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

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. #616
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Yes, I believe it's the path, too. I think part of the design was to allow for an "easy" upgrade for a rail link.

  2. #617




    The architectural machinations at Ground Zero can be treacherous.

    Issue of 2004-02-09
    Posted 2004-02-02

    Every time a new design element for Ground Zero is announced, the presentation room overflows with public officials. Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg give speeches hailing the planning process as democracy in action and congratulate each other for making it all possible, and the architects describe their projects in a humble, low-key manner. Protocol is as precise as that of a state dinner, and everyone is excruciatingly polite. But it was a hard act to bring off at the press conference in mid-December where the design for Freedom Tower, which is intended to be the world’s tallest skyscraper, was unveiled. David Childs, the architect who was in charge of the design, and Daniel Libeskind, who created the master plan for Ground Zero and was supposedly Childs’s partner on the tower, were barely speaking to each other. They had fought bitterly during their collaboration, which was forced on them by Pataki. Neither man was fully happy with the result, and, while Libeskind endorsed the design as consistent with the principles of his plan, he mentioned Childs’s name only once, in a pro-forma way.

    Things were not quite what they seemed on January 14th, either, when the memorial designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker was presented. After the political speeches, Arad, who is only thirty-four, spoke earnestly about his intentions, and Peter Walker, who is seventy-one and an eminent landscape architect, said a few words. Then Libeskind, as usual, talked about how well the memorial fit in with his master plan. In fact, of course, Michael Arad’s design (Walker got involved only after Arad was selected as one of eight finalists, in November) did away with what had been considered the most fundamental aspect of Libeskind’s original proposal, the sunken pit in which a memorial was to be placed. Libeskind had insisted that the entire foundation area of the twin towers be left open to a level of thirty feet below the sidewalk, and that a large portion of the surviving slurry wall of the old concrete structure be exposed. Arad ignored all this, although part of the slurry wall was exposed in the revised plan that he worked out with Walker.

    Is Libeskind a masochist, or simply more of a politician than the politicians? Twice in the space of a month, he stood next to the governor, the mayor, and officials from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority—his clients—as they made announcements that altered key portions of his master plan for Ground Zero. He could not get away with faking much good cheer at the unveiling of Freedom Tower, since the press had already reported that there was friction between him and Childs, but he radiated bonhomie at the memorial announcement. A little over a week later, at the unveiling of Santiago Calatrava’s model for a spectacular new path terminal, he was positively ebullient, although Calatrava had all but usurped the role that Libeskind had hoped for as the shaper of iconic architecture at the site. He had also appropriated Libeskind’s original Wedge of Light idea into the actual architecture of his building. (That could be considered a form of flattery, but it was probably more of a rescue operation, since Libeskind’s Wedge of Light Plaza never seemed quite workable.)

    Libeskind was horrified when the jury selected Michael Arad and Peter Walker’s plan for the memorial. He told Kevin Rampe, the head of the L.M.D.C., that the jury had undermined two years of his work. He was not alone in thinking that a slight was intended. Some people believed that Arad had been selected as a finalist just so that the jury could assert its independence from the rest of the planning process. Arad not only raised most of Libeskind’s sunken memorial site but eliminated the angular museum building that Libeskind had proposed for the northern end of Ground Zero—the building that projected over a portion of the north tower’s footprint. Arad suggested instead a long, narrow slab of a building that would run along the western edge of the site, and that would have walled off the memorial from West Street and the World Financial Center, in Battery Park City. Nevertheless, his submission was the sharpest and the least sentimental of the eight designs that got into the final segment of the competition. He proposed marking the footprints of the Twin Towers with sunken reflecting pools, and he left most of the ground level open as a stark plaza. Compared with many of the other designs, which employed shimmering lights, water, and gardens, Arad was tough. He used austerity to suggest emptiness and loss, and he avoided kitsch.

