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 26.18%
  • 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 28.80%
  • 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

    47 24.61%
  • I am wholly disappointed with the New World Trade Center; we will live to regret the final design. 0/10

    22 11.52%
  • I am biased, but honest, and hate anything that is not a reincarnation of the original Twin Towers.

    17 8.90%
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Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #61

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    You would think that the view is post 09/11/01, but among other things, the ballfields are pre 09/11/01.

  2. #62

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    90 West St, etc. instead of water?

    I see. . . *a 'promotional' photo.

    (Edited by Jasonik at 1:34 pm on July 23, 2003)

  3. #63

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    A couple of items -

    From the New York Times:

    MANHATTAN: PROPOSAL FOR NAMES ON 9/11 MEMORIAL

    Gifford Miller, the City Council speaker, yesterday endorsed a resolution that called for the future World Trade Center memorial to list the names of firefighters, police officers and rescue workers separately from those of other victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. The resolution asks Gov. George E. Pataki and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to honor rescue workers by listing them together, by department, including rank, badge number and unit "in the context within which they gave their lives." The current guidelines for the memorial competition say there should be no hierarchy in listing the victims. * *Winnie Hu (NYT)
    ------------------------------------------

    ...and from NYNewsday.com, an expansion of the above item:

    Council Dems Press Gov. on WTC Memorial

    By Dan Janison
    Staff Writer

    July 23, 2003, 6:10 PM EDT


    Democrats in the City Council sought Wednesday to increase pressure on Gov. George Pataki to create a separate memorial for emergency officers who died responding to the World Trade Center attack.

    A non-binding resolution calls on the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to recognize each uniformed rescue worker killed Sept. 11, 2001, with agency, rank, badge number and unit.

    "So far the powers that be have turned us down," said Councilman G. Oliver Koppell (D-Bronx), who's co-sponsoring the resolution with Councilman Tony Avella (D-Queens)

    "While the World Trade Center memorial will honor all victims of the 9/11 attack," Koppell said, "it is fitting" that those who rescued thousands of others be honored in an "appropriate" way.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other leaders have supported the "Fallen Heroes Memorial" promoted by Fire Department Lt. John Finucane, chairman of an ad hoc group advocating the project.

    "Every soul that perished that day is equally precious," Finucane said on City Hall steps. "We just want to make sure these brave men and women are never forgotten. ... Please put pressure on the governor to come to his senses."

    But Lower Manhattan Development Corp. spokeswoman Joanna Rose replied that it's the work of an independent jury selected for memorial purposes.

    "Neither the governor, the mayor or the LMDC will select the 9/11 memorial design," she said, "because we respect the integrity of the independent jury which has been entrusted with this important responsibility.

    "We hope the City Council will also respect the integrity of the process," Rose said.
    -----------------------------------


    ...and again from NYNewsday.com:


    WTC Plans Draw Concerns

    By Matt Donnelly
    Staff Writer

    July 23, 2003, 11:58 PM EDT


    Plans for rebuilding at the World Trade Center site drew an array of concerns Wednesday — from worries that too much was going to be packed onto the 16-acre site to questions about the memorial and even some distress that birds might collide with the proposed new skyscrapers.

    About 200 people from across the city spoke or listened at public hearings Wednesday discussing the environmental impact of the proposed World Trade Center memorial and redevelopment plans in back-to-back public hearings at the Borough of Manhattan Community College — just blocks from the World Trade Center site. Experts, planners and concerned residents gave their response to a draft environmental impact statement by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. detailing how the designs created by Daniel Liebeskind might impact the area's environment, including noise control, traffic patterns and air quality.

    Some family members of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks voiced concern over the memorial. A group called WTC Families for Proper Burial asked that the LMDC's proposal contain a plan to include the ashen remains of some of those who died as part of the memorial. The group said most of the ashen remains still are at Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island.

    "Otherwise, I'll have to continue to visit my son at a city garbage dump," said Diane Horning, of Scotch Plains, N.J., whose 26-year-old son Matthew was killed in the attacks.

    The LMDC is holding a competition for the memorial design.

    The LMDC's plan includes more than 10 million square feet of commercial office space, 1 million square feet of retail space, 1 million square feet of conference center and hotel space, parks and a museum.

