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Kris
April 22nd, 2003, 07:45 AM
April 22, 2003
Pataki Wants Downtown Rebuilt Fast
By EDWARD WYATT

Gov. George E. Pataki is expected to tell a group of business and civic leaders this week that the 1,776-foot tower that is a central part of Daniel Libeskind's design for the World Trade Center site will be one of the first construction projects to get under way there, according to people close to the rebuilding process.

In an address on Thursday to the Association for a Better New York, a civic group, Mr. Pataki will lay out an aggressive schedule for construction in the first phase of the rebuilding effort, including the tower, a transportation hub joining the PATH commuter rail line and Lower Manhattan subway lines, and the memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attack on the trade center, the people involved said.

People who have heard Mr. Pataki talk about the rebuilding effort said he has been adamant that those projects be completed or substantially under way by the end of his current term, in December 2006. Among the projects subject to a more aggressive timeline is the construction of the temporary PATH station, which rebuilding officials now say is likely to be completed well before the end of this year, several weeks earlier than expected.

Also on Thursday, Mr. Pataki is expected to lay out a program of $50 million in short-term capital projects to make it easier for workers and residents to get around downtown, particularly in the area immediately around the trade center site.

Among those projects, according to people who have been briefed on Mr. Pataki's speech, will be a temporary bridge over West Street, to be built near Vesey Street on the north side of the site. The bridge, which will include escalators, unlike other bridges over West Street near the site, is expected to open in November.

The new projects will also include improvements to the Liberty Street Bridge, which crosses West Street on the south end of the trade center site; new open spaces in Lower Manhattan; and projects to make the area on Wall Street, near the New York Stock Exchange, more aesthetically pleasing and easier for pedestrian traffic.

In large part, the governor's efforts are an attempt to address loud objections in recent weeks from business leaders downtown, many of whom have complained that the construction at and around the trade center has made Lower Manhattan an unpleasant place to work.

In a letter last month to the New York City Partnership, a business advocacy group, the chief executives of Merrill Lynch, American Express and the Bank of New York warned that further "silence and delay" from government officials overseeing the rebuilding would cause more companies to leave downtown.

The letter also expressed frustration with the apparent resurgence of rivalries between the governor and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who jointly control the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Since the selection of Mr. Libeskind's design for the World Trade Center site on Feb. 26, the mayor and the governor have sparred over several rebuilding issues, including whether Kevin Rampe, a longtime Pataki aide, would be appointed president of the development corporation.

Mr. Rampe was appointed interim president after Louis R. Tomson, another Pataki ally, resigned at the end of February. But Mr. Bloomberg held up the appointment of a permanent replacement as he and the governor wrangled over the future of the development corporation and the more than $1 billion in federal rebuilding money that it controls.

Lisa Dewald Stoll, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pataki, declined to comment on the specific content of Mr. Pataki's Thursday address, saying only that he would "outline his vision on how to proceed in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan."

Other officials close to the rebuilding process said that Mr. Pataki would also talk about specific planning for the $5 billion in proposed transportation projects that he outlined in February. Those projects, including a new Fulton Transit Center and a study of a connection from downtown to the regional airports, will be paid for, in part, with $4.55 billion in federal disaster-relief money related to the 9/11 attack.

It is not yet clear what money Mr. Pataki will propose using for construction of the 1,776-foot tower and the 70-story office building that is attached to it in Mr. Libeskind's design. Rebuilding officials who have spoken to Mr. Pataki about the plans say he has said that the money will come from the insurance settlement from the attack on the trade center.

The insurance policies were held by Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the lease to the office space at the trade center. Mr. Silverstein and the insurers are battling in court over whether the attack constituted one act of terrorism or two; the outcome will determine whether Mr. Silverstein receives roughly $3.5 billion or close to $7 billion. Mr. Silverstein could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Rebuilding officials said that Mr. Pataki has told Port Authority officials that if the insurance case is not settled by the time construction is to begin on the new trade center tower, the Port Authority will build the structure and be reimbursed from the eventual insurance proceeds.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Fabb
April 22nd, 2003, 08:10 AM
It is not yet clear what money Mr. Pataki will propose using for construction of the 1,776-foot tower and the 70-story office building that is attached to it in Mr. Libeskind's design.

But that's a minor detail, right ?

JMGarcia
April 22nd, 2003, 09:52 AM
He's waiting for Silverstein's insurance claims to come through to pay for it is my guess.

Bk Italian 123
April 22nd, 2003, 10:47 AM
Well i hope that the issue is settled as soon as possible so that the structures will be in the air. *Does any one have any info on the Lebenskin plan... if there is any info about the plan... like a changing in building hiehgts ect. *Sorry.. this isn't the right place to put this... sorry 2 corrupt the thread.

NYatKNIGHT
April 22nd, 2003, 11:06 AM
I almost want that tower to be built later - it gives them more time to come to their senses and get over the fear of building taller.

JMGarcia
April 22nd, 2003, 11:26 AM
Transit hub, rail links cited as top needs for downtown

By GREG GITTRICH
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A transit hub near Ground Zero and a rail link to Kennedy Airport and Long Island are the highest rebuilding priorities for lower Manhattan's largest employers, according to two surveys released yesterday.

One questionnaire asked executives of 25 major downtown companies to assess their current and long-term transit needs. The other posed similar questions to corporate transportation managers.

In both surveys, conducted by the Alliance for Downtown New York, the top priority was the construction of the proposed $1.5 billion transit hub linking a rebuilt PATH train station at Ground Zero to a new subway complex at Fulton St. and Broadway.

The second top transit need was a direct rail link from lower Manhattan to Long Island and Kennedy, whether that means a new tunnel under the East River or a new commuter service that runs mostly along existing tracks.

Rebuilding officials are expected to release a report Thursday on how $4.55 billion in federal transit aid should be spent.

The report will include details about the new transit hub and will also call for a study on how best to link downtown with Long Island and Kennedy, sources said. The report was due in August but delayed because officials couldn't agree on how to spend the money.

Officials also are expected to propose several short-term neighborhood projects - including a new footbridge over West St. - to help lower Manhattan recover from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center. The smaller projects will cost about $50 million, a source said.

NYguy
April 22nd, 2003, 03:28 PM
Quote: from Fabb on 7:10 am on April 22, 2003
It is not yet clear what money Mr. Pataki will propose using for construction of the 1,776-foot tower and the 70-story office building that is attached to it in Mr. Libeskind's design.

But that's a minor detail, right ?


Silverstein has said he would pay for the spire, but its not certain Silverstein will remain in the process at this point.

JMGarcia
April 22nd, 2003, 03:43 PM
From the article...

Rebuilding officials said that Mr. Pataki has told Port Authority officials that if the insurance case is not settled by the time construction is to begin on the new trade center tower, the Port Authority will build the structure and be reimbursed from the eventual insurance proceeds.

The heads of the big downtown firms have basically told the politicians publicly to get off their asses and get this going. Political contributions aside, I'm sure Pataki has good reason to listen to them.

TomAuch
April 22nd, 2003, 04:02 PM
Quote: from NYguy on 2:28 pm on April 22, 2003

Quote: from Fabb on 7:10 am on April 22, 2003
It is not yet clear what money Mr. Pataki will propose using for construction of the 1,776-foot tower and the 70-story office building that is attached to it in Mr. Libeskind's design.

But that's a minor detail, right ?


Silverstein has said he would pay for the spire, but its not certain Silverstein will remain in the process at this point.


Wouldn't that be if the land swap succeeds? I don't think that's going to happen. BTW, would the amount of insurance money Silverstein receives affect his decision to pay for the spire?

ZippyTheChimp
April 22nd, 2003, 05:14 PM
Quote: from TomAuch on 3:02 pm on April 22, 2003
BTW, would the amount of insurance money Silverstein receives affect his decision to pay for the spire?
That sounds reasonable to me. It would at least make him happier.

In my opinion, the pending court case over the insurance payout is the most important aspect of the rebuilding process for several reasons:

It's a lot of money. The $3.5 billion is 2/3 of the entire transportation funding.

It transcends all the players. The insurance will be paid to the Silverstein group, or if he is bought out, the PA or city. Makes no difference.

All of the proceeds must go towards rebuilding. This is the most important. If $7 billion is awarded, all of it must go toward replacing what was insured - the office space. For example, it cannot be used to reduce the budget deficit. That has been Silverstein's main argument about restoring 10 million sq ft.

NYguy
April 22nd, 2003, 05:19 PM
Quote: from TomAuch on 3:02 pm on April 22, 2003

Wouldn't that be if the land swap succeeds? I don't think that's going to happen. BTW, would the amount of insurance money Silverstein receives affect his decision to pay for the spire?

Not necassarily. *Remember, Silverstein only joined the team when it was revealed the plans would include 10msf of office space, which is all he really wanted. *There is still a call from some government officials to buy him out.

At the same time, Libeskind's control over the design process has increased dramatically. *He will have more control over the buildings design than SOM, something Silverstein may not like.

NYguy
April 22nd, 2003, 05:20 PM
The official said the governor will also call for speedy work on the new tower.

I wonder what effect this will have on the televison broadcasters and their decision to build a tv tower, temporary or otherwise, on either Govs island or Bayonne, N.J.

NoyokA
April 22nd, 2003, 08:34 PM
Anyone else impressed with the Pataki leadership at Groundzero?

JMGarcia
April 22nd, 2003, 08:41 PM
Actually, just the opposite. From the beginning.

He threw too much support behind the families. He's responsible for the footprints being saved. He should have shown more leadership in the design process. He's be slow to restart the reconstruction until pressed by business leaders and campaign contributers.

All in all, he seems to have tried to step back and always see which way the winds blowing before making any sort of statement or commitment. He's been timid. A follower not a leader.

Can anyone here actually think of a position that Pataki took before someone or some other group did.

We are where we are today almost in spite of Pataki rather than because of him.

(Edited by JMGarcia at 7:42 pm on April 22, 2003)

NoyokA
April 22nd, 2003, 08:48 PM
Joel, Im impressed how he overruled the LMDC in deciding THINK. Many would've just sat back and allowed whatever. It was not his place to, but it was the right call, and was leadership in my eyes.

JMGarcia
April 22nd, 2003, 09:02 PM
I'll agree with you on that point Stern. But who's to say it wasn't Bloomberg that pushed him or some aid on the LMDC he trusted who happened to be in the minority.

It was not like the LMDC was overwhelmingly in favor of THINK.

In any case, Libeskind was the first design I saw, official or otherwise, that I found that I would be proud to have in NY. Foster was 2nd and I would have fully supported his if I thought that it had any chance to be selected. I could have lived with THINK in its original incarnation but the modified version was not an improvement, where as Libeskinds was.

