Skip to main content
New Fulton Transit Center.
World Trade Center Memorial
New Details of Reflecting Absence Announced
Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg along with Architects Michael Arad, Peter Walker, and Max Bond unveiled the new schematic design for the World Trade Center memorial December 16, 2004 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. It will honor all those lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.
The design includes a vast landscaped civic plaza, cascading voids with deeply recessed pools, and an area for those lost but never identified. It will also feature gathering spaces above and below ground, historic access to bedrock and box beam columns, view of the exposed slurry wall, a memorial hall, and a family area to provide space for reflection.
“As we move forward with the rebuilding, the memorial continues to be our first priority and the centerpiece of our efforts. Michael Arad, Peter Walker, and Max Bond have created a moving and fitting memorial to those we lost at the World Trade Center site. The memorial will help tell the story of September 11th and the lives we lost, so that future generations will understand the enormity of what happened here. The memorial captures our sense of loss, as well as the courage and hope that prevailed in the face of tragedy,” said Governor George E. Pataki.
A 13-member jury selected Reflecting Absence by Michael Arad and Peter Walker in January of 2004 as the design for the WTC memorial. Since then, the design team, with Associate Architect Max Bond, embarked on the schematic design process to develop the physical and programmatic elements of the memorial.
“This design provides for places for reflection, for quiet retreat and for prayer. I believe that as a City, as a nation, and as a global community, we need to be able to make these physical, personal, and spiritual connections to the events of 2001 and 1993, and that need is most intense for victims' family members and their friends. I thank Max Bond for helping to give shape to Michael and Peter's vision, and everyone who has contributed to this important process,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
Other elements of the design include a large ceremonial one-and-a-half acre clearing on the plaza level and a gallery on the second memorial level where the names of those lost on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 can be viewed while water cascades behind them.
Between the two pools, Memorial Hall offers a space for visitors to reflect and serves as a gathering place that orients visitors through the use of a directory to help find the names of those lost those fateful days. It also offers the opportunity for future programming for remembering all who were lost. A contemplation room provides a space for the remains of those lost and never identified and an adjacent area offers a sacred space for victims' families.
The design allows for visitors to enter the memorial between the footprints descending down two, 200-foot ramps, first to the west and then to the east, and landing on the memorial level. The memorial level includes Memorial Hall connecting the two viewing galleries that surround the reflecting pools and whose exterior walls delineate the original footprints. Between the two pools, and off Memorial Hall, visitors can travel down to the lowest level of the memorial where the contemplation room, family area, and space for the medical examiner are found.
As visitors return above ground to the plaza level, the surrounding trees mediate their return to daily life. By working with the adjacent projects, the design team established an elevation for the Memorial Plaza which minimizes steps and walls surrounding the plaza. To further increase accessibility to the memorial, the truck ramp once envisioned for location on the southern portion of the memorial site has been relocated to the south of Liberty Street, making the memorial area a completely pedestrian experience and an integral part of Lower Manhattan.
New renderings of the memorial can be found on www.RenewNYC.com.
The Rebuilding Continues
Having a completed design of the World Trade Center memorial by the end of 2004 and ecstatically detailing the four cultural institutions that will occupy space on the future site were among some of Governor George E. Pataki's speech highlights November 22, 2004, in Lower Manhattan. The Joyce and Signature theaters and the International Freedom and Drawing centers were selected to occupy buildings on the site this past June.
The Governor told the standing room only audience in the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton that all four former United States Presidents will serve as honorary members of the distinguished Board of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, the organization that will raise the funds necessary to build the permanent memorial.
Additionally, the Governor announced that in the upcoming months work on three new transportation projects will commence and that environmental review for the Long Island/JFK rail link is now underway. In the spring, concrete and steel for the Freedom Tower will arrive, and in the summer, the groundbreaking on the World Trade Center Transportation hub will take place.
The Governor also detailed priorities for the remaining funds of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. He called on the LMDC to work with the City and State and create a comprehensive overall allocation plan for funding by this spring.