    Two groups asked officials to rebuild the towers and restore the city's skyline. "It's a very tough problem when the only way you know how to build is outward," said Ron DeVito, founder of Team Twin Towers. Alex Butziger, who flew in from Germany for the hearing, said he believes "great things should be replaced with great things" and the plans don't provide that.

    Several architects and city planners expressed concern over efforts to regain all the original office space, sacrificing the public's interest for commercial purposes.

    "The should require a serious consideration of reduction rather than redistribution of the office and retail space on the World Trade Center site," said Rick Bell, executive director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter. "Less is more."

    Other residents focused on the secondary impact of the site. The New York City Audubon Society asked that planners consider how the site will be lit at night to keep from distracting migratory birds. One woman brought in a filter from her apartment to show how much dust was being kicked up from the construction.

    The environmental statement is required by several federal, state and local agencies and is scheduled for completion by March 2004.
    ------------------------------------

    ...and finally from Firehouse.com News, more grief from the Fam-a-Nazis' (with apologies to Rush Limbaugh for usurping his term) concerning the WTC Memorial:

    9/11 Families Criticize Construction At WTC Site


    A group representing the families of 9/11 victims is criticizing construction within the footprint of the World Trade Center and has submitted a request to the governor and to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation that the area be preserved.

    The Coalition of 9/11 Families is comprised of 9/11 family organizations and represents thousands of family members, survivors and rescue workers, according to the group's website.

    Coalition members did not return Firehouse.com's calls Monday through Wednesday, but told the New York Post last week that Governor Pataki has broken his promise to protect the WTC site by allowing the Port Authority to build four emergency exits including walkways and stairwells for a temporary WTC PATH station due to open in November.

    The coalition is also asking New York senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton to sponsor a federal law barring further construction on the footprints, according to the Post.

    The coalition's goal is to preserve the interior of the slurry walls for a future memorial, their website says.

    "The Memorial Complex should be encased in the slurry wall from bedrock to surface level and above ground where the greatest concentration of human remains were recovered," the site says.

    The website also states that, "The Coalition has taken the position that the PATH Tunnel and tracks which existed prior to 9/11/01 will be the only infringement on the Footprint area for transportation. All other transportation should be moved east of Greenwich Street. Infrastructure components within the slurry walls should be related solely to memorial components selected by the WTC memorial jury panel."

  4. #64

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    No Games With Ground Zero, Please
    The profit motive must yield to the greater good.

    BY ADA LOUISE HUXTABLE
    Thursday, July 24, 2003 12:01 a.m. EDT

    NEW YORK--The announcement of the collaboration between Daniel Libeskind, the architect of the winning design for the World Trade Center site, and David Childs, the architect working for Larry Silverstein, the developer who acquired the leases of the Twin Towers six weeks before their destruction on 9/11, is something that would be normal under any normal circumstances. This is common practice when more than one interested party is involved in the development of a site; properly pursued, the procedure usually works out to everyone's advantage.

    But nothing is normal about this site. It was created by extraordinary circumstances requiring an extraordinary solution; the enormity of the disaster and the cataclysmic nature of the destruction turned a real estate operation into a mandate for a rebuilding plan in the city's greater public interest. Mr. Silverstein does not recognize that mandate. He has his own mandate, repeatedly expressed as his right to rebuild all 10 million square feet of pre-existing commercial space according to his own ideas and the terms of an insurance policy that are now unrealistic, impractical and hideously undesirable. He is intent on overriding the Libeskind plan that has been arrived at through a public process and endorsed by the people of New York and all the public agencies involved.

    Mr. Silverstein already has a sweet deal in the control of this prime downtown commercial space, but in New York development circles, excess is never enough. To get what he wants, he is trying to hold the city and the plan hostage to the insurance money, although it is still an open question as to how much it will be, and where and how it will be used. Many factors are unresolved. What seems to elude him is that rebuilding Ground Zero is not the usual high-stakes real estate game to be played for top profit at the bottom line by whatever means are available; manipulating the system is not going to work here.

    As gross as this reasoning is, it is the kind of self-interested opportunism that has been honed to a fine art by New York's builders. It is easy to understand. Developers are deal makers. They have never been known for their sensitivity to design or the urban environment. They are notoriously tone deaf architecturally.

