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. #76

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Your last comment is appreciated, but no offense is taken. These are just opinions.

    I also have not seen the lease agreement. My comments are from the information I've gathered these past two years, and the actions of the parties.

    From the WSJ:
    NEW YORK -- Architects, city planners and pundits already have begun to weigh in on what they think should be rebuilt on the site of the World Trade Center, with suggestions ranging from parks to a new headquarters for the New York Stock Exchange.

    But, before any plan can be pursued, a critical question must be resolved: Who has the legal power to say what will go there?

    The answer is complicated by the 99-year lease, signed less than two months before the terrorist attacks, between the World Trade Center's owner -- the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- and a private group led by New York developer Larry Silverstein and Westfield America Inc., a shopping mall owner that is part of Australia's Westfield Group.

    Charles Gargano, the Port Authority's vice chairman, said the agency's board has asked its legal staff for an opinion "as to who has the right to build." He noted that the issue is "complicated" and that "there may be different ideas how the World Trade Center should be designed and configured." As the agency that built the complex some 30 years ago, the Port Authority "would want to play a role in that," he added.

    Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for Mr. Silverstein, said the lease gives Mr. Silverstein a clear "right and obligation" to rebuild. But he stopped short of saying that Mr. Silverstein has sole discretion in deciding what to build there.

    Mr. Rubenstein said the lease contains language that requires that any rebuilding be "appropriate" in terms what used to be there and "what has happened."

    Mr. Silverstein "is not dictating, nor is he confrontational," Mr. Rubenstein said. "There will be a lot of people to help determine what appropriateness is."

    People involved in the process, however, say the Port Authority and Mr. Silverstein are being motivated by different pressures.

    To collect on his rebuilding insurance, valued at $3.5 billion per incident, Mr. Silverstein must show he is moving ahead with plans. "They want to demonstrate to the insurance companies that they want to rebuild," said one person involved in the rebuilding discussions.

    Mr. Silverstein has been one of the most vocal proponents of moving forward quickly with a rebuilding program. He already has suggested that the complex be replaced with four, 50-to-60-story towers. Mr. Rubenstein declined to comment on the insurance issue.

    But, as a public agency, the Port Authority is under pressure to move slowly in deciding how to rebuild. Numerous elected officials and others have called for creating a commission that ensures that whatever replaces the World Trade Center is a proper symbol of the magnitude of the tragedy, the nation's resolve to stay strong and New York's need to revive its financial district.

    Under the lease agreement,Mr. Silverstein's group must pay more than $100 million a year in rent and he will probably play a lead role in deciding what to rebuild as long as he doesn't default, according to people who have read the lease. Mr. Silverstein has indicated that he intends to keep making lease payments as well as debt service on the $563 million in bonds he sold to finance his acquisition of the 99-year lease.

    Another possibility, some say, would be for the federal government to step in and simply buy out the bond holders and the Silverstein group, which put in more than $125 million of equity in the deal. Mr. Rubenstein said that Mr. Silverstein, would be open to such an offer. "If the president of the United States called the governor and Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority with that suggestion, they would all have to sit down and talk about it," he said.

    Mr. Silverstein also owned 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story tower on land leased from the Port Authority that was destroyed by the collapse of the Trade Center's Twin Towers.

    Mr. Rubenstein said Mr. Silverstein will be able to move faster in rebuilding a tower of about the same size on the 7 WTC site. The developer will have the necessary funds from insurance proceeds and that site will be easier to clear because the building wasn't as big and there were no fatalities when it crumbled, he noted, adding: "They could get that building up in a couple of years."

    * * * * * * * * * * * * ---------- *

    The only legal mantra I have heard from Silverstein is that he must replace all the office space to qualify for the insurance payment. As for control of the site, soon after Silverstein made his ill-advised 4 50 story towers statement, Johnh Whitehead stated that the LMDC would invoke eminent domain if necessary.

    I don't begrudge Silverstein his desire to protect his investment and turn a profit, but he seems to be trying to make himself whole, to return to a pre 09/11 condition. Why should he be any different from so many others?


    (Edited by ZippyTheChimp at 7:13 am on July 26, 2003)

  2. #77

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    And on a different note things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser....