So, I guess I can say that Pataki has done a good job as I am happy with the outcome. I just think he could have handled it better.

Let's see what he has to say on Thursday and how quickly things actually get moving. The transportation issue especially is still way behind schedule IMO. If he only now announces a "study" on the issue then I've got to ask myself what he's been doing the past year and a half. Its not like this is a new idea.

dbhstockton
April 24th, 2003, 01:28 PM
Pataki wants the signature tower completed by 2006. *Guess what happens in 2006.

Pataki To Lay Out Timetable For Rebuilding

(New York-WABC, April 24, 2003) — Today, Governor Pataki will answer the question that many have wondered, when will construction begin at Ground Zero? He will talk about reconstruction later today in a speech at Lower Manhattan, and say that the reconstruction is the next, and very necessary step in the war on terror.

Among the first to get underway is the centerpiece of reconstruction which is a soaring 17-hundred foot tower. Daniel Libeskind's vision was the winning design for the Trade Center Site. The soaring angular design includes a spire that would create the tallest building in the world. The design was the winner among a pool of nine proposals.

Also in the governor's plan:
*A transportation HUB joining Lower Manhattan subway lines and the Path train.
*A memorial to the victims of September 11th.
*$50 million dollars in street and roadway improvements.

Sources say the governor wants the projects completed, or at least substantially under way by the end of his current term, December 2006.

Largely, Pataki is responding to business interests.

Reportedly, many complained that the construction around the Trade Center site has made downtown unpleasant. Also, there were concerns over the governor and mayor's rivalry over the winning design for the WTC site, and, control of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

OKoranjes
April 24th, 2003, 01:54 PM
I am just happy that the newest version of THINK's design wasn't chosen. *

TonyO
April 24th, 2003, 01:54 PM
Governor's office in NY is moving to the WTC site. *(!) *Good. *Daring plans though? *Hardly.

dbhstockton
April 24th, 2003, 02:03 PM
From the NY Observer:

"Recent weeks have seemed like an apotheosis of sorts in the struggle between the city and the state over control of lower Manhattan, with Mr. Pataki’s presentation the coup de grâce. "

Here's the arcticle (It's long):

Pataki Grabs Center Stage As Zero Nero

by Tom McGeveran


Governor George Pataki wants you to know that he, not Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is in charge at Ground Zero.

City Hall was blindsided recently with the revelation that Mr. Pataki is preparing an exhaustive presentation on the redevelopment of Ground Zero—even as the Bloomberg administration worked behind the scenes and in public to secure a more powerful position in the redevelopment process.

Details about the presentation, which will be made at a meeting of the Association for a Better New York on April 24, were leaked to The New York Times and reported in an April 22 article. The presentation is expected to establish a timetable for key elements of the redevelopment process, including the restoration of the skyline of lower Manhattan, the development of a massive transit hub and the completion of a memorial—all before Mr. Pataki’s third (and presumably last) term ends in December 2006.

The move represents a shift for the Pataki administration. The Governor and his allies had been content to remain behind the scenes at Ground Zero, especially when the rebuilding process was faltering in the late months of the Governor’s re-election campaign last year. Mr. Pataki allowed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a city-state agency, to take the lumps from the press and public—first on the pace of the redevelopment process, and later on a series of uninspired (and ultimately rejected) designs for the site that were released in July 2002.

According to rebuilding officials, Mr. Pataki will present a plan to complete the construction of Daniel Libes-kind’s 1,776-foot spire at the northwest corner of the site before he leaves office in 2006. The Governor’s plan seeks to barrel over a series of roadblocks, including a dispute over insurance proceeds from the destruction of the Twin Towers; the ravaged commercial real-estate market in lower Manhattan; and public questions about the advisability of building the world’s tallest tower on a site that terrorists targeted as a symbol of American economic might.

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration is struggling to assert its influence at the site by continuing to negotiate a land-swap deal with the Port Authority that would put the city in control of the rebuilding effort. In addition, City Hall has been touting redevelopment efforts that are less under the state’s control, such as the establishment of a residential neighborhood on the waterfront below the Brooklyn Bridge, and the establishment of a cultural infrastructure in lower Manhattan that would improve tourism by better linking the area’s many disjointed points of interest.

The Pataki initiative comes in the wake of warnings by the business community that lower Manhattan will see a continued drain in corporate investment if some short-term fixes aren’t soon in place.

"The short-term issues basically have to do with traffic patterns and accessibility downtown, and making sure that construction and security measures don’t so tie up the streets and the pedestrian walkways that it makes it difficult to conduct business," said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New YorkCity, which drafted a memo to city and state officials outlining the complaints. "This has been a problem. It’s been identified lately as an increasing frustration for downtown businesses, and it appears that both the Governor and the Mayor are taking it seriously."

Site Control

Recent weeks have seemed like an apotheosis of sorts in the struggle between the city and the state over control of lower Manhattan, with Mr. Pataki’s presentation the coup de grâce. City officials said that by April 18, the Mayor had discussed the presentation with Mr. Pataki, and as of April 22, there were plans for further discussion between the Mayor and the Governor before the speech was to be delivered.

But the fact remains that the issues Mr. Pataki planned to address in his presentation were sorted out before the Bloomberg administration had any knowledge of his plans.

Moreover, the recent resignation of LMDC vice president of planning Alexander Garvin, a close associate of Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, has been interpreted as a weakening of the city’s influence over planning at Ground Zero.

LMDC sources cited personality clashes between Mr. Garvin and the rest of the rebuilding agency as the major reason for his resignation. Particular emphasis was laid on a New Yorker article in January by Paul Goldberger that seemed to give Mr. Garvin, and not the Pataki administration, credit for key elements of the redevelopment process.

Others said it was Mr. Garvin’s connection to the city that made his position untenable.

"He was a dysfunctional part of the process," one source said. "He was reporting almost directly to Doctoroff."

Mr. Doctoroff, who hired Mr. Garvin as the architect of his 2012 Olympics plan for New York City, brushed off suggestions that the city’s influence in the LMDC was imperiled by Mr. Garvin’s exit, and pointed out that Andrew Winters, his likely successor, had also worked under Mr. Garvin on the 2012 plan.

"Alex just brings a breadth of experience and creativity that very few people anywhere have, so I think it’s a loss," Mr. Doctoroff said. "But in terms of the city’s input, I have an extraordinary relationship with Andrew. So I wouldn’t overinterpret that."

The city has also suffered a blow with the appointment of Kevin Rampe, a former Pataki aide, to the position of interim president of the LMDC. Talk of the imminent restructuring of the organization, with city-approved candidates taking key roles in the leadership of the agency, seemed to falter when the Governor again named one of his own to head the organization.

With Mr. Pataki’s coming bells-and-whistles presentation, he will also be able to advance significantly—and, potentially, take credit for—many of the elements of Mr. Bloomberg’s own proposal for lower Manhattan.

Mr. Pataki is expected, for instance, to announce a significant financial commitment for studying the prospect of a direct rail link from the Long Island Railroad and the city’s two airports to the transit hub at Ground Zero—a plan that met serious opposition through most of last year from Mr. Pataki’s own Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but which the Mayor promoted in his Dec. 12, 2002, presentation to the same civic group that Mr. Pataki is scheduled to address on April 24.

According to rebuilding officials, the rail link is now at the top of the transportation agenda. It remains to be seen whether the link will take the form of a plan by Brookfield Properties to use existing rail tunnels beneath the East River for a super-shuttle to lower Manhattan from the airports. An alternative plan calls for construction of a new tunnel for the service. Funding from the LMDC will go toward making that determination, with a definite deadline for the completion of a study and for the procurement of funds to build the link.

In that instance as in others, Mr. Pataki will appear to be offering New Yorkers the most concrete and specific plans for rebuilding Ground Zero and lower Manhattan to date—something the LMDC, the Port Authority and City Hall have not been able to do.

Governor’s Architect

At the Governor’s right hand is a relative newcomer in the rebuilding effort, Studio Daniel Libeskind. The firm began its work amid announcements from the Port Authority that its own planner and transit consultant, Stanton Eckstut, was being let go. The recent news of the resignation of the LMDC’s chief planner only underscores the point: Mr. Libeskind is now, in essence, the chief planner and architect for the new World Trade Center.

According to sources close to the situation, Mr. Libeskind is also taking a profoundly expanded role in the redevelopment process.

"There has been skepticism over the last several months about the role Daniel would play at Ground Zero," said LMDC spokesman Matthew Higgins. "And we’ve gone a long way to assure people that he will be intimately involved in all elements of the redevelopment process at the site."

Mr. Libeskind was loath to attribute his importance in the redevelopment process to any personal favor with the Governor, insisting that the city, the Port Authority and the LMDC were all his clients.

"A consensus will have to be reached," he said by phone from Toronto, where he sometimes teaches. "But things are getting clearer, and I think it’s true: It’s very different now than it was three months ago or two months ago, because people are focusing on setting up a timeline for getting things done."

Mr. Pataki personally supported his plan for Ground Zero, and even used his power as Governor to override the nomination of Mr. Libeskind’s competitor, the THINK team headed by New York architect Rafael Viñoly, by the LMDC committee responsible for choosing the winner of the design competition.

In the final hours of the competition, Mr. Pataki was said to have reacted to the THINK plan with a "death chill."

When the Libeskind plan was selected, it was unclear what the spoils would be for the winner of the design competition. At various points during the competition, rebuilding officials said that the plans were only guidelines or possibilities for future development. The ambivalence about how to make use of the plans submitted in the competition was strong enough that the LMDC required the competitors to relinquish any rights to their designs once they were submitted—suggesting that even the determination of a single design wouldn’t guarantee a place in the rebuilding effort for the designer.

Once his team was selected, however, Mr. Libeskind—whose avant-garde designs for the site were met with skeptical smirks from those who doubted the real-estate community would support his angled, cut-up vision—began to develop a close relationship with the Governor.

Mr. Pataki is as known for his tendency to delegate massive responsibilities to trusted deputies as he is for taking a sometimes quirky personal interest in individual elements of their efforts.

Over a series of private dinners and meetings since Mr. Libeskind’s design was selected, the architect has met personally and privately with the Governor to discuss his ideas about the site, rebuilding officials said. And in a bid to ensure that the lower Manhattan skyline is restored to its former glory before he leaves office, Mr. Pataki is expected to announce a timetable for the building of Mr. Libeskind’s tower that would provide for its completion in the next three to four years.

This likely means that spadework would begin much sooner than anticipated, especially in light of the fact that Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder on the commercial portion of the destroyed Twin Towers, is still fighting his insurers to get the highest possible payout—money that he has argued is the only private source of rebuilding funds.

