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

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  • 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. #691

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy
    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    Church Street is approximately one story higher than West Street. Accordingly, I am guessing that you took the escalator down from Church, as that was the only one of four approaches from which the concourse could be classified as "underground."
    You couldn't be more wrong. I mentioned that I used the concourse daily (I used to commute on the PATH) and to reach street level from either side required taking steps or an escalator.

    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    For those of us coming from BPC, however, the WTC concourse was above-ground, by any conceivable definition of the word. You simply entered at ground level from the Marriott, or the North Tower, or the entrance by the Sam Goody on Liberty Street, and, presto, you were at the retail concourse. No escalators! No grade changes of any kind.
    Unfortunately, most people who entered the WTC concourse were not coming from BPC. But even the majority of those who did come from BPC used the pedestrian bridges over West St, which I don't have to tell you needed an escalator to descend from(wether entering 1 WTC lobby or the street).

    By all means, the WTC concourse was underground, anyway you look at it. One store with a street level entrance doesn't change that.

    I guess I don't know what else to say. Prior to 9/11, I used the WTC concourse every day and never once went up or down an escalator or even a single stair to reach the concourse level. The entrances on both Liberty and West Street were at ground-level. I guess if you want to believe that I am fabricating all this you are free to do so. Three years worth of the Felix Salman's of the world mis-describing the old WTC shopping concourse as "underground" will do that, I suppose.

    As for West Street, yes you could go up the marble staircase or an escalator at the WFC and then take the North Bridge across West Street, but that would not place you at the concourse level, it would place you at the plaza level, which was about fifteen feet in the air at West Street. If you then walked all the way across the WTC plaza to Church Street, you would then find yourself at ground level on Church Street (which was one story higher than West Street), where you would once again find (Felix Salman, close your ears if you are listening!) more ground level retail (e.g., the Borders).

    In other words, when the PA build the original WTC, they did something quite clever that none of the current round of planners has figured out. Namely, that because Church Street is one story higher than West Street, if you made a plaza on two levels, you could actually MAXIMIZE the amount of street-level retail.

    BTW, the set-upw as not just great for BPCers. For persons like yourself ascending from the Path Train Station (one very deep story below the ground-level retail concourse), the retail of the old WTC was especially well-placed, as it was on your direct Path to and from work!

    Now, whether any new ground-level retail should be accessible from indoor versus outdoor entrances (the issue that Zippy seems preoccupied with), that is a whole other issue. While I enjoyed the weather-protected, indoor (but above-ground, not underground) retail concourse of the old WTC, some additional outdoor street frontage would have made the whole setup more welcoming for the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the demands of the memorial will limit how much of this we will ultimately get.

  2. #692

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    Now, whether any new ground-level retail should be accessible from indoor versus outdoor entrances (the issue that Zippy seems preoccupied with), that is a whole other issue.
    No, that is the issue, and you have misunderstood it since you first cited Salmon's "above ground."

    You seem to be the only one here that doesn't understand the distinction between above ground-below ground, or indoor-outdoor retail as it has always related to a discussion of the WTC site. It is not about escalators or levels, but about animating the street. The old site had very little of this. Of the 70 stores in the complex, only a handful were on the street.

    In other words, when the PA build the original WTC, they did something quite clever that none of the current round of planners has figured out.
    During the 90s the PA became unhappy with the mall layout, and was exploring ways of opening it up the the plaza above. I may be wrong, but I think Silverstein contracted SOM to redesign.

    Unfortunately, the demands of the memorial will limit how much of this we will ultimately get.
    Why is that? In an earlier post, you erred when you said that retail would have to be under the memorial plaza. There will be no retail anywhere near the memorial. The plans state that the amount of retail will be twice what was there previously. If you have contrary data, please post it.

  3. #693

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    [quote="ZippyTheChimp"]

