View Full Version : Libeskind Presentation - Community Board 1 meeting

April 1st, 2003, 05:31 PM
I'll quote from a CB1 newsletter I receive:

"Daniel Libeskind will be presenting his plan for the World Trade Center to Community Board 1 on Monday, April 14. The meeting will take place at 6PM at 250 Broadway, 19th floor, Assembly Hearing Room. Members of the public (with photo identification) are welcome to attend."

April 1st, 2003, 06:08 PM
19th floor....for the view alone. 250 Broadway is north of Woolworth if Im not mistaken.

April 1st, 2003, 06:21 PM
One block north - but no windows in Hearing Room. State offices, so wandering around is not encouraged.

NyC MaNiAc
April 1st, 2003, 10:49 PM
Somebody please attend so we can hear what Libeskind has planned for us...Modifications, perhaps?

April 2nd, 2003, 07:43 AM
The modifications probably won't concern the office towers.

April 2nd, 2003, 03:48 PM
Anyone going? I'd like to, but it may be hard.....we'll see.

April 2nd, 2003, 06:07 PM
I hope to go. If I do, it means my tax return is done. :)

NyC MaNiAc
April 2nd, 2003, 08:54 PM
LoL, Zippy, April 15th just always creeps up on us each year, dosn't it?

April 15th, 2003, 06:41 AM
Turbo Tax comes through again.

I've attended several CB1 meetings, and they are usually sparsely attended. Last night the room was packed.

Not much information came out that is not already known. The CB1 members get to ask questions first, and no one questioned the buildings heights. There were some questions of massing along Church St, but most concerned street level details, access around the site and through the memorial, and retail. Particular emphasis was given to the SW corner of the site.

There was a question about the size of the public spaces. Libeskind's wife (I was impressed with her ability to answer questions with direct technical information) said that it may be hard to visualize from the site plan, but the wedge of light is about 2 acres.

There was a short slide presentation in which several new street perspectives were shown. I couln't find them online, but I'm sure they'll be available.

One thing i remember that may be telling of Libeskind's political savvy. The slide presentation was projected on a side wall, among the audience. When questions were being asked, Wils asked Libeskind if he would like to come up to the dais, and he said something like, "No, I'm quite comfortable right here."

April 15th, 2003, 08:09 AM
Did the new renderings look any better?

April 15th, 2003, 02:05 PM
I don't think better is the right word. It's just more imformation.

They were all street-level views. One south on Church, north on Greenwich, east and west on Fulton, looking out from the
museum entrance. In the Fulton view, the scale of the transportation center is clearly shown.

April 15th, 2003, 04:01 PM
Of course, he's focusing on the street level.
He was probably selected mainly for that part of his work.

April 15th, 2003, 06:11 PM
That's probably true, but at any rate, it was the CB that drove the discussion, and except for one person in the audience connected with the CB (a pain in the ass), no questions about height were asked. This guy asked about a lower symbolic date than 1776, and suggested 1492.

Libeskind did mention the importance of keeping the spiral effect of the building heights.

One interesting development I forgot: He said he was moving his family to lower Manhattan.

April 15th, 2003, 09:23 PM
An article from Downtown Express....

At a Community Board 1 meeting April 14, Libeskind said designers of the memorial for the victims of the Sept. 11 attack would be free to build pedestrian bridges over the 4.7-acre sunken memorial area he proposes in the design.

"One competitor might envision 1,000 bridges," the architect said at the forum.

Some residents and others have said it would be difficult to walk through the site particularly from the southwest corner at West and Liberty Sts. A few weeks ago, Libeskind said a pedestrian would save only two minutes if there was a diagonal walkway from the southwest corner to the transit center at the northeast end of the site and the two minutes did not seem worth losing the views of the memorial and the bathtub slurry wall.

Madelyn Wils, C.B. 1 chairperson and a member of the board of directors of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., said she was happy to hear Libeskind's remarks. "I'm satisfied he heard the community concerns," Wils said after the meeting.

The meeting comes a few days after the L.M.D.C. announced the 13-member jury to select the memorial and that the design guidelines will be released April 28. The jury includes Maya Lin, best-known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. as a 21-year-old architecture student.

Lin would have barely met one of the only requirements in the W.T.C. memorial - that the applicants be at least 18. It will cost $25 to enter and details will be at wtcsitememorial.org starting April 28.