Some $1 billion in insurance proceeds have already been secured, which could—after negotiations with Mr. Silverstein’s lenders—be used to fund a part of the construction of Mr. Libeskind’s tower, a city official said.

But rebuilding authorities said the more likely scenario would be the Port Authority floating a bond to finance construction of the tower even before a settlement was secured, and recouping its money from the insurance proceeds and the leasing of the tower later on.

Conventional Wisdom

Such aggressive measures essentially scrap the conventional wisdom of development at Ground Zero: that until it’s clear who will control the lease on the new building, who will inhabit it and who will pay for its development, nothing can be built at the site. Mr. Pataki’s plan is a sort of building by gubernatorial fiat—and Mr. Libes-kind’s spire will be the result.

Mr. Libeskind has also persuaded the Port Authority and the LMDC that he has (or can marshal) the resources to build the massive Ground Zero gateway to the planned downtown transit hub; to determine the placement and design of the retail concourses above and below ground on the site; to orchestrate the building of the "interpretive museum" on the site that serves as a firewall between the site’s memorial uses and its commercial and retail elements; and to plan the public spaces included in his design. Mr. Pataki is expected to announce that many of those elements will be completed by the end of 2006.

Mr. Libeskind’s contract with the Port Authority to build the transit hub are in the final negotiation stages, an agency spokesperson said. According to one source, the Port Authority was impressed with Mr. Libeskind’s design because it works regardless of how city, state and federal authorities handle West Street, the bustling highway that previously cut off Battery Park City from the rest of lower Manhattan. Whether the highway might be sunk to create a level field to connect the new World Trade Center to Battery Park City, or whether pedestrian crossings would be improved with a large deck built over the highway, remains a political hot potato with local residents and planners. Because the World Financial Center is meant to connect to the massive retail concourse stretching east to the Ground Zero transit hub, and further to the newly developed Fulton Street subway station currently under examination by the M.T.A., how West Street is handled effects the development of the transit and retail infrastructure at Ground Zero. What’s more, Mr. Libeskind’s planned transit hub is capable of supporting a link to the direct airport-access plan under consideration by state officials.

As for the Museum of Freedom proposed by Mr. Libeskind—a building shaped like a bird fanning its wings over the sunken memorial in the southwest quadrant of the site, in effect shielding it from the commercial, retail and street-level uses above—American Express has already stepped forward as a potential funder for the building. According to rebuilding officials, the LMDC was swamped with cultural institutions eager to relocate to Ground Zero shortly after the terrorist attack, but the issue was put on the back burner. Now the agency is aggressively pursuing such institutions as the New-York Historical Society and the Museum of the City of New York to determine who could best administer an "interpretive museum" on the order of the one presented by Mr. Libeskind in his plan.

Meanwhile, the architect and his wife and business partner, Nina, continue to live out of suitcases at the Four Seasons hotel in midtown, though they are close to a deal on an office space flanking Ground Zero that their firm would occupy as soon as May 1. Mr. Libeskind’s search for an apartment in Tribeca or the financial district continues, he said.

"We are very exhilarated," said Mr. Libeskind of his company, "and we are working very, very hard."

You may reach Tom McGeveran via email at: tmcgeveran@observer.com.

This column ran on page 1 in the 4/28/2003 edition of The New York Observer.

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 02:06 PM
Pataki Calls For Agressive Rebuilding Of WTC


APRIL 24TH, 2003
NY1

Governor George Pataki Thursday unveiled an agressive timetable for rebuilding the World Trade Center.

Pataki said one of the first projects to get underway will be the 1,776-foot signature tower designed by Daniel Libeskind, calling it the "Freedom Tower" and saying the governor's office would be the first tenant.

In the address to the Association for a Better New York, the governor also announced details for construction of a Downtown transportation hub connecting subway lines and PATH trains, proposing a link to Kennedy Airport and the Long Island Rail Road as well.

He also announced a number of short-term projects to improve the quality of life for Downtown businesses and residents.

Pataki said he wants the projects at the World Trade Center site close to completion by the end of his term, in 2006.

From NY Newsday

Saying the rebuilding of lower Manhattan had to be bold, daring and swift, Gov. George Pataki today set an ambitious timetable for the area's redevelopment -- including a pledge that the new 1,776-foot Freedom Tower will be completed at the Wold Trade Center site by Sept. 11, 2006.


(Edited by JMGarcia at 1:31 pm on April 24, 2003)

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 02:29 PM
That NY Observer article is one of the more hopeful things I've read lately. I like how Pataki is finally taking control of things and cutting through the usual NY developement morass.



Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration is struggling to assert its influence at the site by continuing to negotiate a land-swap deal with the Port Authority that would put the city in control of the rebuilding effort.

Pataki would of course have to agree to such a swap being the head of the PA (at least 1/2 head) and this seems increasingly unlikely. Good, because the swap is a bad idea.



At the Governor’s right hand is a relative newcomer in the rebuilding effort, Studio Daniel Libeskind. The firm began its work amid announcements from the Port Authority that its own planner and transit consultant, Stanton Eckstut, was being let go. The recent news of the resignation of the LMDC’s chief planner only underscores the point: Mr. Libeskind is now, in essence, the chief planner and architect for the new World Trade Center.

This is the best news of all. Libeskind is not afraid of height, has the politically savvy to get his vision implemented and determination not to buckle under to *special interest groups or overly cautious business interests. I think ultimately he sees the people of NY as his clients.




But rebuilding authorities said the more likely scenario would be the Port Authority floating a bond to finance construction of the tower even before a settlement was secured, and recouping its money from the insurance proceeds and the leasing of the tower later on.

Silverstein has been officially pre-empted as the leading voice in the design of the signature "Freedom Tower". It will be interesting how he reacts. If he really wants to build something different to "Dan's sketches" its going to have to have overwhelming public appeal. Even if it does, I don't doubt Libeskind's ability to readjust his design to counter.



Mr. Libeskind has also persuaded the Port Authority and the LMDC that he has (or can marshal) the resources to build the massive Ground Zero gateway to the planned downtown transit hub; to determine the placement and design of the retail concourses above and below ground on the site; to orchestrate the building of the "interpretive museum" on the site that serves as a firewall between the site’s memorial uses and its commercial and retail elements; and to plan the public spaces included in his design. Mr. Pataki is expected to announce that many of those elements will be completed by the end of 2006.

Further confidence in Libeskind's abilities. Ultimately, it is the flexibility of his designs that are winning over the LMDC and PA.



As for the Museum of Freedom proposed by Mr. Libeskind—a building shaped like a bird fanning its wings over the sunken memorial in the southwest quadrant of the site, in effect shielding it from the commercial, retail and street-level uses above—American Express has already stepped forward as a potential funder for the building.

I always wondered who would end up paying for the museum.

Fabb
April 24th, 2003, 02:50 PM
This timetable is realistic.
Good news.

billyblancoNYC
April 24th, 2003, 03:01 PM
Well, it's about friggin' time. Man, Amex, Merril, Goldman, AIG and the DT financial crew must have really applied the pressure to the guvnah. *It's about time, damnit. *Now, it's only a matter of actually making it happen.

Related news: *Silverstein's hired enginerring firm said it was 2 events. If this is the case, there's an extra $3.5 BILLION to play with. *That'll build a few towers, baby!

NYguy
April 24th, 2003, 03:36 PM
New Yorkers would "reclaim their skyline" by the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack, Pataki predicted. "By Sept. 11, 2006, we will top off the new icon, the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower."

Pataki, however, added that the building wouldn't be ready for tenants for another two years from completion of the tower.

"For all who come here, they will witness the tower and our determination to overcome evil," he said, adding that he had authorized the move from the governor's current New York City address at 633 Third Ave. to the Freedom Tower when it is ready for tenants

I'm really surprised that the governor has showed some backbone on this one, but its good news to hear. *I wonder what the implications will be on other projects, such as the broadcast tower...

NYguy
April 24th, 2003, 03:39 PM
Other progress for Downtown....(Newsday)


Short-Term Initiatives

- The governor said a new enclosed bridge over West Street, near Vescey Street, would be completed by November to coincide with the opening of the temporary PATH station.

- He said the Liberty Street walkway and bridge would be upgraded, linking the World Financial Center to the rest of Lower Manhattan.

- The governor promised continued support for the Downtown Alliance's program to beautify Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall. The plan includes improvements such as the installation of granite curbs, new lighting and the addition of granite strips noting each ticker tape parade that has been held in the "Canyon of Champions."

- Pataki said that a new Greenmarket would open this summer at Broadway and Liberty Park Plaza.

- The black shroud which still covers the Deutsche Bank building next to Ground Zero will be replaced with a mural to lessen the "blight" it brings to the area, he said.

- The governor asked the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. for $3 million toward the completion of the Millennium High School, which is slated to open in September for 250 ninth and 10th graders.

- He also said he wanted the LMDC to use $10 million to upgrade public spaces in Lower Manhattan, including those in Chinatown and Tribeca.

- As part of an effort to help businesses, the governor said the Empire State Development Corp. planned a new $7 million "I Love New York" campaign that would market Lower Manhattan to domestic and international audiences.

The Transportation Hub

--The governor said the transportation complex, for which the federal government has already earmarked $4.5 billion, will get underway immediately.

-- The heart of the complex will be a new PATH terminal, which will open up onto the large square included in Libeskind's plan, Pataki said. It will have longer platforms and will be connected by an underground passageway to a new subway center at Fulton Street.

-- At Fulton Street, the governor said, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would "untangle nine subway lines" that serve Lower Manhattan, add more station entrances and include the underground walkway that will lead to the PATH terminal and continue on to the World Financial Center.

-- Pataki said he had asked the LMDC, the Port Authority and the MTA to begin a study on linking Lower Manhattan to Long Island and Kennedy Airport by direct rail. He said a plan would be chosen within a year.

-- In the interim, fast ferry service would be considered as an option to connect downtown to the airports, he said. Ferry service to La Guardia Airport would hopefully be in place by late 2004 and that service to JFK's Air Train would be available by 2005, the governor said.

NYatKNIGHT
April 24th, 2003, 03:41 PM
I'm not sure if it's backbone as much as re-election on Pataki's mind, but getting construction started is good no matter what his motive is. 2006 is only three years away - progress at the site should be noticeable daily at that rate.

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 03:43 PM
More Specifics

Gov wants giant new WTC spire 'topped off' by 9/11/2006
*
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Gov. Pataki laid out an ambitious schedule Thursday to rebuild the World Trade Center site, transform lower Manhattan with parks and housing, and create direct ferry and rail links from downtown to Kennedy and La Guardia airports.

