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Thread: Winter Garden of World Financial Center - Recent pictures

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoveringCheesecake View Post
    Ugh. I like that staircase.

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

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

    http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/sh...t=4949&page=70

    Derek2k3 had a really good idea in that thread.
    After visiting I realized that idea wouldn't work, but there's still ways they can install some kind of grand staircase. It would stink if they replaced the marble stairs with a few escalators.

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

  2. #17
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Plan to remove the grand staircase is a bonehead move.

    If they remove the staircase it will totally minimize the Court as a performance space. Removal will turn it into a big hallway with palm trees and little more. It will become more like a fancy airport concourse.

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

  3. #18

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    Sometimes the stairway becomes a stage.

  4. #19

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    I say don't destroy the stairway; instead, bring the concourse of the WTC right back into the winter garden. Reverse the stairs so that they lead down into the E/W connector, instead of having the entrance outside.

  5. #20
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Will Winter Garden's Grand Stairs Be Destroyed, Yet Again?

    By Matt Dunning

    For workers, tourists and those who just want a place to gaze upon the Winter Garden,
    the marble staircase is one of the most popular public spaces in the World Financial Center.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A girl eats a snack on the Winter Garden's staircase.

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2010...r-sept-11.html

  6. #21

  7. #22

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    ^ Comments please, Mr. Zip. It's possible not all of us know what we're looking at.

  8. #23

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    A summer backyard cookout.

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


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

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

    http://www.travelandtourismnews.com/...-center-plaza/

  9. #24
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Very smart move. The other restaurants in WFC must be pissed.

  10. #25
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    That's excellent! (the set up, not that others are pissed :-)
    The more waterfront dining options the better.

  11. #26
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Brookfield CEO: Decision on WFC Staircase Could Come ‘This Year’

    By Matt Dunning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2010...this-year.html

  12. #27

    Default The Royal Palms of Battery Park City

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

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

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

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

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

    I also felt a curious mixed sensation...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (...And I still wonder if they truck in the dirt from Florida, the stuff that makes the trees feel at home ??? ).
    Last edited by Hof; July 18th, 2010 at 04:50 PM.

  13. #28
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the native dirt lessened the shock of the move.

  14. #29

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    Sorry Hoff, but that client was telling a tale. Hope you didn't give him a discount.

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

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

  15. #30
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Ouch. What's Hof going to tell his kids?

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