View Poll Results: Should the International Freedom Center be built on the WTC site?

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  • It should be built right where its planned on the WTC site.

    17 39.53%
  • It should be built but off the WTC site.

    9 20.93%
  • It should be built in some other place of the WTC site.

    7 16.28%
  • It should not be built at all, anywhere.

    10 23.26%
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Thread: WTC Memorial Pavilion - Visitors Center - by Snohetta

  1. #76


    New York Daily News:
    Push for new WTC arts center site
    Friday, July 15th, 2005

    Redevelopment officials are looking for another place to put a controversial cultural building planned near the World Trade Center memorial, but a key player doubts a new site can be found.

    "It's not likely we will find such a place, but we want to make every effort to see if it's feasible," John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., said yesterday after the agency's monthly board meeting.

    Whitehead said the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, whose fund-raising has been hurt by questions about the cultural building's programs, asked the LMDC "to make one final effort" to relocate the structure.

    The search will focus on Ground Zero, whose 16 acres already are mapped out in architect Daniel Libeskind's master plan, and the surrounding area.

    Yesterday's meeting was attended by about a dozen members of 9/11 family groups that have slammed plans to put the cultural building anywhere near the memorial.

    The groups fear that the occupants chosen for the building, the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center, might mount politically charged exhibits unsuitable for Ground Zero.

    One idea the LMDC is said to be discussing with the two groups is the use of an off-site location for some programs.

    "We're not opposed to the cultural center, but to the cultural center being on the site," said Jack Lynch of the Coalition of 9/11 Families, whose firefighter son Michael died at Ground Zero.

    LMDC President Stefan Pryor stressed that the agency remains "firmly committed to the World Trade Center master plan," while noting that talks with the Freedom Center and the Drawing Center will continue.

    The Freedom Center "will never host 'debates' about the 'reasons' for the murder of nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, nor ... will it be used as a forum for denigrating the country we love," Tom Bernstein, the organization's chairman, wrote to Pryor last week.

    The LMDC wants "stronger assurances" from the Freedom Center that its programming will be appropriate for the site, Whitehead said.

    Meanwhile, the LMDC moved closer to demolishing the contaminated Deutsche Bank tower overlooking Ground Zero, approving a $13.1 million scaffolding contract and clearing $4 million for other project needs. The 18-month takedown project is supposed to start later this summer.

  2. #77
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Push for new WTC arts center site
    Redevelopment officials are looking for another place to put a controversial cultural building planned near the World Trade Center memorial, but a key player doubts a new site can be found.
    I know this is probably not feasible given the Master Plan (and also acknowledging that a building designed for one site can't just be plopped down onto another site without major reconsiderations of design, etc.):

    How about using the Fitterman Hall site?

    That location will be a prime spot for a great piece of architecture.

  3. #78
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    What's that lowrise area attached to Tower 3 - can't that space be used to house these Cultural museums? Either that, or they could have housed them in one of the towers or combined them with the Performing Arts Center.

  4. #79


    Personally, I do not think the park around the memorial needs to be any bigger. There is so much park space in BPC that is on the water that I doubt if the park space around the memorial will be used much at all. Think the old WTC plaza with tress.

  5. #80
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    I agree, so I'd use that space for the memorial center instead of the cultural center. I don't like the idea of the memorial center being underground, and if I remember correctly many of the artifacts would not even fit there.

  6. #81


    ^Good idea.

  7. #82


    This just occured to me:

    Everything on this site is pointless,

    The memorial is basically nothing more than two big holes in the ground and the only thing they have that is memorial-like are the victim;s names and we don't even know how well those will be seen. I could go to a field in Kansas and say "oh the emptiness, just like i felt on 9/12"

    The FT is nothing more than an office building (and good) so why call it the "freedom tower"?