In a speech at the Ritz Carlton New York hotel overlooking the trade center site, Pataki called for the redevelopment’s centerpiece, Daniel Libeskind’s 1,776-foot “Freedom” spire, to be “topped off” by Sept. 11, 2006.

(Looks like we have an official new name. Out with "Garden Tower" and in with "Freedom Tower".)

He said he expects the building to be ready for occupancy two years later — with the governor’s office as its first tenant.

Pataki also outlined plans for a giant transit hub similar to Grand Central Terminal that will link commuter trains to subways; a tree-lined promenade; new parks; and 3,000 new housing units.

(I wonder where they're going?)

“This is not a theoretical proposal destined for the archives of state government,” Pataki said. “This plan will be carried out.”

Many aspects of the plan have also been proposed by Mayor Bloomberg. The two will largely decide what is built and how quickly in lower Manhattan, which continues to struggle 19 months after a terrorist attack brought down the twin towers.

Pataki’s speech comes as business people have grown impatient with the pace of redevelopment, the continued presence of police barricades downtown, and ongoing transportation difficulties. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said this month that 100,000 pre-attack jobs have now been lost in lower Manhattan.

Speaking Thursday before the Association for a Better New York, a group of business and civic leaders, the governor said: “Let us define lower Manhattan not by the hatred of a single day, but by the courage that triumphed that day and the days after.

“When our work is done, the history of lower Manhattan will have been written not by the terrorists who attacked our city, but by the millions of New Yorkers who stood up to defend it, and who worked to rebuild it.”

As part of an aggressive rebuilding schedule, Pataki said a new enclosed bridge over West Street, reconnecting the World Financial Center to Battery Park City, will be finished by November.

About the same time, he said, a temporary PATH commuter train station will open and PATH service will be restored. PATH trains connect the city and New Jersey.

Transportation initiatives were among the most far-reaching of the governor’s plans.

Pataki said he was pushing ahead with plans to create direct rail service from lower Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport and to Long Island, as well as providing fast ferry service from downtown to both of the city’s two airports.

(Sounds like a good idea that hasn't been spoken of much before.)

“By building a direct connection from lower Manhattan to Long Island, we will ensure that New Yorkers can take advantage of the new job opportunities that downtown will provide,” Pataki said.

The transit hub at the trade center site would consist of a new PATH terminal that would be used by some 150,000 people daily, and a refurbished subway station at Broadway and Fulton streets that would be linked by an underground concourse to the World Financial Center. Both, he said, would be finished by 2006.

“These concourses will make connections across lower Manhattan quick, direct and convenient,” Pataki said.

The governor also said that within two years West Street would be remade into a “magnificent tree-lined promenade.” By 2006, he said, a new tunnel from Vesey Street to Liberty Street would be finished to divert traffic underground “to protect the dignity of the (planned World Trade Center) memorial.”


Pataki said work would start on the memorial itself by 2006, after preliminary, substructure work has been completed.

(OMG - I can almost hear the whining now. "The memorial must be built first." )

By then, he said, Manhattan’s skyline will be restored.

“For all who come here, no matter the direction, they will witness the tower’s imprint on the horizon — and they will know our determination to overcome evil,” Pataki said.

NYguy
April 24th, 2003, 03:48 PM
(Looks like we have an official new name. Out with "Garden Tower" and in with "Freedom Tower".)

I wonder if they will serve "freedom fries" at the tower, lol. *I hope that's not the official name of the building, but so long as it goes up.....

(Edited by NYguy at 2:50 pm on April 24, 2003)

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 03:52 PM
I figure is more likely to end up being called the Gov. Pataki Freedom Tower or possibly the Silverstein Freedom Tower or even possibly the Trump Freedom Tower. ;)

Of course corporate sponsorship isn't out of the question. The American Express Ground Zero Interactive Memorial Museum for example. ;)

I'm expecting new renderings of the tower fairly soon after this announcement.

Some additional points from NY1....

Pataki also announced $50 million worth of short-term projects to be completed within a year to improve accessibility to Lower Manhattan and the quality of life of the neighborhood’s residents and workers, including:


-new pedestrian bridges at Liberty and Vesey streets to link Battery Park City with the rest of Lower Manhattan;

-turning Fulton Street into an arts corridor;

-replacing police barricades on Broad Street with something more visually attractive;

-an international ad campaign and a discount card to attract visitors Downtown;

-a green market;

-replacing the black shroud on the Deutsche Bank Building with a mural;
(I wonder if they'll hold a competition. ;) )

-and opening a new “Millennium High School” by September.



(Edited by JMGarcia at 2:59 pm on April 24, 2003)

NYatKNIGHT
April 24th, 2003, 04:01 PM
By 2006, he said, a new tunnel from Vesey Street to Liberty Street would be finished to divert traffic underground ...

So they decided on the tunnel option, excellent.

NoyokA
April 24th, 2003, 04:38 PM
"Freedom Tower" and saying the governor's office would be the first tenant.

Does this mean occupied space?

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 05:01 PM
Well, the tower always had 70 floors of occupied space but lets hope your thought is correct.

NoyokA
April 24th, 2003, 05:06 PM
My thought is with the Freedom Tower, and larger floorplates to compensate.

Whatever the situation, somethings up...

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 05:11 PM
I would love to see it beefed up. I still think it is going to have to be for structural reasons and to handle the expected visitors.

With floorplates the size of the Millenium Hotel or Woolworth though I think it is already big enough for the Govenor's offices.

But I think you're right, something is up. Libeskind has released new renderings either with or shortly after every major announcement. Let's hope he continues the pattern. :)

NYguy
April 24th, 2003, 06:10 PM
Quote: from JMGarcia on 4:11 pm on April 24, 2003

With floorplates the size of the Millenium Hotel or Woolworth though I think it is already big enough for the Govenor's offices.

Remember that the 70-story office and 1,776 ft spire count as one tower, which is what Pataki probably was talking about. *Its good that the state would be the first tenant to return to the WTC, the PA should and likely will follow, taking up a huge chunk of the 2.6 msf of offices....

NoyokA
April 24th, 2003, 06:15 PM
New York State was the lead tenant the first time around. Its assurance...

(Edited by Stern at 5:27 pm on April 24, 2003)

Fabb
April 24th, 2003, 06:22 PM
Quote: from JMGarcia on 2:52 pm on April 24, 2003


-replacing the black shroud on the Deutsche Bank Building with a mural;
(I wonder if they'll hold a competition. ;) )




They should.
And also call it the memorial.
And we're done with that job.

(Edited by Fabb at 5:24 pm on April 24, 2003)

NYguy
April 24th, 2003, 07:11 PM
The black shroud which still covers the Deutsche Bank building next to Ground Zero will be replaced with a mural to lessen the "blight" it brings to the area, he said.

I saw on the news that the mural will be a picture of Libeskinds 1,776 ft tower.


(Edited by NYguy at 6:12 pm on April 24, 2003)

NoyokA
April 24th, 2003, 07:23 PM
Thats cool.

Although Id rather have this as a mural, stand over NYC:

http://www.990000.com/p500x375/20020927_001.jpg

NYguy
April 24th, 2003, 07:26 PM
Quote: from Stern on 6:23 pm on April 24, 2003
Thats cool.

Although Id rather have this as a mural, stand over NYC:

http://www.990000.com/p500x375/20020927_001.jpg

I hope you are joking...

dbhstockton
April 24th, 2003, 07:28 PM
Touch my monkey! *Love him!

Kris
April 24th, 2003, 07:50 PM
Super. Somebody has to take charge. Is the main transit structure really only dedicated to PATH? What a shame.


Quote: from billyblancoNYC on 2:01 pm on April 24, 2003
It's about time, damnit.
I cannot tolerate it anymore. It's either "damn it" or "dammit". Swear properly.

JMGarcia
April 24th, 2003, 07:51 PM
The main transit structure is for the PATH and 1, 9, N, R, and E trains as well as whatever new connection is brought in from Long Island.

Kris
April 24th, 2003, 07:54 PM
Phew. It would have been such a waste.

Kris
April 25th, 2003, 06:57 AM
http://www.newsday.com/media/graphic/2003-04/7534718.gif

Kris
April 25th, 2003, 06:59 AM
April 25, 2003
Pataki Sketches a Timetable for Rebuilding of Ground Zero
By EDWARD WYATT

Gov. George E. Pataki, promising "a renewed sense of urgency" in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, laid out a plan yesterday to complete substantial portions of the work at the World Trade Center site by the fifth anniversary of the attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

By that time, Mr. Pataki said, the permanent PATH commuter station at the site and the new Fulton Transit Center two blocks to the east will open, the substructure for the memorial to the victims of the attack will be completed, allowing construction of the memorial to proceed, and the erection of steel for the 1,776-foot tower, a signature piece of Daniel Libeskind's design for the site, will be finished.

Mr. Pataki also promised $50 million in improvements to make it easier to get around downtown, and he vowed to make the governor's New York City office the first tenant in the new skyscraper, which he called the "Freedom Tower."

In laying out plans for making Lower Manhattan whole again, Mr. Pataki was responding to intense criticism over the past month from downtown business leaders, who have complained about the lack of noticeable progress in rebuilding.

Some of the governor's programs went little beyond the cosmetic: for example, replacing the black shroud that hangs over the damaged Deutsche Bank building, at the southern edge of the trade center site, with a mural depicting the new tower.

Others, like improvements to open spaces, were first proposed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in December when he laid out his vision for Lower Manhattan, something that Mr. Pataki acknowledged.

But the governor's address — which he worked on all day Wednesday and which his staff reworked until the wee hours yesterday — also took the strategic step of drawing together into a coherent picture the myriad programs already under way or planned.

Many of those projects — like efforts to rebuild and improve the transportation systems downtown — were probably familiar to people who have been closely following the numerous federal, state and local agencies that have a hand in the rebuilding effort. But they have rarely if ever been assembled in a single vision.

Most of the 300 business and civic leaders who attended the luncheon, which was given by the Association for a Better New York at the Ritz-Carlton hotel near Battery Park, seemed pleased by the governor's plans.

Among them was Thomas A. Renyi, the chairman and chief executive of the Bank of New York, who last month was a co-author of a stinging memorandum to members of the New York City Partnership, a business advocacy group, that spoke of a "lack of clarity and the perceived loss of momentum" in the rebuilding.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Renyi said that Mr. Pataki had "addressed all our concerns and more."

Mr. Bloomberg, who has been at odds with Mr. Pataki recently over budgetary matters, praised the governor's effort to use $50 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for the short-term improvements in Lower Manhattan.

"We have to do that as quickly as we possibly can," Mr. Bloomberg said. "Building a 1,700-foot building is a long-term project, but there are lots of people who live and work in Lower Manhattan, and we want to make a better environment for them right now."

