Arts center design
... Also at Monday night’s C.B. 1 meeting, board members got an update on the long-delayed W.T.C. performing arts center.
The city, which is now leading the planning effort, has said the PAC could not begin construction until at least 2014 and would not open until at least 2017. On Monday, Andrew Winters, director of the Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects, said even those far-off dates could be too optimistic.
“There is not a more complicated building type in the world than a performing arts facility,” Winters said. “They’re more expensive than you want them to be, they take a longer time than you want them to and the design goals are very high. When they finally happen, everyone celebrates and no one remembers it was a very long process to get there.”
Winters also gave new details on the PAC design, which will have a 1,000-seat dance theater; a cafe spilling out onto 1 W.T.C.’s plaza; a secondary theater or banquet hall; and an outdoor amphitheater on the roof overlooking the memorial. Preliminary designs by architect Frank Gehry include trees planted on surfaces all the way up the building, continuing the visual theme of the memorial.
While the city is focusing on building the PAC at Greenwich and Vesey Sts., the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which committed $60 million to the project, is studying moving the PAC farther south to the 130 Liberty site, where its construction could begin earlier. Sayar Lonial, director of planning for the L.M.D.C., said he would have an answer on whether such a move is feasible by the C.B. 1 committee’s next meeting Dec. 14.