    THe cultural center- what is going to be in there????? I haven't heard anything about what in the cultural center will have to do with the WTC. The site and the event had almost nothing to do with "fighting for freedom" this cultural center should be adjacent to the WWII memorial, not here. Meanwhile there doesn't seem like there will be anything there relating to the awesome human achievement of building the twins or any tribute to the great financial power that they represented. Not to upset anyone here from outside of NY but everything about this site is foreign to me. This should be a site for New Yorkers, a cultural center about the culture of ny, not "freedom" Even the firefighters, who deserve a tribute there above anything or anyone else, didn't stand for "freedom". This cultural center sits right on top of the memorial and has NOTHING to do with it. I am 100% with the families that are protesting. These people should just F off and go push their agendas somewhere else, buld an annex to Liberty Island or something.

    If we must have a cultural center I say take the future "Tribute" thing out of that hole on Liberty street and put that in the Cultural Center. It's a lot more fitting. Bottom line IMO is this, scrap the cultural center and instead use the funds for Tribute and not cutting anything from the PATH station.

    ok, another bottom line (lol): can we stop building stuff for tourists and actually focus on the people for whom the site is inteded?

  8. #83
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Still say either put it in the base of a tower or make it stand alone instead of tower 5. Add some height to the other 4.

  9. #84
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    and then there were none...

    Drawing Center may quit WTC

    Fight over content restrictions delays museum's plans; will not be censored

    By Miriam Kreinin Souccar
    Published on July 18, 2005

    Amid a storm of controversy over plans for the Ground Zero cultural centers, the Drawing Center says it has put the entire planning process for its move downtown on hold and is considering whether it should pull out of the site. Museum officials have not spoken publicly about their role in the controversy. But in an interview with Crain's last week, Executive Director Catherine de Zegher voiced her frustration with demands that the museum agree to limit the type of art it would show in its new home. The institution wants the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to guarantee that it will have complete freedom in curating its exhibitions.

    "The LMDC knows that we would never be able to accept censorship," says Ms. de Zegher. "Now they have to come to us with their decision."

    She added that the group does not feel comfortable attending development meetings "when you don't know where you stand."

    The Drawing Center, one of the four cultural institutions chosen to move to Ground Zero a year ago, came under attack last month for exhibiting work that satirizes President George W. Bush's comments about the Axis of Evil. Around the same time, the International Freedom Center, a new museum chosen to share a building with the Drawing Center, came under fire because some potential programs were deemed unpatriotic by families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11.

    Since then, the Freedom Center, in response to a request by Gov. George Pataki, has assured the LMDC that its content wouldn't be un-American. The Drawing Center has refused to follow suit. Stefan Pryor, president of the LMDC, would only say that it is in discussions with the two institutions individually about this issue.

    The controversy has become a symbol for freedom of speech and a battle over what belongs at the site. Ms. de Zegher says she has received hundreds of supportive e-mails from people around the country. At the same time, numerous petitions have been signed by families of the victims opposing cultural centers on the site.

    Last week, Memorial Foundation chairman John Whitehead said he'd try to find a spot for the museum complex further from the Twin Towers footprint, but he said that would be highly unlikely.

    Just pull out

    A number of arts executives, including one on the committee that selected the Drawing Center for the site, say the center should pull out even if it gets the assurances it wants from the LMDC, because its every move will be intensely scrutinized.

    "The Drawing Center just got its first dose of what it's going to be like to be there," says the executive. "Whatever it shows there will be subject to undue criticism. "

    Ms. de Zegher says the Drawing Center, which has a $1.8 million budget, will continue to look for a new home in lower Manhattan if its Ground Zero plans fall through. But if it does pull out of the project, it will have lost three grueling years of work.

    This isn't the only problem plaguing what was once touted as the highest-profile cultural center in the world. Just a year ago, the groups that beat out more than 100 arts institutions in a well-publicized competition for a spot at Ground Zero were the envy of the New York art world.

    Now, officials at some of the groups--the other two winners are the Joyce Theater, a place for dance, and the Signature Theater, an off-Broadway company--are saying privately that they wish they hadn't been selected. A number of executives close to the Joyce and the Signature are skeptical that the performing arts center will become a reality.

