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Thread: LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract

  1. #1

    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract

    Ground Zero Agency Plans To Weigh Libeskind Contract

    The first contract with Studio Daniel Libeskind for work at the World Trade Center site will be considered for approval this week by the agency that will oversee development of the memorial, officials said yesterday.

    The agency, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, will discuss a contract at its board meeting tomorrow for Mr. Libeskind to be a consultant on the memorial's development, the officials said.

    If approved, the contract will begin to answer questions that have lingered over the rebuilding process since Mr. Libeskind won the competition to design a site plan: Who will hire him, and to do what?

    The contract will also signal that Mr. Libeskind will have a role in protecting the integrity of his design as the redevelopment of the trade center site progresses.

    Some civic groups that have followed the rebuilding process have warned that if Mr. Libeskind does not have a formal role, crucial elements of his design could be compromised by the political machinations that surround any large public works project.

    Other questions are far from settled, however. It is not known what role, if any, Mr. Libeskind will play in developing the transportation terminal at the trade center site, which is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Nor is there any sign of whether Larry A. Silverstein, who controls the commercial lease for the site, will ask Mr. Libeskind to work with him on the development of office space.

    Michael Petralia, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said yesterday that "we haven't made any decisions yet" about Mr. Libeskind's role in the planning for the transportation terminal. He added, "We would expect that Mr. Libeskind would be involved in some fashion in all the different aspects" of the rebuilding.

    Matthew Higgins, a spokesman for the development corporation, said the agency and the Port Authority planned to work together to ensure that Mr. Libeskind "will be involved in all aspects of realizing the vision" that was laid out in his design.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Libeskind said yesterday that no one from the architecture studio could comment on the possibility of a contract.

    When Mr. Libeskind was presented as the winning designer last month, Gov. George E. Pataki sought to assure skeptics that Mr. Libeskind's vision would hold. "It is now our task to make sure that the plan that you will see becomes a reality," Mr. Pataki said.

    Because Mr. Libeskind was under contract with the development corporation for the design competition, the approval of a new agreement for work on the memorial could take the form of a contract extension, rebuilding officials said.

    When they meet tomorrow, development corporation officials are also expected to discuss revisions to the mission statement and program elements for the memorial. Those will form the basis of the memorial design competition, which is expected to begin this spring and to conclude by the second anniversary of the terrorism attack.

  2. #2

    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract



    - The Denver Post *

    March 10, 2003 --
    Well-known projects designed by Daniel Libeskind, the artsy architect behind the controversial plan for Ground Zero, have been acclaimed by critics - but have caused headaches around the world because of budget problems.

    Still, his record indicates a willingness to retool his bold designs to accommodate financial and political realities.

    The 56-year-old architect's most famous project, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, took 12 years to design and build.

    It was initially budgeted at $62 million.

    But several design makeovers were ordered - and he finally finished it for $56 million.

    Most New York officials predict the completed Ground Zero project will be a lot different from Libeskind's controversial model - which calls for the world's tallest building and a deep memorial pit.
    If no developer is willing to put up the massive structure as Libeskind designed it, his supporters say he'll work around it, keeping the spirit of his plan intact.

    In Manchester, England, Libeskind's design for the Imperial War Museum had to undergo a major overhaul after city fathers cut its $60 million budget by almost one-third.

    Still, Libeskind brought the project in under budget - in just two years.

    But Libeskind's daring plan for a $120 million spiral extension to London's Victoria and Albert Museum has hit a wall.

    After years of budget woes, it appears the extension may never be built.

    "It started as a mystical project . . . but they were strapped for cash and they just didn't think it through," British architecture critic Deyan Sudjic said. "The project [has likely] died - through no fault of Libeskind's - because [its sponsors] were overambitious."

    Libeskind's $55 million project for the Jewish Museum in San Francisco also appears troubled.

    The architect came up with a complete redesign after the museum ran into financial problems.

    Libeskind and his staff of 110 are working on at least five other major projects in cities including Denver, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and Bern, Switzerland.

    Libeskind is a distinct presence wherever he goes, appearing in his trademark black suit and turtleneck, color-coordinated eyeglasses and elk-skin cowboy boots.

    A former associate said his flamboyance may not be ideally suited to the demands of the Ground Zero project.