    Stay true to Libeskind's vision
    By of all people....
    MONICA IKEN

    In the past weeks, Gov. Pataki has shown great leadership in handling the complexities of Ground Zero's future. He indicated that architect Daniel Libeskind's freedom tower would not be moved and instructed the Port Authority to find alternatives to locating bus parking on the footprints of the twin towers.
    Another issue has emerged that deserves equal attention.

    Those who applauded Libeskind's proposal for Ground Zero when it was chosen may not have heard the warnings that what is finally built may bear little resemblance to his vision. Well, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. proved those warnings to be true. In a public hearing on the environmental impact statement for the memorial and redevelopment plans Wednesday, it was clear that Libeskind's plan has been butchered.

    The environmental impact statement and the process of its approval is crucial to the future of the development. The statement is supposed to spell out what will be built on the site and where, and outline which studies will analyze the impacts of those plans. It also serves as the basis for obtaining federal, state and local approvals required for the memorial and redevelopment plans to proceed.

    The statement reveals that the Port Authority intends to put back up to 10 million square feet of commercial office space on the 16-acre site - the same amount that existed prior to 9/11. The PA also intends to double the retail space to 1million square feet, have 1 million square feet of conference and hotel facilities and somehow also add new cultural amenities. I suppose this includes the memorial, but it might as well be a footnote based on how it's treated in the document.

    I strongly object to the draft's plans and believe the general public would, too, if people understood the implications. The public is entitled to see a scale model of the proposed development and comment on it before the environmental impact statement process moves forward.

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is accepting public comments on the draft through Aug. 4 (www.renewnyc.com/
    plan_des_dev/frm_comments.asp), but that time frame is inadequate.

    The LMDC should extend the deadline so that the public has time to review the plans and make objections and comments.

    One glaring omission in the statement is any mention of a study that would project the number of visitors anticipated at the memorial. The Port Authority claims 5.5 million visitors will come each year, but it has never provided documentation to support that number. Understanding how many visitors will come and adequately accommodating them is critical. Experts I've spoken to estimate the number of visitors to be 10 million to 12 million a year, if not more.

    I don't think anyone - most especially the families - wants to be crammed in elbow to elbow or be herded through like cattle or should have to reserve a ticket in advance to come and pay respects.

    I have been fighting these past years to keep the Ground Zero memorial and redevelopment from turning into a Disneyland. Now I fear that, like Michael Jackson, the Port Authority is going to have its own personal Neverland.

    Iken, whose husband, Michael, was killed on 9/11,
    is the founder of September's Mission ( www.septembersmission.org).

    Originally published on July 25, 2003 *
    NY Daily News

    -------------------

    Most interesting considering here recent withdrawal from the coalition of families because of their criticism of Pataki. Now a pro-Pataki editorial in the Daily News. It's amazing how much influence Iken has had on Pataki's decision making. Politics literally does indeed make interesting bed-fellows.

  3. #78

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    One word to Iken: Quit your mega-memorialist whining and mega-memorialist backdoor lobbying and get a grief counselor you plastic talentless b****! :angry:

    Sorry, I just had to express my disgust. She is a negative influence and simply does not belong in the rebuilding process.

    (Edited by Agglomeration at 8:22 pm on July 25, 2003)

  4. #79

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    A small private memorial for families isnt a bad idea, it could prove positive in creating enough negative space in a greater memorial area. But the better idea would be to set aside the memorial for family members on September 11th.

  5. #80

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from Stern on 8:47 pm on July 25, 2003
    .... But the better idea would be to set aside the memorial for family members on September 11th.
    Very sensible suggestion.

    As for the plan evolving, it must. *Hopes and emotions got twisted around Libeskind's plan instead of a memorial. *Its only natural people feel betrayed when the one thing they attached so much significance to is changed. *

    Start with the memorial, the site is dominated by that.
    Start with the redevelopment. . .

    LMDC stands for Late Memorial Design Competition

  6. #81

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    July 26, 2003

    Ground Zero Plan Omits City Opera

    By ROBIN POGREBIN

    The municipal corporation overseeing the redevelopment of ground zero has determined that there is no place at the site for an opera house, a decision that all but dashes the New York City Opera's hopes of moving there from Lincoln Center.

    "The footprint is not large enough to accommodate the needs of an opera house," Matthew Higgins, chief operating officer of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said yesterday.