Among the short-term projects were a new enclosed bridge over West Street, a covered walkway at Liberty and Church Streets that will better link the World Financial Center with the areas east of the trade center site, and a permanent and more pleasing solution to the security needs of the New York Stock Exchange than the maze of barriers along Wall and Broad Streets.

The former greenmarket at the World Trade Center will reopen this summer in Liberty Park Plaza, on Broadway at Liberty Street, and $3 million will go toward the new Millennium High School, a public school that will open downtown in December. An additional $10 million is slated for other open spaces and parks in Lower Manhattan, projects also called for by the mayor in December.

Mr. Pataki also said the development corporation would start an effort in June to get arts institutions to move to the new cultural buildings that will be built at ground zero.

For the longer term, Mr. Pataki announced that new, fast ferry service to the city's airports would begin soon, to La Guardia Airport in late 2004 and to Kennedy International Airport a year later. And he promised a decision within one year on how Lower Manhattan will connect by rail to Kennedy Airport: by a new tunnel under the East River or using existing tunnels and tracks.

The governor also gave the first completion dates for other projects: the permanent PATH station, to open in late 2006; the Fulton Transit Center, to open in 2007; and the underground pedestrian tunnels connecting the two stations and the World Financial Center, to open in 2009.

Mr. Pataki also promised that the new tower at the site would be completed around the beginning of 2008. It will be built, he said, by Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease to office space at the site and who has already committed to rebuilding 7 World Trade Center next door.

Mr. Pataki's vow to move the governor's office to the tower drew applause and some chuckles, particularly from people who realized that his current term ends in 2006. Asked later whether the promise meant that he would seek a fourth term, Mr. Pataki said, "I rule nothing in, I rule nothing out."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company


April 25, 2003
Governor Pataki's Lower Manhattan

What with his polls tanking and New Yorkers increasingly miffed about his handling of the state's financial crisis, Gov. George Pataki desperately needs a win. He got one yesterday when he spoke to business leaders in Lower Manhattan.

For downtown workers and residents disheartened by the slow rebuilding after Sept. 11, the governor promised "a renewed sense of urgency." He outlined an energetic timetable for rebuilding Lower Manhattan — handing out a timeline that will undoubtedly go up on bulletin boards in the entire downtown area. In effect, he took promising ideas from a variety of sources and wrote his name on them. And since the governor of New York is really the only one with the power to get the big things done downtown, this is much-needed good news for the entire New York City area.

Not everything in the governor's package was new, and not all of it was monumental. He promised to push for major changes like a downtown transit center on the scale of Grand Central Terminal, an untangling of subway lines at Fulton Street and West Street's conversion into something he said would top even the Champs-Élysées. The governor also pledged that his office would be the first tenant in the 1,776-foot tower, the centerpiece of the architect Daniel Libeskind's plans for ground zero. Since it will not be built until about 2008, there is some question whether Mr. Pataki will still be governor. Still, it was an important symbolic gesture.

Some of his most encouraging promises were shorter term, including a pledge to spend $50 million immediately to improve access to downtown and the quality of life there. Converting the shroud of black netting that covers the empty Deutsche Bank building into a mural, for instance, is a small fix that would send a larger message of revival.

Some of the ideas he endorsed, in particular a new transit link to Long Island and regional airports, will take a lot of study and a lot more money. In those cases, Mr. Pataki's recommendations are not much more than the guarantee of another discussion in the future. But for right now, the governor gets the credit for recognizing that Lower Manhattan's welfare is his business and preparing to do something about it now.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Evan
April 25th, 2003, 10:51 AM
It took Pataki two years, but he is finally taking charge. *However, there was no mention of when any of the new surrounding office building were going to be built. *Are those to be started in 2009 when all of the transportation, *cultural, and memorial edifices are completed? *

billyblancoNYC
April 25th, 2003, 11:46 AM
I'm sure it's going to be "as the market dictates."

JMGarcia
April 25th, 2003, 11:49 AM
I think that when the rest of the office buildings are built depends on the proverbial "market conditions". Silverstein has said he wants to bring 1 on-line each year after the first but I guess we'll see.

dbhstockton
April 25th, 2003, 01:22 PM
Newsday could have gotten Libeskind's revised plans. *That site plan is from his first set.

JMGarcia
April 26th, 2003, 04:41 PM
Here's some screen capture from the video Libeskind released at the end of Feb. showing yet another version of the towers.

http://members.verizon.net/~vze26pnp/NewVideo1.jpg

http://members.verizon.net/~vze26pnp/NewVideo2.jpg

http://members.verizon.net/~vze26pnp/NewVideo3.jpg

Fabb
April 27th, 2003, 05:35 AM
It's lovely. But it's a mess, really. I wonder what kind of overall image will emerge from this chaos.

NYguy
April 29th, 2003, 04:00 PM
Here's and older article about building the "world's tallest" at the WTC site...

WTC plan: soaring spire over 'sacred ground'
The design, building the world's tallest tower, embodies a determination to rise beyond 9/11.

By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK – New York has always stood tall. This is a city that moves up, and not out. It's no place for false modesty.

So despite post-attack talk of shorter being safer, those charged with rebuilding the World Trade Center site chose Daniel Libeskind as architect. His design thrusts a towering glass spire a symbolic 1,776 feet into the sky, higher than any other building in the world.

In Mr. Libeskind's words, his creation reasserts "the preeminence of freedom and beauty, restoring the spiritual peak to the city, creating an icon that speaks of our vitality in the face of danger and our optimism in the aftermath of tragedy."

Now, those are bragging rights. Something New Yorkers like to have but don't necessarily need to show off.

Indeed, for most of the 20th century, New York was home to the tallest building in the world. But you won't see many natives gawking up at the shining tips of the Empire State or Chrysler buildings - each in its own time titleholder to top spot. New Yorkers just like to know they're there. They're part of the city's soul.

"In New York, the cathedrals are the tall buildings," says Kenneth Jackson, president of the New York Historical Society. "The city was founded as New Amsterdam, and its purpose was to make money. That entrepreneurial strain has run through the city's history for 400 years."

Keeping some things intact

While Libeskind's design would continue the city's tradition of always reaching for the peak of achievement, it will also preserve part of the sunken pit and slurry walls that survived the Sept. 11 attacks that caused the original 1,350-foot-high twin towers to crumble.

Libeskind calls this "hallowed, sacred ground." It's where most of the body parts of the 2,800 people who were killed were found. There will be a park here. But the building is also designed so that each year on Sept. 11 - between 8:46 a.m., when the first plane struck, and 10:28 a.m., when the second tower fell - the sun will shine without shadow "in perpetual tribute to altruism and courage."

It was the sense of hope and inspiration that prompted the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the Port Authority, and the offices of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki to choose Libeskind's design, which is estimated to cost $330 million. It was chosen over the THINK Team's two latticework structures that rose where the old trade center stood.

Conrad Scott, who worked directly across from the World Trade Center on 9/11, says he felt "uncomfortable" with the scaffoldlike towers of the Think Team. "It's too much of a reminder." But he likes the Libeskind design because it doesn't try to "replicate what was there before" - and because it will create a record-breaker.

"You can give in or move on," he says. "So, you build either the tallest building in the world, or maybe the second-tallest building in world - not to be arrogant."

Some residents' ambivalence about going for the top spot is a product of the 1990s, when there was a backlash of sorts against "tall" in New York. Civic groups charged that the huge residential towers replacing the blocks of brownstones in the East 90s robbed the area of its neighborhood feel. Grass-roots activists fought and succeeded in reducing the height of the AOL Time Warner Building now under construction at Columbus Circle. The city itself even proposed a cap on height, except Midtown and Downtown.

"If you look back over the last 10 years, there was an animus against very tall buildings," says Carol Willis, the founder and director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York. "It's quite astonishing and reassuring for me that people want to see tall buildings on the skyline again."

The word skyscraper is actually sailor's slang for the highest mast of the ships that brought their cargo into New York Harbor. In the mid-19th century, people began to use the term to describe the tall buildings that were rising out of the increasingly dense island.

It was the desire for profit that first forced those buildings up: The higher one built, the more return on the investment. In the 1890s, the introduction of steel, advanced physics, and the personal elevator pushed them even higher.

And in the 1960s, the World Trade Center was built to shore up lower Manhattan, which was loosing its economic clout to the suburbs and foreign competition.

Challenges ahead

But it's that very entrepreneurial strain that may make it difficult for Libeskind's dream to be realized as part of New York's skyline. Most of New York's tallest buildings were conceived in economic boom times. With the economy limping along, Wall Street still in the tank, and a glut of office space, it could be difficult to finance, even with the insurance money that will subsidize construction.

And the fact the Libeskind design would create the tallest tower in the world could also cause some problems. While it gives a city bragging rights and draws tourists, after a certain height, the return on investment for the developer begins to diminish, making it less attractive.

Then there's the clouded ownership question. While the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the site, the buildings were leased by developer Larry Silverstein, who will have plenty to say about what finally goes up. That's unless Mayor Bloomberg succeeds in wresting control of the property, which could give the city the final say.

All conflicting interests still need to play out before anything goes up on that site. But it is clear that New Yorkers want to see their skyline repaired - no matter what the cost.

"It's somehow stitching up the psychic wound, the fabric of the city and trying to put back what was there and make it normal again," says Ms. Willis of the Skyscraper Museum. "It has a great deal to do with their decision to want to build tall."

For others like David Porter, a British banker who lost friends in the attack, building the world's tallest structure would make a statement to the world. "It should be demonstration that New York is still here. It's still alive."

Fabb
April 29th, 2003, 05:59 PM
Is there anything in this article that hasn't been said before ?
I share some of the ideas of course, but I dislike the tone : it's complacent.

NYguy
April 29th, 2003, 11:37 PM
Its not a new article, but is actually a refreshing tone compared to most of the other articles on the WTC rebuilding. *Its from the The Christian Science Monitor btw.

NyC MaNiAc
April 30th, 2003, 12:25 AM
I also hope security does not prevent you from getting close to the 'scrapers...they seem so far away, in the pit.

How would you be able to get close to the towers?

NYguy
April 30th, 2003, 08:45 AM
Quote: from NyC MaNiAc on 11:25 pm on April 29, 2003
I also hope security does not prevent you from getting close to the 'scrapers...they seem so far away, in the pit.

How would you be able to get close to the towers?

Which towers?

NyC MaNiAc
April 30th, 2003, 09:20 AM
Well, hard to say, because the plan will change.

But, I am just talking about the 5 or so Towers he would build if nothing we're to change...would you have to go in the pit to see them? Just by looking at the pictures, they seem to be blocked by the museums.

