View Poll Results: Construction is underway, how do you feel about the final design for the WTC site?

Voters
192. You may not vote on this poll
  • I am more than satisfied; I believe that the final design surpasses that of the original World Trade Center. 10/10

    50 26.04%
  • While nothing may ever live up to the Twin Towers, I am wholly satisfied with the new World Trade Center; it is a new symbol for a new era. 7/10

    55 28.65%
  • I have come to terms with the new World Trade Center; although it has a number of flaws, I find the design to be acceptable. 5/10

    48 25.00%
  • I am wholly disappointed with the New World Trade Center; we will live to regret the final design. 0/10

    22 11.46%
  • I am biased, but honest, and hate anything that is not a reincarnation of the original Twin Towers.

    17 8.85%
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Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #6061

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    They just love taking it at that angle so that they can one day compare it with the full site rendering.

  2. #6062

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    Commercial Observer
    October 14, 2015

    A Portrait of the Artists Documenting WTC’s Progress

    BY SARA PEPITONE

    Slideshow

    Before this past June, Conrad Stojak’s workspace was a friend’s garage in Queens.

    Today, the Jackson Heights-based artist, who is turning old parking meters into sculptures, works from the 67th floor of 4 World Trade Center. He likes water, so he chose the southwest corner—the one that offers unparalleled, unobstructed views of both Upper New York Bay and the Hudson River. It’s the ultimate studio, courtesy of Silverstein Properties.

    Courtesy, as in gratis.

    Long attached to the belief that art brings vitality, excitement and dimension to any landscape, after 9/11 Silverstein head Larry Silverstein invited artists to work in vacant spaces around the World Trade Center site. And, why not? The empty, unfinished floors look a little like a Soho artists loft in the sky. The space is divided up fairly loosely, with some artists taking a city view—others opting for the Battery. (One artist has an entire floor all to himself.) And these artists have been squatting in these WTC studios for more than a decade.

    Documentation of the reconstruction was all Mr. Silverstein asked in return.

    “It’s something that’s important to them, but also important to us,” Mr. Silverstein told Commercial Observer. “This is really a little way of producing a running documentation of what transpires daily, weekly, monthly, in a way people can understand and appreciate for generations to come. To keep a document is enormously important to us. They’ve done it so well.”

    Mr. Stojak’s work, its own sort of documentation, began as a donation from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Previously he was working, er, not in partnership, building mini-sculptures and planting flowers in place of time-declining clocks in broken meters on the street in the outer boroughs. Think snow globes with LED backlights. A current project will be Wi-Fi-enabled, so viewers will be able to manipulate the art with smartphones. The goal is to have the sculptures out on the street again.

    Art in public spaces is a favorite topic and mission of Mr. Silverstein.

    “It makes the place even more special,” Mr. Silverstein said. Every morning when he goes to his 7 World Trade Center office, he passes Jeff Koons’ red Balloon Flower sculpture in the mini-park out front, the James Carpenter steel screen that frames the building’s base, and the Jenny Holzer light-text installation in the lobby.

    “Art enhances the beauty and quality of a building,” Mr. Silverstein said. He is searching for art for buildings 2 and 3. In the meantime he’s thrilled by the art being created in his own house(s).

    Mike Marcucci’s 16 Acres, a documentary chronicling the development of the site, just won bronze at the Berlin architecture film festival and can now be watched via Netflix. Mr. Marcucci joined the artists’ colony, so to speak, in 2004 with the promise of a year’s worth of corporate work documenting moments like the Freedom Tower cornerstone ceremony and architectural meetings. Seven hundred hours of tape later, he’s still involved, and will be there until the end, perhaps with a sequel.

    “It’s a good time to be down here, everyone’s getting along,” Mr. Marcucci said after admitting his relief when he realized Mr. Silverstein was pleased with the film (Mr. Silverstein walked up to the podium to comment at the premiere). “It’s been an amazing opportunity to be here.”

    Mr. Marcucci escorted CO around the 40,000-square-foot 67th floor of 4 WTC, empty but for the work tables, paints, tools, dropsheets and exhibition space of artists, some there since 2013. He mentioned visits from Wounded Warriors, SEALs and family members of 9/11 victims as Todd Stone painted from his space along the north windows facing both rivers and the entirety of Manhattan, eventually to be minimally obscured by the rising 3 WTC.

