

The circular stair and round piazza up top work in conjunction with the barrel vault of the Winter Garden. This is one of the few great interior "public" spaces to have been built in NYC in the past 30 years. The stairs should not be removed.

ZippyTheChimp
October 4th, 2010, 02:35 PM
The problem with the retail space in the horseshoe corridor relates to this statement, which is really a half-truth:

"When the World Financial Center was built, the retail was really an afterthought," Mr. Clark says.

The retail was targeted to the WFC office workers and those that came across the north bridge from the WTC, who far outnumbered residents. Most of the pedestrian traffic was on the second floor. Not only along the staircase, but the retail along the corridor to 2WFC also struggled.

No attempt was made to make the West St side pedestrian friendly; the West Side Highway was still up, and the WTC faced east. The ground floor entrance under the north bridge was mostly used by taxi passengers.

That's about to change. All the people that poured across the north bridge will now enter on the first floor. The simplest thing for Brookfield to do is to create a bigger mall-like atrium space by removing the staircase, and providing retail space on the perimeter.

But with or without the staircase, the area will no longer be dead space.

Derek2k3
October 4th, 2010, 04:42 PM
Also, if the grand staircase is kept it really wouldn't be leading to anything. Just a grandiose way to get to the second floor and only overlooking the first floor of the head-house.
But it just seems callous to just throw the staircase away.

An interesting idea would be to create some kind of public space on the roof of the head-house. The staircase could be extended and lead to this(?)

ZippyTheChimp
October 5th, 2010, 11:03 AM
Brookfield Properties made a presentation to CB1 last night. Besides removal of the staircase, they plan a two-level food court and market in the area south of the Winter Garden.

There are some images at the following link. Just a few of the structure. There's an "out of view" image of the palm tree area showing part of a new escalator. Most of the images are of the food court that could be anywhere; it's obvious that Brooklfield is pitching that, and avoiding a good overall look at the entire space.

I'd respect these people a lot more if they just laid out exactly what it's going to be.

http://www.dnainfo.com/20101005/downtown/brookfield-shows-first-glimpse-of-world-financial-center-redesign

lofter1
October 5th, 2010, 12:05 PM
About as dull as can be. No doubt Brookfield is salivating at the possibility of feeding the millions of folks who'll need a pick me up after visiting the memorial across the street.

I'm about to start ranting like LondonLawyer, so I'll just click "Post Quick Reply" and move on.

BPC
October 7th, 2010, 05:26 PM
Let me be the ranter.

Brookfield should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, or at least community. The new plan removes one of the great interior architectural features of the City, in order to expand access to a food court. It is based on lies -- you can't see the Hudson River from the West Street entrance with or without the staircase. And it was a result engineered by Brookfield from the start when they refused to allow the Port Authority to rebuild the North Bridge, forcing the diversion of God knows how many millions of tax dollars into the creation of a pedestrian underpass. Now, they repay the taxpayers by taking away their public meeting space. Unfortunately, Brookfield is run by this dirtbag former political operator, John Zuccotti, who knows how to work the system to get this sort of atrocity passed. If this happens, we should un-name the park across the highway.

ZippyTheChimp
October 11th, 2010, 06:25 PM
More images in the slideshow. Use full-screen.

http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2010/october/756_cb1-gets-first-look-at-major-winter-garden-renovations.html

Derek2k3
October 11th, 2010, 06:53 PM
They need to get Calatrava to design the escalators and 2nd floor bridge then.

scumonkey
October 11th, 2010, 07:43 PM
traffic engineers hired by the company revealed that the 88-foot-wide, 15-foot-high wall supporting the staircase would have only served to choke pedestrian traffic if left in place.
Explain to me how herding everyone through a tunnel, and then funneling them all up a bank of escalators, is doing anything other than choking pedestrian traffic either?!

BStyles
October 19th, 2010, 02:14 PM
New images for the E/W Connector headhouse from Bluemelon.com. They've integrated it into the Winter Garden:
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888573.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888574.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888575.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888576.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888577.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888578.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888579.jpg
http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888580.jpg
I like it. It has that old WTC feel. Plus it's a continuous underground concourse from the Fulton Street Transit Center to the World Financial Center. This possibly triples, or even quadruples the Mall At The World Trade Center's size.

BiggieSmalls
October 19th, 2010, 02:31 PM
i said on a different thread.. i dont like the exterior. It would have been more asthetically pleasing if they echoed the barrel vault of the WG in the entrance. A rounded higher roof line would have also given a larger viering area on the second (and possibly third) floor areas.

those non structural webbings dont realy give me any sense of awe either.

they had a chance to rebrand the entrance to WFC and it seems not done.

losing the stairs is unfortunate but given what that is costing they could have put more effort into the redesign of the WFC etntrance on West Street.

ramvid01
October 19th, 2010, 03:36 PM
^^ I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the stairs are still there in that cross section. Too bad the addition looks like a cancerous abortion.

EDIT: Nevermind. I just saw the other picture that shows a stairless Winter Garden.

lofter1
October 19th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Totally lame. Clumsy, non contextual. Tarted up with that helixy trellis. FAIL.

Enjoy your food.

HoveringCheesecake
October 19th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Said it elsewhere: TRASH.

Travis
October 21st, 2010, 03:01 AM
Tough crowd.

lbjefferies
October 21st, 2010, 11:02 AM
The Winter Garden redo looks awful. I love those stairs.

What are the going to do with all of that gorgeous marble.

lofter1
October 21st, 2010, 11:12 AM
If this were something totally new it would be one thing. But the fact that this is what Brookfield proposes to replace within one of the more magnificent public spaces in NYC is what riles. If you've never experienced a holiday concert or other performance event in that space, with folks gathered up and down the expanse of marble (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3653/3402263345_4e2fc7f765.jpg?v=0) -- or just viewed the beautiful stonework (all replaced at great cost and effort following the damage of 9/11) perhaps it's difficult to assess the crassness of what they're putting forth.

http://frysingerreunion.org/1/us/groundzero03.jpg

What they want to replace that with:

http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888577.jpg

How it looked nine years ago:

http://digiorgio.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/wgdestroyed1.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_35kDzNt-gTQ/TIvdLqYJmbI/AAAAAAAADwk/NNd9MXH4a8Q/s1600/wintergarden_by_Bri_Rodriguez_taken_on_09-27-2001_in_New_York.jpg

As it is now:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/97690952_f0a484d4a6.jpg?v=0

http://amandk.com/JJ/JJ_wee/P1020505_wee.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2010_08_R9066_BROOKFIELD_TO_DEMOLISH _WINTER_GARDEN_STAIRS0802201.jpg

RoldanTTLB
October 21st, 2010, 02:49 PM
The renderings make it look like they're replacing the stairs with the same marble not in stair form. I think the quality of the renders are a bigger problem here. I spend time in the space, and it's nice how it is, but I don't think this change will in any way ruin it, either.

DMAG
October 22nd, 2010, 05:28 PM
Is this the headhouse....or a new Apple Store. (ka-cha!)

BStyles
October 23rd, 2010, 01:49 AM
...You know....

http://www.bluemelon.com/photo/18602/888574.jpg

http://shopsuavi.com/general_upload/9141apple-store-nyc4.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/133/383052026_da42ce322c.jpg

You never know.:p

scumonkey
October 23rd, 2010, 01:57 AM
apple did a better design job with theirs- that glass roof (with)makes or (without) breaks the box.

MidtownGuy
October 23rd, 2010, 05:48 PM
The plan for the Winter Garden is just terrrible!!!! Losing the marble steps would be very depressing.

Gee...soooo much great news to return to:rolleyes:

stache
October 23rd, 2010, 06:36 PM
Yay he's back!

Travis
October 26th, 2010, 09:41 AM
How do you guys think they should integrate the new entrance to the Winter Garden while preserving those stairs?

uakoops
October 26th, 2010, 10:36 AM
^^^ I was there on Sunday and it seems to me that there is plenty of room to walk around the sides of the stairs. I don't see what the big deal is to leaving them.

scumonkey
October 26th, 2010, 12:11 PM
^ exactly... there is more room going around those stairs than there is to get down those escalators-
I don't see the bottle neck happening here that is the excuse they are using to remove them.

arcman210
October 26th, 2010, 02:20 PM
Removing the stairs is about creating more retail space for more rent money.

scumonkey
October 26th, 2010, 03:07 PM
That may well be the real reason but...
that's not what they are saying.
According to Brookfield the stairs need to be removed to preventing a bottleneck of commuters trying to pass through..


"Brookfield plans to tear down the building’s Grand Staircase (http://www.dnainfo.com/20100802/downtown/beloved-world-financial-center-winter-garden-staircase-slated-be-demolished) to make way for the floods of commuters expected once the World Trade Center site is complete. The removal of the stairs would expand the palm tree-studded Winter Garden by 30 percent...