    Last week, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation announced it would raise all the money needed for the memorial and its components--including a 100,000-square-foot commemorative museum--before any funds are raised for the cultural centers. The cost of the memorial and memorial museum: an estimated $350 million, not including a substantial endowment.

    Delays ahead

    Downtown officials say the foundation always planned to start with the memorial, but arts executives say they were led to believe that the fund raising for both sets of buildings would happen at the same time. Sources say the museum complex is now scheduled to be completed in 2010 instead of 2009, although the LMDC says it is still on schedule.

    As for the performing arts building, its plans are even more tenuous. That building has been pushed off into a "second phase," and its tenants have been asked to refine their proposals further before the architect, Frank Gehry, continues to design the building.

    "We are concerned over the lack of attention to the performing arts groups," says City Council member Alan Gerson. "Putting them on hold is unacceptable, because it will lead to the project not happening."

    2005 Crain Communications Inc.

  10. #85
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    I have to agree with the perception of the Drawing Center and other arts organizations. It seems this particular area of downtown redevelopment is going to be most inhospitable to everyone who doesn't choose to dab their eyes and commit to wallowing with others in the crimes of 9/11. It recalls the arguments and laments that BPC had become a haven for monuments to death and suffering and this site will be no different. It seems it will be very hard to bring "life" back to that area, in any form, in the foreseeable future.

  11. #86
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Drawing Center May Drop Plan to Move to Ground Zero


    Published: July 23, 2005

    A year after being chosen as one of the cultural anchors on the World Trade Center site, but now embroiled in a controversy over what it might exhibit there, the Drawing Center may end up elsewhere in Lower Manhattan.

    "The prospect of operating on the World Trade Center site is not off the table," Stefan Pryor, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said yesterday. "But we are actively exploring a variety of options downtown for the Drawing Center."

    George Negroponte, the president of the Drawing Center, a small art museum at 35 Wooster Street in SoHo, said: "What we are looking to do is find a new home for the Drawing Center as close to the site as possible, because we believe in it. At the same time, obviously we're concerned that we're living in a fishbowl and the pressures we're continuing to feel about our programming might be too much to bear."

    The plan to house the Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center in a building at Fulton and Greenwich Streets has come under fire in the last month by relatives of 9/11 victims and other critics who question the appropriateness of their presence in a quadrant of the site set aside for a memorial. The objections have centered on the possibility that there would be anti-American artwork or programs.

    On June 24, Gov. George E. Pataki demanded that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation obtain a guarantee from the institutions that they not mount exhibitions that would offend victims' family members or other visitors. "We will not tolerate anything on that site that denigrates America," he said at the time.

    Two weeks later, the International Freedom Center pledged in a letter to Mr. Pryor: "We will not 'blame America' or attack champions of freedom. Any suggestion that we will feature anti-American programming is wrong. We are proud patriots."

    Among the possible new locations for all or some of the Drawing Center's programs, Mr. Pryor said, were areas in the trade center site outside the memorial quadrant bounded by Fulton, Greenwich, Liberty and West Streets.

    Were the Drawing Center to move out of the planned building designed by Snohetta, that might help reduce the volume of the structure, which has been criticized for looming too closely over the voids in the memorial that are to mark the twin towers' footprints.

    But Mr. Pryor said the building's size could be reduced in other ways and that the desired shrinkage would not dictate the Drawing Center's location. Both he and Mr. Negroponte emphasized that their discussions had been cooperative and constructive.

    Mr. Pryor also said that there was no connection between the current controversy and the resignation of Anita F. Contini, the corporation's vice president and director for memorial, cultural and civic programs. He said she had achieved the jobs she was charged with when she joined the corporation in 2002: selecting a memorial design, selecting the cultural institutions and securing support for cultural groups downtown.

