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Thread: Winter Garden of World Financial Center - Recent pictures

  1. #106


    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    If this sort of an entrance is built, it would be sufficient for visually and physically marking the entrance to both the Winter Garden and the underground passage to the WTC. If anything, the sweeping curve under the staits would frame the new entrance space nicely, gently channeling users to the left and right of the Grand Stairs. Circulation benefits generated by the removal of the stairs would pale in comparison to the damage done by the removal of such a popular public amenity.

  2. #107


    Found myself here on Christmas eve (no tripod), but the sign post that says
    "No Commercial Photography..." worked out just fine for a camera brace (how ironic).

  3. #108
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Battery Park City's Winter Garden, Embassy Suites Redos Revealed!

    February 3, 2011, by Sara Polsky

    Brookfield Properties has been making the tour of Battery Park City's various boards with ideas for its redesign of the World Financial Center's Winter Garden. On Monday, it was the Battery Park City Authority's turn, and Broadsheet Daily has this fresh rendering, plus some details. The redesign, which is set to start this year, will replace the much-loved staircase with five escalators and add an indoor food market, an outdoor, 700-seat dining area, and retail. Brookfield hopes the stores will bring all the locals to the Winter Garden, but especially given the community uproar over the staircase, it seems more likely the space will appeal mostly to the 45,000 commuters who will travel through it every day. So where will the community go instead?

    Locals might turn to the upcoming Conrad Hotel, the Battery Park City Embassy Suites that Goldman Sachs is renovating to reopen by the end of this year. DNAinfo has a few renderings The green roof, above, where the building's chefs will grow herbs and veggies, might not mean much to the neighbors, but the ground-floor restaurants, which will including Blue Smoke, a Danny Meyer spot, Shake Shack, and Harry's Italian Pizza Bar, might be a good place to sit and reminisce about that staircase.

    Brookfield Plans Revamp of World Financial Center [Broadsheet Daily]
    Goldman Sachs Unveils Plans for Battery Park City Luxury Hotel [DNAinfo]

  4. #109


    Goldman Sachs owned hotel = fun.


  5. #110


    4 out of 5 of Brookfield's options included the staircase, but they decided to go with the one that tears it down.

  6. #111


    Of course CPC will hold up the pavilion design approval to get BP to keep the staircase.. hopefully they'll do a sensible redesign that wont delay any of the work terribly.
    maybe not demoing the stairs will make up for time lost in a tasteful redesign of the entrance away from it's Apple IStore-esque current iteration.


    Staircase Preservationists Step Up

    Critics of Planned Demolition Voice Reservations

    Opposition is beginning to coalesce around the proposal by Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center, to demolish the Grand Staircase within the Winter Garden. The plan, which Brookfield says is necessary to handle the large volume of pedestrian traffic that will pass through the Winter Garden each day once the West Street underpass (connecting the Winter Garden to the new World Trade Center complex and the many subway stations within) is completed and the Vesey Street bridge is demolished. But many resident and Downtown community leaders insist that a way should be found to handle this traffic without demolishing the stairs.

    "The Grand Staircase has enormous practical and symbolic value," says Julie Menin, chair of Community Board 1 (CB1). "The practical value derives not only from the fact that thousands of people use it each day to move from one level of the World Financial Center to another, but also because the Staircase becomes a seating venue during cultural and performance events at the Winter Garden."

    "The symbolic value," Ms. Menin continues, in a reference to the reconstruction of the Winter Garden's wreckage in the days after September 11, 2001, "comes from the fact that those Stairs are evidence not only of this community's willingness to rebuild, but its ability to do so, and to do it successfully. So there's an enormous iconic and emotional attachment to those Stairs."

    Ms. Menin's sentiments are echoed by Roger Byrom, who chairs CB1's Landmarks Committee and is a leader among Lower Manhattan preservationists. "The stairs are a pretty important memorial for many of us," he says. "It's regrettable that Brookfield feels they should be removed. While we understand the need to make changes to accommodate more pedestrian traffic, we should be able to design around that. I would hope that the designers could come up with another solution."

    Another skeptic about Brookfield's plan is Amanda Burden, the City's Planning Commissioner. In a June, 2010 letter to Brookfield chairman John Zuccotti, she noted, "removing the Stairs creates a substantial void.... [and] fails to creates a 'grand lobby' space." Her letter continues, "we think it highly questionable as to whether there is a compelling rationale for removing the stairs, which are used regularly, by a broad range of people throughout the day, seven days a week, in exchange for escalators which will only serve to move a select group of users to their destination more expeditiously during a few weekday morning hours." Her letter concludes, "in view of the above, we do not support removing the stairs without substitution of elements that would both fill and enliven the space, as well as provide public amenity."

    Ms. Menin adds that, "it's not clear whether City Planning has any direct, legally mandated role in approving or blocking a plan like this." She observes, however, that Ms. Burden's letter to her mentions another component of Brookfield's plan, to build a glass entry pavilion outside the West Street facade of the Winter Garden, of which Ms. Burden writes, "the construction of the Entry Pavilion requires changes to an existing mapping agreement, which City Planning will likely review, and we view changes to the Winter Garden as directly tied to the new Pavilion and public areas."

    Either way, Ms. Menin says, "our understanding is that the Battery Park City Authority's consent is required before a plan like this can be implemented. So our first priority is to engage in a dialog with the Authority, and urge them to get this plan modified in a way that preserves the stairs, or else withhold approval."