    “I come in here every morning and it takes my breath away. This opportunity has allowed me to rebuild my spirit, to cross the [emotional] fence,” said Mr. Stone, who witnessed and endured the tragedy as a resident of the Western Union Building at 60 Hudson Street. “Silverstein offered me a chance to come inside and make contact with the resilience of the new building. It’s a nerve center here. People from all of the boroughs come down here to work. That’s what I’m chronicling.”

    He notes the change in colors of the site, from grays and blacks to circus-like reds and yellows as new paint is applied. Prior to 9/11, Mr. Stone said, his work was all about joyfulness. He was unable to access any of that joyful feeling. “I was living behind barricades. My work became about grief and isolation. I embraced the art form of the elegy and made the most beautiful things I could.”

    His personal progression is clear as you circle the floor and regard the paintings, some photorealistic, on the wall. His work will be exhibited in the 9/11 Memorial Museum in the coming year.

    “Downtown, down here, it’s the world. I know there are [tourists] in bikinis with selfie sticks but for me, it’s wonderful. It’s fulfilling the function as a place of healing,” said Mr. Stone.

    Marcus Robinson was painting in a lavender field in the south of France when his call came. It was spring 2005. The Cambridge-educated artist (he studied modern languages, was fascinated by architecture and urban renewal and is best known for his time-lapse films and photos) had given up on his idea to film directly on the WTC site, a project he’d imagined since 9/11.

    Then Silverstein Properties let him know The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (the developer of 1 World Trade Center) had changed its mind. They were at least going to let him get started, he was told. “I jumped in the car, went to London, flew to New York.”

    Mr. Robinson began working at 7 WTC in 2006, moving to 4 WTC in 2012 (when 7 WTC was fully leased). Today, his grand piano and main workspace are situated in the northwest corner of the 66th floor, for reasons “prosaic, sort of unglamorous, unartistic and non-karmic”: summer heat and its opposite (unfinished air ducts pump in hurricane-like winds when air conditioning runs).

    The extremes of heat and cold in the building (he’s been inside since the glass was only half applied to the exterior) have helped inform his work, which often starts on plywood from the site. “Touched and beaten up by the construction workers it somehow transmogrifies into a painting,” he said, like his peers directly linking the art created here to the symbiosis of personalities, circumstance and, yes, magic.

    “There’s something extraordinary about the relationship of paintings and the site,” Mr. Robinson said. “A lot of the marks in the works are inspired from the textures of the site because wherever you look there are splashes of paint and marks and lines and some are being rubbed out.” His WPA-reminiscent, precisionist-like work highlights specific trades and the diversity of the workers and the larger community.

    “The randomness of the different nationalities and people who were killed—there’s something paradoxical about that happening in New York of all places, which is the one city in the world that celebrates people from all backgrounds and all cultures. So the art about that rebuilding should focus on that,” he said.

    Next year, the drawings and paintings Mr. Robinson created on site—at least 50—will be exhibited in Belfast, in the former drawing office at The Port of Belfast, where his dad worked in the 1940s. He also manages about a dozen cameras, placed in buildings around the neighborhood, capturing every passing moment. Rebuilding the World Trade Center, the documentary created in his first eight years on site, won a BAFTA Television Craft Award for Photography – Factual.

    When 4 WTC is leased, artists will be offered available space at 3 WTC, expected to open in 2018. The artists project will continue to 2020, when 2 WTC opens.

    “We’re on our way to finishing these buildings. It’s enormously rewarding,” said Mr. Silverstein. “Watercolor, oil, drawings, prints, photo, film; art brings it to life in a very real and definitive way that gives people an opportunity to appreciate what has transpired.”

    With documentation this moving, you almost wish the rebuilding would never stop.

    © 2015 OBSERVER MEDIA

  3. #6063

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    Crain's New York Business
    October 29, 2015

    Thirty-five years and $7 billion later, World Trade Center rebuilding expected to finally pay off

    The bistate agency will be able to recoup most, if not all, it has invested in rebuilding the World Trade Center site since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to a study by New York University's Rudin Center.