Applicants will have until May 29 to register. Between June 9 and June 30, the L.M.D.C. will accept boards of 30 x 40 inches depicting each proposal. Sometime in late August or early September the jury will narrow the choices down to between three and five finalists, who will be given a stipend and asked to make revisions. A series of public forums will be held to take comments on the proposals. By late October or early November a final design will be selected. The jury members are:

Paula Grant Berry, whose husband David Berry was killed in the South Tower. She has served on the L.M.D.C. Families Advisory Council and has worked as an executive in publishing and marketing at Doubleday, the Economist and Newsweek.

Susan Freedman, who is president of the Public Art Fund. She serves on the board of several cultural institutions including the Museum of Modern Art.

Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and the former president of Brown University. He was also president of the New York Public Library from 1981 -1989 and is the author of "Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946."

Patricia Harris, deputy mayor for administration in New York City. She managed Bloomberg LP's corporate communications department, before Mayor Mike Bloomberg took her with him when he became mayor.

Maya Lin, who in addition to the veterans' memorial has also designed the Civil Rights memorial in Montgomery, Al. She is currently working on a chapel for the Children's Defense Fund, a 20,000-square-foot bakery for the Greystone Foundation in Yonkers and several art installations around the country.

Michael McKeon, managing director of Mercury Public Affairs. He was Gov. George Pataki's chief spokesperson before, during and after the Sept. 11 attacks and helped plan the Sept. 11 anniversary ceremonies last year. He was also a reporter at several papers in New York.

Julie Menin, the founder and president of Wall Street Rising, a Downtown business group founded after 9/11. The group has organized several projects including Art Downtown, an exhibit which included many of the world's most famous contemporary artists. Menin owns Vine Restaurant on Broad St. and lives in Lower Manhattan. She said "it was so important to have someone who lives or works Downtown on the jury." She said she has begun setting up meetings with Downtown groups to hear their views on the memorial.

Enrique Norten founded Taller Enrique Norten Arquictectos, S.C. He has won many architecture awards and currently teaches architecture at the University of Penn. The Brooklyn Public Library selected him to design its Visual and Performing Arts Library. He has served on may design juries.

Martin Puryear, an artist who won the MacArthur Foundation Grant. He recently completed a large, stainless steel sculpture for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Nancy Rosen, who has chaired the Art in Public Places grants panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. She founded Nancy Rosen Incorporated, which worked on the first phase of the public art program in Battery Park City.

Lowery Stokes Sims, executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Prior to joining the museum in 2000, she was curator of modern art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Michael Van Valkenburgh, who founded his own landscape architecture award and lives in the Village. He has won several architecture awards and his projects include Allegheny Riverfront Park.

James Young, professor and chairperson of the dept. of Judaic & Near Eastern Studies at the University of Mass. He is the author of "At Memory's Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture."

In addition, David Rockefeller, the former head of Chase Manhattan Bank, will serve as an honorary member of the jury. Rockefeller was one of the most important advocates for the construction of the World Trade Center and also built Chase Plaza in Lower Manhattan during the fiscal crisis in the 1970s.

Monica Iken, whose husband was killed in the attacks, said she would have liked to see more people from other countries on the jury. "We can't just have people from New York," she said "There's 91 other countries" that lost people in the attack.

Iken said the L.M.D.C. made the right decision by not honoring the people killed rescuing others differently. "We're all equal," she said. "My husband I know was saving someone else and he wasn't a fireman. It should be one memorial."

Retired firefighter John Finucane, who came to last week's L.M.D.C. meeting with several firefighters in uniform said the firefighters and other rescue workers who died should be recognized at the memorial. He said as the years go on, "people will have no idea who those brave New Yorkers were."

Tom Johnson, the only L.M.D.C. board member who lost a relative in the attack, said the museum will be the place to tell the heroic stories and put it all in context, not the memorial. "There needs to be one memorial and no hierarchies of victims," he said.

April 15th, 2003, 10:18 PM
There's something else about the CB1 meeting I want to bring to people's attention. During the hearing, some Twin Towers fanatic named Tal B tried to speak out to Libeskind without raising his hand during the meeting. Everyone (including pro-Twin Tower activists) told him to sit down. He had developed a reputation for launching endless tirades about all kinds of annoying stuff about Israel, rebuilding, his hatred of everything, and so on, both in meetings, rallies, and message boards.

This explains why he was kicked out of Wired New York a week after he entered, launching into his usual tirades and starting heated squabbles. He had also been banned from the pro-Twin Towers NYC Skyline message board two days before because of his confrontational atitude, inconsiderate disregard for other people in that board, and endless tirades about Israel and stuff like that.