He pledged that these public funds should be used on the WTC site as appropriate for public infrastructure, in particular the cultural spaces envisioned in the master plan. Additionally, he firmly backed the rail link to Long Island and JFK Airport which would help provide access to the region's workforce and the world's airports. Two other projects the Governor supports include the restoration of Fitterman Hall, the City University building heavily damaged on September 11th, and completing the Hudson River Park's unfinished Tribeca section.
“We've come a long way since September 11th. And we're well on the way not only to rebuilding this region, but to making it shine like never before. What some meant for evil, we are turning good. And when our work is done, Lower Manhattan will be a showcase of liberty and a tribute to human dignity, a national treasure and a gift to the world,” said the Governor.
Governor Pataki's entire speech and renderings of the future WTC site can be downloaded at www.RenewNYC.com.
The Governor also called upon the LMDC to financially assist family groups for the creation of a space to serve as a welcoming center where family members, survivors, residents and visitors can preserve their memories through audio recordings, writings and archives. He added that "[the memorial process] has been filled with honest differences of opinion and powerful streams of emotion. Even while the memorial is in development, we will offer family members a place to remember their loved ones in peace, and a place to come together in unity."
As progress continues to be made on the future of the WTC site, present obstacles are being resolved. This includes the announcement that the Deutsche Bank's deconstruction will begin in the fall. The Deutsche Bank building was heavily damaged September 11, 2001 when it suffered a 15-story gash after the south twin tower collapsed. The razing of the building will increase open space, provide for off-site bus parking and reduce the building density on the World Trade Center site.
Improvements to the transportation infrastructure also emerged in the Governor's speech. A new Fulton Transit Center will link 12 subway lines serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. "Morning commuters will no longer step off trains into a dimly lit labyrinth of corridors, but instead into a broad and open concourse awash in sunlight," said the Governor. Another transportation project mentioned was the Port Authority's ferry service between Lower Manhattan and both LaGuardia Airport and JFK International Airport. Service to LaGuardia Airport will begin this year and JFK Airport service will start in 2005.
The numerous updates and goals were made to a standing room only crowd at a luncheon hosted by the Association for a Better New York at the Ritz Carlton. To view the entire Governor's speech, visit www.RenewNYC.com.
WTC Memorial Foundation
Memorial Foundation Board Announced and Inaugural Meeting Held
The formation of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Board of Directors was announced December 1, 2004 during a press conference that included the Governor and the Mayor. This distinguished Board of Directors includes business leaders, victims' family members and leading philanthropists. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and William J. Clinton will serve as honorary members and have all pledged their support for the Foundation.
The Foundation held its inaugural meeting January 5, 2005 creating a governance structure and confirming John C. Whitehead as Founding Chairman. All 33 members of the Board of Directors participated in the meeting.
The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private not-for-profit corporation, will construct, own, operate, and maintain the World Trade Center Memorial, an on-site museum, and a performing arts building. In the upcoming year, the Foundation will launch a major fund-raising campaign inviting donors from around the world to support the initiative. The Foundation's official web site is www.WTCMemorialFoundation.org.
Museums of Lower Manhattan
Spotlight on Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
On view though September 5, 2005 are George Catlin's celebrated depictions of the Native peoples of the American Plains. Comprising more than 100 portraits, landscapes and scenes of tribal life from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “George Catlin and His Indian Gallery” includes Native American artifacts collected by the artist that have not been shown with the paintings in more than a century.
“This exhibition celebrates one of the crown jewels of the Smithsonian's collection – the nearly complete surviving set of Catlin's first Indian gallery,” said John Haworth, director of the George Gustav Heye Center. “We are delighted to be able to present it to the people and the visitors of New York.”
The exhibition examines George Catlin's early years; initial encounters with Native peoples; his travels from the frontier to the Plains; his experiences with northern and southwestern nations; his creation of the Indian Gallery and his experiences in Europe. The exhibition also includes Catlin's popular portraits such as “Stu-mick-o-súcks, Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe” and his depictions of the Mandan O-Kee-Pa ceremonies.