    "He takes a determinedly nontraditional approach to everything he does," said architect Brian Kaye, who worked for Libeskind the late 1980s.

    "He may have been overambitious taking on the World Trade Center."

    But Kaye said Libeskind would likely come through on time and under budget.

    "There are rumors that he may be proposed for dean of Columbia [University's] architecture school. He will be very careful," Kaye said.

    The Libeskind team remains undaunted.

    "These are the facts: We've gone over budget just once: $15,000 on a $7 million project," said Nina Libeskind, the architect's wife and manager.

    "Daniel is good at getting the best bang for your buck. It's called value engineering, and he's the best."

    Libeskind has said he expects relatively clear sailing on the Ground Zero site, which could take more than a decade to complete.

    "There will be more than enough money for [it]," he has said. "It is the bargain-basement of all the schemes in the competition."

  3. #3

    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract


    Port Authority Architect Shown The Door

    By Katia Hetter
    April 1, 2003

    With the Port Authority endorsing Daniel Libeskind's plans for Ground Zero, the architect hired to develop the agency's own plans has been shown the door, the agency confirmed Tuesday.

    Architect Stanton Eckstut was hired by the Port Authority last fall to develop a plan detailing the site's infrastructure, transit and memorial needs, at the same time that the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. was running a design competition for the site.

    "Stan Eckstut's assigned work for the Port Authority on the restoration of the World Trade Center site has been completed," said Port Authority spokesman Greg Trevor. "The Port Authority greatly appreciates Stan's hard work, particularly in the process that led to the selection of Studio Daniel Libeskind's extraordinary vision for the rebirth of the World Trade Center site. Stan played a key role in reviewing the nine plans and the two finalists."

    His office referred calls for comment to the Port Authority.

    At times, Port Authority officials had suggested that any LMDC-selected architects would provide only "themes" or "vision" for the Port Authority's master plan for the site.

    When Port Authority officials saw what they liked in Libeskind's design and the modifications he made to his initial proposal, and decided to hire him, they apparently had no further need for their own master planner.

    Under a joint Port Authority-LMDC contract, Libeskind will refine his master plan and develop guidelines for commercial development. Under other contracts, Libeskind will work for the LMDC to develop memorial and cultural space guidelines, while working for the Port Authority on the transit hub.

    Eckstut, a principal in the Manhattan firm of Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, was hired under a pre-existing contract with the agency, said Trevor. The Port Authority has multi-year contracts with Eckstut and other professional firms, which allow the agency to hire them for work on an as-needed basis.

    Eckstut's firm lost the initial LMDC contract to Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners last summer.

    When Beyer Blinder Belle's plans were rejected after poor reviews, the LMDC launched a second competition, which resulted in the selection of Libeskind's design in February.

    "Stan and his team made a tremendous contribution to this effort," said LMDC spokesman Matt Higgins.

  4. #4

    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract


    Tops WTC Atchitect Quits

    By Katia Hetter

    As architect Daniel Libeskind's power over the World Trade Center site becomes more clear, other architects who work at the site are leaving -- or being asked to leave.

    Lower Manhattan Development Corp. vice president for planning Alex Garvin, quit this week, and his last day will be April 25. It's not clear if Garvin's deputy, Andrew Winter, will assume his role, or if other staff architects plan to leave, sources said.

    "Alex made a personal decision that he wants to move on and focus on other endeavors including his teaching at Yale," said Kevin Rampe, LMDC's interim president, at yesterday's meeting of the Association for a Better New York. "I'm assured that Alex is going to be available to help us as we go forward and I'm sure he will be."

    Garvin, a member of the city Planning Commission and architecture professor at Yale University, was Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff's choice for the position. Doctoroff launched New York City's 2012 Olympic bid before joining the Bloomberg administration. Garvin worked for NYC2012, and he plans to rejoin the non-profit.

    "The work I had set out to do is done," said Garvin. "We put architecture on the forefront of public debate, not just here but in other countries, we created a great public participation model for other projects going forward, and we have a great design for site, and a great designer. We contributed the bones of the city's vision for Lower Manhattan.

    More recently, however, Garvin had reportedly clashed with Rampe and other LMDC staff members.