    Not only has Mr. Silverstein proved singularly resistant to the notion of any kind of responsibility beyond his commercial interests--a blindness to human and moral values that defies comprehension in these circumstances--he has also pursued those interests relentlessly. It can be safely assumed that he will continue to do so; he has been quoted as saying that he controls whatever goes on the site, and he obviously has not changed his mind. He sees himself as the victor in the proposed collaboration; it is clear that he views it as a way to put his architect, and his ideas, in charge.

    This would be true only if his architect were an instrument of his own desires--developers are unusually good at finding them--but Mr. Childs, a distinguished practitioner in his own right, is not. Mr. Libeskind and Mr. Childs are top professionals with a great deal of mutual respect. Their collaboration is not a triumph for Mr. Silverstein or a step backward in the process, or a way of getting Mr. Libeskind out of the picture. Both understand that collaboration is accommodation, not nullification, and that the plan, while well defined, will require further design of its elements and of the buildings themselves. Changes are natural and inevitable as the proposal is fleshed out; they can improve and strengthen the plan without affecting its integrity.

    The best line of defense against subversion or co-optation is the architects themselves. They know there is much work to be done. Their styles are totally different, but their abilities complement each other. Mr. Libeskind, a talented, innovative designer, is a seasoned, successful battler for his principles, but he is also a rational man open to negotiated improvements.

    Mr. Childs, an experienced builder of skyscrapers, is in the sensitive position of representing a client who believes he can remake the plan for his own purposes. He will have a hard time finding a credible diplomatic way to promote an unacceptable agenda. As an architect and a New Yorker, he is aware that he has a professional responsibility to the official blueprint for Ground Zero and the future of Lower Manhattan. Whatever role he has been given must be supportive of the Libeskind design.

    Mr. Silverstein will discover that he cannot direct the collaborative relationship. He has already found that the usual easy political accommodation for the city's builders is not forthcoming; the word from the governor's office, in response to his proposal to relocate the pivotal Freedom Tower from the northwest corner of the site to the transportation center for his greater commercial convenience, is leave the plan alone. The issue is far too public and emotional, and politicians can count votes as well as money.

    It is much too soon to pick winners and losers. What happens next is what really matters; the outcome of the collaboration will determine the fidelity to Mr. Libeskind's vision and the fate of his design. So far, the process is on track. It is being followed intently by community groups and professional organizations whose knowledgeable and involved members understand the nature of betrayal and the need for commitment to the plan. They also can count votes. New Yorkers threw out substandard schemes once before, and they will be watching closely and critically again.

    Ms. Huxtable is The Wall Street Journal's architecture critic.

  5. #65

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Mr. Silverstein will discover that he cannot direct the collaborative relationship.
    I hope this proves to be true.

  6. #66

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    I have found Huxtable (agree or disagree with her) to be quite accurate in her predictions so far.

    In any case, it will be interesting to get an alternative proposal out of the pairing.

  7. #67

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    NO GREATER LEGACY
    by Peter Slatin


    Larry Silverstein and architect Daniel Libeskind have reached a preliminary agreement about a subject that should not have even been on the table: who will control the ultimate development of office space at Ground Zero, and thus the ultimate use, configuration and appearance of the site. The agreement covers the 70 stories of office space in the blandly named Freedom Tower, Libeskind’s 1,776-foot-tall structure. Yet it appears, sadly, to leave open the door for Silverstein to remix Libeskind’s publicly recognized – dare I say acclaimed? – master plan like an engineer working a sound board. Implicit in Silverstein’s continued insistence on his right to determine the site’s outcome is the suggestion – whether intended or not – that the most important question to be resolved at Ground Zero is the destiny and legacy of Larry Silverstein. Will the outcome be Silverstein’s city of commerce, or the capital of culture and memory called for overwhelmingly by the public and envisioned by Daniel Libeskind?

    Silverstein has insisted from 9/11 forward on his leaseholder’s right to rebuild on a vast commercial scale what is inarguably a public place, owned by a public authority. Neither the Port Authority nor the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has addressed directly what they really desire of Mr. Silverstein or what they think of his intentions. At present, it appears that they are both willing to permit him to develop 10 million square feet of commercial space there.

