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Thread: World Trade Center Endures. Read the Signs.

  1. #31


    "Mr. Robins said this week that he had not known the sign was still standing. A spokeswoman for Century 21, which helped sponsor the sign originally, said, "This is the first time it was brought to our attention."

    When I visited Ground Zero in May 2002 this sign caught my eye, and I remarked to myself that it was in very good condition considering what it had endured on that day. Perhaps a large vehicle nearby had shielded it from the force of the collapses. It ultimately belongs in the museum.

  2. #32

  3. #33
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    I did do a number of searches, but sorry if this isn't the right place to put this.

    Tenants Lose Reminder of Twin Towers

    By Carl Glassman

    In the 600 Building lobby in Gateway Plaza last month, Vladimir Poutchkov holds his rendering of the mural that was partially cut away. It since was removed entirely.

    A soaring image—and poignant reminder—of the Twin Towers came down last month, just a block away from where the buildings stood.

    For the past 12 years, a bird’s-eye-view of the World Trade Center was the focal point of a 16- by 18-foot mural that was cut into pieces and removed to make way for the renovation of the lobby.

    To many tenants in the 600 building of Gateway Plaza, the Battery Park City residential building hit hardest when the towers collapsed, the destruction of the mural was more than a decorator’s indiscretion. It was a heart-rending loss to their home.

    “Something meaningful has been taken from us and in its place I am certain there will only be a woeful emptiness,” said tenant David Baker.”There is a shame in this beyond words.”

    “It’s just obliterating history,” said Honey Berk, another tenant. “The towers are gone. You’re going to take away the painting? It feels a little disrespectful, actually.”

    Commissioned by the Lefrak Organization, the Gateway Plaza landlord, muralist Vladimir Poutchkov painted the unusual perspective of the towers in 1996. Not surprisingly, the piece took on new meaning after Sept. 11, 2001.

    Beth Lamont, who lives nearby in Gateway Plaza’s 400 building, remembers seeing the painting on the evening of Sept. 11 when she managed to sneak back to check her apartment.

    “It was reassuring that something was still all right in our universe,” she said. “The picture at least, the image of the towers was still intact. So it had a great emotional impact.”

    Some tenants who moved into the building more recently said they do not have that same emotional attachment to the mural, but understand those who do.

    “I personally don’t have a feeling one way or the other,” said Maureen Packer, a two-year resident. “But I feel for those people who are still here and went through all the hard times. It should stay for them if they want it.”

    Others said they are glad to see it go.

    “Finally, I don’t have to look at it anymore,” said a tenant as she swept through the lobby.

    His wife, Larisa, works on the mural in 1996 when it was almost finished.

    The renovation plan, it seems, had called for the mural to be covered by paneling. Earlier in the month, a construction bridge had been erected for work on the upper part of the lobby, and a board was glued across the top portion.

    “It’s done. It’s going to be covered forever,” a worker told a Trib reporter. “It didn’t match with anything. When you see the finished product you’ll be, like, there’s no way there would have been to have kept that.”

    Complaints to Gateway Plaza management apparently led to the removal of the mural in sections, for possible restoration somewhere. But tenants don’t know what will become of them. Gateway Plaza manager Robert Heller did not return calls for comment.

    According to Poutchkov, Heller claimed that the pieces would be saved and possibly given to a museum.

    However, speaking through an interpreter, he said he did not know whether he would be given a chance to restore the work.

    “This was done in a very barbaric way,” said Poutchkov, who emigrated to New York from Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1993. “They could have called me and I could have taken it down myself. Of course, everything that was taken off can still be restored. Thank God it wasn’t entirely destroyed.”

    Still, Poutchkov seems resigned never to see his work in one piece again.

    “What are you going to do? Artworks have their own destiny,” he said, “and artists have their own destiny.”

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