    His departure follows the Port Authority's decision to let its outside architect go. Architect Stanton Eckstut had been hired to protect the Port Authority's interests. When Port Authority officials found Libeskind's plans to their liking, they had no further need for Eckstut's services.

    The Port Authority declined to comment on Garvin's resignation.

    A timeline for work at the trade center site could be announced as early as next week, Rampe said.

    Libeskind's many responsibilities will become clearer when his three contracts -- with the LMDC and Port Authority for the overall site plan, with the Port Authority for the transportation hub and with the LMDC forwork supporting the memorial competition -- are signed by month's end.

    Libeskind's contracts will be for six or seven months in duration, said Port Authority official Tony Cracchiolo, in a Tuesday conference call.

    Cracchiolo, the Port Authority's director of priority capital programs, said the agency is expected to study Lower Manhattan connections to the Long Island Rail Road and to John F. Kennedy and Newark airports.

    "I'm very positive about it," said Cracchiolo. "The first step is to study what's feasible."

  5. #5

    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract

    This is surprising. *From what I understand, it was Garvin who put together the second round of proposals.

  6. #6

    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract

    April 17, 2003
    Planner for Trade Center Rebuilding Resigns

    The director of planning at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, who personally invited Daniel Libeskind to enter the design competition for the World Trade Center site, has resigned, officials said yesterday.

    The planning chief, Alexander Garvin, notified the development corporation of his resignation, effective April 25, in a letter submitted last week, the rebuilding officials said. It was accepted after a meeting on Monday between Mr. Garvin and John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the corporation, at which Mr. Whitehead was unable to persuade Mr. Garvin to stay.

    "In the last 15 months I've achieved most of what I set out to do," Mr. Garvin said yesterday in an interview. "We put design in the forefront of not just the city's but the world's agenda."

    Mr. Garvin was instrumental in the selection of Beyer Blinder Belle as the architecture firm that designed the first set of plans for the rebuilding of the trade center site. Then, when those designs met with near-universal rejection, from the public and from the architecture and design community, Mr. Garvin led the effort to attract world-renowned architects to a design competition for the site, one that resulted in the selection of Mr. Libeskind's winning design, "Memory Foundations."

    But Mr. Garvin also clashed sharply with other participants in the rebuilding effort, including officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site, and representatives of Gov. George E. Pataki on the development corporation's board and staff.

    Rebuilding officials said that Louis R. Tomson, a longtime Pataki adviser who was president of the development corporation at the time, became incensed at Mr. Garvin after the publication of an article in the Jan. 6 issue of The New Yorker magazine about the design competition.

    The article, by Paul Goldberger, the magazine's architecture critic, focused on Mr. Garvin's role as a key player in the process. Allies of Mr. Pataki said they thought the article did not give proper credit to the role of the governor in pushing the rebuilding effort forward.

    Mr. Garvin was known to be more closely tied to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, Daniel L. Doctoroff, had hired Mr. Garvin to work on the design of the city's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

    One person close to the rebuilding process said Mr. Libeskind was upset over the resignation, which was first reported yesterday in The Daily News and The New York Post. The person said Mr. Libeskind viewed Mr. Garvin as a professional ally who would help him navigate through the bureaucracy that could put up any number of roadblocks to the fulfillment of his design.

    Mr. Libeskind did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

    Fredric M. Bell, executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, said he was saddened by the resignation. "With his status as a member of the City Planning Commission and his teaching at Yale, Alex brought together in one mind an understanding of all the complexities that made the World Trade Center so daunting a project," he said.

    Mr. Garvin teaches "Introduction to the Study of the City," one of the most popular undergraduate courses at Yale, and he is the author of "The American City," considered by many in the field to be the definitive textbook on urban planning.

    No successor has been named, but rebuilding officials said Mr. Garvin's top lieutenant, Andrew Winters, the agency's director of design and development, is a leading candidate for the job.

    "Alex has obviously done a great deal in terms of moving the process forward, getting us to the point where we have this tremendous design and laying out a real vision for Lower Manhattan," said Kevin Rampe, the interim president of the development corporation. "We're going to miss him greatly. This is going to be a long process. We're going to see a lot of personnel come and go. We're very fortunate because we have Andrew Winters and the planning team still at the L.M.D.C."

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  7. #7
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Default LMDC To Weigh Libeskind Contract

    Wow, what drama.

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