    The memorial competition, which attracted 5,201 submissions, was conducted apart from the other planning for Ground Zero. It was organized by the L.M.D.C., which is a government agency, but the judging was done by a jury that consisted mainly of art and architecture experts and civic leaders who had been assured that they could operate without political interference. When Arad was named the winner, Daniel Libeskind was not the only person in a bind. Kevin Rampe couldn’t reverse the independent jury, nor could he afford to alienate Libeskind, whose ideas for Ground Zero had been enthusiastically endorsed by Pataki, Rampe’s boss. The solution to this dilemma was, like everything else at Ground Zero, a delicately stitched-together web of politics, policy, and disingenuous public statements. First, Rampe told Arad that his awkward slab building along West Street had to go, and Arad agreed that he would not have any say over the location or the design of cultural buildings at Ground Zero. Then Libeskind and the L.M.D.C.’s director of planning and design, Andrew Winters, were brought into the memorial planning process. Winters had been reviewing all of the finalists’ designs, but he was not permitted to report his findings directly to the designers, because it would have been considered interference. Winters’s comments were filtered through the jury, many of whose members didn’t feel much obligation to the master plan. After the final selection was announced, on January 6th, Arad, Walker, and Libeskind were given a week to prepare something that they could all agree on, before the public unveiling.

    Arad’s relationship with Peter Walker turned out to be critical. Walker is an aesthetic minimalist, which is unusual among landscape designers, and it made him an ideal partner, not to say mentor, for Arad in the continuing evolution of the design. Walker was not a natural colleague for Libeskind—they had recently clashed over landscaping plans for a museum in Denver that Libeskind was designing, and Walker was replaced as the museum’s landscape architect—but Libeskind went with Arad to Walker’s office in Berkeley, with a sheaf of drawings for the master plan under his arm, and they spent a day trying to find some common ground. Only then, Libeskind said later, did he realize that Arad and Walker didn’t understand that certain things in the master plan, like the location of train tracks, service areas, and so forth, were already fixed. “I said, ‘Michael, you can’t just change a ramp, because it affects so many things that are already set underground, like the concourses, the width of streets, the stations,’” Libeskind told me. “It became clear that they had talked to no one but the jury.”

    After his wall-like structure on West Street was removed from the scheme, Arad had tried to put the museum building on the southwest corner of the site, but Libeskind moved it back to the northeast corner, where it was in his master plan. He did, however, give up the idea of cantilevering the building over the footprint of the north tower. It was moved closer to the street, which was an improvement, since it reinforced the major intersection of Fulton and Greenwich Streets. Libeskind stopped insisting on a large pit for the site, and he agreed to endorse Arad’s proposal to excavate only the footprints of the towers. He seems to have genuinely come to like Arad’s scheme in its current version, especially with the subtle geometric pattern of deciduous trees that Peter Walker added to the plaza. And because the painful battle over Freedom Tower ended in a draw—with more skirmishes surely to come—it was understandable that he wanted to appear diplomatic this time around. Being perceived as a team player might help Libeskind win the commission to design the museum building. So far, he has no building of his own at Ground Zero.

    Libeskind must have also realized that although he had garnered public sympathy by taking a stand against Larry Silverstein, the developer who was building Freedom Tower, and by positioning himself as David against the architectural Goliath of Childs’s firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, it would be much harder to take on a gifted young architect and a jury that included Maya Lin, the designer of the most revered memorial of our time. Lin was known to have had great influence with her colleagues on the jury, and Arad’s revised design bore a striking resemblance to a sketch she made for the New York Times in 2002.

    None of the eight finalists for the memorial design included the twisted, burned shards of steel that remained from the original World Trade Center. Arad told the father of a woman who died on September 11th that he did not include the ruins because “I didn’t want to design a drive-by memorial.” He wanted every visitor to stop and descend into the memorial, and so he included an underground museum that will contain relics of the Trade center. The problem is that an eighty-foot-tall section of steel will never fit in an underground museum, and that large piece is the single most powerful, haunting object that remains from the Trade Center. Its absence is a major shortcoming of Arad and Walker’s design as it now stands.