The Museum of the American Indian is one of the fifteen Museums of Lower Manhattan. All located South of Houston Street, the Museums of Lower Manhattan captures the essence of New York's first neighborhood by chronicling a wide range of cultural aspects of American life. For complete information on all of the museums, including their hours of operation, location, exhibits and directions via subway, bus or car please visit our website, www.nystartshere.org.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center is located at One Bowling Green in New York City, across from Battery Park. The museum is free and open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays until 8 p.m.
7 World Trade Center Returns to New York Skyline
The final steel beam for the new 7 World Trade Center was placed October 21, 2004. The 52-story office building tower will replace the original office building destroyed on September 11, 2001. The last building to fall on September 11th will now set new standards in safety, efficiency and environmental sensitivity, becoming a prototype for all new high-rise construction, including the Freedom Tower and four other commercial office buildings scheduled to be built on the World Trade Center site.
Lower Manhattan Construction Update
Construction Command Center Executive Director Named
Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the creation of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center and the appointment of Executive Director Charles Maikish. The Command Center will oversee and coordinate all of the construction projects in Lower Manhattan consistent with the rebuilding timeline, while minimizing the impact of such construction activity on downtown's business and residential communities.
“The creation of the Construction Command Center will ensure that business downtown will continue uninterrupted as the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan kicks into high gear,” said Governor Pataki. “The Command Center will also be an important resource for the area's residential and visitor community, to minimize inconvenience and keep them informed of the status of the construction projects. Thanks to the shared vision with Mayor Bloomberg and our partners in the private sector, the rebuilding will continue safely and cause minimal disruption in Lower Manhattan.”
“The Construction Command Center will assist us in coordinating construction projects that will be occurring simultaneously, minimizing disruptions for residents, workers, and businesses, and it will serve as a one-stop shop providing them with essential information on the progress of those projects,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
Leading the command center is Charles Maikish who brings over thirty years of experience in construction, real estate development, transportation development, and physical facilities maintenance and operations. He previously served as Executive Vice President of Global Real Estate Business Services for J.P. Morgan Chase. Mr. Maikish served as Director of the World Trade Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he spearheaded the reconstruction of the World Trade Center Towers after the 1993 terrorist bombings and was responsible for the overall management of the World Trade Center and other Port Authority properties, including the operation, marketing, leasing, capital investment program, and budgeting.
The Command Center will include private developers, public agencies, utilities, businesses, and residents in one location. The Command Center will temporarily be housed out of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's offices at 1 Liberty Plaza.
The Executive Orders creating the Command Center are available for viewing on www.RenewNYC.com.
Letter from the Chairman
In June 2003, the LMDC announced a plan to invite cultural institutions from around the world to express their interest in locating on the World Trade Center site. As Lower Manhattan continues to rebuild after the attacks of September 11th, culture has the potential to infuse the redevelopment with hope and energy drawn from the human spirit.
In June, the LMDC unveiled the cultural institutions to be located on the World Trade Center site. Those institutions are: the Joyce International Dance Center, the International Freedom Center, the Signature Theatre, and the Drawing Center. In addition to their own programming, these institutions will host other organizations and events such as the Tribeca Film Festival. Their performance spaces, screening rooms, galleries, education programs, and rehearsal spaces will also be made available for the community to use. As such, these first-rate institutions will be not only active participants in, but also key drivers of Lower Manhattan's ongoing growth and revitalization.
To create a truly vibrant cultural district, we have enlisted the world's leading architects. Frank Gehry and his firm Gehry Partners will design the Performing Arts Complex. Gehry Partners has worked successfully on the design and construction of a number of facilities for performing arts and fine arts institutions including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, the Ray & Maria Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.