    Unfortunately, the demands of the memorial will limit how much of this we will ultimately get.
    Why is that? In an earlier post, you erred when you said that retail would have to be under the memorial plaza. There will be no retail anywhere near the memorial. The plans state that the amount of retail will be twice what was there previously. If you have contrary data, please post it.
    Because the entire 4.5 acre memorial park, the area which was once jam-packed with above-ground retail, will now have none. Zero. It will be a park with two giant one-acre square holes in the middle, and with some stores perhaps two to three levels BELOW ground. So where is this new above-ground retail going to go? Not on Liberty Street. There will be another park on the other side of Liberty Street. I suppose there will eventually be some new above ground retail on the east side of Greenwich Street and on the west side of Church Street, but I have a hard time believing it will anywhere near enough to compensate for what was lost, plus it will be much farther away from BPC, no longer weather-protected, and no longer on the path to and from the subways. Plus, while you claim there will ultimately be more above-ground retail than existed before, which I hope is true, I find it interesting that in three years the PA has been unable to find a single developer for all this retail, and the one developer which the agency already had bound under contract -- Westfield Properties -- took $140 million of our tax dollars to get out of the new scheme, because it knew the new retail scheme would not be nearly as successful as what was lost. Maybe you consider yourself more of an expert on commercial retail then the folks at Westfield Properties, but I have to defer to their judgment on this one.

    As for Felix Salman, I guess I will just have to take you at your word that poor Felix was merely inarticulate and not inaccurate.

  4. #694

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    So, you have no documentation at all to support your claim. It is merely your speculation.

    Opportunities for retail:
    Church St
    Greenwich St
    Vesey St
    Fulton St
    Liberty St (Church to Greenwich)
    Cortlandt St
    Dey St

    The plans are specific on the amount of retail that would be available. If they are lies, then you are right, but you should have some proof before you make that statement.

    In my opinion, Westfield got out because:
    1. They wanted a captive audience, which they had in the concourse.
    2. They just wanted out. Their argument about losing concourse retail never made sense, since they would have gained square footage. This was a way of exiting gracefully without making it appear to be abandonment. It's the one thing I have to give Silverstein credit for. He could have just defaulted on the lease payments, but stuck it out.

    As for wasted money, the PA now holds that lease.

    Yes, the retail will be farther away from Battery Park City, but I will have no trouble walking a little further for twice as much. Remember there will be a connection from the Wintergarden to the new concourse, and a crossing point at West and Fulton Sts. Anyway, it's not about BPC, but all of lower Manhattan; and some of us in the neighborhood need to get over ourselves.

  5. #695

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    New York Post
    July 19, 2004

    Post Opinion Editorial

    Another Payday For Danny

    Daniel Libeskind is a genius.

    He says so himself.

    And not only that, the shameless self-promoter — who's already making a bundle on his redevelopment plan for Ground Zero — is demanding that he actually be paid just for being, well, a genius.

    No kidding.

    Libeskind has sued developer Larry Silverstein for $843,753 to which he says he's entitled for his "master plan" for the World Trade Center site.

    He calls it a "genius fee."

    What a twit.

    He's looking for yet another payday — on top of the millions he's already been paid by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the advance he's received from his upcoming memoir (which originally was timed to coincide with the third anniversary of 9/11) and the money he got for appearing as pitchman in an automobile ad that touted his Ground Zero work as the "commission of the century."

    What a greedy twit.

    But genius must be served, it seems.

    Silverstein has offered $225,000 — a figure Libeskind and his wife/manager deem "insulting."

    But Mr. and Mrs. Genius aren't about to have the dispute decided by impartial arbitration. Nor have they kept any timesheets or documentation to back up their claims.

    Instead, they're demanding a fee based on a percentage of the total construction costs — which are still undetermined.

    Besides, they insist Silverstein is low-balling their "genius fee" as part of his bid to marginalize Libeskind's presence in the Ground Zero redevelopment; in fact, Libeskind's plan for the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower was merged with that of architect David Childs.

    Moreover, their lawsuit charges, Silverstein is trying to get around the genius's master plan — a charge we certainly hope is true.

    That Libeskind even is involved in the Lower Manhattan redevelopment is thanks to Gov. Pataki, who early on endorsed Libeskind's plan and then pretty much rammed it down the throats of his hand-picked board at the LMDC.

    Ever since, Libeskind has played the prima donna, throwing one hissy fit after another, storming out of meetings and showing a genuine lack of cooperation — not surprising, since he seems firmly focused on building his personal reputation at the expense of New York City's wounded skyline.

    What's crystal clear is that Libeskind isn't interested in collaborating with those actually tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding Ground Zero.

    He could do all of New York a favor by pulling up stakes and going back to writing his pretentious poetry (past verses include odes to "America's mass-produced urine antennae").

    If not, it's time for Pataki and his cronies to pull the plug.

    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  6. #696

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    Looking at the large memorial area, which appears even larger as a 70 foot deep hole, it's easy to believe that there will be no room for substantial retail on site - except for one overlooked fact. Most of the retail that existed pre 09/11 was east of Greenwich St.