    Daniel Libeskind became famous in the late eighties, when he won the architectural competition for the Jewish Museum in Berlin. His design was a de-facto Holocaust memorial, which was what got built. The competition for the master plan for Ground Zero required a setting for a memorial, but Libeskind went further than that, and all but designed the memorial himself. This powerful and effective element in his plan was widely admired, and it helped get his design selected, but it was destined to conflict with the memorial process sponsored separately by the L.M.D.C. After Libeskind decided to go along with Arad and Walker’s design, he started describing his original master plan in terms that were somewhat different from the way he had described it before. He seemed to want to suggest that he hadn’t made any concessions. The huge depressed area that he had proposed to go around the tower footprints, Libeskind said, was never intended as anything more than “a space that could be used and interpreted in any way the competitors chose to use it.”

    There is still no clear sense of how much the master plan means, or of how precisely its directives will be followed. Libeskind tends to talk about it as a set of general guidelines when he likes what other architects have in mind, and as a series of ironclad rules when he doesn’t. It’s true that when Libeskind was selected as the master planner, a year ago, he didn’t earn the right to design the buildings that would go up at Ground Zero. But it’s also true that all the architects who were commissioned to come up with site plans produced designs for actual buildings, just as Libeskind did, and that when Libeskind’s plan was chosen the public was given the impression that it was getting not just a site plan for Ground Zero but a fairly complete vision for the sixteen acres. That is clearly not going to be the case.

    The muddied lines of authority are most pronounced in the plans for Freedom Tower. Larry Silverstein, the developer, wants to be in charge, and so does the L.M.D.C., and so does the governor, and so do the architects. The design at present has an awkward top that comes partly from David Childs’s early schemes for a symmetrical crown, partly from Libeskind’s designs for an asymmetrical spire, and partly from the engineer Guy Nordenson, who conceived the structural system of cables that surround a windmill farm. Nobody knows how well the windmills will work, but, then again, Larry Silverstein hasn’t promised to pay for them, and a lot of people close to the project think that the whole top may disappear. If it does, there is not much left to make the building special, since Libeskind’s original vision for the tower, a seventy-story office building of glass with a slanted top joined to a skeletal spire that would rise to 1,776 feet, is already gone. The design as it now stands bears scant resemblance either to Libeskind’s compelling sketches or to Childs’s original concept. It is an unnatural hybrid made up of the work of two architects, each of whom believed he had the right to design the building himself.

  3. #618
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Silverstein can't do it alone

    Published on May 10, 2004

    Larry Silverstein's decision to rebuild 7 World Trade Center and construct the Freedom Tower on the actual Ground Zero site is courageous. He is doing so without tenants in hand and with his finances hostage to court decisions on insurance coverage. He has already jump-started the reconstruction of what was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and made a crucial contribution to the city.

    Nevertheless, following important setbacks in the courts, it is time for Mr. Silverstein and government officials to invite other developers to compete for the right to build the other five office buildings planned for the site.

    Mr. Silverstein's legal strategy--arguing that the Sept. 11 disaster involved two separate attacks and that he is entitled to twice the insurance he purchased--has always been suspect. Now, a jury has ruled that most of his insurers have to pay only the face amount of the policies.

    The next proceeding is likely to result in a jury deciding that the attack was one event, not two. Mr. Silverstein won't get much more than $3.5 billion, an amount already reduced by more than $100 million in legal fees and millions more on rent and other costs.

    He has enough money for the two buildings under way. Insurance proceeds and Liberty Bonds are financing 7 World Trade. The Freedom Tower, to be built with insurance proceeds, will cost at least $1 billion, and probably much more. After that, there simply won't be enough to pay for the other buildings. Building all the commercial space envisioned in the master plan for the World Trade Center is crucial to keeping the downtown business hub vibrant.

    Financing the additional towers will be very difficult. With Mr. Silverstein's financial limitations, new developers should be able to bring their financial resources to the task when the time is right to build additional office space. Mr. Silverstein could compete for the other buildings as well; he just shouldn't have the exclusive right to build them. Competition will bring the best deals and ideas to the forefront.

    Broader participation will also deepen support for development. Some of New York's most successful real estate executives have been angered by being shut out of such an important project. These people have something to offer, and spurning them does the city's future no good.