    By Daniel Geiger

    NYU Rudin Center WTC Report

    The World Trade Center site will pay for itself in two decades, according to a new report by New York University.

    NYU's Rudin Center, which focuses on transportation and infrastructure, released a study Thursday showing that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be able to recoup the nearly $7 billion it is anticipated to invest in the rebuilding of the 16-acre site.

    "The Port Authority will recover more than 97% of its capital outlay by 2036," said Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center. "It has also had a tremendous regional impact on economic development and has been a catalyst for the diversification of downtown's economy."

    According to the Rudin Center, the Port Authority will have spent $6.7 billion of its own funds by 2019, when the site's redevelopment will be largely complete. That money is sorely needed at a time when the bistate agency is contemplating huge infrastructure projects, namely the estimated $10 billion replacement of its bus terminal on Eighth Avenue. In total, the authority has spent about $17 billion on rebuilding WTC, but about $10 billion of that has been paid for by government, insurance and other money.

    The Port Authority will be able to recoup the money it will pour into the site from several sources, the Rudin Center said. Among them is the sale of the final development parcel at the site, 5 WTC, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the agency. The agency will earn hundreds of millions in rental income from tenants at the completed office towers. It will benefit from further leasing at 1 World Trade Center, where it has already rented more than 1 million square feet to Condé Nast.

    Additionally, the Port Authority will rake in money from its deal with Silverstein Properties, which built 4 WTC and is in the process of erecting 3 WTC. Silverstein is also in the process of finalizing a huge lease with News Corp. and 20th Century Fox that will allow the developer to build a third tower on the site, 2 WTC. The agency collects ground rent from Silverstein for those sites and is entitled to 15% of the value of the three towers if the developer refinances the properties—an event that could eventually net the authority $1 billion, the Rudin Center estimates.

    So far, the Port Authority has collected money from a number of other sources: a sale of the site's retail space and a $100 million stake in 1 WTC that it sold to the Durst Organization. The agency also leased 1 WTC's observation deck to Legends in a deal that is expected to generate more than $800 million.

    Still, there has been chatter from some that the Port Authority should sell off the WTC site and its other real estate assets to focus on transit and regional infrastructure. Moss said it should resist that suggestion. "You don't sell a real estate asset just before it's about to go up in value," he said.

    Although public perception of the WTC site has improved in recent years as construction has neared completion and the site has attracted office tenants, tourists and shoppers, the rebuilding, which fell years behind schedule and clocked in billions of dollars over budget, had been widely viewed as a financial sinkhole for the bistate agency.

    "The agency has focused on managing the WTC project to remain as close to schedule and budget as possible," the Port said in a statement. "As the WTC reconstruction continues to wind down, the Port Authority also has strived to return to its core transportation mission of state-of-good repair work and new infrastructure investments ... while pursuing the Special Panel on the Future of the Port Authority recommendation to phase out of real estate ownership and prudently look to divest non-core real estate holdings."

    The report also noted the large economic impact the site has had on lower Manhattan. The Rudin Center said 51,000 people will work at the WTC site, accounting for two-thirds of the job growth in the area over the next 10 years. Those employees will earn a total of about $7 billion in yearly wages. The rebuilding will also generate about $11.9 billion in salaries for construction workers and related jobs.

    © 2015 Crain Communications Inc.

  4. #6064

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    So many numbers...

  5. #6065

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMac View Post
    Crain's New York Business
    October 29, 2015

    Thirty-five years and $7 billion later, World Trade Center rebuilding expected to finally pay off

    The bistate agency will be able to recoup most, if not all, it has invested in rebuilding the World Trade Center site since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to a study by New York University's Rudin Center.

    By Daniel Geiger

    NYU Rudin Center WTC Report

    ...
    Still, there has been chatter from some that the Port Authority should sell off the WTC site and its other real estate assets to focus on transit and regional infrastructure. [Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center] said it should resist that suggestion. "You don't sell a real estate asset just before it's about to go up in value," he said.
    Ugh. There is so much wrong with this statement, I wouldn't know where to start. It makes me wonder how someone can obtain that position without basic understanding of economics.