    Mr. Higgins said the corporation told City Opera of this development last week. But in a telephone interview yesterday, Paul Kellogg, the opera company's general and artistic director, said it was news to him.

    "They certainly have not said that to us," he said. "We have not been told that the site is too small."

    Mr. Kellogg added that as far as he was concerned, the possibility of moving to ground zero was "still very much in the picture." City Opera is looking to leave Lincoln Center because it is unhappy with the acoustics of the 2,700-seat New York State Theater, which it shares with New York City Ballet. City Opera, conceived as "the people's opera," has also long felt in the shadow of the Metropolitan Opera, which opposed a new home for City Opera on the Lincoln Center campus.

    In the wake of the New York Philharmonic's announcement last month that it planned to move to Carnegie Hall, City Opera momentarily considered moving into Avery Fisher Hall, but rejected that idea because the footprint was too small.

    Irwin Schneiderman, chairman of City Opera, said it was proceeding with its application to be part of the ground zero plan, designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind, whose scheme provides for a performing arts center and a museum.

    It is unclear whether size was in fact the corporation's main reason for dropping the opera house from consideration — and if the opera could still be eligible for ground zero if it modified its physical requirements. The opera says it needs 2,200 seats, considerable backstage area and ample fly space to store scenery.

    Underlying the corporation's decision, some people involved in the redevelopment say, may be a lack of enthusiasm for City Opera as the cultural anchor at ground zero, an idea the opera has been aggressively pursuing with the encouragement of some city officials.

    The latest space determination comes just weeks after the corporation invited arts groups from all over the world to submit proposals on what they would contribute to the site. City officials and arts executives both interpreted that as a message to City Opera that its place there was by no means assured.

    Now the corporation is essentially saying there will be no place for City Opera on the site at all.

    The corporation wants to generate around-the-clock, everyday activity, something that an opera company that performs mostly at night and on a limited schedule cannot necessarily provide. The corporation wants the cultural buildings also to serve tourists visiting the 9/11 memorial and neighborhood residents.

    A recent neighborhood study commissioned by community groups found that most downtown residents preferred a community center like the 92nd Street Y or a cultural center like the Brooklyn Academy of Music to an opera house.

    But Kate D. Levin, commissioner of cultural affairs — who with the corporation will be evaluating cultural proposals for the site along with the New York State Council on the Arts — suggested that the decision on City Opera was purely a reflection of an increasingly refined master plan. "There is very much an open process about the cultural components at the site, depending on what's physically possible within the envelope of the buildings being built," she said.

    Robert W. Wilson, a philanthropist who has offered $50 million toward a new building for City Opera but who has said he would not support a move downtown, said, "I think they are unenthused about having an opera house down there for the same reasons I am — that's not where the market is."

    City Opera has also considered a nearby space in Battery Park City, known as Site 26, now a parking lot on West Street between Vesey and Murray Streets. But it expressed a clear preference for the trade center site.

    "Since it's not really at the site, it's not as attractive," Mr. Schneiderman said. "We're not rejecting anything, but we're focusing on the World Trade Center site. That would be the most desirable." He added, "If for some reason it can't work out at the World Trade Center site, we certainly would consider the other place."

    In Battery Park City, the opera would not be eligible for money from the development corporation, which is expected to contribute $200 million to $300 million toward a cultural component. A new opera house would cost about $250 million.

    Site 26 has been a subject of dispute. The Battery Park City Authority, the state agency that controls the 92-acre Battery Park City, tried to sell rights to build a 1.8-million-square-foot skyscraper there. But John E. Zuccotti maintained that his company, Brookfield Financial Properties, had the exclusive right to develop the site. Brookfield, the largest downtown landlord, owns the World Financial Center. Ground zero is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    With space in the World Financial Center now vacant, Mr. Zuccotti was not interested in creating a competing office space, those involved say. It was Mr. Zuccotti who spearheaded the idea with city and state officials about a mixed-use building that would include City Opera or the Joyce Theater at Site 26 with a hotel above. The Joyce, which specializes in dance, has expressed interest in adding a downtown location to its stages in Chelsea and SoHo.

    The Battery Park authority is now talking to the development corporation about turning Site 26 into an underground parking garage for up to 120 tour buses and up to 350 cars.

    Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive of the Battery Park City Authority, said the authority had received proposals for the 90,000-square-foot site from several other organizations, including museums.

    At Site 26, the opera house would also be at a disadvantage regarding mass transit: the East Side subway line is one-third of a mile away. And the box office would lose out on some ground zero foot traffic for walk-in ticket sales.

    Without a substantial government subsidy, the philanthropist Mr. Wilson said, City Opera could not afford to build, even if he does decide to come through with his own $50 million contribution. "If you're building a $250-million house, my money is small change," he said.

    Mr. Wilson and others are skeptical that City Opera can lure its audience to Lower Manhattan. The fact that the Baz Luhrmann production of "La Bohème" could not last on Broadway, he said, demonstrates that such fare is not an easy draw.

    "The audience for opera is limited," he said. "If they think people are going to come from the Upper East and Upper West Side — and can you imagine getting cabs back?"

    City Opera has said it expects to pick up new audience members from Brooklyn and New Jersey.

    Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the World Trade Center lease, said through a spokesman that he was interested in cultural development at the site generally, but not in any institution in particular.

    "Larry Silverstein's position is that the content of the type of facility is in the hands of the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation," said the spokesman, Howard J. Rubenstein. "He has always favored a cultural element at the site."


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  7. #82

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from Jasonik on 9:45 pm on July 25, 2003

    As for the plan evolving, it must. *Hopes and emotions got twisted around Libeskind's plan instead of a memorial. *Its only natural people feel betrayed when the one thing they attached so much significance to is changed. *

    Start with the memorial, the site is dominated by that.
    Start with the redevelopment. . .

    LMDC stands for Late Memorial Design Competition
    The Libeskind plan does start with the memorial. It is central to the entire design. The location is mandated by the footprints. The area is bordered by cultural buildings (another mandate). He placed the office space and retail as far away as possible.

    I think it would have been a mistake to design the memorial without a matrix. The final memorial design will be chosen before the appearance of the buildings is finalized, and will be an influence.

  8. #83
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    I would agree with Jasonik on this one, and extend the thought a little.

    Michael Sorkin wrote a critique in Architectural Record in the July issue where he says that Libeskind has "straight-jacketed" the memorial processs with his design. If Libeskind has designed the memorial ( or an "appropriate setting thereof) , like many people have come to believe, then why was there a memorial competition anyway? What will happen when the memorial design chosen is set a ground level? Or what if it contains other towers, besides Libeskind's 1,776?

    Many people have come to see the chosen design for programming the site as the end product and any change to it is unwelcomed or criticised.

    But also on the note of the "Ground Zero Plan Omits City Opera" article, this is really too bad. I am now wondering what type of "cultural" attractions the LMDC plans on putting on the site? I am going to try not to add a sarcastic suggestion.

    But its beginning to look alot like a regular office complex. [ sung to the tune of the Christmas classic.]

  9. #84

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Actually, I think one of the reasons that Libeskind won the competition was the it provided the most flexible space for the memorial. Compare the empty expanse of the pit with the space(s) provided in any of the other designs, even the first 6.

    The only way that it could have been more flexible would be if the entire site was given over the memorial competition and if by chance (unlikely) there was any space left over then something could have been fit in. This would have been economically unfeasable and legally impossible.

  10. #85
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from JMGarcia on 1:10 pm on July 26, 2003
    Actually, I think one of the reasons that Libeskind won the competition was the it provided the most flexible space for the memorial. Compare the empty expanse of the pit with the space(s) provided in any of the other designs, even the first 6.

    The only way that it could have been more flexible would be if the entire site was given over the memorial competition and if by chance (unlikely) there was any space left over then something could have been fit in. This would have been economically unfeasable and legally impossible.
    I will not go too much into detail because it would get too long, but I completely disagree. At least two of the other proposals from the Second Round devoted more space to the memorial. That is not the issue.

    Libeskind's proposal is not just "an empty expanse". Everything from his ordering of the site and imbedding his proposal with the meaning and language that he has, limits the chances of other interpretations. My point, as well as Sorkin's and other posters here is that it is alot more than what you see.