...Brookfield executives said that if the stairs stay in place, they would create a choke point by blocking the exit of the new pedestrian tunnel beneath West Street, scheduled to open by the end of 2012."

http://www.dnainfo.com/20101005/downtown/brookfield-shows-first-glimpse-of-world-financial-center-redesign

BStyles
October 26th, 2010, 04:08 PM
Technically, even with that much space, it will be confusing for pedestrians. Yes, it is a bottleneck. Overlook views would be blocked regardless. I don't want the stairs to go, but everyone knows that you can't place stairs in the middle of a pedestrian passageway.

Meanwhile, the pit deepens:
http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/WTC%20Transit%20Hub/SAM_0935.jpg
http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/WTC%20Transit%20Hub/SAM_0938.jpg
And i'm not sure if this was posted already, but I saw this:
http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/WTC%20Transit%20Hub/SAM_1003.jpg

arcman210
October 26th, 2010, 04:37 PM
^That rendering seems much more like the scale of what the actual space might feel like... in other words, smaller than the other renderings.

As for the choke point argument, how wide is the corridor underneath West Street? Then how wide approximately are the existing corridors in the WFC?

lofter1
October 26th, 2010, 05:51 PM
... everyone knows that you can't place stairs in the middle of a pedestrian passageway.


Maybe Fabrizio could post some photos of old Italian stuff where they did just that. Something like what Michelangelo put together in that library (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentian_Library) for the Medicis.

stache
October 26th, 2010, 06:25 PM
Maybe we could leave him out of this.

lofter1
October 26th, 2010, 06:59 PM
You have something against Michelangelo? ;)

Travis
October 27th, 2010, 07:26 AM
Might it be possible to rebuild some awesome marble stairways on the sides leaving the middle open?

stache
October 27th, 2010, 07:38 AM
Yes the staircase is pretty but it has never made sense to me. You enter from the street and are presented with a blank curving wall that you have to walk around to get to your destination. :confused:

BStyles
October 27th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Well, technically, the stairs were needed as an entrance and exit point to the North Bridge of the original WTC. No North Bridge, no requirement for stairs. That's basically what Brookfield is saying.

lofter1
October 27th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Does this mean we can also expect Brookfield to demolish the other [less grand] stairs / escalators in the WFC building south of Liberty where they lead up to the South Bridge? Since the area there to the east (across West Street) will be a new ground level park then there's no real need for a bridge there either. No bridge to the 2nd level then no need for opulent marble stairs to get folks to the upper level. Tear it out?

ZippyTheChimp
October 27th, 2010, 10:59 AM
^
Different situation at the South Bridge because the bridge still exists. When the Liberty St crosswalk is restored, pedestrian traffic flow will be the same as before 09/11. WFC workers need to get to the 2nd level, so they will tend to use the bridge to cross West St. Others who simply want to cross West St will tend to use the surface crosswalk.

Because the North Bridge will be replaced by a tunnel, pedestrian flow into the space will be altered.

Note: Unless the plans have been changed, there's to be a surface crosswalk at West and Fulton Sts.

I don't think the problem is that of a 'bottleneck' as described by Brookfield. The curved corridor is wide enough, and the existing entry wall will be removed, creating more space between the tunnel escalators and the corridor wall. I think you have to acknowledge that a good design for an entry to a large space should offer an overall view to orient the visitor. If designed from scratch today, the Winter Garden would not look the way it does.

Whether or not that design change is necessary, they still need to install more escalators to get WFC workers to the 2nd level.

lofter1
October 27th, 2010, 11:18 AM
I understand your point. But [almost] all renders (http://media.photobucket.com/image/wtc%20plan/khun1111/199000-hr.jpg) of the WTC site as it will appear when finished don't show any signs of a South Bridge.

From the PANYNJ:

http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/img/site_plan_north.jpg

Travis
October 27th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Then why didn't they demolish the eastern half of it?

lofter1
October 27th, 2010, 11:58 AM
They haven't demolished any of it yet. Seems the priority is to maintain access east <> west across West Street during construction. Demolishing any part of the South Bridge (if that is indeed the plan) would have created some down time for the SB.

I don't know what the plan is here and it remains a mystery. Others more in the know have written in posts here that they've seen no specifics about what the ultimate plan is at the Liberty / West intersection.

ZippyTheChimp
October 27th, 2010, 11:59 AM
I understand your point. But [almost] all renders (http://media.photobucket.com/image/wtc%20plan/khun1111/199000-hr.jpg) of the WTC site as it will appear when finished don't show any signs of a South Bridge.

The DOT plans for Route 9A, which show all West St crosswalks, and the tunnel, include the South Bridge.

If the South Bridge is to be removed, they wouldn't have added the new support pylon (so far, it's not supporting any load) west of the original support. Looks like it will be located in the center median of West St, which will curve toward the west. I think some of the eastern end of the bridge will be removed, since the sidewalk will be further out.

lofter1
October 27th, 2010, 12:34 PM
If that ^ is the case it will be interesting to see how they integrate the eastern terminus of the South Bridge into the open space of the new Liberty Park.

If they're concerned about bottlenecks then this will be one place that needs their full attention. A completely re-opened South Bridge (and the stairs / escalator leading up to it) will offer the only elevated views of the WTC site from the SW, and be the perfect spot for photos due to the path of the sun.

It will never happen but it could be great to have an elevated plaza at the west end of the new Liberty Park (in the area where the South Bridge now ends at the east). It could offer direct connection to the South Bridge and an inventive but workable staircase leading down into the park.

HoveringCheesecake
October 27th, 2010, 03:28 PM
I understand your point. But [almost] all renders (http://media.photobucket.com/image/wtc%20plan/khun1111/199000-hr.jpg) of the WTC site as it will appear when finished don't show any signs of a South Bridge.

From the PANYNJ:



That's also missing the skywalk connecting the WFC buildings.

Anyway, I'm going to be very sad if the Winter Garden stairs are taken down. Yes, it may be a little awkward, but why not put a big art installation on the blank wall or something?

Removing the south bridge when it was the only above ground structure to survive is an even worse idea. 50 years into the future it'll probably be gone, but just leave it for now.

ZippyTheChimp
October 30th, 2010, 04:12 PM
The Curse of the Vampire on Brookfield if they demolish the stairs.

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/4175/wintergarden07.th.jpg (http://img80.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden07.jpg/)



Happy Halloween

lofter1
November 8th, 2010, 03:25 PM
A diving board reachable from the top of the grand staircase might be a useful interim amenity here ...

World Trade Center Site Gets Wet and Wild (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/11/08/world_trade_center_site_gets_wet_and_wild.php)

MidtownGuy
November 8th, 2010, 07:50 PM
The marble steps should stay. I went there yesterday. The passageways on either side of the round wall looked plenty wide for people to walk through.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1329/5159346951_269fb103da_b.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1052/5159952756_970b473587_b.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1137/5159347585_fcac0161a1_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4145/5159954778_3d556420b5_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4032/5159348019_c10479095b_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/5159954042_50d4310b6c_b.jpg
all photos ©MidtownGuy

scumonkey
November 8th, 2010, 08:02 PM
VERY nice !

lofter1
November 8th, 2010, 09:30 PM
It's a great space. Enjoy it now as Brookfield clearly sees other uses for it in the future.

This is all a ruse to reclaim space that Brookfield would rather cram with food stalls. The passageways that lead from the doorways around the back of the staircase are ~ 30' wide and lead to even wider open space. I'd be willing to bet that the corridors between the cafes will not be any wider than that.

Fabrizio
November 11th, 2010, 05:37 PM
It is a nice space but do we really want marble that TrumpTower shiney? I'd prefer a sheen, not a shine.

Merry
November 16th, 2010, 06:30 AM
Great photos, MTG :).



Fight Brews at Pelli's Winter Garden Stair

World Financial Center stair removal stirs opposition while supporters insist pedestrian traffic warrants redesign

Jennifer K. Gorsche

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/image/winter_garden_01.jpg

A plan to overhaul the Cesar Pelli–designed World Financial Center Winter Garden hinges on the removal of the hall’s grand marble staircase, sparking a debate between city planners and owner Brookfield Properties over the new design’s appropriateness.