  6. #6066

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    Real Estate Weekly
    December 24, 2015

    Silverstein snapper keeps the focus on WTC

    By Holly Dutton



    On the 10th floor of 7 WTC, overlooking one of the most famous pieces of real estate in the world, sits the photographer who has been capturing the World Trade Center site for the past decade.

    Joe Woolhead, a veteran photographer and native of Dublin, Ireland, has watched the buildings rise since 2004, when he began photographing the construction progress for Silverstein Properties.

    “Back in the day, this was just an open pit,” he says, looking out over the site where the WTC Transportation Hub is being completed. “Now it’s all filled up.”

    Woolhead’s images have been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and Esquire Magazine. His work has also been featured in several exhibitions and galleries and graces the hallways of 7 WTC. With an all access pass to the construction sites, Woolhead is able to see what no one else can — the inner workings of a historical site.

    On a walk through the WTC Transportation Hub’s Oculus, a towering steel structure designed by Santiago Calatrava to resembles a set of wings, construction workers buzz around, some acknowledging Woolhead with a smile or greeting.

    It’s a scene that’s comfortable for Woolhead – he used to be a construction worker himself.

    After coming to the U.S. in 1990, he worked in construction for many years. He suffered a devastating injury on the job when his legs were crushed by a concrete slab in an accident.

    It took seven years to fully recuperate and, during that time, he went back to school to study film at Hunter College, and began photographing and writing poetry.

    “Maybe it’s that I’m the observer in the family,” says Woolhead of his passion for photography. “In a family, everyone has a role, but someone is always the archivist or storyteller.”

    On September 11, 2001, Woolhead rushed to the World Trade Center from his home in Jackson Heights, Queens, when he saw the attacks unfolding on the television news. Shortly after arriving, he watched as the south tower collapsed.

    “I was so rattled,” he recalls. “I’ll never forget the smell.”

    He spent hours walking through the wreckage taking pictures, at one point being helped by a homeless man who gave him a hazmat suit and directed him navigate through the site. He returned two days later and continued photographing. His images were featured in several publications, and helped kickstart his career as a photographer.

    Fast forward to 2004, when an old friend and fellow Irishman Dara McQuillan called up Woolhead, needing professional headshots for executives at Silverstein Properties, where McQuillan was the head of media relations.

    The headshot gig soon turned into the opportunity of a lifetime — photographing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.

    It was a position that seemed meant to be — his 15 years of experience as a construction worker couldn’t have prepared him better for the rigors of photographing within a big, loud, and very active construction site in the middle of New York City.

    Walking through the labyrinth-like halls of the Oculus that will eventually become a huge retail center, Woolhead expertly balances capturing the ongoing construction and construction workers without getting in the way.

    “For a lot of them, this is the highlight of their career,” says Woolhead of the WTC site workers.

    Woolhead, who lives in Queens with his wife and six-year-old son, has no plans to stop after more than 10 years spent documenting the rebuilding progress.

    “It’s all about getting the bigger picture and making sure I’m here to see it complete,” he says. “There was so much tragedy here. It’s good to look forward to the future. It’s going to be the centerpiece of New York.”

    COPYRIGHT 2015 REAL ESTATE WEEKLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  7. #6067

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    Hello Joe,

    Please find this message in a bottle and join the wirednewyork.com form; we all would love to see some of your photographs. WNY gets thousands of visitors every day, so share your art with the world (if thats ok with Larry) and post a few photos of the World Trade Center Developments.

    Hope this message finds you.....

    Infoshare

  8. #6068

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    http://therealdeal.com/2016/02/07/ny...an-dies-at-90/

    This seems like the right place to post the news of the passing of John Tishman.

  9. #6069

  10. #6070
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpa View Post
    Hi
    Thanks for making me click on half a dozen or so threads for your stupid one word posts. Idiot.

  11. #6071

  12. #6072

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    Tribeca Citizen
    April 14, 2016

    Eataly Will Open in July



    A representative from the Westfield World Trade Center mall is at this morning’s meeting of the Lower Manhattan Marketing Association, and Pen Parentis founder M.M. De Voe live-tweeted several exciting updates:

    ••• A hundred of the Westfield World Trade Center stores are due to open within a year, and the first one will debut on August 16.

    ••• The Eataly inside 4 World Trade Center is now looking to open in July—that’s a month earlier than the last report.