At the end of the meeting, a Team Twin Towers activist took Tal to one side and told him bluntly that he had been kicked out of the Twin Towers rebuilding movement. Tal left the building mumbling to himself. So now at least one group in the rebuilding process for the WTC has shed its bad apples. What about the NIMBY side?

(Edited by Agglomeration at 10:21 pm on April 15, 2003)

April 16th, 2003, 11:22 AM
I went to this meeting too.

One lady asked why they didn't consider building taller since there were concerns about open space and fitting all the required office, commercial, and retail space - and also restoring our skyline. There were some claps around the room. Libeskind's soft reply was something like "yes, we have heard people with that opinion". She went over to him afterward and asked for an answer, I went over to eavesdrop. When further pressed, he said he wasn't going to design two huge monolithic towers, and I got the feeling that he has no desire to build any taller than what his plans currently show.

The spiral design of the proposed towers also came up a few times. It seems to be a definite component of his design - in other words, he didn't entertain the thought that these towers may be any height. He says it echoes the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

He didn't go into much detail about the 1776 tower except that it will be used for telecommunications. I still don't understand the position of that guy who suggested he choose another significant date with a lower number, what an ass. I wanted so bad to stand up and suggest 2001, but that would be like Tal B. (I saw him there too, but don't recall him speaking out, just muttering to himself).

Like Zippy said, he went into greater detail about the street level.
That thing just above the right footprint is a waterfall.

Photo posted by JMGarcia: the waterfall is in blue to the right of the footprint.

He said it was a buffer for street noise along Greenwich St. and also a physical buffer.

Libeskind also elaborated on the other public spaces. The "gallaria" will be a glass covered pedestrian extension of Cortland Street. The Wedge of Light area could be lively public open space. Liberty Street is widened and more park-like. The debate about whether or not to put West Street in a short tunnel was left wide open.

April 16th, 2003, 11:55 AM
I wonder if he has any intention of modifying his plans to accomodate the memorial competition. *It's one thing to design for insulation from street noise, but that thing he has there now would overwhelm any future memorial. *I like the waterfall idea, though, a great way to filter out the street noise.

April 16th, 2003, 12:03 PM
I've always been surprised that no one has ever complained about how the museum is slung across the footprints, especially the north one.

As far as building height goes, I've always been pretty certain that the spiraling heights of the buildings would pretty much be kept. This is not a "twin tower" design and never was meant to be. The whole spiral plan makes the height of the office portion of the Garden Tower extremely important as it will set the uppermost limit of the other towers which much spiral downward. It's extremely important that it be tall enough so that the other towers still can be taller than 1 Liberty while spiralling lower in height.

Libeskind is pretty well trapped by those that are paying his fee (the PA) and those that will pay for building the towers (Silverstein) into what height and size they end up as.

April 16th, 2003, 02:26 PM
Yes, those submitting a memorial idea for the design competition are burdened with overhanging museums, giant waterfalls, and exposed slurry walls. So much for a "soaring memorial" as Giuliani envisioned, but then again these elements might be fantastic. The more I see Libeskind's plan the more I like it.

Those BPC residents who were concerned about access were mostly concerned with the southwest corner. The way I see it, from the southwest corner all you have to do is walk up Liberty Street and hang a left on Greenwich to access the transportation. Barring cutting right through the memorial to commute to work, what more could they want? They'll have to go around the memorial, case closed. Whatever is built will be better than those two pedestrian walkways you were forced to take before, no?

One board member wished there was a place for giant gatherings, outdoor concerts, and public art. Libeskind said the Wedge of Light area was like a piazza intended for this sort of thing and will be plenty big enough. (Someone on his team said it was 1.7 acres and Libeskind rounded it up to 2). I'm still not convinced it will be large enough, but he made a reference to the popular and lively open space at his Berlin Museum being a similar size to back up his claim. It was also engineered not to be "windswept".

April 16th, 2003, 02:43 PM
It really irks me when people try to turn the memorial into an amenity. *The other open spaces will be large enough. *The memorial should be solemn, damnit, and it sure as hell should not be compromised just because you want to shave two minutes off your walk to downtown. *

As you said, access will be infinitely better than it was with the pedestrian bridges. *These people are incredibly selfish and myopic. *And don't a lot of BPC residents like being a little bit isolated from downtown?

April 16th, 2003, 02:54 PM
I couldn't agree more.

April 16th, 2003, 03:20 PM
I look at it this way. If they split the memorial area up into blocks and plopped buildings on them people still wouldn't be able to go on the diagonal to the transport center. Its not different than midtown. People walk in squares and don't cut through blocks diagonally to get places. The whole issue is silly and is generally promoted only by those who don't like the memorial area for some reason that they're to embarrassed to say outright so they make up excuses.