    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

  4. #619
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Nevertheless, following important setbacks in the courts, it is time for Mr. Silverstein and government officials to invite other developers to compete for the right to build the other five office buildings planned for the site.
    Well maybe is for the best. Different plans for the rest of the buildings may be a good thing. At least they all won't look almost the same. (same material work, color of buildings, type of glass, etc.) Just look at the World Financial Center complex four towers...They are good looking buildings but they are plain the same...I prefered different options.

  5. #620


    I don't see how other developers can do much better. They'll still need to find tenants to build, same as Silverstein. Silverstein will be using different architects for the towers anyway. Also, the guidelines for the towers will remain....

  6. #621


    (Daily News)

    Liberty bonds win a 5-year reprieve

    It looks as though Liberty Bonds will live on.

    The U.S. Senate passed legislation late Tuesday that extends the shelf life of the Sept. 11-related bonds for an additional five years, until Dec. 31, 2009.

    "Washington is doing the right thing by New York," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, who pushed for the measure with Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    "They are keeping their commitment to give us both the money and the flexibility we need to recover and rebuild," Schumer said.

    The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a similar measure.

    The federal government created the tax-exempt $8 billion bond program to help rebuild disaster-stricken lower Manhattan. Bonds also can be used to stoke economic growth in other parts of the city.

    Originally, the bonds had to be issued by Dec. 31 of this year. Any unclaimed funding would have evaporated on New Year's Day - which would have been a big loss to the city, because about $5.7 billion in bonds remain unused.

  7. #622


    NY Post...



    Larry Silverstein

    May 13, 2004 -- The Port Authority has sent a letter to Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein demanding a detailed accounting of how he plans to pay for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center after losing a court battle that drastically limits the size of his insurance payout, officials told The Post.

    "We want to know what his financial plan is," said PA Vice Chairman Charles Gargano.

    "We want Larry to acknowledge his responsibility in the infrastructure development that's required in the hole, as well as having some discussions about his financial plan."

    PA officials had become increasingly anxious about Silverstein's trade center finances even before his loss this month in his case against the insurers - which cut his payout from the nearly $7 billion he had sought to a less lofty $3.5 billion to $4.6 billion.

    Silverstein has insisted he will have enough money to put up the first building slated for the site, the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, even if he receives only the face value of his $3.5 billion insurance policy.

    But PA officials are deeply concerned about his ability to do that, keep up with the $120 million annual lease payments, and shoulder part of the cost of the infrastructure that must go into the trade center's basement levels. That includes air-conditioning facilities and the truck ramps and loading bays that will be needed to service the complex of buildings.

    Estimates for the infrastructure, which must be built in the first phase of the complex's reconstruction, run to more than $1 billion, sources said.

    Those concerns are reflected in a May 6 letter to Silverstein, which was described to The Post, asking him to commit to a significant portion of the infrastructure costs and provide a detailed financial plan.

    More than $1.48 billion of the insurance proceeds have already been spent on things such as rent, legal fees and paying off the trade center's two mortgages, PA spokesman Steve Coleman said.

    Silverstein's cost estimate for the Freedom Tower runs to $1.6 billion, and approximately $630 million in insurance will have to be drawn down for lease payments during the five years of the building's construction.

    Sources close to the developer claim the tower estimate is high, and point to discussions that would have the PA pay for portions of the structure.

    A Silverstein representative could not be reached for comment.

  8. #623


    May 15, 2004

    Top Fund-Raising Post Unfilled for Ground Zero


    After being turned down by several top business executives, Gov. George E. Pataki is struggling to find someone prominent to lead the campaign to raise as much as $600 million for a memorial and cultural buildings at the World Trade Center site.

    Sanford I. Weill and Jerry I. Speyer, two of the city's leading financiers, confirmed this week that they had declined to become co-chairmen of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation, a fund-raising arm of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation that was created to raise money for the memorial and the cultural buildings.

    Henry R. Kravis, another well-known deal-maker, was also approached about serving as the foundation's chairman but took himself out of the running, people involved in the search said.

    Mr. Pataki's inability so far to find a leader for the campaign has contributed to a delay in deciding which cultural organizations will occupy the site, these people said.