    ••• The mall shops “are expected to be open seven days a week.” (This wouldn’t be news anywhere except FiDi, hitherto a dead zone on weekends.)

    ••• The Oculus, the plaza between the Oculus and Church Street, and Cortlandt Way (rendered below, it’s the pedestrian-only street between 3WTC and 4WTC) will be “arts-committed spaces,” with events and programming.

    Thanks, M.M.! Pen Parentis, if you didn’t know, is an organization for parents who are writers (and/or writers who are parents)? It hosts monthly salons that are also open to non-writers and non-parents.

    UPDATE: Luis Vazquez of the FiDi Fan Page sent over a bunch of other updates from the Community Board 1 FiDi and Planning Committees:

    ••• There will be 120 stores at the Westfield World Trade Center mall.

    ••• Demolition of the temporary PATH station is expected to begin in late summer.

    ••• The World Trade Center Performing Arts Center is now in the design phase and has 85 employees. It will be a home for the Tribeca Film Festival, and naming opportunities are under negotiation. There will be three theaters on the ground floor holding 199, 299 and 499 seats, and they can be combined to created one 1,200-square-foot theater. The WTC PAC will be open from morning to late evening with a ground-level café/restaurant and performances throughout the day and evening. Completion date is contingent on many moving parts, but they are hoping for 2020.

    ••• 3 World Trade Center is on track to open in 2018.

    ••• The E train connection to the Oculus and WTC Westfield may begin construction by this summer, which means it could open as early as the end of the year.

    ••• The Dey Street connector will be expanded from the R Cortland Street station to the 1 train Cortlandt station. The extra-wide corridor will be lined with stores as well.



    © 2016 Tribeca Citizen

  13. #6073

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    New York Times
    May 4, 2016

    Stark Underground Space at World Trade Center Will Host a Riot of Ads

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP


    A gigantic electronic billboard will be installed in this underground passageway, which connects the World Trade Center Transportation Hub to Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. Credit James Estrin/The New York Times

    Inch by inch, the new World Trade Center is being stripped of its connection to the World Trade Center that was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Not without reason. Who would want to work or shop where 2,753 people were killed?

    The trident-shape columns so emblematic of the wreckage are housed in a glass pavilion that makes them hard to see from outside. The battered “Sphere” sculpture from the trade center plaza was moved to the Battery (though it may come back). Panels on a nearby pedestrian bridge that were damaged are being replaced.

    The latest erasure is occurring along the main wall of an east-west underground gallery that links Santiago Calatrava’s transportation hub to Battery Park City.

    Much of the wall follows the footprint of the original 1 World Trade Center, the first building to be hit by a hijacked jetliner during the attack. The footprint also defines the edge of the National September 11 Memorial’s north pool, which is about 25 feet behind the gallery wall.

    Until mid-March, the wall was a vast expanse of unadorned white marble. Pedestrians might not have understood its implicit symbolism. Yet its spartan solemnity seemed to acknowledge the power of what stood behind it.

    Now, a gigantic electronic billboard is taking over the wall.

    Gigantic. As long as the spire of nearby Trinity Church is high: 280 feet. Nine and a half feet tall. With an LED display operating at all hours. Sometimes it will be kinetic; sometimes static. Mercifully, it will always be silent.


    A panel along the National September 11 Memorial’s north pool sits above the underground wall where the billboard is being installed. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

    The billboard is part of Westfield World Trade Center, a luxury shopping mall that is to open in August in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

    The heart of the mall is Mr. Calatrava’s birdlike Oculus. Its underground limbs include the east-west gallery.

    Because the gallery opened to the public in 2013, well before retail tenants had set up shop, there have been years to appreciate it without any commercial veneer.

    But it was never intended to stay that way, the operators of Westfield World Trade Center said.

    “The digital signage network throughout the facility has always been part of the retail program,” the Westfield Corporation said in a statement. “The goal is to integrate physical and digital experiences across the facility.”

    As for the 280-foot-long sign, the Westfield statement said, “The objective is to create ‘moments of interest’ for those passing through the east-west gallery.”

    How can the public reflect on history looking at a wall ablaze with advertising, store promotions, and arts, culture, news and information programs?