    Last week, Anne Papageorge was appointed senior vice president of the corporation for memorial and cultural development.

    In an e-mail message to friends and colleagues on Thursday, Ms. Contini said she was leaving to become the senior vice president and director of corporate and public affairs for the CIT Group, a finance company, beginning after Labor Day. "I don't have a single regret," she said yesterday in a telephone interview. "My job is really done."

    While praising Ms. Contini personally, critics of the redevelopment process said they believed her departure was almost inevitable.

    "The governor is the final decision-maker," said Jack Lynch, whose son Michael, a firefighter, died in the south tower. "All these people are in a very difficult position because they have to put his agenda into effect and follow whatever direction they're getting."

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  12. #87

    Default They're Starting To Get It

    From this morning's New York Post (Saturday, July 23rd, 2005): (link good through July 29, 2005)

    July 23, 2005 -- Just days after officials at the Drawing Center said they'd sooner scrap plans for a facility at Ground Zero than agree to Gov. Pataki's censorship comes word that two notable figures have quit their involvement with the site.

    One is Anita Contini, vice president and director for memorial, cultural and civic programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC).

    Contini oversaw the selection of the Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center for Ground Zero choices that ignited a fiery protest over all-too-rational fears these museums would display vulgar, anti-American work.

    Contini says she submitted her resignation a couple of months ago and that it had nothing to do with current protests.


    More significant was the other departure: Eric Foner, a left-wing prof at Columbia who was serving as an adviser to the IFC. Foner is the "scholar," you'll recall, who equated the 9/11 attacks with President Bush's rhetoric about a U.S. response.

    Good riddance to both of them.

    Meanwhile, some 9/11 families are ratcheting up their campaign to keep the museums off the site and meeting with some early success. In one effort, towns all over the country are signing up to officially reject the plan for the facilities.

    Plus, LMDC Chairman John Whitehead has griped increasingly about waning donations, thanks to all the fuss.

    Clearly, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, who controls half the LMDC's board are getting the message: The Drawing Center and the IFC pose some serious problems for Ground Zero.

    But what they still don't get is this: The idea can't work, no matter what they do.

    Last month, Pataki demanded the facilities provide "assurances" that they'd ban offensive content. The Drawing Center, showing integrity, balked demanding the gov relent. The Freedom Center, waiving its own free-speech rights, said it would gladly be censored.

    That might explain Foner's departure, though who knows? maybe the IFC secretly plans to hire him back once Pataki is gone, which likely will be soon.

    The fact is, it's becoming undeniably clear apparently, to an increasing number of people that there's no way to ensure these museums will operate, in perpetuity, with the kind of restraint and respect for 9/11 the site demands.

    To repeat: They must go. Period.

    Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this New York Post editorial. The Drawing Center and the so-called International "Freedom" Center can easily be built somewhere else where they would not be subject to censorship. The hallowed ground that they would have desecrated can instead be used to build a memorial above ground that will accommodate the expected number of visitors, instead of a tiny memorial below ground that even Pataki's minions concede would require turning away more than 3 million people every year!

  13. #88


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan_Hakala
    The hallowed ground that they would have desecrated


  14. #89


    What's missing from both sides' overheated debate on this issue is that the Drawing Center is a third-rate cultural organization that never merited consideration for such a prime piece of real estate. I'm not sure who bribed whom, but awarding them a huge spot on the WTC Site (as much space as the memorial itself, which is what millions will be coming to visit) was a travesty. Who on this board had even heard of the Drawing Center before it was selected? The shame was that there were really top notch cultural instututions interested in the sight -- the City Opera, the Museum of the City of New York -- that the corrupt LMDC passed over for this nonsense. It's not too late to correct that mistake.

  15. #90


    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    The shame was that there were really top notch cultural instututions interested in the sight -- the City Opera, the Museum of the City of New York -- that the corrupt LMDC passed over for this nonsense. It's not too late to correct that mistake.
    Hope that's true; either one of those would be a much better choice.

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