    Leaders of the Lower Manhattan redevelopment effort remain split on the selection of a performing arts organization, which has come down to two leading candidates: the New York City Opera and a joint operation by the Joyce Theater, which presents dance, and the Signature Theater Company.

    Ira M. Millstein, a member of the committee seeking a foundation chairman, said the search had to be completed before a performing arts organization could be chosen. "We don't want to find a chairman and say, `Here, there's nothing to do,' " said Mr. Millstein, a senior partner at the Manhattan law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. "He's going to be leading the whole effort."

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation had said it would announce by early May its choices for occupants of a performing arts center and a museum to be built at ground zero.

    In a joint statement, Mr. Weill, the chairman of Citigroup, and Mr. Speyer, the president and chief executive of Tishman Speyer Properties, called the fund-raising effort for the foundation "valuable and worthy." But the men said they were "unable to dedicate the considerable amount of time necessary to do justice to this important cause."

    But people involved with the search said Mr. Weill and Mr. Speyer came to view the foundation chairmanship as a political quagmire because of all the interested parties involved: 9/11 victims' families; Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the site lease; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; and Mr. Pataki.

    "It's not a simple capital campaign," one city official said.

    Originally, there were discussions about having Mr. Kravis, Mr. Weill and Mr. Speyer serve as the foundation's co-chairmen, these people said. After Mr. Kravis withdrew, Governor Pataki asked Mr. Weill and Mr. Speyer to act as co-chairmen. They also met with Mayor Bloomberg. Mr. Kravis declined to comment on the process.

    The people involved in the search said Mr. Pataki had expected the two men to accept and was taken aback by their ultimate refusal. "People don't often say no to the governor," one of those connected to the selection said.

    Asked for his reaction, Mr. Pataki said through a spokeswoman, Lynn Rasic, "We are moving ahead with the development of cultural programming at the site and the creation of the memorial to all those we lost on that day."

    Those involved in the search said Mr. Pataki had hoped to announce the leaders of the fund-raising campaign as part of his semiannual progress report on Lower Manhattan at a luncheon of the Association for a Better New York on May 5. Instead, the governor was only able to report, "Very soon, Mayor Bloomberg and I will announce the leadership of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation."

    Mr. Weill and Mr. Speyer have other major fund-raising commitments. Mr. Weill is chairman of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, which is in the midst of a $750 million fund-raising campaign. Mr. Speyer is leading a campaign to raise $1 billion for New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

    People involved in the selection process for the memorial foundation said the search committee had no clear alternative candidates and must now come up with a new short list.

    Mr. Millstein estimated that the foundation's campaign would seek $400 million to $600 million. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has indicated that it will also contribute about $300 million in public funds toward the cultural component.

    Some people involved in downtown development say the foundation's fund-raising should be limited to the memorial, which is expected to cost about $350 million. The two cultural buildings are expected to cost about $250 million each.

    They also say the search for a leader of the memorial foundation will continue to be difficult. The financial objective is daunting, and the job would seem to require a person of international stature, to reach beyond New York's affluent donors.

    "Corporate givers have maxed out on 9/11," the city official said. "The philanthropic pool is only so large, and there were multibillions raised already."

    In addition, the city has focused on raising money from the private sector for the Republican National Convention this summer and New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

    "It's hard to find the right person," Mr. Millstein said. "It's got to be a national figure who is well known." He added: "It's not just money-raising. It requires somebody with some real enthusiasm for the cause."

    Mr. Millstein, a professor at the Yale School of Management, is leading Governor Pataki's effort to develop a series of principles to govern how the state's authorities operate.

    Kevin M. Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said the chairman search was not delaying decision-making on the cultural presence at ground zero. "These are incredibly difficult decisions with enormous weight," Mr. Rampe said. "We want to make sure that we take the time to make the best possible decision."

    Those participating in the process said that John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the development corporation, was insisting on City Opera. "He's ready to go to war over this," one official said.