    The image shows all the pre-09/11 concourse retail. The yellow areas are Greenwich, Fulton, Cortlandt and Dey Sts from the new site plan. Part of the 6WTC footprint will be available for retail.


  7. #697

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    New York Times
    August 6, 2004

    Deal Will Give City Control of Streets at Trade Center Site

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    New York City - and not the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - will own and control the streets and sidewalks that run through the World Trade Center site, under an agreement that lifts a 37-year-old cloud over ownership of the property.

    Though the city long ago closed the streets that once divided the trade center superblock, it had never formally relinquished legal title. (No one seems to know why any longer.) This was not a big enough cloud to have prevented construction of the twin towers, financed through the Port Authority, but would have been an obstacle to private financing. So it gave the Bloomberg administration extra leverage in its negotiations with the authority over planning for the trade center site, which the authority owns.

    "The city wants to ensure that we are going to adhere to the general project plan and that the infrastructure will be built that will allow the project to move forward," said Joseph J. Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority. "They want to ensure that there are proper public spaces. And we want to settle the city street issue."

    He added, "This is something that should have been settled in 1967."

    The tentative redevelopment deal approved on Wednesday by the Port Authority board calls for the city to operate, manage and maintain the new sidewalks and streets. It would own the surface level and a layer slightly more than one foot below. The authority would own the rest, including the remnant street beds to which the city had kept title.

    Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff called the agreement a breakthrough. "The Port has appropriately recognized the city's role in the World Trade Center site," he said yesterday, "and clearly, in many respects, we'll continue to be partners as planning and implementation move forward. It's important to point out that in many ways this agreement is an affirmation of everyone's commitment to the Libeskind master plan."

    If the city had not relinquished title, Mr. Seymour said, it would have been practically impossible to follow the master plan by the architect Daniel Libeskind, since the old street routes ran through the sites intended for Tower 2, the Wedge of Light Plaza and perhaps even the permanent PATH terminal.

    Kevin M. Rampe, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said the agreement was consistent with the notion of integrating the trade center site with its surroundings. "Having the city control the streets and sidewalks, as they would in any other part of the city, is an important part of that," he said.

    To create the trade center site in the 1960's, a 12-block checkerboard was eliminated by closing Fulton, Dey and Cortlandt Streets, east to west; and Washington and Greenwich Streets, north to south. Fulton and Greenwich Streets are to be restored. Washington Street is not. The agreement does not settle the future of Dey and Cortlandt Streets.

    The agreement, which Mr. Seymour and Mr. Doctoroff expect to complete within a month, confirms the renegotiated terms of payments that the authority is to make to the city in lieu of real estate taxes. It also ends litigation over the payments.

    The authority now pays a minimum of about $1.7 million a year. That would change to 12 percent of the rent from leaseholders; at the moment, meaning Silverstein Properties. Mr. Doctoroff said that would amount to roughly $14 million a year before rebuilding began.

    As construction proceeds, the authority would pay a percentage of $55 million, based on how much of the total development potential has been realized.

    In the agreement, the city recognizes that the authority expects to acquire two blocks south of Liberty Street, one occupied by the Deutsche Bank building, the other formerly occupied by St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and a small parking lot.

    The authority committed itself and its leaseholders "to comply with all applicable Building Code requirements of the City." It would not be required to obtain permits or certificates of occupancy from the city, but would file plans for review by the Buildings Department, which would have the power to deny variances from the Building Code and to inspect the site at any time to ensure compliance.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  8. #698

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    August 7, 2004

    Cultural Centers Fill Out Latest Ground Zero Picture

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    Daniel Libeskind, who devised the master plan for the World Trade Center site but has not yet fully designed a building there, will be among the architects competing to design one or both of the cultural complexes planned for the redevelopment.

    In issuing a request for proposals this week, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation painted the fullest picture to date of what visitors might find when the two complexes are completed in 2009: six theaters, ranging from 99 to 1,000 seats each; large galleries for drawings and for artifacts related to freedom; a Pilates studio; two gift shops; three bookstores; four cafes; a ground-floor dance rehearsal studio visible to pedestrians; a special events space (with kitchen) on a terrace overlooking the site; and a ceremonial space where naturalized citizens can be sworn in.