    Isn’t that disrespectful? Westfield does not think so.

    “Westfield is a partner of the September 11 Memorial and Museum foundation and has deep respect for the site and its history,” the company said in its statement. “There will be no digital media (no screens or other signage) facing the memorial and Westfield has been and will remain sensitive to the memorial.”


    The passageway at the transit hub has been a vast unadorned space since opening to the public in 2013. But it was never meant to stay that way, according to the company that will run a mall at the hub. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

    And yet.

    At street level, the footprints of the original trade center towers are treated reverently. They define the edges of the memorial’s twin pools. They are the frames around which the names of victims are inscribed.

    At bedrock level, they are treated respectfully. Clad in shimmering aluminum, the footprints help visitors to the National September 11 Memorial Museum orient themselves and understand where the buildings stood.

    In the gallery between those levels, however, one edge of the 1 World Trade Center footprint will now be the backdrop for a high-energy marketing device.

    Mr. Calatrava’s renderings of the hub do not show any advertising on the scale of the billboard. Though he has said nothing publicly, it would be hard to imagine that he is not frustrated by Westfield’s plans for signage.

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which built the gallery, cares principally that the billboard not show explicit political or sexual material. (The two are frequently confused.) The agency can veto “content,” Westfield said, but that issue is not expected to arise.

    The nonprofit National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation does not object to the billboard. In fact, the foundation said it may collaborate with Westfield on the “content” shown on digital screens elsewhere in the hub during the annual commemorative period in September.

    Somewhere under all that content, something real will have been lost.

    © 2016 The New York Times Company

  14. #6074

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    CBS New York
    May 25, 2016

    The Elite Unit That Protects The Site Of World Trade Center

    Video: Protecting the World Trade Center

    The World Trade Center site is a place of serenity and an oasis of quiet to remember the lives lost on 9/11, but it’s also believed to still be in the cross-hairs of the world’s terrorists.

    Given its past, it is critical to protect the site’s future and CBS2’s Maurice DuBoise got a first hand look at the elite unite that protects it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    “I show them the names here and the importance of the site; of this hallowed ground,” said Sgt. George Gigo.

    Gigo reflected on his post at the 9/11 Memorial site, but every day, the dangerous reality of the patrol is made perfectly clear with a warning at roll call.

    “ISIL lost a significant amount of territory due to U.S. efforts,” a supervisor warned the officers as they stood at the ready. “They might feel their power is slipping, and this is one of their chances to punch back.”

    How concerned is World Trade Center security about the threat of an attack? Is it a question of if or a question of when?

    “We think it’s a question of when, unfortunately,” said Inspector Kevin Burke.

    Burke said the elite unite covering the 16-acre site is trained in tactics once reserved only for the Special Forces of the U.S. Military.

    They learn how to deal with active shooters, train in heavy weapons, and how to spot suspicious behavior. The department has studied terrorist attacks worldwide and teams of officers are equipped and ready to go up against anything in the enemy’s arsenal, deployed in minutes.

    “We are at the ready, and we are ready for anything that can or will come,” Burke said.

    It’s a command many want, but few are chosen. You not only have to be a good cop, you have to understand what the mission represents.

    “They have to tell us exactly why the World Trade Center command,” Burke said. “They tell us about the history of the site and how they want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

    For those who make the cut, it’s more than a job — it’s an honor.

    “There’s a sense of protecting the crown jewel of the city,” Burke said.

    For security reasons, CBS2 cannot disclose how many of these hero officers are in the unit. But we can say those 16 acres are crawling with officers, most of whom you cannot see.

    ©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. #6075

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    New York Times
    July 21, 2016

    Enduring ‘Sphere’ Sculpture to Return to World Trade Center Site

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP


    The sculpture has been in the Battery for 14 years. Credit Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

    Fritz Koenig’s “Sphere for Plaza Fountain,” once the sculptural centerpiece of the World Trade Center, will be reinstalled there this year, returning a visceral symbol of death and rebirth to an understated — and all but sanitized — landscape.

    The 27-foot-high bronze “Sphere” will no longer rest on the exact spot it occupied on Sept. 11, 2001, when the twin towers crashed to earth around it. What was once the center of the Austin J. Tobin Plaza, where it stood, would now be in the middle of a restored Greenwich Street.