    Mr. Whitehead, who declined to comment, has told people involved in the decision that he believes City Opera will be able to attract the funds needed for the project, whereas the Joyce Theater and Signature are less of a high-profile draw. The opera has committed to raising up to two-thirds of the cost of a new building that it estimates at $291 million. The Joyce has committed to raising about $35 million for a building it estimates at $60 million to $70 million.

    Ultimately, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the city and the state will have to agree on the cultural anchors for the World Trade Center site. People involved in the process said that among the decision makers, Mr. Whitehead's sole ally in holding out for City Opera was Paul A. Crotty, group president for New York and Connecticut at Verizon, who serves on the development corporation board. Mr. Crotty did not return calls seeking comment.

    Mr. Whitehead did not invite city and state representatives to a recent meeting on the cultural institutions, those involved said.

    Kate D. Levin, the city's cultural affairs commissioner, and Richard J. Schwartz, the chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts, have indicated their support for the Joyce-Signature proposal, the people involved in the process said.

    Mr. Schwartz declined to comment. Ms. Levin said, "I think we certainly feel consulted."

    Others argue that if one of the cultural groups were to fail at the Lower Manhattan site, it would be easier to fill the 1,000-seat theater that would be built for the Joyce and Signature than a 2,500-seat opera house.

    A so-called Museum of Freedom at the site is almost a certainty, though its scope, content and operator have yet to be determined, those involved said. Among the other 15 organizations named as finalists for the site in February were the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Hall of Science and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  9. #624

  10. #625


    This reminds me of their scheme two years ago where they devoted their entire magazine to their own WTC pet projects. Luckily, none of their park schemes will EVER get built.

    This paragraph also gives away their bias in not wanting all of the office space rebuilt:

    Now that Larry Silverstein, the World Trade Center leaseholder, has lost his bid to double his insurance payout, it is not clear where the money to fulfill the master plan for ground zero will come from. The 1,776-foot-high Freedom Tower, which promises to become the tallest building in the world, is slated to begin construction this summer. But many of the other large office towers planned for the site may need to be scaled back; it is possible that they will not be built at all. The future of one of America's most significant public spaces has become unsettled.

  11. #626


    New York Times
    May 25, 2004

    A New Source of Power Rises Over Ground Zero


    The Con Ed plant will double as the base of 7 World Trade Center.

    Early on Sunday, May 16, with no fanfare, power began flowing through the Con Ed substation at the World Trade Center for the first time since 4:33 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Tomorrow, Gov. George E. Pataki, speaking by phone from the substation to Con Ed's energy control center uptown, will make it official: one more vital piece of the infrastructure around the trade center site is back in place, following the restoration of the subway tunnel for the Nos. 1 and 9 lines in 2002 and the opening of the temporary PATH station last year.

    "In my 41 years with the company, this is the most difficult and complicated substation project I've ever built," said Eugene R. McGrath, chairman and chief executive of Consolidated Edison. The final project budget has yet to be tallied, but company officials said that constructing a new substation in Manhattan might be expected to cost about $100 million.

    The new substation, like the structure it replaces, doubles as the base of Silverstein Properties' 7 World Trade Center office building, across Vesey Street from the main trade center site. About 20 floors of steel now rise above the substation's 80-foot tall concrete shell.

    Three transformers in the substation will each put out 80 megawatts of power. (The trade center used about 110 megawatts.) The substation now serves Battery Park City but will also eventually power the rebuilt trade center.

    As many as seven transformers can be added. "This new substation will not only fully replace what we lost on Sept. 11," Mr. Pataki said in a statement, "but will also be large enough to accommodate the new electric demand that is expected.''

    In theory, only one transformer is needed today. But Stephen E. Quinn, the vice president for substation operations, said Con Ed builds in a double contingency, under which one of the transformers could be shut down for maintenance, another transformer could fail and the substation could still send out the needed power with the remaining transformer.

    On the afternoon of the attack, Con Ed officials shut down the nine-transformer substation shortly before 7 World Trade Center collapsed. No one was killed or injured at the substation. but a retired Con Ed vice president for emergency management, Richard Morgan, died at the twin towers, where he had rushed that morning to offer assistance.