    Thus, the question still haunts: Whose place is this? By virtue of the Port’s ownership, it is public land. Indeed, the precedent for less-than-heedful development there was set some 40 years ago when the Port chose to build the trade center, obliterating a neighborhood, disrupting an office market and inserting an eye-grabbing but unrewarding landmark. Now that the land has, through terrible ordeal, literally fallen back into the people’s purview, only Larry Silverstein, wielding his lease as if it were a deed, still insists on his right to shape the site for centuries to come. Is this good business or good government?

    In the hard-won agreement between Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority that was concluded in July of 2001, the keys to the World Trade Center were entrusted not to a master builder or visionary city shaper, but to a proven, prudent manager of assets and a dedicated real estate developer. Stewardship of such a public trust extends outward and implies a willingness to demonstrate responsibility to a widening circle of constituents. There is an excellent opportunity here for Larry Silverstein to live up to his vision of creating a bold legacy for himself at Ground Zero. He can best do this not by insisting on dominating the outcome of development there, but rather by the more heroic and beneficent act of withdrawing, or at least cooperating by understanding his role and relevance amid a vast array of players.

    Throughout his career, Larry Silverstein’s most important benefactor has been New York City. The city gave him the raw materials to work with, from banks to tenants to streets teeming with one of the greatest work forces on the planet. It gave him the platform from which he could make his fortune and stake his claim to an important place in the world we live in. Now, Larry Silverstein needs to give back to the community that has supported him from the start. It will forever honor his generosity.

  8. #68

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    What I cannot understand is that Silverstein at age 72 for what reasons is looking to make a profit in his lifetime. The original World Trade Centers took a decade to turn a profit, and notwithstanding a glut of 50 million square feet of empty space and still without a tenant for 7 WTC.

    What Silverstein could however create is a legacy for him-self, for what he will be remembered for his vision, an effective financial failure. Or to adopt the vision of the architect for a world-class complex in the world's city, for which he chooses, he is largely in control.

  9. #69

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Larry Silverstein, wielding his lease as if it were a deed, still insists on his right to shape the site for centuries to come.
    Doesn't that just say it all. As much as I support replacing the lost space, whether residential, commercial or a combination, I just can't help but think he is trying to squeeze every penny out of the site.

    In any case, Silverstein is actually just the front man for a bunch of investors, it is not all his own money. I'm surprised the newspapers barely mention this. My opinion is that the silent inverstors are pressuring him and he would rather leave a legacy to his heirs than to the general public. It'll be a shame really if the Childs/Libeskind pairing fails.

  10. #70

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    I agree, Silverstein is missing a rare opportunity to attach
    his name to history.

    Another factor that doesn't get as much press as it should is the role of insurance companies. Besides the litigation on the site itself, there have been disputes over the surrounding buildings. At 7 WTC, the insurer is refusing to pay beyond 9/11/03.

  11. #71
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Silverstein is a business man who fought for and won the lease for the World Trade Center. *It is about business. *He has loans on the purchase. He is still paying rent. *He is still REQUIRED top ay rent. *I don't undersatand all the questions of his motive or loyalties. *He is a business man protecting his investment. *His perspective is truly unique amongst all the other people involved - he is the only one who stands to lose big time in this process. He has an obligation to his employees, investors and family to see that the relevant provisions of his business contract (lease) are executed properly. *

    You can't fault a business man for wanting to turn a profit . *And, if I were in his shoes, you better believe I'd be wanting to leave a legacy - LIKE A NEW WORLD TRADE CENTER - behind, especially if the power to do so were within my legal rights. *

  12. #72
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from BrooklynRider on 10:44 am on July 25, 2003
    Silverstein is a business man who fought for and won the lease for the World Trade Center. *It is about business. *He has loans on the purchase. He is still paying rent. *He is still REQUIRED top ay rent. *I don't undersatand all the questions of his motive or loyalties. *He is a business man protecting his investment. *His perspective is truly unique amongst all the other people involved - he is the only one who stands to lose big time in this process. He has an obligation to his employees, investors and family to see that the relevant provisions of his business contract (lease) are executed properly. *

    You can't fault a business man for wanting to turn a profit . *And, if I were in his shoes, you better believe I'd be wanting to leave a legacy - LIKE A NEW WORLD TRADE CENTER - behind, especially if the power to do so were within my legal rights. *
    Thank you for putting it in a better than I ever could.