    The north building, a performing arts complex of 250,000 to 300,000 square feet next to the Freedom Tower, will be occupied by the Joyce Theater International Dance Center and the Signature Theater Center. The south building, a museum complex of 250,000 to 275,000 square feet on the same block as the memorial, will be occupied by the Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center.

    The cultural organizations will join the development corporation in selecting the architects, based in part on experience and reputation, a choice that is expected to be made on Sept. 27.

    The chosen architects will prepare the broad, overall design known as a schematic.

    It is expected that each complex will be designed by a different architect or team of architects, adding two more distinctive visions to a site that will already have three strongly expressed works: the memorial, the Freedom Tower and the PATH terminal and transportation hub, with more towers to come.

    "It's a very weighty challenge," Kevin M. Rampe, the president of the development corporation, acknowledged yesterday.

    "We don't want something that is - I hate the term mishmash - everybody trying to outdo everybody else," he said. "What we're looking for is an opportunity to have something that expresses what's inside the building but at the same time harmonizes with what else is on the site."

    Mr. Libeskind's business partner and wife, Nina Libeskind, said yesterday that Studio Daniel Libeskind would certainly apply to design the museum but had not yet decided whether to compete for the performing arts center.

    "We did hundreds and hundreds of studies for the L.M.D.C. on space allocation, so we certainly are knowledgeable about the site," Ms. Libeskind said. But she added, "I'm sure many, many architects will be applying."

    One firm that will not is Handel Architects. Michael Arad, who is now a partner in the firm, won the juried design competition for the memorial in January. Gary Handel, another partner, said yesterday that his firm had considered competing for the cultural buildings but decided not to. "We would like to keep our focus 100 percent on the memorial," he said.

    "We think the memorial needs an unconflicted advocate," Mr. Handel added. "And that's Michael."

    David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, architects of the Freedom Tower, will also not compete. A spokeswoman for the firm, Elizabeth Kubany, said Mr. Childs believed that different architects ought to be responsible for different parts of the new trade center, since the original complex was "one person's vision and felt too monolithic."

    It is conceivable that the architects chosen for the broad design will not undertake the far more detailed construction drawings. The development corporation said in the request for proposals, which are due Sept. 1, that it may continue the architectural contract beyond the schematic phase but that it "shall have no obligation to do so."

    The corporation said it was looking for risk takers: architects accustomed to "not accepting received wisdom but starting with fundamentals to go beyond easy and safe design solutions" and to "synthesizing disparate or contradictory information in an energetic way so that the whole is greater than the sum or the product of the parts."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


    Request for Proposals

  9. #699
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    Governor Signs Construction Act For Lower Manhattan



    CLICK ON PIC FOR VIDEO

    AUGUST 10TH, 2004

    New rules are being implemented for construction projects in Downtown Manhattan, with the intention of ensuring that high-quality work is done in a timely manner.

    Governor George Pataki signed the "Coordinated Construction Act" Tuesday, which includes guidelines to make sure women and minority-owned businesses are involved in the rebuilding.

    The act calls for competitive building contracts and a system of pre-qualified bidders to speed up the process.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the law lets the city move forward quickly, safely and fairly as Lower Manhattan is rebuilt.


    Copyright © 2004 NY1 News.

  10. #700

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    August 12, 2004

    BLOCKS

    Plan May Be Too Much of a Good Thing

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    RISK-TAKING." That is a quality that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation says it will seek in choosing architects for the cultural buildings at the new World Trade Center.

    Judging from the turnout at an information session yesterday, the corporation will not be disappointed. Among the architects who sent representatives to learn more about the cultural projects - which is not to say they will necessarily bid on them - were Arquitectonica, Santiago Calatrava, Diller & Scofidio, Nicholas Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Enrique Norten, Bernard Tschumi and Rafael Viñoly.

    The question is whether any architect will risk a prospective commission by challenging the current planning orthodoxy which requires that the museum complex be located within the memorial precinct.

    The museum complex is intended to go on the block bounded by Fulton, Greenwich, Liberty and West Streets. That is where the twin towers stood and where the memorial is planned, marking the towers' absence with voids and pools in a landscaped plaza.

    As architects prepare to submit their credentials to design the cultural buildings, it is a good time to ask what might happen if the museum were moved off the corner of Fulton and Greenwich Streets.

    Such a move would not be officially sanctioned. In fact, it would be resisted. But some of the most engaging and positive planning efforts to date at ground zero have occurred when designers have broken - or at least bent - the rules.