BrooklynRider
April 30th, 2003, 10:43 AM
Quote: from NyC MaNiAc on 11:25 pm on April 29, 2003
How would you be able to get close to the towers?


You have touched on something that has gnawed at me about the Liebskind Plan. *The 30 foot pit is more akin to a holding area or cage than a park-like setting. *Perhaps it is just the renderings, but it just seems so claustrophobic.

Fabb
April 30th, 2003, 10:59 AM
Really ?
I thought it would be huge... and not very deep.
Maybe I'm wrong.

JMGarcia
April 30th, 2003, 11:31 AM
The pit is roughly the size of Union Sq. so I can't imagine it feeling claustrophobic. The buildings in the renderings are so large that it makes it appear much smaller than it maybe.

NyC MaNiAc
May 1st, 2003, 09:40 PM
Agreed Brooklyn Rider. I think some of these things are becoming silly...the pit, the footprints...it's like become a touristy spot of death...

That is not something I want to envison as I try to be optimistic that either this plan will turn out good, or that modifications made to it will give it what it needs..

I like the idea. The pit, is not my favorite, but liveable. If only I could change the positioning of the towers, I would like the plan alot more.

NYguy
May 2nd, 2003, 10:02 AM
(Daily News)

WTC plan for GOP parley

By MAGGIE HABERMAN and GREG GITTRICH

Gov. Pataki apparently is planning to lay the cornerstone of the world's tallest building at Ground Zero during next year's Republican National Convention - an event President Bush would undoubtedly attend.

Last month, the governor called for the proposed 1,776-foot Ground Zero spire - dubbed the Freedom Tower - to be completed by the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But leaseholder Larry Silverstein, who has vowed to pay for the tower, said yesterday that the governor had a more immediate goal:

"He wants to lay the cornerstone of the foundation of the Freedom Tower at the Republican National Convention," Silverstein told a group of Daily News reporters and editors.

The city is playing host to the convention in August 2004 - and it would fit nicely with Bush's desire to have the GOP gathering bring back memories of his bullhorn days at Ground Zero.

It is thought highly unlikely that both Bush and Pataki wouldn't attend if the event happened during convention week.

Later, Silverstein spokesman Howard Rubenstein said he wanted to clarify the comments: "The governor never told Larry that he wants it for the Republican convention," Rubenstein said. "Larry [may have] presumed that it was going to happen at roughly the same time."

A Pataki spokeswoman declined comment.

Land swap on ropes

Meanwhile, sources said Pataki's speeded-up timetable has all but doomed city efforts to acquire the site.

His schedule locks in specific deadlines at Ground Zero. The city has indicated it would want to take control only if it could influence such decisions.

The city and the Port Authority, which owns the site, are still talking about a land swap. But several officials said the swap - which would see the city trade its land beneath Kennedy and LaGuardia airports for Ground Zero - has stalled. One official pronounced it dead.

Silverstein agreed. "Everything I hear is that it's dead," he said.

But City Hall and the PA said a swap could still be done.

"We've been narrowing the gap," Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said. "The longer it goes on, the less likely it is after a certain point."

JMGarcia
May 2nd, 2003, 10:09 AM
I figured Pataki's speech was politically motivated. I also figured that it pretty much closed the book on any real alternatives to Libeskind for the site. But, I though it had more to do with downtown business leaders and political contributions. I didn't think about Bush being involved. Now that he is, there is even less chance of Libeskind's design being thrown out or the land swap happening.

Kris
May 2nd, 2003, 10:12 AM
Unless Bush introduces the architect of his ranch. Ha ha ha.

ZippyTheChimp
May 2nd, 2003, 10:16 AM
In my opinion, it's good news that the land swap is unlikely. The city is in a good bargaining position regarding the airports, and the current fiscal situation should not rationalize a shortsighted deal.

JMGarcia
May 3rd, 2003, 09:34 PM
Land swap appears less likely

by Philip Lentz

Gov. Pataki’s grand vision for lower Manhattan, announced with great fanfare last week, makes a land swap of the World Trade Center site for the city airports less likely, insiders say.

With plans now under way for a 1,776-foot-high building, a memorial, a museum and a transit center, the city could end up controlling less than half the site even if a swap went through.

And construction of the landmark skyscraper would likely be controlled by developer Larry Silverstein, who retains his site lease with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. “If the (WTC) buildings are not replaced as is, that’s a negotiation between Larry and the Port Authority,” one official says. “Should the city be involved in those negotiations? I’m sure the Port Authority would say no.”

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff says that the governor’s announcement doesn’t kill the swap, but that time is running out to make a deal. “The longer this goes on and the more defined the (WTC) plan becomes, the less incentive we have for the swap,” Mr. Doctoroff says. “We’re not at that point yet and I can’t tell you when that point is.”

If the swap does not occur, the Port Authority and the city would instead negotiate a long-term lease renewal for the city airports.
Copyright 2003, Crain Communications, Inc

ZippyTheChimp
May 4th, 2003, 07:43 AM
From the New York Observer

His Woes Aside, Mr. Silverstein Won't Be Shoved

by Tom McGeveran



"Where’s Larry?" Governor George Pataki asked on April 25, as he led a gaggle of reporters and officials on a tour of Ground Zero.

One of the reporters had just asked Mr. Pataki who would build the 1,776-foot-tall glassy spire that is the skyline signature of architect Daniel Libeskind’s plan for Ground Zero—a building Mr. Pataki had, in a presentation earlier that afternoon, dubbed the "Freedom Tower." He also promised it would be ready for occupancy by 2008.

"I have tremendous confidence in Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority," he continued, after he found the cinnamon-sugar-haired, 71-year-old developer with a broad, creased smile.

Mr. Silverstein is used to hearing these public vows of confidence. Hardly a mention of the World Trade Center site’s future reaches the public without including some mention of the continuing "partnership" with the developer—a practice Mr. Silverstein is known to enforce.

In private, however, Mr. Silverstein’s hold on the rights to redevelop the World Trade Center has been, in typical Silverstein fashion, only as strong as his own tenacious grip.

Mr. Pataki’s avowal, however, seemed different. It appeared to be the final blessing necessary to take control of what will be the tallest and most famous (if not the largest) building of the 21st century.

Mr. Libeskind’s tower will recoup only 2.6 million of the 10.5 million square feet of office space on which Mr. Silverstein still holds the lease. But as he becomes known as the developer who restores the skyline of lower Manhattan, Mr. Silverstein will have recouped the legacy—if not the capital—he so dearly wanted when he scraped together his initial plan to buy the 99-year lease on the original World Trade Center.

With the projected cost of Mr. Libeskind’s entire plan (which he called the "bargain basement" among all his competitors’ plans) only $330 million, the developer already has the money in the form of $1.3 billion in insurance proceeds that are not a part of the increasingly bitchy legal contest with his insurers.

"We have the money in hand to build the iconic tower and then some," a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein told The Observer. "So that’s going forward and is in no way connected to the progress of the legal case."

Of course, not everybody is betting on Mr. Silverstein. After all, the developer had scarcely paid for his investment in the World Trade Center when the towers fell, and now he’s stuck with massive rent payments on a profitless site, as well as some $600 million in mortgages to companies like GMAC—all of which could whittle away at Mr. Silverstein’s capital.

But the Silverstein spokesman said that other sources of income were being used to cover those costs.

"We have $1.3 billion in escrow right now," he said. "None of that is being used for anything except to build the iconic tower. Income from other sources, such as business interruption, meets the [mortgage and lease-payment] costs, so the money in escrow, the $1.3 billion, is for the building of the iconic tower."

The rest of the insurance money—which Mr. Silverstein will need to stake a claim to develop the remaining 75 percent of the office space lost on Sept. 11—still hangs in the balance.

Appeals on preliminary judgments that favored Mr. Silverstein’s insurers won’t even begin to be heard until the summer, meaning that judgment on the substance of the insurance dispute—the question of whether Mr. Silverstein is due $3.5 billion or $7 billion—still is far away.

"Oral arguments for the appeal that Silverstein requested have now been set for July 22 of this year," said Jacques Du Obis, chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation and Mr. Silverstein’s chief opponent in the court battle over insurance money. "So what it all means is that Silverstein’s decision to appeal the losses he suffered in district court will end up costing at least one year in terms of when the trial begins. So he’s cost himself a lot of time."

Mr. Du Obis said that the appeals process could stretch far into the fall or beyond, into the early months of 2004; only then would the trial itself even begin.

"Then that trial takes eight weeks … and then who knows what happens after that. If we win, then as far as we’re concerned, it’s over," said Mr. Du Obis. "But they’ve indicated from the very beginning that they would appeal should we win. So it’s hard to say. It could be quite a long time."

The possibility remains, of course, that the Port Authority could float bonds to pay for the construction; the bonds could be backed by the insurance settlement expected from Swiss Re Insurance Company, the main litigant against Mr. Silverstein in the massive insurance case he’s slugging through.

Such a move would seem to solidify Mr. Silverstein’s place in the Freedom Tower, since it would be his insurance money backing the bonds, even though Mr. Silverstein’s press team insists that the hypothetical bailout will never be needed.

And some developers balked at the wisdom of that move, saying the market for office space was terrible enough when the Port Authority first built the Twin Towers and found themselves attempting to sidestep the real office market by strong-arming government offices to lease space there.

"The Port Authority had vacant space that was never rented from the day it was built until the early 90’s," one prominent Manhattan developer said. "So if that’s what they want to do again, last time it was a disaster for the downtown market. This time, it will be a disaster not just for the downtown market, but for this building."

But if Mr. Silverstein builds the Freedom Tower, it will have been in large measure because of the growing feeling in the Pataki administration that some progress must be evident on the site.

The elements of the rebuilding that are most important to the public—restoration of the skyline, development of a memorial and construction of a transit hub—are all now promised to be showing significant progress before Mr. Pataki stands for re-election in 2006.

The timing, for Mr. Silverstein, couldn’t be better; for Mr. Pataki, a "topping-out" ceremony—in which the structural steel rising to the full height of the eventual building is christened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony—could be a show-stopper in an election year that’s already looking tough for the Governor.

Rebuilding officials say Mr. Pataki’s growing personal affection for the Libeskind plan goes beyond politics. They point to the fact that the Governor overrode his own planning agency to set the Libeskind plan into motion.

But the urgency to restore the skyline by the time Mr. Pataki’s current term ends in December of 2006 is such that by the end of this year, a large tarp will hang over the Deutsche Banc building at the southern edge of the W.T.C. site. The building is currently covered in a black shroud, unsafe to enter due to an insurgence of deadly mold in the building after Sept. 11. The new tarp will display a massive picture of Mr. Libeskind’s Freedom Tower, giving New Yorkers plenty of time to imprint the image in their minds—and to measure what’s ultimately built against the huge image.