Released last month, the plan has garnered attention in part because the space, including the stairs, was one of the first structures to be rebuilt and reopened after damage sustained on September 11. At that time, Pelli Clarke Pelli conceived a new glass-walled east face, essentially creating what has become a popular Ground Zero viewing platform at the top of the stairs. The 40 steps also continue to serve as amphitheater seating for concerts and events held in the palm tree–planted glass court.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/winter_garden_03.jpg

But the space has its problems. Visitors entering from the east side immediately face and must circumnavigate the large, semi-circular support wall for the staircase to reach the Winter Garden. Though he declined to comment at press time, Rafael Pelli has spoken in the past about the circulation issues surrounding the original stair design. Its form poses a block, mentally and physically, to anyone entering the plaza. The new design, also by Pelli, replaces the east entrance with a two-story glass box into which commuters would arrive from an underground connector to the PATH and subway stations, now under construction at the World Trade Center. The plan also adds a two-story market and 700-seat food court to the south side of the Winter Garden.

City Planning Commission chair Amanda Burden’s disapproval of the plan leaked to the press in August, in the form of letters she sent to John Zuccotti, Brookfield’s co-chairman of the board. Burden also voiced her concern to Community Board 1 chair Julie Menin, saying that the Planning Commission “objects strongly to the removal of the Grand Stairs.” CB1 has not formally released an opinion of the plans.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/winter_garden_02.jpg

Though the staircase would be lost, Brookfield has suggested a temporary stage and seating would replace the garden’s amphitheater setup during events. Melissa Coley, a Brookfield spokesperson, said the company declined to comment on the project until it gains the necessary approvals from the city. At a presentation to the CB1 World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee last month, David Cheikin, Brookfield’s vice president of leasing, summed up realities at the changing site. By 2013—the estimated completion date for the Winter Garden renovation—the newly opened pedestrian tunnel could bring up to 13,000 commuters per hour through the space. Consultants hired by the developer said that if left in place, the stair’s support wall would greatly hinder traffic. “Their estimation was that on day one, we would have a failed pedestrian system,” Cheikin said.

http://www.archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=4998

lofter1
November 16th, 2010, 10:36 AM
GZ earthcam (http://www.earthcam.com/clients/groundzero/groundZero.swf) today shows that the water in the dig-out has been drained.

BStyles
November 19th, 2010, 06:18 PM
It seems that Mario has interest in the stairs too:
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1045.jpg
All part of the CANstruction food drive:
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1046.jpg
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1044.jpg
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1043.jpg
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1042.jpg
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1041.jpg

BiggieSmalls
November 20th, 2010, 10:49 AM
First above ground steel of the WFC Apple Store installed today

11456

BStyles
December 20th, 2010, 05:13 PM
I probably should've taken this at night, but it looks great anyway.
http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1121.jpghttp://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1151.jpg
http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk157/BOJAMforeva/SAM_1121.jpg

scumonkey
December 20th, 2010, 07:31 PM
WOW-very nice. makes me want to brave the cold and schlep on down there...i wonder if I could get away with using
a tripod in th....er.....nevermind I already know the answer to that.

ZippyTheChimp
December 21st, 2010, 10:16 PM
http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/2725/wintergarden08.th.jpg (http://img249.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden08.jpg/) http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/93/wintergarden09.th.jpg (http://img340.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden09.jpg/) http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/1810/wintergarden10.th.jpg (http://img513.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden10.jpg/)

lofter1
December 22nd, 2010, 02:13 AM
Will this be the last holiday season for this great space?

LeCom
December 22nd, 2010, 06:47 PM
http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/winter_garden_02.jpg


If this sort of an entrance is built, it would be sufficient for visually and physically marking the entrance to both the Winter Garden and the underground passage to the WTC. If anything, the sweeping curve under the staits would frame the new entrance space nicely, gently channeling users to the left and right of the Grand Stairs. Circulation benefits generated by the removal of the stairs would pale in comparison to the damage done by the removal of such a popular public amenity.

scumonkey
December 25th, 2010, 02:02 PM
Found myself here on Christmas eve (no tripod), but the sign post that says
"No Commercial Photography..." worked out just fine for a camera brace (how ironic).
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/more/wg.jpg

Merry
February 4th, 2011, 07:11 AM
Battery Park City's Winter Garden, Embassy Suites Redos Revealed!

February 3, 2011, by Sara Polsky

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/bpcwintergarden_2_11.jpg

Brookfield Properties has been making the tour of Battery Park City's various boards with ideas for its redesign of the World Financial Center's Winter Garden. On Monday, it was the Battery Park City Authority's turn, and Broadsheet Daily has this fresh rendering, plus some details. The redesign, which is set to start this year, will replace the much-loved staircase with five escalators and add an indoor food market, an outdoor, 700-seat dining area, and retail. Brookfield hopes the stores will bring all the locals to the Winter Garden, but especially given the community uproar over the staircase, it seems more likely the space will appeal mostly to the 45,000 commuters who will travel through it every day. So where will the community go instead?

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/conradrooftop2_11.jpg

Locals might turn to the upcoming Conrad Hotel, the Battery Park City Embassy Suites that Goldman Sachs is renovating to reopen by the end of this year. DNAinfo has a few renderings The green roof, above, where the building's chefs will grow herbs and veggies, might not mean much to the neighbors, but the ground-floor restaurants, which will including Blue Smoke, a Danny Meyer spot, Shake Shack, and Harry's Italian Pizza Bar, might be a good place to sit and reminisce about that staircase.

Brookfield Plans Revamp of World Financial Center (http://web.me.com/broadsheet/Broadsheet/Home/Entries/2011/2/3_February_3_2011.html) [Broadsheet Daily]
Goldman Sachs Unveils Plans for Battery Park City Luxury Hotel (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110202/downtown/goldman-sachs-unveils-plans-for-battery-park-city-luxury-hotel) [DNAinfo]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/02/03/battery_park_citys_winter_garden_embassy_suites_re dos_revealed.php#more

ZippyTheChimp
February 4th, 2011, 09:30 AM
Goldman Sachs owned hotel = fun.

Nah.

HoveringCheesecake
February 4th, 2011, 11:50 AM
4 out of 5 of Brookfield's options included the staircase, but they decided to go with the one that tears it down.

BiggieSmalls
February 16th, 2011, 10:42 PM
Of course CPC will hold up the pavilion design approval to get BP to keep the staircase.. hopefully they'll do a sensible redesign that wont delay any of the work terribly.
maybe not demoing the stairs will make up for time lost in a tasteful redesign of the entrance away from it's Apple IStore-esque current iteration.

-----------
http://web.me.com/broadsheet/Broadsheet/Home/Entries/2011/2/16_February_16_2011.html

Staircase Preservationists Step Up

Critics of Planned Demolition Voice Reservations

Opposition is beginning to coalesce around the proposal by Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center, to demolish the Grand Staircase within the Winter Garden. The plan, which Brookfield says is necessary to handle the large volume of pedestrian traffic that will pass through the Winter Garden each day once the West Street underpass (connecting the Winter Garden to the new World Trade Center complex and the many subway stations within) is completed and the Vesey Street bridge is demolished. But many resident and Downtown community leaders insist that a way should be found to handle this traffic without demolishing the stairs.



"The Grand Staircase has enormous practical and symbolic value," says Julie Menin, chair of Community Board 1 (CB1). "The practical value derives not only from the fact that thousands of people use it each day to move from one level of the World Financial Center to another, but also because the Staircase becomes a seating venue during cultural and performance events at the Winter Garden."



"The symbolic value," Ms. Menin continues, in a reference to the reconstruction of the Winter Garden's wreckage in the days after September 11, 2001, "comes from the fact that those Stairs are evidence not only of this community's willingness to rebuild, but its ability to do so, and to do it successfully. So there's an enormous iconic and emotional attachment to those Stairs."



Ms. Menin's sentiments are echoed by Roger Byrom, who chairs CB1's Landmarks Committee and is a leader among Lower Manhattan preservationists. "The stairs are a pretty important memorial for many of us," he says. "It's regrettable that Brookfield feels they should be removed. While we understand the need to make changes to accommodate more pedestrian traffic, we should be able to design around that. I would hope that the designers could come up with another solution."



Another skeptic about Brookfield's plan is Amanda Burden, the City's Planning Commissioner. In a June, 2010 letter to Brookfield chairman John Zuccotti, she noted, "removing the Stairs creates a substantial void.... [and] fails to creates a 'grand lobby' space." Her letter continues, "we think it highly questionable as to whether there is a compelling rationale for removing the stairs, which are used regularly, by a broad range of people throughout the day, seven days a week, in exchange for escalators which will only serve to move a select group of users to their destination more expeditiously during a few weekday morning hours." Her letter concludes, "in view of the above, we do not support removing the stairs without substitution of elements that would both fill and enliven the space, as well as provide public amenity."



Ms. Menin adds that, "it's not clear whether City Planning has any direct, legally mandated role in approving or blocking a plan like this." She observes, however, that Ms. Burden's letter to her mentions another component of Brookfield's plan, to build a glass entry pavilion outside the West Street facade of the Winter Garden, of which Ms. Burden writes, "the construction of the Entry Pavilion requires changes to an existing mapping agreement, which City Planning will likely review, and we view changes to the Winter Garden as directly tied to the new Pavilion and public areas."