    Instead, under a resolution approved on Thursday by the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the 25-ton piece will be transported from the Battery, hoisted up into the new elevated Liberty Park and set down near the St. Nicholas National Shrine, which is under construction.

    “I recommend that we bring the Koenig ‘Sphere’ home,” said Patrick J. Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, describing the plan to the commissioners. They approved the move unanimously.

    The Port Authority board also approved spending as much as $600 million as part of a $4 billion reconstruction by Delta Air Lines of Terminals C and D at La Guardia Airport. Construction is to begin next year. The main building of a new 37-gate Delta terminal would open in 2020. Mr. Foye said the entire project would take seven years, and would coincide with the reconstruction of the aging Central Terminal Building.


    Though badly damaged, the “Sphere” survived the attack on the World Trade Center of Sept. 11, 2001. Credit Archiv Fritz Koenig

    Mr. Koenig, the sculptor of the “Sphere,” learned on Tuesday that the vote was coming up.

    “He is now 92 years old but still very interested in the fate of his ‘child,’” said Stefanje Weinmayr, of the Fritz and Maria Koenig Foundation in Landshut, Germany, who relayed the news to Mr. Koenig at his home. “He was not happy with the last placement in Battery Park. The possibility of a better situation electrified him.”

    The “Sphere” will overlook the plaza of the National September 11 Memorial, which wanted nothing to do with the sculpture. Neither did the nonprofit conservancy that manages the Battery, at the southern tip of Manhattan, where Mr. Koenig’s work has spent the last 14 years.

    In contrast, the St. Nicholas National Shrine welcomed its new neighbor.

    “I was, and am, all for putting the ‘Sphere’ on Liberty Park, where it belongs,” said Father Alexander Karloutsos, a protopresbyter, or archpriest, who has represented the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in its dealings with the Port Authority. He is also in charge of fund-raising for the shrine.

    As the veil of smoke and dust over the area lifted in the autumn of 2001, and the mountainous rubble was cleared away, Mr. Koenig’s sculpture could once again be seen. It was an incongruous sight, simultaneously heartening and dismaying; golden against the grim gray of destruction, an orb among the shards, tattered but still largely intact. It was treated with reverence.

    In 2002, the “Sphere” was reinstalled in the Battery and rededicated as New York’s official “interim memorial.” Local officials rallied to the defense of the sculpture two years later when it seemed to be threatened by a transit project.

    After the permanent memorial opened in 2011, the “Sphere” seemed to fade from civic consciousness, even though it claimed the attention of the thousands of visitors to the Battery. Maintenance was neglected and the sculpture was shunted around the park.

    Michael R. Bloomberg, who was then the mayor of New York and was (and still is) the chairman of the memorial foundation, had the most say about the future of the “Sphere.”

    But he said nothing publicly, other than that the sculpture looked beautiful where it was.

    His cryptic pronouncement seemed to foreclose on any chance that the “Sphere” would be placed on the memorial plaza. The Port Authority was no more forthcoming with its plans, though Mr. Foye said he thought the “Sphere” ought to return.

    In this vacuum of official leadership, the most forceful voice belonged to Michael Burke, whose brother, Capt. William F. Burke Jr. of Engine Company 21, was killed in the 2001 attack. Captain Burke’s rig is on permanent display in the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

    Michael Burke wanted, above all, to see the “Sphere” incorporated into the current memorial. But he said this week that Liberty Park had its advantages. “It’s quieter than the hustle and bustle and Pokémon Go atmosphere of the memorial,” he said. “There were a few tourists laying about on the benches, a family. Office workers heading to Battery Park City flowed by. Placed there, it could invoke the ‘Sphere’ and the World Trade Center plaza in the days before the attacks.”

    “It’s a symbol of world peace that survived the terror that seems to have come to define our times,” Mr. Burke said. “Visitors to this place, of all places, need the opportunity to see it.”

    “After Paris — we were there just three weeks before the November attacks — San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando, Istanbul,” he said, “visitors to this place have to see more than trees and waterfalls.”

    © 2016 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by BigMac; July 23rd, 2016 at 12:56 AM.

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