    When Brookfield made a presentation before to the BPCA board in February, Gayle Horwitz, the Authority's president, responded to the proposal by saying that her staff would conduct and independent review of the plans to ascertain whether demolishing the Staircase was necessary.

  7. #112

  8. #113
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Battery Park City Residents Fight to Save Beloved Winter Garden Staircase

    Brookfield Properties plans to demolish the staircase to make way for a new pedestrian tunnel.

    By Julie Shapiro

    slide show

    BATTERY PARK CITY — The push to save the Grand Staircase in the World Financial Center is gaining momentum.

    Residents are banding together to stop Brookfield Properties from demolishing the sweeping marble steps, which were rebuilt after 9/11 and have become a community gathering place.

    "To take it away, to destroy it, destroys a lot of people who looked at [the stairs] as their rebuilding and their hope," said Justine Cuccia, a Battery Park City resident who recently started a group called Save the Staircase. "It's not going to be the same without it."

    Brookfield Properties announced last year that the stairs would have to go to make way for a new underground passageway from the rebuilt World Trade Center into the World Financial Center Winter Garden. The thousands of commuters who flow into Battery Park City each day would hit the solid wall of the back of the stairs unless they are removed, Brookfield said.

    "Brookfield is not doing this out of some evil motivation," said Lawrence Graham, a Brookfield vice president who defended the plans at a Community Board 1 meeting this week. "We built [the staircase], and we rebuilt it [after 9/11]. The steps are very emotional to us as well."

    At Tuesday night's meeting, Graham tried to dispel some of the rumors that have been cropping up about Brookfield's plans.

    Brookfield won't make any money on removing the stairs — it will cost them $25 million and will not yield any additional retail space, Graham said. Brookfield plans to add more seating to the Winter Garden once the stairs are gone and will continue to offer free arts programming there, he said. Also, the viewing platform at the top of the stairs that overlooks the World Trade Center site will remain in place.

    "I don't know what else I can say," Graham told the residents. "As we get different ideas, we will look at them, but we have to move forward."

    The Battery Park City Authority, which owns the land beneath the World Financial Center, has not yet approved Brookfield's plans. After hearing from concerned residents, the authority has hired a bevy of consultants, including engineers and traffic experts, to do an independent analysis, President Gayle Horwitz said.

    "We're taking our time…to make sure we've turned over every stone," Horwitz said.

    City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden also may have a say in the removal of the stairs.

    Frank Scandiffio, a member of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union, attended Tuesday's meeting to say that the hundreds of union members who work in the World Financial Center oppose the removal of the staircase and would turn out en masse for future protests.

    Linda Belfer, chairwoman of CB1's Battery Park City Committee, said that even though nearly 10 years have passed since 9/11, the memories are still fresh.

    "A lot of us lost a lot on 9/11," Belfer told Graham, beginning to choke up. "I cling to those things that are still there."

    Graham appeared moved and said he, too, had strong memories from 10 years ago. He was downtown on 9/11 and broke his foot the following day while going through the rubble. He then worked to rebuild the staircase for the community, a feat accomplished one year later.

    "We didn't come to this proposal lightly," Graham said.

  9. #114


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Goldman Sachs owned hotel = fun.

    I disagree. Very rich people with hot babes and champagne sounds like a combination for fun to me.

  10. #115


    Do you work for GS?

  11. #116


    I wish I were on the transactional side at GS. I'd have a Bently and would drink champagne like water. Sadly, I'm a lawyer.

  12. #117


    Investment bankers are financial wizards with amazing fortitude, so I've read.

  13. #118


    Quote Originally Posted by HoveringCheesecake View Post
    4 out of 5 of Brookfield's options included the staircase, but they decided to go with the one that tears it down.
    The plan, which Brookfield says is necessary to handle the large volume of pedestrian traffic that will pass through the Winter Garden each day once the West Street underpass (connecting the Winter Garden to the new World Trade Center complex and the many subway stations within) is completed and the Vesey Street bridge is demolished.
    Has anyone seen the renovation options that leave the staircase?

    Seems to me that there is a misconception about how the staircase would impede pedestrian flow because the only presentation is what now exists.

    In reality, the biggest choke point would be the tunnel itself and the escalators. The entry glass wall will be gone, as will the two wing-walls that frame the doors.

    The walls aren't load bearing, except for the column encased in each. You can see them free standing in the Brookfield renderings, and at the mezzanine level.

    The opening from the new pavilion to the Winter Garden will look more like this:

    Much wider than the tunnel.

    With some minor safety alterations at the top and bottom landings, new escalators can be placed here (and the other side).

  14. #119
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    There is plenty of room for people to pass through as it is now.

    Think of how tight the viewing platform above will be (which Brookfield says will remain, even without the stairs). Plus it will look out onto the extended glass roof of the new box above the escalators.

    It really seems like there had to be a better design option all around than what has been shown. Too bad Brookfield hasn't seen fit to show the other designs (if for no other reason than to present proof that what they say they are going to do is indeed the best way to go).

  15. #120


    Opposition to the removal of the staircase is picking up momentum.

    While the issue is in the hands of BPCA, a grassroots campaign has been organized, a petition will be given to Community Board 1. If you agree that the staircase should remain, send an email to:

    Include your name and address.

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