For the Museum Complex, we have selected Snøhetta, an international architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design company based in Oslo, Norway. Founded in 1989, Snøhetta is most well-known for its completion of the Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, and the soon to be completed New National Opera in Oslo and the Turner Contemporary Museum in England. Since its formation Snøhetta has won numerous international awards and has been represented in exhibitions around the world. Many have characterized their work as having a presence that resonates with the surrounding context.
We hope that readers will follow the cultural developments closely and I look forward to updating you on our progress as the process continues to unfold.
Conference Offers Rebuilding Insight
The echoes of nails being driven into 2x4s welcomed more than 700 hundred women to Pace University in Lower Manhattan on March 31. Next to the group pounding hammers, female painters displayed the proper paint techniques while electricians demonstrated wiring techniques. These demonstrations and panel discussions were part of the conference Opportunity Downtown: Women Working, whose goal was to educate women about the construction industry and encourage the attendees to join this field.
This year's XI Annual Competitive Edge Conference for Minority and Women Business Owners had 360 people attend the event. The theme “IMAGINE...the Economic Reality,” focused on helping firms enhance their business skills and increase access to contracting opportunities. Throughout the two-day conference, held on August 9 and 10, 2004, participants had an opportunity to meet with major general contractors, key procurement specialists and government agency certification managers.
The conference was endorsed by Governor George E. Pataki as a premier event to help minority and women owned businesses learn more about contracting opportunities in New York. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, in conjunction with other public and private organizations, sponsored the event. LMDC is also collaborating with all of the agencies involved in the rebuilding process, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State Department of Transportation, and Silverstein Properties to ensure that minorities and women participate in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.
“For our rebuilding efforts downtown, the inclusion of minority and women businesses is vital to helping create a long-term pattern of minority and women business participation in large scale construction and development projects. To that end, LMDC fully supports and spearheads efforts to identify and assist minority and women business owners and individual workers in their business and career endeavors,” said Kevin M. Rampe, LMDC President.
Chinatown Benefits from Marketing & Tourism Campaign
Tourists and fellow New Yorkers visiting America’s largest Chinatown now have a place to obtain more information about the area they are visiting. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the September 11th Fund working with NYC & Company celebrated the official opening of the Chinatown kiosk on December 15, 2004.
The informational kiosk is located on the busy triangle bounded by Canal Street, Walker Street, and Baxter Street.
The kiosk is an element of the Explore Chinatown marketing and tourism campaign. The $2 million campaign is being sponsored by LMDC and the September 11th Fund to build awareness and increase revenues for Chinatown businesses which suffered economically from the events of September 11th.
Founded in the late 1870’s by Chinese immigrants, Chinatown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Manhattan. The campaign highlights this rich history and future events through various means such as the website www.ExploreChinatown.com, brochures, advertising, and through the news media.
The increased advertising this year helped bring approximately 120,000 plus to the firecracker ceremony February 11, 2005, up from several hundred last year. The new kiosk reported more than 2,500 visitors on that same day.
Also, the campaign recently celebrated the Subway’s 100th anniversary by coordinating the Taste of Chinatown campaign in which 100 Chinatown businesses offered visitors the best deals in shopping, dining and exploring the area between November 1 and December 31, 2004. On October 2, the campaign coordinated efforts with 30 restaurants, bakeries and tea houses to serve Chinese cuisine for $1 a plate during the Autumn Moon Festival.
A working group, now in its second year, meets monthly to discuss current community issues and to provide feedback to the Explore Chinatown campaign partners. The group is comprised of representatives from elected officials, several business leaders and community residents. The campaign partners include representatives from LMDC, Asian Women in Business, Dentsu Communications, M.Silver Associates, and NYC & Co.
Explore the Streets of Chinatown
Mott Street and Canal Street
Grand Street and Mott Street
Al Smith Playground Receives Makeover
New Tennis Courts Open
The 57-acre John V. Lindsay East River Park runs along the FDR Drive and East River from Montgomery Street to East 12th Street. This project, like the new tennis courts in Hudson River Park, was funded by the LMDC and is part of a $24.6 million allocation to create or enhance 13 different green spaces in Lower Manhattan.