  11. #86

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Which two? Certainly not Foster, SOM, nor THINK. P/L had already built on even the footprints. Meier's shadow trees, red brick tendrils, and archways imbued the site with even more symbolism than Libeskind. UA even dictated the flow of people through the memorial areas.

    While I'll grant you that Libeskind imbued the non-memorial areas of the site with too much symbolism, the memorial area itself is only burdened with the slurry wall.

    As we're all aware, only the site plan has really been chosen. Whether all the other hoopla actually gets built is a completely different story and, as such, doesn't impinge on the memorial IMO.

    (Edited by JMGarcia at 5:53 pm on July 26, 2003)

  12. #87

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Chicagoan, how would you have conducted the process differently?

  13. #88
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    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Quote: from JMGarcia on 6:52 pm on July 26, 2003
    Which two? Certainly not Foster, SOM, nor THINK. P/L had already built on even the footprints. Meier's shadow trees, red brick tendrils, and archways imbued the site with even more symbolism than Libeskind. UA even dictated the flow of people through the memorial areas.

    While I'll grant you that Libeskind imbued the non-memorial areas of the site with too much symbolism, the memorial area itself is only burdened with the slurry wall.

    As we're all aware, only the site plan has really been chosen. Whether all the other hoopla actually gets built is a completely different story and, as such, doesn't impinge on the memorial IMO.

    (Edited by JMGarcia at 5:53 pm on July 26, 2003)
    Okay, I disagree with the statements in the first two paragraphs. The Foster and Meier, Eisenman, Siegel, Holl scheme allowed much more freedon and room for expression. ( Most of what you referenced as being on the "site" on MESH was on the surrrouunding blocks) They did include proposals for what the memorial could be, but those where not meant to be strict components of the site plan and were very limited in scope.

    As for the second paragraph, I think the reality is the reverse, that the memorial portion has the symbolism and the non-memorial parts not so much. This is not to be proof of my point, but what you said was the first time that I heard anyone say that. (But again this might not mean anything).

    But I do not believe tha we are all aware that the chosen design is a master plan for development. If this were the case everything about it, except for the siting of the memorial and commercial components would be tweaked and revised. Too many people have become... drunk with the visual imagery and pseudo-patriotic tones of Libeskind design and have yet to come off the hang-over.

    But you know, I will waite for a few more months when the finalists for the memorial have been chosen. That will prove the point that I am trying to make. Just watch which projects get selected or, more so, the criticism that is given to the memorial finalists projects- especially if they call for any revisions to the Libeskind design.

    Zippy, I have thought about this for months. I would have had a Phase 1 that would collect the perspectives of the people. This phase would have been continuous through the processes durations, from start to finish- constantly geeting feedback from the public.

    Phase 2 would have focused on getting a master plan for the site and limiting its graphical presentation. This would take into account all of the interests that are involved.

    Phase 3 would have been the memorial competion.

    Phase 4 would have been the competition for the office/commercial/cultural, et al components. I would have let the Leaseholders run this phase, but with constant oversight and override by the PA- as site owner and guarantee of the public interest.

    Phase 5 would have been to coordinate the results of phases 3 and 4.

    Phase 6- construction of memorial.

    Phase 7- phased construction of the remaining components.

    This is by no means exhaustive... so to speak.

  14. #89

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    Phase 2 would have focused on getting a master plan for the site and limiting its graphical presentation. This would take into account all of the interests that are involved.
    They tried that with BBB. The public rejected it.

  15. #90

    Default Ground Zero Developments

    The Foster and Meier, Eisenman, Siegel, Holl scheme allowed much more freedon and room for expression
    In my opinion the memorial aspect of the Meier, Eisenman, Siegal, Holl scheme was the most appropriate with respect to the victims and in remembering where they worked among the world’s biggest buildings. Their buildings and siteplan were a blatant transition to new-urbanism and would have made lower-manhattan once again unmistakable, the *giddy remarks that it resembled a Tic-Tac-Toe Board were ridiculous. I knew the project would never fly so it lost my support, but among other things the piers and trees for the victims, worked with shadows and lights of the former that was positively in tune with the phantom towers of the site plan. Even with a new site plan my hope is that the memorial by Meier, Eisenman, Siegal, Holl enters the competition, and hopefully be incorporated.

    (Edited by Stern at 10:16 am on July 27, 2003)

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