    Con Ed managed to cope after the attack by adding five transformers to a nearby substation. The destruction of the trade center also substantially reduced demand.

    The new substation is shaped to permit the opening of a private driveway along what was once Greenwich Street, a route blocked by the old 7 World Trade Center. The new form required squeezing the 40-foot-high transformer vaults tightly and stacking the switch gear overhead, no easy feat with cables so thick they need a five-foot turning radius.

    This engineering challenge came on top of the already daunting task of restoring the underground power grid while Verizon, a next-door neighbor at 140 West Street, was trying to restore the intertwined ganglia of the telecommunications grid and the city was rebuilding sewer and water lines. "It's truly a story below ground," Mr. Quinn said.

    Area substations play the critical role of reducing the very high-voltage power from generating stations into a more manageable current that can be distributed across a small local network to residential and commercial customers.

    At the trade center substation, power arrives through 138,000-volt cables. The cables run up to ceramic devices known as potheads, above which aluminum strands carry the power through circuit switchers and down to movable arms. When those arms swing into position, the electricity completes its journey to the transformers, from which it emerges at 13,000 volts. It then runs through the switch gear upstairs - in essence, automated circuit breakers - before it is sent out again under the streets to customers.

    The $1.1 million transformers were made in Austria by Va Tech. Each is 20 feet tall, weighs 168 tons and is cooled by a giant radiator. It is the radiators - not the transformers - that are visible from the street, with their vertical cooling fins topped by large tanks holding mineral oil-based coolant.

    Con Ed has 23 other substations in Manhattan. The company does not identify them, but they are not hard to spot if you have one in your neighborhood: a low, windowless, nameless building, often with colossal external vents to cool the transformers inside, surrounded by chain-link fences and, sometimes, concrete barriers.

    By contrast, the trade center substation will be turned into a work of environmental art by James Carpenter Design Associates, working with the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It will be clad in ranks of prismatic stainless-steel bars, arranged in alternating angles to reflect different sections of the sky and surrounding streetscape. There will be a cavity behind the bars inside of which light-emitting diodes will be installed that can create changing patterns.

    "The whole desire was to activate the base of the building," said Mr. Carpenter, who is also the collaborating artist on the Fulton Street Transit Center project, the design of which is to be unveiled tomorrow.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  12. #627


    May 29, 2004

    Ground Zero Pay Dispute Is Simmering


    Daniel Libeskind, the master planner for the World Trade Center site, and Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial leaseholder, are fighting over how much Mr. Libeskind should be paid for his work on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower.

    Mr. Libeskind submitted a bill for $800,000. Mr. Silverstein countered with an offer of $125,000. And though the sides are still talking, they remain far apart.

    Initially the architect and the developer also disagreed over how much office space to rebuild at ground zero. More recently Mr. Libeskind and Mr. Silverstein's architect, David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, locked horns on what the Freedom Tower should look like, an impasse resolved by merging their visions.

    The current quarrel is about Mr. Libeskind's design work on the skyscraper, whose projected cost is $1.8 billion. Mr. Libeskind was paid $2.25 million for his master plan of the entire 16 acres, including his initial ideas for the tower, said Nina Libeskind, Mr. Libeskind's wife and business partner.

    "Larry Silverstein is fully prepared to fairly compensate Daniel Libeskind for his work on the Freedom Tower," Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein, said in a statement. But only so much, Mr. Rubenstein explained.

    "Mr. Libeskind has already been compensated many millions of dollars by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority for his work on the master plan," he said. "It would be unfair to the government and Mr. Silverstein for Mr. Libeskind to be paid twice for his Freedom Tower idea."

    Mr. Libeskind has said he will settle for about $600,000, people involved in the negotiations said, and Mr. Silverstein has indicated he will settle for $200,000 to $300,000.

    "That's not appropriate for six months of work for the team," Ms. Libeskind said in a telephone interview yesterday from Dublin, where their firm is designing a performing arts center.

    Mr. Silverstein has asked the Libeskinds to settle the matter through mediation. But Edward W. Hayes, a lawyer for the couple, said they do not trust the mediation process because it is nonbinding and participants are not required to take an oath.