Either way, Ms. Menin says, "our understanding is that the Battery Park City Authority's consent is required before a plan like this can be implemented. So our first priority is to engage in a dialog with the Authority, and urge them to get this plan modified in a way that preserves the stairs, or else withhold approval."



When Brookfield made a presentation before to the BPCA board in February, Gayle Horwitz, the Authority's president, responded to the proposal by saying that her staff would conduct and independent review of the plans to ascertain whether demolishing the Staircase was necessary.

brianac
February 22nd, 2011, 07:12 AM
Valentine Tango February 2011

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5057/5464024430_96983065b5_b.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/5464024430/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Merry
March 5th, 2011, 03:53 AM
Battery Park City Residents Fight to Save Beloved Winter Garden Staircase

Brookfield Properties plans to demolish the staircase to make way for a new pedestrian tunnel.

By Julie Shapiro

slide show (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110304/downtown/battery-park-city-residents-fight-save-beloved-winter-garden-staircase/slideshow/popup/63904)

BATTERY PARK CITY — The push to save the Grand Staircase in the World Financial Center is gaining momentum.

Residents are banding together to stop Brookfield Properties from demolishing the sweeping marble steps, which were rebuilt after 9/11 and have become a community gathering place.

"To take it away, to destroy it, destroys a lot of people who looked at [the stairs] as their rebuilding and their hope," said Justine Cuccia, a Battery Park City resident who recently started a group called Save the Staircase. "It's not going to be the same without it."

Brookfield Properties announced last year that the stairs would have to go to make way for a new underground passageway from the rebuilt World Trade Center into the World Financial Center Winter Garden. The thousands of commuters who flow into Battery Park City each day would hit the solid wall of the back of the stairs unless they are removed, Brookfield said.

"Brookfield is not doing this out of some evil motivation," said Lawrence Graham, a Brookfield vice president who defended the plans at a Community Board 1 meeting this week. "We built [the staircase], and we rebuilt it [after 9/11]. The steps are very emotional to us as well."

At Tuesday night's meeting, Graham tried to dispel some of the rumors that have been cropping up about Brookfield's plans.

Brookfield won't make any money on removing the stairs — it will cost them $25 million and will not yield any additional retail space, Graham said. Brookfield plans to add more seating to the Winter Garden once the stairs are gone and will continue to offer free arts programming there, he said. Also, the viewing platform at the top of the stairs that overlooks the World Trade Center site will remain in place.

"I don't know what else I can say," Graham told the residents. "As we get different ideas, we will look at them, but we have to move forward."

The Battery Park City Authority, which owns the land beneath the World Financial Center, has not yet approved Brookfield's plans. After hearing from concerned residents, the authority has hired a bevy of consultants, including engineers and traffic experts, to do an independent analysis, President Gayle Horwitz said.

"We're taking our time…to make sure we've turned over every stone," Horwitz said.

City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden also may have a say in the removal of the stairs.

Frank Scandiffio, a member of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union, attended Tuesday's meeting to say that the hundreds of union members who work in the World Financial Center oppose the removal of the staircase and would turn out en masse for future protests.

Linda Belfer, chairwoman of CB1's Battery Park City Committee, said that even though nearly 10 years have passed since 9/11, the memories are still fresh.

"A lot of us lost a lot on 9/11," Belfer told Graham, beginning to choke up. "I cling to those things that are still there."

Graham appeared moved and said he, too, had strong memories from 10 years ago. He was downtown on 9/11 and broke his foot the following day while going through the rubble. He then worked to rebuild the staircase for the community, a feat accomplished one year later.

"We didn't come to this proposal lightly," Graham said.

http://www.dnainfo.com/20110304/downtown/battery-park-city-residents-fight-save-beloved-winter-garden-staircase#ixzz1FiHKxTA5

londonlawyer
March 5th, 2011, 09:18 AM
Goldman Sachs owned hotel = fun.

Nah.

I disagree. Very rich people with hot babes and champagne sounds like a combination for fun to me.

ZippyTheChimp
March 5th, 2011, 09:46 AM
Do you work for GS?

londonlawyer
March 5th, 2011, 10:07 AM
I wish I were on the transactional side at GS. I'd have a Bently and would drink champagne like water. Sadly, I'm a lawyer.

futurecity
March 5th, 2011, 05:15 PM
Investment bankers are financial wizards with amazing fortitude, so I've read.

ZippyTheChimp
March 7th, 2011, 04:53 PM
4 out of 5 of Brookfield's options included the staircase, but they decided to go with the one that tears it down.

Broadsheet:
The plan, which Brookfield says is necessary to handle the large volume of pedestrian traffic that will pass through the Winter Garden each day once the West Street underpass (connecting the Winter Garden to the new World Trade Center complex and the many subway stations within) is completed and the Vesey Street bridge is demolished.

Has anyone seen the renovation options that leave the staircase?

Seems to me that there is a misconception about how the staircase would impede pedestrian flow because the only presentation is what now exists.

In reality, the biggest choke point would be the tunnel itself and the escalators. The entry glass wall will be gone, as will the two wing-walls that frame the doors.

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/5421/wintergarden01c.th.jpg (http://img26.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden01c.jpg/) http://img852.imageshack.us/img852/2522/wintergarden02c.th.jpg (http://img852.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden02c.jpg/) http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/7407/wintergarden03c.th.jpg (http://img51.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden03c.jpg/)

The walls aren't load bearing, except for the column encased in each. You can see them free standing in the Brookfield renderings, and at the mezzanine level.

http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/3589/wintergarden04c.th.jpg (http://img820.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden04c.jpg/)

The opening from the new pavilion to the Winter Garden will look more like this:
http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/7135/wintergarden05c.th.jpg (http://img822.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden05c.jpg/)

Much wider than the tunnel.

With some minor safety alterations at the top and bottom landings, new escalators can be placed here (and the other side).
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/4476/wintergarden06c.th.jpg (http://img849.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden06c.jpg/) http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/3287/wintergarden07c.th.jpg (http://img263.imageshack.us/i/wintergarden07c.jpg/)

lofter1
March 7th, 2011, 06:11 PM
There is plenty of room for people to pass through as it is now.

Think of how tight the viewing platform above will be (which Brookfield says will remain, even without the stairs). Plus it will look out onto the extended glass roof of the new box above the escalators.

It really seems like there had to be a better design option all around than what has been shown. Too bad Brookfield hasn't seen fit to show the other designs (if for no other reason than to present proof that what they say they are going to do is indeed the best way to go).

ZippyTheChimp
March 14th, 2011, 09:35 AM
Opposition to the removal of the staircase is picking up momentum.

While the issue is in the hands of BPCA, a grassroots campaign has been organized, a petition will be given to Community Board 1. If you agree that the staircase should remain, send an email to:

SaveTheStairs@gmail.com

Include your name and address.

lofter1
March 14th, 2011, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the link. Email in support of saving the stairs has been sent.

lofter1
March 24th, 2011, 11:05 AM
CB1, BPCA WEIGH PLANS TO DEMOLISH WFC STAIRCASE

Battery Park City Broadsheet (http://ebroadsheet.com/current.pdf) [pdf]
By Dianne Renzulli
March 19 - April 3, 2011

The Brookfield Plan:

12595

Similar Atrium Mall configurations:

12594

12593

In February, Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center, unveiled its redesign plan and confirmed rumors that it planned to remove the Winter Garden’s Grand Staircase. Although the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 alerted Brookfield to neighborhood concerns about the staircase several months ago, last week’s meeting brought Brookfield face to face with its grass roots opposition for the first time.

Members of the community have awakened to the fact that Brookfield seems prepared to do away with the staircase, and several of them are here tonight. In all of our conversations, I’ve told Brookfield that the staircase has a meaning to them emotionally, and finally this issue is being put on the table by the residents of this neigh-borhood,” said Linda Belfer, chair of CB1’s Battery Park City Committee.

The opposition group, known informally as “Save the Stairs” and led by Battery Park City resident Justine Cuccia, is putting together a petition, and hopes to have hun- dreds if not thousands of signatures in the near future. “For the people who lived here and came back, it’s a problem to change this staircase. Brookfield built that in a year after 9/11, and if you built that in a year, I could get up the next day. If you take it away, it destroys a lot of people who looked at that as their rebuild- ing and their hope,” she explained. People interested in contacting the group can reach them via e-mail at SaveTheStairs@gmail.com

Opposition to demolishing the staircase was further supported by Frank Scandiffio, a Union 32BJ representative, on behalf of the World Financial Center’s service employ- ees. He said the union has workers in the building who have been here 15 to 20 years, who feel strongly about removing the staircase, and who are prepared to come out in numbers to bolster residents’ efforts.