Office Work

But it may yet only be a plan "laid up in the mind": Asked for specifications about the tower—its projected cost; whatever "green" building innovations might be part of the tower; the size of its floor plates; the plans for the upper stories (which will not, according to current plans, contain offices); the view of the building from the public streetscape at Fulton Street; estimates of how long different portions of the building would take to build—both Studio Daniel Libeskind and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said that the design was too "preliminary" and "conceptual" to discuss that level of detail. "We’re going to work very hard to drive the process forward and achieve the goals we’ve set for topping off the building by 2006 and occupancy by 2008," LMDC spokesman Matthew Higgins told The Observer.

Current plans call for a 70-story office building stretching about 950 feet into the sky, with indoor gardens, a café or restaurant, a viewing deck taking up the higher floors, and an antenna to replace the television antenna lost on Sept. 11, bringing the building up to 1,776 feet. Office floors will provide between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet each of contiguous office space; elevators will not be stacked, nor will passengers have to navigate sky lobbies to switch elevators, making exits safer.

The first few weeks of work on the joint contract between Studio Daniel Libeskind and the Port Authority and the LMDC will determine much about the tower: how underground transportation connections are planned and built, for example. The PATH train and other service elements are located under the proposed site for the building, according to a rebuilding source, so a structural system for the building will have to be reconciled with those elements. Where, for instance, can structural columns go? Ensuring the structural integrity of the building is, understandably, a priority.

Meanwhile, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Mr. Silverstein’s architects, continue to work on plans for him for the development of office buildings on the site, using the Libeskind site plan as a template.

How much of Mr. Pataki’s enthusiasm for the aesthetics of the Freedom Tower Mr. Silverstein shares may not be clear. In fact, as the selection process that resulted in Mr. Libeskind’s selection wound down, Mr. Silverstein wrote an angry letter to the LMDC, copied to the offices of the Port Authority and the Governor, claiming that he was being unduly shut out of the planning process.

"Our group," the letter, sent in late January, said, has the right "to select the architect responsible for preparing rebuilding plans."

After meetings with Mr. Libeskind and the other finalist in the design competition, the THINK team headed by Rafael Viñoly, LMDC officials said the problem had been smoothed over.

"I think Mr. Silverstein has problems with the plans of the two architects. But instead of just asserting he has problems and getting a little angry, he is now working closely with the architects," said LMDC chairman John Whitehead to a reporter the following month.

By Feb. 26, the day Mr. Libeskind was formally announced as the architect of the World Trade Center site, the architect received a warm welcome and embrace from Mr. Silverstein near the podium.

Sources close to the rebuilding process said that Mr. Silverstein initially found Mr. Libeskind’s "pit" concept for the memorial space too morbid and likely to turn off potential renters in the commercial complex surrounding it on the northern and eastern edges.

Mr. Silverstein quickly reversed his position, even as Mr. Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg began to make no secret of their affection for the Libeskind plan.

Whether Mr. Silverstein will need help from Mr. Pataki, or a convenient alignment of interests, when it comes time to put up money for the four other commercial buildings slated for the site remains to be seen. That, after all, is a battle for another day—and, perhaps, another Governor.

COPYRIGHT © 2003
THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
*

Fabb
May 4th, 2003, 07:49 AM
Current plans call for a 70-story office building stretching about 950 feet into the sky

That's what I was afraid of.
It's even not a thousand footer.

Derek2k3
May 4th, 2003, 09:53 AM
We all know that 70 stories is not 950 feet. It's still ashame that it can't be taller. I wouldn't mind if they built 20 floors of luxury and affordable residences on top of each tower.

JMGarcia
May 4th, 2003, 10:54 AM
I doubt if 950 is going to be the final figure but it does look like Larry might get his "below 1000 feet" wish gratified. Its a shockingly low floor height ratio for a modern building, especially one with such a large architectural feature on top, if that's accurate.

Its sad. :(

(Edited by JMGarcia at 9:56 am on May 4, 2003)

Fabb
May 4th, 2003, 11:21 AM
Quote: from Derek2k3 on 8:53 am on May 4, 2003
We all know that 70 stories is not 950 feet.


Are you sure ?
If you compare with the Library Square Tower in LA, which is also a modern office building, that makes sense.

Kris
May 4th, 2003, 11:44 AM
Silverstein is without a doubt the most frustrating and dispiriting actor in this whole process. I wish he was eliminated but, unfortunately, it seems less and less likely.

JMGarcia
May 4th, 2003, 02:06 PM
Silverstein really is just so frustrating.

Of course, Libeskind gets no support from the groups that would like the height raised and in fact they are weakening his voice. He's now in a position that he can't afford any sort of row with any of the decision makers.

Fabb
May 4th, 2003, 02:56 PM
Has Libeskind expressed one single time that he prefered taller office buildings ?
I don't know for sure, of course, but I don't think so.
I suspect that to him, the height of the real towers is even not an issue.

JMGarcia
May 4th, 2003, 03:34 PM
I think Libeskind is realistic about who's paying for the office space and the fact the Silverstein pretty much controls the height. I doubt if he would push very hard for higher office floors against Silverstein's wishes. In the end run architects design what clients want them to. A 110 story building is not going to get built unless the guy paying the construction company approves the plans.

Here's a quote from an e-mail from Libeskind.


If the market and public sentiment approves of a higher tower then certainly we could go to 95 or even higher in terms of floors. likewise the other skyscrapers proposed could be raised in height, or indeed lowered, as the market dictates.

Fabb
May 4th, 2003, 04:00 PM
What you call realism is more a complicity according to my understanding.
How can he mention the market and the public sentiment as the main parameters of the equation ? Ultimately, if the public regains its confidence, the two of them will be incompatible.

The market will dictate a bunch of 45-story office buildings. It's obvious. That category has been overwhelming in NY for the past 60 years.

JMGarcia
May 4th, 2003, 05:30 PM
That e-mail was from a time when public sentinment was most definitely against building tall as much of it still is. At least half the people I know still think it is absurd to build offices that high again, especially at that site. I disagree with them whole-heartedly BTW.

Taken out of the context of the e-mail and in context of a board that wants greater height I can see how you can see it that way though.

In any case, complicity isn't really the issue. What choice does the architect have in this case. He can only try to convince people. He has no decision making power. Libeskind managed to sell the non-office Freedom Tower to people but neither he nor any of the other architects have managed to sell office space that high to Silverstein or the PA.

In the end run, it still comes down to the fact that while the most of the public wants the skyline restored, most of the public doesn't want to work there and certainly very few if any big corporate renters will rent it.

Silverstein and his backers simply don't have the ego to build that high so even if Pataki orders the PA do it they would still have to rest control of the rebuilding from Silverstein. An extremely expensive proposition.

Derek2k3
May 4th, 2003, 06:09 PM
Quote: from Fabb on 10:21 am on May 4, 2003

Quote: from Derek2k3 on 8:53 am on May 4, 2003
We all know that 70 stories is not 950 feet.


Are you sure ?
If you compare with the Library Square Tower in LA, which is also a modern office building, that makes sense.


I meant that 70 stories is taller that 950 ft. not shorter.

TLOZ Link5
May 4th, 2003, 07:42 PM
And then you get to buildings like BoA Plaza in Atlanta, which is 55 stories but well over 1000 feet.

NYguy
May 4th, 2003, 08:54 PM
But the urgency to restore the skyline by the time Mr. Pataki’s current term ends in December of 2006 is such that by the end of this year, a large tarp will hang over the Deutsche Banc building at the southern edge of the W.T.C. site. The building is currently covered in a black shroud, unsafe to enter due to an insurgence of deadly mold in the building after Sept. 11. The new tarp will display a massive picture of Mr. Libeskind’s Freedom Tower, giving New Yorkers plenty of time to imprint the image in their minds—and to measure what’s ultimately built against the huge image.

At least something will finally be visible. *I don't care about that 950 ft height figure. *We knew the office portion of the building would go no higher than 70 stories anyway, its the "garden tower" portion of the building that will reach the final height. *I spent some quality time studying the model over the weekend. *It could be better, but its really not as bad as it could be. *I think the tower in its current format will be ok.

Fabb
May 5th, 2003, 04:10 AM
Quote: from Derek2k3 on 5:09 pm on May 4, 2003

I meant that 70 stories is taller that 950 ft. not shorter.


I know.
But LST is a 73-story building that reaches the height of 1000 ft.
How about these ones :

Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston, 71 floors, 971 ft.
JPMrgan Chase Tower, Houston, 75 floors, 1002 ft
Bank of America Tower, Seattle, 76 floors, 967 ft

NoyokA
May 5th, 2003, 04:15 PM
http://www.entablature.com/feature/libeskind/1program_diagrams.jpg

We all know the slope is higher than 30 feet.

JMGarcia
May 5th, 2003, 05:32 PM
72 Floors at about 1000 feet....

http://www.greatbuildings.com/cgi-bin/gbi.cgi/Bank_of_China.html/cid_bank_of_china_001.gbi


http://data.greatbuildings.com/gbc/images/cid_bank_of_china_001.jpg

Whether the final height breaks 1000ft depends an awful lot on how much height the chamfered roof adds.



(Edited by JMGarcia at 4:34 pm on May 5, 2003)


(Edited by JMGarcia at 4:35 pm on May 5, 2003)

NYguy
May 5th, 2003, 05:50 PM
That 950 ft estimate probably came from this...

http://www.pbase.com/image/15345876/large.jpg

But I really don't see the big difference if its 1100 ft or 900 ft, its not the part of the building that will affect the skyline anyway.

JMGarcia
May 5th, 2003, 06:06 PM
I only think it's important for 2 reasons.

First, its probably going to limit the heigts of the remaining buildings in the spiral.

Second, although it is no wider than the Freedom tower (in fact its narrower) when viewed from the east or west thereby making it irrelevant, it will be very apparent from the north or south. NY New Visions original report said a building needs to be at least 1/3 taller than the surrounding buildings to make a discernable impact on the skyline. That means it needs to reach about 1000 ft to make a good impact over 7 WTC.

As a bonus, I'd also like it to be the tallest downtown surpassing 60 Pine St. :)

Fabb
May 6th, 2003, 04:01 AM
Don't worry, it'll look taller than 70 Pine Street. The 66-story building only reaches its full height thanks to a 100 ft spire.

NYguy
May 6th, 2003, 08:47 AM
JMGarcia, I don't want to sound harsh, but I don't see why you are down about the building now. *I think there were more people against than for the Libeskind plan when it was chosen over Foster's. *But you at least liked it from the beginning. *There really hasn't been any changes in height since then. *I think the tower is better now than when it was first proposed.

