Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today unveiled the first phase of a plan to transform the landscape and security outside the New York Stock Exchange. The Governor and Mayor also revealed a new long-term vision for the heart of the financial district, which maintains the security of the area while improving the streetscape in the vicinity of the Exchange--providing an attractive and welcoming environment for the neighborhood's workers, residents and visitors. A large scale banner covering the NYSE's facade was unveiled depicting life after the project is completed.
"The New York Stock Exchange is the heart and soul of Lower Manhattan - the nexus of the Financial Capital of the World. Since September 11th, security conditions have made the streets around the Exchange as crowded and crammed as the trading floor itself. Last April, I pledged that the LMDC would work with the City to implement a first phase of improvements to the district within a year," Governor Pataki said. "Already, we have achieved tremendous progress in meeting that goal."
"The Financial District is today poised to lead the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. We look to realize a bold vision that will not merely restore the conditions that existed prior to September 11th, but will make the area even better than before," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Not only will the seating, lighting and landscaping improvements meet security criteria established by the NYPD and the Stock Exchange, they will also provide an attractive and welcoming environment for the area's workers, residents and visitors."
"This project represents one of the finest collaborations between the LMDC and the City -- and it represents a broader, successful partnership with the Exchange and its neighbors," said John C. Whitehead, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Chairman. "As a result of this collective effort, by the spring, the pickup trucks that are currently stationed at the area's intersections will be removed. They will be replaced with more fitting gateways to this historic district. Sidewalk cafes will animate the streets and a renewed sense of life will return to the Financial District."
The first phase of improvements currently is under way and will be completed this spring. Streets in poor condition, due to security that served as a barrier to maintenance over the past two years, have now been resurfaced. New asphalt has been laid at Broad/Nassau Street from Beaver Street to Pine Street and Wall Street from Broadway to William Street. An attractive black wrought iron-style fence has replaced the "bicycle-rack" French barricades that previously choked pedestrian traffic around the perimeter of the NYSE building. The positioning of the new fencing has freed up new lanes of pedestrian flow on Broad Street and Wall Street. This fence is an interim installation that will serve in its current location until the longer-term streetscape vision is implemented. Additionally, the slalom course of vehicular obstacles has been removed from Broad Street and jersey barriers have been replaced with planters that inject life into the district.
Carl Weisbrod, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York said: "We are pleased that the Downtown Alliance, as well as the businesses and institutions in the immediate vicinity have been given the opportunity by LMDC and the City to participate so vigorously and cooperatively in this revitalization project. We look forward to continuing to work with the project team throughout the entire design and implementation periods."
When the pickup trucks that currently sit in seven intersections surrounding the Exchange are removed in the spring, more fitting gateways that consist of bollards will serve as attractive, free-flowing pedestrian entry points that normalize and improve the aesthetic of the area. In partnership with Wall Street Rising, a lighting program will also debut by the spring - offering dramatic lighting of the facades of the historic buildings of the area.
In future phases of the project, the LMDC and City team will explore possibilities such as:
- A water feature (e.g. a fountain) that references the original New Amsterdam canal that existed on Broad Street in the 17th century
- Historical information panels that reference the original protective palisade that existed on what now is Wall Street
- Specially crafted pedestrian plazas that take advantage of the pedestrian-only restrictions and build upon the sidewalk cafes that have already sprung up in the district.
The vision of the future phases were illustrated in the renderings that were debuted in the banner unfurled on the facade of the NYSE building.
"The New York Stock Exchange supports the efforts of the LMDC, as well as the beautification and revitalization initiatives taking place in the downtown community. As a proud part of Downtown New York, we are committed to revitalizing Lower Manhattan," said John Reed, Interim Chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.
Tom Renyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Bank of New York, "The Bank of New York joins with its neighbors in Lower Manhattan in applauding the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the City of New York and the Alliance for Downtown for their efforts in making meaningful improvements to the Wall Street area. By partnering with local business leaders and taking a consultative approach, these organizations developed and executed realistic plans for improvements that benefit those who live, work and visit Lower Manhattan. We applaud in particular the efforts to adhere to an aggressive timetable for implementation once a plan was agreed upon. We look forward to further improvements still to come and pledge our continued support and partnership in these ongoing efforts."
This project is a partnership among the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the New York City Department of City Planning, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Police Department, New York City Department of Transportation, the Alliance for Downtown New York, Wall Street Rising and numerous other community businesses, residences, and organizations that have been actively engaged in the design and implementation process. The project team engaged in a series of collective and individual meetings with two dozen area stakeholders over the past six months in order to develop the new vision for the financial district.
LMDC, which is funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has made a $10 million contribution to the first phase of the project. Future phases will require additional public and private funding.