Executive Vice President of Brookfield Properties Larry Graham reiterated that Brookfield has exhausted all other options in planning for the daily traffic of people that will pass through the Winter Garden from the World Trade Center complex, once the East-West Connector (a pedestrian tunnel that will link the World Financial Center to the new World Trade Center com- plex) is completed and the Vesey Street bridge is demolished. “I think it’s important to remember that Brookfield isn’t doing this out of some evil motivation,” he said. “The staircase is important to us. We rebuilt it after Sept. 11th. The steps are very emotional to us as well. We only came to this after long study. We’re doing this to preserve the Winter Garden, for it to continue to be a place of refuge,” he said. He lent some emotional weight to his statement later in the meeting when he recounted how he had been at the World Financial Center on the day of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th, and had broken his foot on the rubble when he came back the next day.

Mr. Graham tried to address some concerns voiced by the community. First, Brookfield intends to restructure, not add to, the existing 180,000 square feet of retail space, and add 30 percent to the Winter Garden’s public space. Second, the arts and events program will continue to be funded by the organization. Third, all of the existing seating is going to stay, and additional seating is being added on the second level. Moreover, he said, an outside dining terrace will provide still more seating capacity for special events. Finally, the viewing platform of the World Trade Center site on the second level will stay. To further allay community concerns, Mr. Graham agreed to take CB1’s Battery Park City Committee, as well as its Landmark Committee members, on a walking tour of the World Financial Center to further clarify changes contemplated in its redesign.

Two clear-cut hurdles exist before Brookfield can begin work on removing the staircase. The Battery Park City Authority, which owns the land under the Brookfield complex and functions as its landlord, must approve any major changes made to the complex. Approval from the BPCA is contingent upon the results of its independent review of Brookfield’s plan, as Authority president Gayle Horwitz said a a recent meeting of the BPCA’s board. On the other hand, Brookfield’s design for an exterior pavilion, over the area where the East-West Connector surfaces between West Street and the Winter Garden’s entrance, has been modified and needs to be approved by the City’s Planning Board. Work on the pavilion could not begin until 2013, after the underpass is completed.

Ms. Horwitz at last Tuesday’s meeting of the BPC Committee that the City Planning Board’s authority over the staircase’s removal is ambiguous at present. “It’s a very interesting game of chicken. Everybody is waiting to see some of the information and I think what is going to happen is that we’re going to have to have some sort of final conversation [with City Planning and Brookfield],” she said. Later in the meeting, Ms. Horwitz agreed to a request from the chair of CB1’s Landmarks Committee, Roger Byrom, to allow his panel to review the BPCA’s independent study, once it is completed.

lofter1
April 26th, 2011, 09:10 AM
World Financial Center is on Facebook - tell Brookfield how you feel about destruction of the Stairs directly on their web-page!

The facebook page is:

World Financial Center (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/World-Financial-Center/132448846793859)

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/World-Financial-Center/132448846793859

A brief update, we have 1,500 signatures on the Petition and growing. Brookfield is holding firm - maintaining that the destruction of the Stairs is a necessary part of their rennovation of the Winter Garden and World Financial Center. Brookfiled explained during a walk-thru that they intend to bring in an "anchor store" which "MUST" be located in the retail space nearest where people enter the Winter Garden from the World Trade Center Tunnel. Brookfield further claims that additonal escalators must be added for safety reasons and, to accomodate the "anchor store", the escaltors need to be placed so that the Stairs have to be removed. I do not challenge the need for additional escalators, only the choice of where they "must" be placed. Moving the escalators will require giving up some of the "anchor store" retail space, which Brookfield does not want to do. Mind you, the retail space in question, has been empty for more than a decade!

I have made this explanation quite simple, but it is the gist of Brookfield's position. Saving the Stairs will not require a major overhaul of their plans. It will save Brookfiled money, I imagine, as it can not be cheap to destroy the Stairs. And keeping the stairs would maintain Brookfield's strong track record as a good corporate citizen and an upstanding neighbor to the Battery Park City and lower Manhattan community.

As always, thanks for your support!

ZippyTheChimp
April 26th, 2011, 12:54 PM
^
Well, there you go.

Brookfield continually stressed the point that the demolition of the stairs would not result in additional retail space. But in reality, it's still about retail, not pedestrian flow. Retailers are more willing to pay higher rent if the store has more visibility.

So get rid of the stairs; make the space a big cube.

Sherpa
April 26th, 2011, 04:17 PM
World Financial Center is on Facebook - tell Brookfield how you feel about destruction of the Stairs directly on their web-page!

The facebook page is:

World Financial Center (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/World-Financial-Center/132448846793859)

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/World-Financial-Center/132448846793859

A brief update, we have 1,500 signatures on the Petition and growing. Brookfield is holding firm - maintaining that the destruction of the Stairs is a necessary part of their rennovation of the Winter Garden and World Financial Center. Brookfiled explained during a walk-thru that they intend to bring in an "anchor store" which "MUST" be located in the retail space nearest where people enter the Winter Garden from the World Trade Center Tunnel. Brookfield further claims that additonal escalators must be added for safety reasons and, to accomodate the "anchor store", the escaltors need to be placed so that the Stairs have to be removed. I do not challenge the need for additional escalators, only the choice of where they "must" be placed. Moving the escalators will require giving up some of the "anchor store" retail space, which Brookfield does not want to do. Mind you, the retail space in question, has been empty for more than a decade!

I have made this explanation quite simple, but it is the gist of Brookfield's position. Saving the Stairs will not require a major overhaul of their plans. It will save Brookfiled money, I imagine, as it can not be cheap to destroy the Stairs. And keeping the stairs would maintain Brookfield's strong track record as a good corporate citizen and an upstanding neighbor to the Battery Park City and lower Manhattan community.

As always, thanks for your support!

Maybe if we take the angle that this was also a "Survivors' Staircase" on 9/11?

It is a vital piece of the history of that day.

HoveringCheesecake
April 26th, 2011, 11:12 PM
It'll be a real shame if this comes to pass. I'd help you guys with the fight if I lived there.

lofter1
May 3rd, 2011, 08:59 PM
From the Save the Stairs group ...

I wanted to share the e-mail invitation I received from the SEIU32bj Union about a small demonstration they have planned for tomorrow to Save the Stairs.

Jin Tai, from SEIU32bj Union, is the group that set up the web page www.savethestaircase.org or http://bit.ly/savethestaircase where you can go and send a letter to the Battery Park City Authority and our other elected officials, telling them how you feel about the Winter Garden Staircase.

Since the web page was set up yesterday, over 140 letters have been sent!! Add yours to the list.

If you are interested and able to join in the demonstration tomorrow afternoon, please come!

Tomorrow Brookfield will have its annual share-holders meeting starting at 2pm at 3 World Financial Center, 26th Floor. We’ll have about 30-50 members leafleting to have a small demo at all entrances toward 3 WFC at 1:20pm -2:00pm. We’ll arrive and gather people at 1:15pm at the corner of Vesey &West st. I wonder if any of you are interested in meeting us there at that time?

Hope to see you tomorrow - and at the least, please go to the web page www.savethestaircase.org or http://bit.ly/savethestaircase !

Have a nice evening!

Dan Kohn
May 4th, 2011, 04:49 PM
Sorry to be contrarian, but the essential part of the Winter Garden to me is the atrium, not the staircase. Here's the letter to the editor I wrote to the Broadsheet Daily last month:

To the editor,
While the Broadsheet Daily has featured several letters to the editor opposed to removing the staircase in the World Financial Center (WFC) Winter Garden, I wanted to make known my support of the proposed changes. I live just north of the WFC and both of my young boys practiced learning how to climb steps on that staircase. I always take visitors up the staircase to see the progress at Ground Zero.

However, Brookfield Property's justifications for removing the staircase seem quite reasonable to me. I am excited about their plans to integrate the WFC into the new World Trade Center complex. That requires that the East-West Connector under West Street both reliably carry tens of thousands of people a day, and that it be a pleasant experience. I'm particularly excited at the prospect of a direct connection from the WFC ferry dock all the way to the Calatravo PATH station and the 11 subway lines at the new Fulton Street Transit center.

The glass atrium of the Winter Garden creates a pleasant indoor space, especially during the windy winter months. But the marble interior has a dated 80's look and would benefit from a thorough remodel. I am particularly pleased to hear that Brookfield aims to significantly upgrade the quality of the dining options, in order to make the WFC more of a seven-day-a-week destination.