    Mr. Silverstein's side argues that mediation is a reasonable option, particularly because Mr. Libeskind did not maintain time sheets to justify his charges.

    "We are perplexed as to why he has turned down our offers of mediation, given that he has failed to produce any industry standard documentation of his work," Mr. Rubenstein said.

    Ms. Libeskind said that she and her husband do not typically prepare time sheets, though they would have been willing to had that been agreed upon at the outset. Mr. Libeskind kept time sheets in his work on the master plan under an agreement with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is overseeing the downtown rebuilding effort, and with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

    Still, the Libeskinds maintain that meetings on the calendar do not capture the creative effort expended on the Freedom Tower design and that the Silverstein offer was insulting. "The offer he made was ridiculous," Mr. Hayes said.

    Janno Lieber, the project director for the World Trade Center, said that business was business. "We pay our professionals, including architects, for time," he said.

    In October, development of the Freedom Tower came to a standstill when Mr. Libeskind and Mr. Childs disagreed on the design for the building. Mr. Libeskind had called for an asymmetrical composition with a spire; Mr. Childs proposed a more symmetrical structure that would twist and taper as it rose. A compromise was reached in December with a design that incorporated both elements.

    Mr. Hayes suggested that Mr. Silverstein was penalizing his clients for resisting Mr. Childs's changes to the tower. "He's bitter because he wanted these guys to help him get around the master plan, and they wouldn't," Mr. Hayes said. "I think it's totally retaliatory."

    Mr. Lieber said, "Nobody's being punished. Notwithstanding the difficulties in the design process, we're prepared to compensate Libeskind fully for the time that he and his staff put onto working on the Freedom Tower."

    Mr. Hayes said he was optimistic that the dispute would be settled in the next few days. "I think it's going to be resolved," he said.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  13. #628


    NY Post...



    June 1, 2004 -- IN an apparent concession to City Hall, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has opened the door to extending two more downtown streets through a portion of the reborn World Trade Center site, according to an LMDC document to be released tomorrow.

    Both Dey and Cortlandt streets, which now end at Church Street, might be stretched westward to Greenwich Street - which itself is to be extended to run fully through Ground Zero on a north-south axis from Vesey to Liberty streets.

    Although the extensions of Greenwich and Fulton streets have long been part of the plans for Ground Zero, until now, Dey and Cortlandt were slated to terminate at their western ends at Church Street - as they do now. All four streets once ran all the way through the 16-acre site until the creation of the WTC "superblock" in the 1960s.

    The street news popped up in a summary of the LMDC's "Record of Decision and Findings" statement for the site. The document is a crucial step because any meaningful changes from this point will require a new environmental review and cost the redevelopment effort precious time.

    On July 4th, Larry Silverstein - flanked by every public official you can name - will break ground on the David Childs-designed Freedom Tower at Ground Zero's northwest corner.

    The new LMDC statement reads: "[Office] Tower 3 . . . will be separate from and to the south of the permanent WTC PATH Terminal building, allowing Dey Street to extend between Church and Greenwich streets." Office Tower 4 "will be separate from and to the south of Tower 3, allowing Cortlandt Street to extend between Church and Greenwich Streets."

    As recently as late April, the LMDC's environmental impact statement for the project had referred only to "allowing the Dey Street view corridor" to be extended.

    The new LMDC summary says the site plan "allows for the possible design and construction of Cortlandt and Dey streets, and the [Port Authority], LMDC and the City of New York will continue to discuss the final status of those streets."

    LMDC officials could not be reached over the holiday weekend. But the willingness to extend Dey and Cortlandt streets appears to reflect an accommodation with city planners, who were reported to be lobbying the LMDC and the Port Authority for such a change in the master plan.

  14. #629


    I'd prefer if Cortlandt and Dey remained unmapped. I like the idea of the galleria on Cortlandt in the original master plan.

  15. #630
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    Is it just my perception or is Liebskind and his "masterplan" being relegated a footnote in all this?

    I hated his plan anyway, but it seems it is being dismantled piece by piece.

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