    As far as I am concerned, unless the PA cancelled the leases on the WTC and payed off all the parties, Westfield, Silverstein, etc, for the REMAINING investment, Silverstein and Westfield (S/A) could have sued in a court for full control of the site and do whatever they wanted to. Instead, they chose to bow to the PA, several elected officials, and public pressure.

    Despite what their chritics are saying, they are being very good and very generous corporate citizens.

  13. #73

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    The problem with Silverstein is that he is focused only on short term return on investment. I agree that in today's world that is what the real estate business his.

    But, the WTC site is not just some other new developement. It is not as if he were developing some huge project in West Midtown. He must build for more than just business reasons in this case. His business interests have suffered greatly because of 9/11 and have to suffer more because of the "public" nature of the site now. I fully support him being able to rebuild all the space he lost. This does not mean that he should have complete control IMO.

    So far, out of all the parties, he has done what I consider to be the only truely unforgivable thing in the rebuilding process. Namely, limited the heights of the buildings. This is the thing that has caused virtually all of the planning controversy on the site.

  14. #74

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from Chicagoan on 11:06 am on July 25, 2003
    As far as I am concerned, unless the PA cancelled the leases on the WTC and payed off all the parties, Westfield, Silverstein, etc, for the REMAINING investment, Silverstein and Westfield (S/A) could have sued in a court for full control of the site and do whatever they wanted to. Instead, they chose to bow to the PA, several elected officials, and public pressure.

    Despite what their chritics are saying, they are being very good and very generous corporate citizens.
    There is no legal precedent for Silverstein (or any other investor) to gain control of the site. He could have simply stopped making rent payments, the lease would have been voided, and any legal proceeding would be to settle any payments.

    Silverstein was never forced to make rent payments. In truth, he wanted to keep the lease, and the PA, eager to get out of the real estate business, was happy to let him keep it - that's why they made the deal in 2001. The PA has already taken the position that the insurance payments are transferable to the agency as owners, a claim that the insurers have not disputed.

    As for Silverstein the businessman - even those paragons of capitalism, the Rockefellers, extended largesse to the city.

  15. #75
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    There is no legal precedent for Silverstein (or any other investor) to gain control of the site. He could have simply stopped making rent payments, the lease would have been voided, and any legal proceeding would be to settle any payments.

    Silverstein was never forced to make rent payments. In truth, he wanted to keep the lease, and the PA, eager to get out of the real estate business, was happy to let him keep it - that's why they made the deal in 2001. The PA has already taken the position that the insurance payments are transferable to the agency as owners, a claim that the insurers have not disputed.

    As for Silverstein the businessman - even those paragons of capitalism, the Rockefellers, extended largesse to the city.
    I have not seen the copy of the lease agreement between the PA and the Silvestein/Westfield (S/W) Group, but one of the main articles of that agreement is that they were legally and financially responsible for reconstruction of the center should it be damaged or destroyed. This was to insulate the PA from the cost of reconstruction. ( I assume that the PA was thinking of the 1993 bombing.)

    First, the context of the conversation is "lease" not "ownership". Control of the site means the right to develop it as they wish and as is legally permissible as long as they fullfil their contractual obligation. Suing would have been to affirm that right, assuming no modifications to the lease had been made post 9/11.

    Therefore S/W are forced to continue paying, specifically because it is what they agreed to, despite the destruction of the center, specifically because it was one of the central points of the agreement. In essence there was no provision for the discontinuation of the lease on the grounds of destruction.

    It would be akin to saying that you are not "forced" to pay rent every month. You are lawfully "forced"/obligated to. Now if your lease says that you should still pay rent even if your apartment burns down, and it is legal to require this, and you agree to it, then you have to. It all comes down to the provisions of the lease, and that is not strictly within the realm of "legal precedent".

    What I am saying, and as was postes by others here, is that there are a few people/organizations that have a financial stake here. To accept only that would be crude. But to also assume that it is crude to consider such motivations as just is irresposible to those who- in the end have to put the effort into building this complex. (Zippy, that last comment was not specifically directed to you.)

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