It's not surprising that hybrid public-private spaces like the Winter Garden create mixed feelings among the community and a resistance to change. But it is hardly the case that Brookfield is trying to remove public amenities. Instead, they have every incentive to make the WFC as attractive a destination as possible for residents, workers, and tourists. I support letting them go forward with their proposed changes.
Dan Kohn

stache
June 14th, 2011, 09:23 AM
This is from something called Boadsheet Daily -

As summer approaches, vendors south of the Winter Garden's palm court are preparing for their last warm-weather season in their present locations. Aside from Hallmark, sources say that Brookfield has asked SouthWest restaurant, Boomerang Toys, the Runners Shop, Ciao Bella Gelato, Add Accessories and Cobbler Express to leave at the end of September.

Karen Barwick, owner of Boomerang Toys, said "the guy I deal with is very nice about it but he says there's no space left upstairs to move into. He said Hallmark is supposed to move, but they're not even sure they can find a space for them. Everything from the palm trees back is going."


http://www.ebroadsheet.com/2010_PICS/wfc_1180.jpg


Godiva chocolates has closed



Retailers on the other side of the palm court (eShave, Sunglass Hut and Banana Republic) say they are planning to stay and have not heard otherwise. Godiva chocolates, one of the Winter Garden's original tenants, going back 20 years, closed this month.

Melissa Coley, vice president of investor relations and communications for Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center (WFC), said there has been "no additional word from government agencies about the WFC redevelopment plan. There will be additional store closings but we don't have the details just yet."

Brookfield has announced that it will be doing construction in the Winter Garden to prepare for the tunnel under West Street which will link the WFC to the World Trade Center site, in addition to adding a food market and dining space in the location where the current vendors south of the palm court are located.

Before Brookfield can proceed, it is waiting for feedback on its plan to demolish the Winter Garden staircase from the Battery Park City Authority and the New York City Department of City Planning.

The plan has sparked community opposition from residents, most notably Justine Cuccia, a resident of Battery Park City since 1997, whose petition "Save the Winter Garden Staircase" has collected more than 1,600 signatures.




text and photos Dianne Renzulli

lofter1
June 16th, 2011, 06:43 PM
I just got an email from Save the Stairs:

Folks,

I had to share the news ASAP - I am still waiting for specific details, but it appears that Brookfield has announced that the Stairs will be preserved despite the fact that they will be doing major rennovations in the WFC - scheduled to begin in October, 2011.

More to come, but I want to thank you all for your support! You all did it!


CURBED today (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/06/16/latest_vision_for_world_financial_center_renovatio n_revealed.php) has new images of the Brookfield food court / mall plan inlcuding this:


... the redo "incorporates the existing Winter Garden staircase," according to a Brookfield press release ...

Latest Vision for World Financial Center Renovation Revealed (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/06/16/latest_vision_for_world_financial_center_renovatio n_revealed.php)

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 07:33 PM
My neighbor sent me a text about this a little earlier. Cool.

I didn't want to raise any hopes, but opposition to the demolition had been getting strong over the last few weeks. At CB1 meeting in late May the union local that maintains the WFC came out against the demolition.

The extent of the renovation is a surprise, and that made it difficult for Brookfield to insist that removal of the staircase was about pedestrian flow from the east-west connector. It was always retail driven, and from a retail (their) perspective, demolition was the right choice.

That's why although Brookfield insisted that they couldn't continue with the renovation without removal of the staircase, now all you'll hear about is their great plan for the new space. Everything is fine.

HoveringCheesecake
June 16th, 2011, 09:35 PM
Huzzah! Nice work guys.

lofter1
June 16th, 2011, 10:22 PM
Proves that pushing back can be worth it.

stache
June 16th, 2011, 10:30 PM
I'm not going to touch that line.

londonlawyer
June 17th, 2011, 12:47 AM
I like how they're connecting BPC to the rest of downtown. When I lived there pre-9/11, it was isolated. With the newly reconfigured West St., it will not be isolated any more.

macreator
June 17th, 2011, 05:39 AM
I like how they're connecting BPC to the rest of downtown. When I lived there pre-9/11, it was isolated. With the newly reconfigured West St., it will not be isolated any more.

I'm of the same mind. It's fantastic that the stairway isn't disappearing but perhaps the most important part of the plan is the fact that WFC will actually be accessible to West Street with stores and a real sense of street rather than the old suburban-style lawns. The underground connection to the transit hub and the Fulton St. structure should also do a lot to attract more people to the WFC and waterfront.

arcman210
June 17th, 2011, 08:12 AM
This combined with the new WTC is going to be truly spectacular, and it's hard to imagine it without it's grand centerpiece... the stairs. A nice job by them.

NYatKNIGHT
June 17th, 2011, 10:41 AM
Now lets get those save the stairs people on removing the $20 entrance fee at the memorial museum, they're on a roll.

ZippyTheChimp
July 7th, 2011, 02:07 PM
Retail Told to Hightail It Out of World Financial Center

http://web.me.com/broadsheet/Broadsheet/Home/Entries/2011/7/7_July_7,_2011_files/shapeimage_1.png
The southern corridor of the World Financial Center where more stores will be closing.

The departure in May of Godiva Chocolates from the Winter Garden was a wake-up call for retailers in the south corridor of the World Financial Center (WFC), which stretches from the Winter Garden to the Liberty Street lobby of One WFC. When Brookfield Properties formally announced in June its redesign plan, the September closing of stores south of the Winter Garden became disturbingly real for customers and employees of the stores. The space will eventually become a food market and dining destination, while retail space (presumably with new tenants) is slated to move elsewhere in the WFC complex. But many of these long-time retail tenants are trying to find new homes close to the community, or hoping that space may become available for them elsewhere in the WFC.

Abraham Merchant, owner of SouthWest NY, has operated his restaurant in the WFC since 1999, and would like to remain Downtown. He wrote in a recent letter that "management is actively negotiating with several parties to lease a nearby location where a new SouthWest NY restaurant can open and continue to serve our loyal guests." He intends to issue a statement when this has been finalized.

Urban Athletics is expecting to move to new quarters Downtown, unless something opens up in the WFC. The store, which survived 9/11 and has done business in its current location for 16 years, is owned by Battery Park City residents Cara and Jerry Macari. "It was a long comeback trail. We had to make new residential and tenant relationships and build ourselves back up. Now we're doing well and we'd like to recoup the loss of some of the recession years," said Ms. Macari. "Plus it's sad to leave. We've watched kids grow up over 16 years. Our business is based on relationships, so our goal is to stay as close to the community as possible."

"We've had very supportive tenant partners here," she added. Most recently, from spring to the middle of June, Urban Athletics ran a promotion with American Express (AMEX) that involved weekly training stops at the shop by members of AMEX's 900-member Corporate Challenge team. "They would meet here, drop their bags and go run, and then we'd have a post-run event, like with Adidas," said Ms. Macari.

Karen Barwick, owner of Boomerang Toys, said "we are very sad to be leaving the World Financial Center and we hope to be back in 2013. In the meantime we do have another location in Tribeca, less than a ten-minute walk from our WFC shop." That store is at 119 West Broadway (between Duane and Reade Streets). "We really appreciate our loyal customers and hope they will continue to patronize Boomerang Toys in Tribeca." She added that for those that are not able to get to Tribeca, Boomerang also sells toys online

Four other retailers facing displacement are not actively seeking new locations. Cobbler Express Shoe Shine is expecting to operate upstairs in one of the WFC's open hallways for the foreseeable future. Ciao Gelato expects to close in September. The chain has several locations in the City, the closest of which is at 285 Mott Street, along with a larger store in Grand Central Terminal that offers crepes and coffee, as well as ice cream. Add Accessories and Hallmark are waiting to hear back about space availability on the second floor. Add Accessories has another location in Soho, at 461 West Broadway. Hallmark's closest locations are at Seven Hanover Square and 140 Church Street.


Dianne Renzulli
photo by Robert Simko

Robert Simko, Publisher
Broadsheet Daily
robert@ebroadsheet.com 212-912-1106



* The southern retail corridor runs from the Winter Garden to the lobby of 2WFC, not 1WFC.

lofter1
July 10th, 2011, 11:12 AM
One thing at the WFC that could use addressing is the big loading entrance along West Street, next to where the new pedestrian pavilion will go in.

Probably it would be cost prohibitive, but it would be good if they could sink the entry and somehow deck over that area just outside the building so there would be a continuous & clear pedestrian area between the WFC and West Street ...

.13551

stache
July 10th, 2011, 11:37 AM
Goldman Sachs would start whining that it is a terrorist threat. :rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
July 10th, 2011, 04:52 PM
To sink the driveway, they would have to breach the seawall; it would be the same procedure as the tunnel/pavilion.

The permanent walkway will run next to the bikeway, in front of the pavilion, so the freight entrance will be like a street crosswalk.

mariab
July 11th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Food courts & restaurants are fine, but if they want more than just WFC employees to visit the retails, it isn't wise to separate the retail from the food with too much distance.

