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Thread: Winter Garden of World Financial Center - Recent pictures

  1. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Major alteration. Brookfield doesn't have the final say; they have to convince BPCA to allow it.

    The grass is nice, but it always was a dead zone.
    Huh. Did the BPCA allow it, then? The stairs, that is.

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

  2. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by zippythechimp View Post
    the problem as i see it is that workers would now be entering the complex on the first level, and would have to get to the turnstiles on the 2nd level. Besides the staircase, there are two escalators at the opposite end of the winter garden.

    October 4, 2010

    World Financial Overhaul Hits Snag


    By ELIOT BROWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  3. #48
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    There is empty space at the perimeter of the first floor encircling the staircase (for a few years those glass enclosed areas were used to display models and plans for the new WTC site, but have sat empty for months). Brookfield seems to want to create more retail space, but perhaps it's just not appropriate here. i'd not be surprised to see that they would prefer to take up some additional space at the perimeter of the Winter Garden for retail / food concessions. They should look into opening up the space to the sides of the stair case to allow a widened pedestrian area on the first floor.

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

  4. #49

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    The problem with the retail space in the horseshoe corridor relates to this statement, which is really a half-truth:
    "When the World Financial Center was built, the retail was really an afterthought," Mr. Clark says.
    The retail was targeted to the WFC office workers and those that came across the north bridge from the WTC, who far outnumbered residents. Most of the pedestrian traffic was on the second floor. Not only along the staircase, but the retail along the corridor to 2WFC also struggled.

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

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

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

  5. #50

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

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

  6. #51

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    Brookfield Properties made a presentation to CB1 last night. Besides removal of the staircase, they plan a two-level food court and market in the area south of the Winter Garden.

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

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

    http://www.dnainfo.com/20101005/down...enter-redesign

  7. #52
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    About as dull as can be. No doubt Brookfield is salivating at the possibility of feeding the millions of folks who'll need a pick me up after visiting the memorial across the street.

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

  8. #53

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    Let me be the ranter.

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

  9. #54

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    More images in the slideshow. Use full-screen.

    http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2010...novations.html

  10. #55

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    They need to get Calatrava to design the escalators and 2nd floor bridge then.

  11. #56

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

  12. #57

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    New images for the E/W Connector headhouse from Bluemelon.com. They've integrated it into the Winter Garden:








    I like it. It has that old WTC feel. Plus it's a continuous underground concourse from the Fulton Street Transit Center to the World Financial Center. This possibly triples, or even quadruples the Mall At The World Trade Center's size.

  13. #58

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

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

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

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

  14. #59
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    ^^ I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the stairs are still there in that cross section. Too bad the addition looks like a cancerous abortion.

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

  15. #60
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Totally lame. Clumsy, non contextual. Tarted up with that helixy trellis. FAIL.

    Enjoy your food.

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