Kris
May 6th, 2003, 09:51 AM
Don't tell me you're happy with this:

http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/press/middle/SkylineElevation.jpg

JMGarcia
May 6th, 2003, 09:52 AM
I'm not down at all about it. :) I just want to make sure that the Freedom Tower part is as wide as possible and the office part is as tall as possible. :)

Given all the limitations put on the site and special interest groups fighting over it I'm still thrilled we are getting something this good.

Fabb
May 6th, 2003, 10:31 AM
We'll all be thrilled.

Whatever is built, the media will be ecstatic and celebrate the new construction as the triumph of common sense, generosity and efficiency over arrogance.
There'll be touch of complacency, too. Expect the celebration of the new world's tallest building.

JMGarcia
May 6th, 2003, 02:38 PM
Actually, I think in one way the thinness of the tower will make it seem particularly impressive from close up. The thinness will make it look taller. Plus, as the tower is shear (no setbacks), standing at the base and looking up something so tall and thin (espcially from the pointed end) should be quite the sensation.

dbhstockton
May 6th, 2003, 02:49 PM
This tower's claim to the title of world's tallest is every bit as legitimate as the Petronas towers -- Pelli tacked on ornamental spires when they realized they could overtake the Sear's Tower. *This tower is much more robust and functional (than the Petronas spires), and it will dominate the downtown skyline. *Compare it (the spire, not the attached office building) to the older skyscrapers --Woolworth's and the Art-deco era Walll Street towers; its floorplate is much bigger.

Moreover, anything over the 1000' barrier that is built in the future will probably be for residential use and therefore will also have smaller floorplates. *This spire will be the pinnacle of the skyline.

That said, the surrounding towers need to be more interesting...

JMGarcia
May 6th, 2003, 03:30 PM
I think the other thing to remember is that the original concepts all had a much feebler "skyline element" than the Freedom Tower so in that light it is a definite improvement.
http://www.lowermanhattan.info/images/wtc/concepts/c1_scalemodel_far.jpg





That said, the surrounding towers need to be more interesting...

I actually preferred at least some of the features of the earlier towers.

For instance, I liked some of the additional slices taken off the towers in the original...
http://www.renewnyc.com/images/plan_des_images/firmd_sig2.jpg

It will be interesting to see if the facades continue to evolved and how much will end up like the model as opposed to the all glass renderings.
http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/press/middle/SkylineElevation.jpg

(Edited by JMGarcia at 2:33 pm on May 6, 2003)



(Edited by JMGarcia at 2:35 pm on May 6, 2003)

Fabb
May 6th, 2003, 04:11 PM
For instance, I liked some of the additional slices taken off the towers in the original...

So did I.
I also liked the way the Garden Tower was connected to the office building with an elaborate, gossamer fabric.

dbhstockton
May 6th, 2003, 04:41 PM
I liked the additional facets too. *I understand why they squared them off, but this project should not be approached in the usual nickle-and-dime manner. *The money, resources, and willpower will be available for the more complicated plans. *

The original design was also less crowded. *The increased office space ruined the cohesiveness of the composition. *It's somewhat disheartening how the LMDC and the PA snuck their original intentions back into the project after pretending to accomodate concerns about the process. *Very, very underhanded. * I wonder if they had that planned all along -- get the public excited about the design "competition" and then, at the last moment, say to the finalists "give us a rendering with 10 mil sq feet, and then we'll decide."

(Edited by dbhstockton at 3:42 pm on May 6, 2003)

JMGarcia
May 6th, 2003, 05:04 PM
I think the original design was less crowded in the skyline but at ground level it was just as crowded. The "middle" tower existed in the original design. It was a smaller square tower but it sat on a very large massive base.

I also think the new transportation center being much smaller and more transparent will also make the site seem more open.

Old
http://www.lowermanhattan.info/rebuild/new_design_plans/firm_d/slides/images/Slide12.jpg

New
http://www.lowermanhattan.info/rebuild/new_design_plans/selected_libeskind/slides/images/Slide12.jpg

I think what happened with the office space amounts was that they needed Silverstein to agree to their selection. If one of the main players came out against the selection after it was chosen it would pretty much invalidate the results. The additional space was one of the bones they threw him to get him on board.

Also, the original parameters had a lot to do with the results of Listening to the City. But, surprise, after the competition was launched all the "too much office space" NIMBYs seemed to lose their voice. Although NIMBYs are effective in a limited environment like LTTC, when the commentary was opened up to the much, much broader audience at the Winter Garden and via the LMDC website they became a smaller proportion of the total input.

Kris
June 14th, 2003, 10:17 AM
June 14, 2003

Pataki Rejects Bus Garage Below Trade Center Memorial

By EDWARD WYATT

Gov. George E. Pataki said this week that he personally opposed the underground bus-parking area that planners have proposed building beneath the memorial to victims of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

The statement, which the governor made on Thursday night in a private meeting with representatives of victims' relatives, has given new hope to those who oppose the idea of bus parking in the former basement area of the trade center. Many family members consider those and other areas near the site of the former twin towers to be sacred ground.

Mr. Pataki told the family members that he has directed rebuilding officials to look for alternative sites for the garage, according to people who attended the meeting. A spokeswoman for Mr. Pataki also confirmed the statements.

One group of victims' relatives that attended the meeting, the Coalition of 9/11 Families, said in a statement that the family members were "elated" by the governor's position. Mr. Pataki also told those at the meeting that he considered the "footprints" of the twin towers to extend from ground level all the way down to bedrock, some 70 feet below.

Many family groups want the areas beneath the tower footprints to remain void of any construction, an accommodation that would further cramp a possible underground parking area at the site.

The governor's remarks are likely to continue to inflame disagreements between the relatives of 9/11 victims and residents of Lower Manhattan. The residents say they believe the parking area is needed for buses that are likely to bring millions of tourists each year to ground zero after the memorial is completed.

Mollie Fullington, a spokeswoman for the governor, said yesterday that Mr. Pataki had not completely ruled out the bus terminal. But other officials in the rebuilding effort said it was unlikely that the bus garage would be built at the trade center since Mr. Pataki told the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the trade center site, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is overseeing the development of the memorial, to look for alternative locations.

Matthew Higgins, the chief operating officer of the development corporation, said that the agency had already begun looking for alternative sites. The Port Authority considers the issue to be the responsibility of the development corporation, which is overseeing construction of the memorial.

Madelyn Wils, the chairwoman of Community Board 1, whose jurisdiction includes the trade center site, said yesterday that downtown residents did not oppose placing the bus parking area somewhere else. "But it needs to be within an extremely close proximity," Ms. Wils said.

Downtown residents have long complained about commuter buses that spend the day parked in Lower Manhattan, sometimes idling for hours. "It's a very bad environmental and safety issue," Ms. Wils said, one that would be made worse by buses carrying visitors to the memorial.

Rebuilding officials have estimated that 5 million people will visit the memorial each year, or 8,000 to 50,000 people daily, with 15 percent to 25 percent arriving by bus. That will require parking for more than 100 buses, rebuilding officials have said.

The Coalition of 9/11 Families suggested yesterday that officials consider a bus garage on West 15th Street, currently owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as a parking area. But Ms. Wils said she believed a site so far from the trade center would not reduce street congestion around the memorial, because buses would have to travel back and forth.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
June 14th, 2003, 10:40 AM
A political football being tossed around. No one wants to make the obvious decision.

A few issues complicate the search for an alternate site:

The commuter bus problem has been ongoing for decades. Lower Manhattan is one of the few large business districts in the country without some sort of bus terminal/garage.

Proposals to find a central location for truck deliveries (small parcels), which then could be delivered on foot, removing some traffic from narrow streets.

The MTA bus storage facility on the pier at W15 St must be vacated for Hudson River Park. An alternate site will be needed.

Parking tour buses almost 2 miles away illustrates how ridiculous this argument is.

Agglomeration
June 14th, 2003, 09:30 PM
SUch pandering is one reason why Pataki's popularity is also declining, especially amongst Downtown residents. I really don't understand why Pataki's such a panderer to the victims' families, is he trying to make political capital out of them? The last thing we need is to hear him calling for the memorial pit to be lowered back to 70 feet...bleecch! :angry:

JMGarcia
June 14th, 2003, 09:39 PM
No one listens to me but I tell you that he is having an affair with Monica Iken! ;)

Its the only logical explanation.

Kris
June 18th, 2003, 10:17 AM
June 18, 2003

Ex-Pataki Aide to Lead Trade Center Rebuilding

By EDWARD WYATT

Kevin M. Rampe, a lawyer and former aide to Gov. George E. Pataki who also represented Kuwait in claims against Iraq stemming from the Persian Gulf war in 1991, was appointed yesterday to lead the agency overseeing redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.

Mr. Rampe was appointed president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation by Mr. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg roughly 15 weeks after he was named interim president of the agency. He replaced Louis R. Tomson, a longtime Pataki aide who retired at the end of February.

Mr. Rampe's appointment to the permanent position came after weeks of wrangling by Mr. Pataki and Mr. Bloomberg, who are at odds on several points concerning the future of Lower Manhattan. Each man has his eye on the $1.3 billion in federal money that remains in the development corporation's accounts: Mr. Bloomberg for housing and other development projects in his own plan for downtown and Mr. Pataki for transportation and other uses that he has set as priorities.

Both Mr. Pataki and Mr. Bloomberg praised Mr. Rampe yesterday as someone who has been involved in the redevelopment effort almost since it began. Before joining the development corporation in February 2002 as an executive vice president and general counsel, Mr. Rampe was first deputy superintendent and chief operating officer of the New York State Insurance Department. And before joining the Pataki administration in 1996, Mr. Rampe was a litigator at Shearman & Sterling, where he represented Kuwait in its claims of environmental and health damage against Iraq.

Yesterday, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation also released the draft versions of two documents. The first, the general project plan, lays out the objective and methods of the redevelopment plan, as well as duties of the development corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The corporation also issued a document known as the "draft scope" for the environmental impact analysis. That document offers details on the planning of the rebuilding effort, estimated to take 15 years, and the conditions to be studied in the environmental impact analysis.

According to the document, the study will assess the environmental impact of redeveloping the World Trade Center site into the mixed-use center envisioned in Daniel Libeskind's plan, and will compare that impact with current conditions at the site and with what was there before Sept. 11, 2001.

Two public meetings for discussion of the documents and the environmental study are planned for July 23 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The meetings are scheduled for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Written comments can be sent directly to the development corporation through Aug. 4. Development corporation officials said the documents would be posted on its Web site, www.renewnyc.com .


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company