ZippyTheChimp
July 12th, 2011, 10:46 AM
It looks like they're moving restaurants out of the Courtyard, which will become two-level retail. The upper level was designed for exhibits, but never got much use. I think PJ Clarke is the only restaurant that will remain north of the Winter Garden, maybe also Starbucks.

lofter1
July 27th, 2011, 02:41 PM
One thing at the WFC that could use addressing is the big loading entrance along West Street, next to where the new pedestrian pavilion will go in.

Probably it would be cost prohibitive, but it would be good if they could sink the entry and somehow deck over that area just outside the building so there would be a continuous & clear pedestrian area between the WFC and West Street ...

13551






To sink the driveway, they would have to breach the seawall...


Yesterday I noticed that they are digging a major ramp / trench along the western side of where the seawall lines West Street, starting from a point just north of Liberty Street and running on a decline towards the WFC loading dock. Perhaps they've figured out a way to get loading entry away from West Street across from the Memorial and move it out of the way, hopefully with a covered area outside and south of the Winter Garden. It could also open up the base of 2WFC for more advantageous use.

Here's how that area looks today on the webcam (in the photo at my post above from 2 weeks ago there's no indication of digging having started) ...

13681

Here's what I was able to shoot of the work yesterday ...

13682

13683

13684

13685

ZippyTheChimp
July 27th, 2011, 03:11 PM
^
I thought that's what it might be when they began digging months ago. But then I realized there would be problems.

First of all, it doesn't solve the original problem, just moves it, and maybe makes it worse. With a ramp running north-south, more of the area is blocked from pedestrians. And you're still going to have to cross the pedestrian walkway.

The present location with a long road allows trucks to exit and enter West St smoothly.

It's narrow, and large trucks would have a difficult time turning into the building.

There's a separate project to repair the seawall that began before 09/11. I think the ramp is part of it.

Merry
August 17th, 2011, 06:41 AM
Sitting Pretty


Brookfield will preserve the World Financial Center's Grand Staircase designed by Cesar Pelli.

Tom Stoelker

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/image/pelli_stairs_02.jpg

After facing substantial opposition from community leaders and local politicians, Brookfield Properties backed away from a plan to demolish the Cesar Pelli-designed Grand Staircase in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center (WFC). For years, the stairs conjured the money and power of the go-go ’80s. In “Bonfire of the Vanities,” the opening scene’s long tracking shot culminates in Bruce Willis’ master-of-the-universe moment at the top of the stairs. But after 9/11, their communal aspect became more important. “It was always a town square,” Community Board 1 chair Julie Menin said of the Garden. “The stairs were a central meeting spot. We were delighted they were saved, because they serve both practical and symbolic purposes from before 9/11 and after.”

Brookfield has now unveiled a $250 million plan for high-end retail and restaurants by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects that includes revamping most of the West Street facade while keeping the stairs intact. The initial reasons for demolishing the stairs involved congested traffic flow behind the stairs and an obsolete purpose. With the original World Trade Center, the towers’ raised platform led to a bridge across West Street directing pedestrian traffic to WFC’s lobby level, making the lobby levels of both complexes about two stories above street level. With the new World Trade Center now at street level the Grand Staircase will no longer serve that connecting function.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/pelli_stairs_01.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/pelli_stairs_01.jpg)

The challenge is to accommodate nearly 35,000 rush hour commuters, most of them office workers on their way from underground transit to second floor lobbies. Thrown into that mix will be thousands of shoppers and tourists. Back in 2002, Brookfield spent $50 million to restore the garden and staircase. Craig Copeland was a team leader for PCP at the time and remembers a debate focused on how to handle the West Street facade, which overlooked the massive cleanup and rebuilding effort. “We had to ask, ‘Are we going to shutter the building or open it up?’”

Embracing new technologies, the team designed a glass wall and balcony overlooking the construction site at the top of the stairs. Today, thousands visit. “We anticipated it would be popular but that wasn’t our motivation,” said Copeland. “It was a way to connect back to the city.” It’s a concept that honors the new holistic vision of downtown. Or, as City Planning commissioner Amanda Burden put it: “The ‘back’ of the World Financial Center should look like a front.”

In the new PCP design, the balcony will also stay, but a generous pavilion will jut out east toward West Street, overlooking Memorial Plaza. The design anticipates a retail tenant for the area beneath the staircase, perhaps a café. The space is prime as it will be the first thing commuters see when they enter the pavilion from underground transportation. Six elevators connecting to transit will run beneath West Street and emerge in the pavilion’s center. From there, two retail-lined corridors wrap around the Grand Staircase for access to the Winter Garden. Changes inside will result from editing: two muddy-rose colored marble walls flanking the stairs on the first floor will be eliminated in favor of glass to give visitors a glimpse of daylight as they pass through. Construction begins in October with completion expected in 2013.

http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5555

germantower
August 17th, 2011, 08:23 AM
GOOD NEWS

I love the stairs. Good to know they'll keep them. Thx for posting this article Merry.

ZippyTheChimp
August 20th, 2013, 06:37 PM
The neighborhood had been in a panic last week. An article in the Tribeca Citizen was titled:


Palmicide at the Winter Garden

Brookfield was cutting down the palm trees.

Three years ago, I posted these:

http://imageshack.us/a/img546/4608/c0lg.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img22/1001/w3jq.jpg

The trees were outgrowing their house.

8/12 - 8/23/13: Palm Trees Replacement (http://brookfieldplaceny.com/content/8_12_8_23_13_palm_trees_replacement_project-37863.html)

stache
August 21st, 2013, 01:41 AM
Odd, they just replaced all of them after 9/11.

lofter1
August 21st, 2013, 12:16 PM
They grew fast over the past 10 years. Lots of light + ample water = big plants.

ZippyTheChimp
August 21st, 2013, 04:00 PM
They were replaced in the 1990s.

stache
August 21st, 2013, 06:16 PM
So they replace them every ten years?

BiggieSmalls
August 24th, 2013, 10:46 AM
it's really a shame they didn't develop a better roof design for the entrance/exit to the east west connector. I like the "birds nest" columns but the flat roof just doesn't compliment the winter garden roof at all. Some kind of dome would have tied the two together visually.

17552

stache
August 24th, 2013, 04:52 PM
Plus it's off center.

ZippyTheChimp
September 7th, 2013, 10:18 AM
New palm trees.

http://imageshack.us/a/img822/9098/9itj.jpg

35 feet tall, same height as the previous group that was planted in 2002. They grew as high as the black support columns.

Enigmatism415
March 31st, 2015, 07:59 PM
Plus it's off center.

Only as much as the north bridge was. They preserved the original angle.

Enigmatism415
March 31st, 2015, 08:31 PM
In order to restore the original purpose of the grand staircase, I propose that the two (or ideally four) center escalators be extended to the second floor. A third half-height lattice column would be used for support, forming an equilateral triangle of baskets. This would finally allow workers to reach their offices without having to weave through the mall and find one of the few narrow escalators available to take them upstairs.

McGraw-Hill Construction put out a great article with even greater design diagrams: http://continuingeducation.construction.com/article_print.php?L=358&C=1256

I modified one to illustrate my idea:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15757362/escalator_extension.png

ZippyTheChimp
April 1st, 2015, 12:25 PM
Kills the view. There are multiple entries into the complex.

Less intrusive would be to double up the existing elevators at the west side of the Wintergarden. There's room on the other side of the columns. This would also address what I think is the more serious traffic problem - workers on lunch wanting to cross to Hudson Eats.

Enigmatism415
April 1st, 2015, 02:30 PM
Kills the view.

For whom? First of all, for those standing on the second floor overlook, there arguably isn't much of a (unique) view to begin with, unless you're fond of the fortress-like base of 1WTC. That being said, those who like this view wouldn't lose it anyway; they'd merely be forced to stand away from the overlook's centered escalator landings. Second of all, for those standing in the entry pavilion (less likely, as they are mostly on the move), the two-escalator option would leave the view of the baskets mostly unobstructed, and not even the four-escalator option would hide much of them. Finally, for those looking into the entry pavilion from the outside, the baskets would be invariably visible.

The view aside, as we both well know, the original logic behind Winter Garden was to direct the massive WTC/MTA/PATH traffic into the WFC, with the grand staircase acting as the main point of descent down to the lower shopping level.