In any case, there's an entrance to all the trains at Liberty and Greenwich and West and Fulton. What more could they possible want?

April 16th, 2003, 04:54 PM
Quote: from NYatKNIGHT on 11:22 am on April 16, 2003
He didn't go into much detail about the 1776 tower except that it will be used for telecommunications.

This is more what I'm interested in. The street level details will come together, and are not really in doubt. *I'm curious if the broadcasters will be satisfied with the 1,776 ft height and if there will be a spire/antenna or just an antenna added to the top of the building to each the 1,776 ft height.

(Edited by NYguy at 4:54 pm on April 16, 2003)

April 17th, 2003, 11:08 AM
Quote: from JMGarcia on 12:03 pm on April 16, 2003
As far as building height goes, I've always been pretty certain that the spiraling heights of the buildings would pretty much be kept. This is not a "twin tower" design and never was meant to be. The whole spiral plan makes the height of the office portion of the Garden Tower extremely important as it will set the uppermost limit of the other towers which much spiral downward. It's extremely important that it be tall enough so that the other towers still can be taller than 1 Liberty while spiralling lower in height.Libeskind mentioned at least twice that the tallest building was the maximum height for standard evacuation specifications (along those lines). I got the feeling he would go higher but is constrained by that.

April 17th, 2003, 01:26 PM
That is such a lame excuse.

April 17th, 2003, 01:27 PM
Sounds like Silverstein....

April 17th, 2003, 01:55 PM
Libeskind said he didn't set out to design the tallest building in the world. He wanted to restore the skyline, and set the height at 1776 because he thinks the meaning behind the date ties into the importance and symbolism of the entire site. *Plus the observation deck and restaurant are at approximately the same level as they used to be. When that one guy complained about the overall height, Libeskind said that the spire is for telecommunications and it takes up much of the height (like it is as much antenna as possible).

We need the broadcasters to insist that the antenna go to 2000 feet, otherwise I think what we see is pretty close to what we'll get.

April 17th, 2003, 02:12 PM
Why are you so pessimistic ?
We'll have something taller than the ridiculous 70-story tower, but we'll have to wait.
It's even likely that one of the 4 towers will eventually beat the office building that comes with the spire. Ten years later.

April 17th, 2003, 02:27 PM
the observation deck and restaurant are at approximately the same level as they used to be. When that one guy complained about the overall height, Libeskind said that the spire is for telecommunications and it takes up much of the height

If the restaurant and observation deck are at about the same height then (unless they are crammed up in the little pointy top the roof) the structure's roof is higher than the WTC roof. Given that the top of the spire is only 50 feet taller than the WTC antenna then the new spire must actually be shorter than the WTC antenna was.

April 17th, 2003, 02:42 PM
The 1776 tower is still hard to grasp - what the hell is it!

April 17th, 2003, 03:09 PM
The smart-ass reply is that it is the compromise necessary to allow Silverstein not to have to rent higher than the 70th floor but still make a stab at restoring the skyline.

Silverstein is insisting on high restrictions and standard evacuation procedures for a number of reasons but one that is little spoken about is the potential liability and insurance costs to cover a building with non-standard evacuation infrastructure. How many billions in lawsuits are lined up claiming damages from anyone who had anything to do with the construction and safety of the twin towers?

My guess is that when it shakes out the tower will end up housing communications equipment (even if the TV broadcasters go elsewhere there are plenty of radio stations and telco's that'll use it) a restaurant and an observatory in a "garden" setting. It will probably be beefed up slightly for structural reasons and to to handle the projected number of visitors. I'm hoping that lighting at night will become a feature.

In other words, it'll provide the same functions that the Eiffel Tower does.

April 17th, 2003, 04:45 PM
But NY deserves something different.
And Silverstein won't last forever.

What seems paradoxical is that there are talks of an 86-story office building in Manhattan, and, at the same time, the WTC is still limited at 70 stories.

April 17th, 2003, 04:55 PM
What seems paradoxical is that there are talks of an 86-story office building in Manhattan, and, at the same time, the WTC is still limited at 70 stories.

Not too mention the 90 odd story proposal for B'wy and Fulton.

Absolutely absurd, but convince Silverstein of that.

April 17th, 2003, 05:15 PM
Quote: from JMGarcia on 4:55 pm on April 17, 2003

Not too mention the 90 odd story proposal for B'wy and Fulton.

Doesn't count. It's residential.
Besides, that proposal is too mysterious to be serious.