    Daniel Libeskind, the site's master planner, placed the museum complex where he did to further enliven an intersection that he conceives as the public heart of the new trade center, to complement the nearby performing arts complex, to act as a buffer between the memorial and the surrounding office towers, and to serve as a gateway to the memorial.

    Kevin M. Rampe, the president of the development corporation, calls the intersection of Fulton and Greenwich Streets the "100 percent corner," with good reason. The museum would share it with the performing arts center, the permanent PATH terminal and transportation hub, and an office tower, stores and hotel.

    And the museum would be big. It might occupy an area almost an acre in extent, roughly the size of one of the twin tower footprints, with up to 275,000 square feet of space - almost seven times as much as the former Gallery of Modern Art at 2 Columbus Circle - divided between the larger International Freedom Center and the smaller Drawing Center.

    Depending on how much ground it covered and how high the gallery ceilings turned out, it is not inconceivable that the museum could reach 150 feet, about the height of a 15-story apartment building. Recognizing that it might be more impediment than gateway, corporation officials yesterday emphasized the importance of transparency.

    BUT the surest way of guaranteeing transparency would be to remove the museum from that corner. One striking effect would be the creation of a strong visual axis from Mr. Calatrava's PATH terminal to the barrel-vaulted skylight over the Winter Garden at Battery Park City. Since so many visitors approach from this direction, such a clearing would plainly signal an important break in the dense fabric of Lower Manhattan.

    Michael Arad, the designer of the memorial, envisioned an even clearer and starker space in his competition entry last year, which defied Mr. Libeskind's master plan by eliminating the cultural buildings - and even trees - from the block.

    "This will allow the site to function both as a sacred memorial ground for those who descend to the memorial pools," Mr. Arad wrote at the time, "and as a large urban plaza that will benefit the residents of the city in their everyday lives." He was persuaded to restore cultural buildings to his plans and, at the risk of losing the competition, to enrich the landscape, which he did with the help of Peter Walker.

    But other developments since then seem to buttress Mr. Arad's earlier concept. Mr. Calatrava has produced such a striking design for the PATH terminal that it almost appears as if there could be too many distinctive buildings on one intersection. (Imagine Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library across the street from one another.)

    Without the museum on the corner, there might be a greater opportunity to bring daylight to the mezzanine and platform areas of the PATH terminal directly below. On the other hand, the terminal needs ventilation stacks and emergency exits above ground, functions that could be folded more inconspicuously within a museum structure.

    If the complex were moved to the opposite corner of the memorial precinct, it might be connected more easily to the underground interpretive center, where artifacts and other exhibitions will deal with the history surrounding the attacks of 1993 and 2001. As an unwanted consequence, however, the memorial itself might end up looking like a forecourt to the museum. It would also be farther from public transportation hubs.

    Another alternative would be the site south of Liberty Street that the development corporation is to acquire from Deutsche Bank. Among the drawbacks is that the underground truck security checkpoint would be directly below. The museums could conceivably be separated and moved to their own quarters, maybe at the base of the other office towers planned on the site, not unlike the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center within the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle.

    Perhaps the most important objection to a move is that it would take a keystone away from the 100 percent corner. "I don't see any opportunity for that," Mr. Rampe said. So while the development corporation is encouraging architects to take risks, it seems also to have drawn a line. Two lines, really: Fulton and Greenwich Streets.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  11. #701
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    Not sure I agree with this. Is there really such a thing as having TOO MANY wonderful buildings? Doesn't seem to compute. The more the merrier, for the WTC and for NYC. This should foster an even bigger desire for NYC to lead America and the world in architecture, not worry about having too much.

  12. #702

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    I think it is possible that distinctive buildings can clash with each other so I do see it as a concern.

  13. #703

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    Am I correct in saying that besides the FT, the other tall (1000') buildings are still going to be built also? Or were they dismissed?

  14. #704

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    Quote Originally Posted by ILUVNYC
    Am I correct in saying that besides the FT, the other tall (1000') buildings are still going to be built also? Or were they dismissed?
    Right now the other buildings, and their heights, are up in the air. At this point Silverstein doesn't have enough money to build them, and intends to wait until he acquires the proper funds, which will likely be profits generated from the FT.

    He intends to build temporary retail on the building sites until their construction begins.

    The heights are up in the air because the buildings have not yet been designed. Another thousand-footer is possible, but I personally wouldn't expect a third one.

  15. #705

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    Silverstein has enough money to build about 2 of the remaing 4 buildings.

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