It is true that in 2015 and beyond, more of the patrons and visitors will be local residents than ever before. Even so, I still believe that the majority of the foot-traffic will once again mimic the patterns seen before 9/11; the bulk of the traffic will originate from the WTC, and by extension the PATH and MTA (now including the Fulton Center as well). In light of this reality, I think it makes sense to restore, at least in part, the benefits of the north bridge. As I've stated previously, workers who commute via MTA and PATH will almost certainly access the WFC via the WTC concourse as they had before 9/11, and the elevator banks of each tower are located on the second floor without exception (hence the current necessesity of navigating the first floor retail complex and bottlenecking into the few available narrow escalators, only to backtrack east to the elevator banks, if they don't want to hike up the grand staircase). Workers aside, WTC and Fulton Center shoppers could make use of the option to access the second floor directly, while still having the option to access the first floor directly instead.

I think we can both agree that access to the second level needs to be improved; we perhaps just disagree on how. I think it would be nice to give that grand staircase a purpose once more.


There are multiple entries into the complex.

Which is great for those arriving by foot, bicycle, car, bus, or taxi. They have many options. Subway riders and WTC/FC shoppers have far fewer (without detouring).



Less intrusive would be to double up the existing elevators at the west side of the Wintergarden. There's room on the other side of the columns. This would also address what I think is the more serious traffic problem - workers on lunch wanting to cross to Hudson Eats.

Aren't the workers already coming from the second floor elevator banks? Why would a lift from the first level help them if they're already on the same level as Hudson Eats? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.

ZippyTheChimp
April 1st, 2015, 03:40 PM
For whom?For whoever likes the view.


First of all, for those standing on the second floor overlook, there arguably isn't much of a (unique) view to begin with, unless you're fond of the fortress-like base of 1WTC.You don't get to decide for others whether they like the view or not.


The view aside, as we both well know, the original logic behind Winter Garden was to direct the massive WTC/MTA/PATH traffic into the WFC, with the grand staircase acting as the main point of descent down to the lower shopping level.The original WFC, and its relationship to West St and the WTC, has drastically changed. Pedestrian traffic along the east side of the complex is being encouraged. There will be a surface crosswalk at West and Fulton Sts.


foot-traffic will once again mimic the patterns seen before 9/11; the bulk of the traffic will originate from the WTC, and by extension the PATH and MTA (now including the Fulton Center as well). In light of this reality, I think it makes sense to restore, at least in part, the benefits of the north bridge.I've lived here since before the north bridge was built, and the foot traffic has always been mixed. A lot of commuters simply crossed at Vesey St and entered their respective buildings directly. As I mentioned previously, there will be an additional crossing at Fulton St.

A lot of workers enter via ferry.


I think we can both agree that access to the second level needs to be improved; we perhaps just disagree on how. I think it would be nice to give that grand staircase a purpose once more.I offered a simpler, less intrusive option for doubling escalator capacity. What do you think of it?

I sense all of this is less about traffic flow, and more to restore some lost purpose to the staircase.

It's a staircase. It can be used to go up and down and not interfere with other purposes. It might benefit some of us chubby Americans to schlepp up and down stairs once in a while. Ironic that there's an Equinox at the top of the staircase.


which is great for those arriving by foot, bicycle, car, bus, or taxi. They have many options. Subway riders and WTC/FC shoppers have far fewer (without detouring).A major route of subway commuters is down Liberty St, an cross either at surface or via the south bridge.


Aren't the workers already coming from the second floor elevator banks? Why would a lift from the first level help them if they're already on the same level as Hudson Eats? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.Have you spent significant time in the Wintergarden? It's a long way around for people working in the Vesey Sy buildings to get to the other side (Yes, I'm being sarcastic). They'd rather ride down one escalator and up the other. These people usually end up paying Equinox.

Sorry, I don't see any level of problem that would necessitate compromising the pavilion.

Enigmatism415
April 2nd, 2015, 02:48 PM
Okay, I see what you're saying, but the Pavilion's view from the second floor simply would not be obstructed. If you stand on that overlook and imagine two or even four escalators descending to meet the existing ones, how has your view of the baskets, glass, or WTC changed? Only part of the floor below you is blocked from view. I concede that in times of high foot-traffic, you would have to step a few feet away from the escalators, but the difference is infinitesimal. Similarly, if you look into the pavilion from the outside, you can still see everything there is to see in it. What it would partially block is the view of the shops beneath the stairs, I concede that. Are workers so lazy that they'd rather go down and up just to avoid rounding the curve? If so, then wow; the space isn't that big.

If I'm understanding you correctly, train commuters (whether PATH or MTA) will opt to take a route other than the west concourse to reach the WFC? This seems rather odd. Certainly in harsh weather, most would rather stay indoors. Even in beautiful weather, it is the shortest possible route, and you don't have to wait for annoying West Street traffic lights.


Less intrusive would be to double up the existing elevators at the west side of the Wintergarden. There's room on the other side of the columns.

I offered a simpler, less intrusive option for doubling escalator capacity. What do you think of it?

Which do you mean? I'm not aware of any elevators on the west side of Winter Garden. If you meant escalators, then I'm not sure where they would go, or to which columns you're referring. Could you help me visualize this arrangement? The escalators should perhaps be replaced with wider ones as well if possible.

ZippyTheChimp
April 2nd, 2015, 07:24 PM
Okay, I see what you're saying, but the Pavilion's view from the second floor simply would not be obstructed.Rather than trying to quantify how much or little the view would be compromised, just consider if the pavilion space would would be diminished at all with the addition of escalators to the second floor. I think so, and the problem, if it exists at all, isn't worth do it.


Are workers so lazy that they'd rather go down and up just to avoid rounding the curve? If so, then wow; the space isn't that big.

If I'm understanding you correctly, train commuters (whether PATH or MTA) will opt to take a route other than the west concourse to reach the WFC?

This seems rather odd. Certainly in harsh weather, most would rather stay indoors. Even in beautiful weather, it is the shortest possible route, and you don't have to wait for annoying West Street traffic lights.ML was one of my clients in the 1990s (also another in the north tower). I worked there for five years. I can't tell you why it happens, but I've observed this behavior. After riding on a train and on their way to a desk inside, some people may just want to walk outside.

Workers in towers 2 and 3 that take the underground passage can go outside at the pavilion and access their building directly.


Which do you mean? I'm not aware of any elevators on the west side of Winter Garden. If you meant escalators, then I'm not sure where they would go, or to which columns you're referring. Could you help me visualize this arrangement? The escalators should perhaps be replaced with wider ones as well if possible.Sorry, my mistake. I meant escalators.

https://pammysueanddave.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/0930-img_0760c.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nLR8YG-FvWE/UkI9SNoSkZI/AAAAAAAAdLs/CELVA4ju8es/s1600/DSC_0153.JPG

The existing escalators are between the exit doors and the support columns. There is room for another pair on the opposite side of the columns. It would visually compromise the passageway (grey construction wall 2nd photo), but not impede movement. I'm sure Brookfield didn't want to to that.

The narrow escalators in the old courtyard have been replaced by double-width, and there are two staircases at the Vesey St entrance.

I'm confused about the staircase. From what I can see, it's hardly been altered at all, and people around here are happy about that.

Enigmatism415
April 3rd, 2015, 12:18 AM
I see. Well, adding escalators there would require the demolition of a part of the second floor balcony area, and as you mentioned, it would narrow the entrance of Le District (not as big of a deal), but more importantly, it would narrow the entrance of the northern corridor leading to the courtyard, which is a crucial connection point.

I'm already iffy about Brookfield demolishing the eastern balcony areas (although I understand why they chose to), so the prospect of demolishing more of it on the western side just doesn't leave a good taste in my mouth.

ZippyTheChimp
April 3rd, 2015, 11:44 AM
The entrance would not be narrowed at floor level, but the upper section of the escalator would visually block part of the view.

Although Brookfield was smart enough not to present it in this manner, sight lines were the real reason they wanted to demolish the staircase. They knew this would be poison for public opinion, so they chose to frame it as a pedestrian flow problem. If there was a proble, then someone had to do a study, and there should have been a report. It was never released, and in my opinion, fabricated. Even when they announced that the staircase would be retained, there was a vague remark that some parts would be altered for views to the back (river side) of the Wintergarden. (see Lofter's vomitorium).


I'm already iffy about Brookfield demolishing the eastern balcony areasGo here (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25200&page=11&p=455126&viewfull=1#post455126)

Enigmatism415
April 4th, 2015, 09:07 AM
Even when they announced that the staircase would be retained, there was a vague remark that some parts would be altered for views to the back (river side) of the Wintergarden. (see Lofter's vomitorium).

The alteration is a small one. They simply removed the two marble walls connecting the upper and lower halves of the staircase, and replaced them with glass ones to very slightly improve the view. No big deal there.

meesalikeu
August 31st, 2016, 12:04 PM
the big change is that its hopping busy at all times now with people taking out from le district food hall.

it used to be dead quiet in there, with nothing to do and it was always full of homeless people.