5,000 PEOPLE TO ATTEND TOWN FORUM ON SATURDAY, JULY 20
New York – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) today unveiled six planning options for development of the World Trade Center site and adjacent areas, focused on honoring those lost on September 11 and revitalizing Lower Manhattan.
The unveiling of these concepts is the beginning of a public dialogue that will lead to final plans for the most important redevelopment project in New York City history. They suggest ways to use space on the site for a memorial, office and retail amenities, cultural facilities, a hotel and a new transportation hub serving New York and New Jersey. Some plans also call for development of cultural and residential facilities south of the site.
The LMDC and the Port Authority also launched an extensive outreach campaign today to encourage public input on the plans. At 2 p.m., LMDC’s website, www.renewnyc.org, will enable visitors to navigate the plans in 3-D, aided by an overview of the planning process and the common elements of all six options. The options will be considered in a series of public forums, beginning on Saturday, July 20th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. Next week, an exhibit will open in the Rotunda of Federal Hall, where visitors will be able to explore the plans and submit their comments.
Based on public input, various elements of the six options will be reconfigured to produce three new plans in September, followed by another series of public hearings. A final recommended land use plan will be adopted in December, and further refined next year after public input. Architects will then be selected to design buildings that reflect the importance of the site to New York City and to the nation. In a separate process, an international design competition will be held to select plans for a memorial.
New York Governor George Pataki said, "The six plans provide a framework within which the various options for the World Trade Center site can be examined. Now it’s up to the public to use these plans to generate their own ideas for the site and to play an active role in the redevelopment effort. With an engaged public providing constructive suggestions, I believe we will arrive at a truly outstanding design for the World Trade Center site. The LMDC and the Port Authority have done an excellent job developing this first round of plans and finding innovative ways to involve as many people as possible."
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, "These six site plans represent the beginning of an open and substantive dialogue as we work toward remembering and honoring those lives lost on September 11th, while rebuilding and revitalizing the district. The process will require patience, respect and inclusion to accommodate a very demanding set of criteria for an appropriate and respectful use of the site."
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City said, "The release of these six plans is an important step in the redevelopment effort and begins an important public dialogue. I strongly encourage everyone to use these plans to think about how the site should be rebuilt and then share their ideas with the organizations involved as I plan to. I want to commend the LMDC and the Port Authority for conducting an open and democratic process for the future of Lower Manhattan."
LMDC Chairman John Whitehead said, "It is fitting that today's event is held in Federal Hall, which has played such an important role in the history of our city and our nation. New York City was born in Lower Manhattan some four centuries ago, and today we are planning nothing less than the rebirth of Lower Manhattan."
Port Authority Chairman Jack Sinagra said, "Today, we carry the memory of those victims with us as we move forward, taking the first of many steps that will ultimately rebuild and revitalize downtown Manhattan. This will be an open process, deliberate and thoughtful, and always respectful to those who lost their lives on September 11."
John H. Beyer, founding partner of Beyer Blinder, Belle Architects & Planners, said, "After a compressed period of intensive creative work, we think these six plans represent a wide range of planning ideas for further discussion. We look forward to public feedback as we move into the next phase."
Lou Tomson, LMDC President and Executive Director, said, "When the LMDC was first created, we vowed to conduct the most ambitious and comprehensive outreach campaign ever undertaken to engage the public. Up until today, much of that discussion has revolved around abstract concepts – the need for more open space, for better transportation, for a vibrant mixed use community, and most importantly, for a fitting memorial. The six plans represent the first initial step toward determining how we actually accomplish these shared goals."
Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development and Vice-Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, "Today's unveiling marks an important step in determining the parameters of the development that will take place at the World Trade Center site. I look forward to listening to a vigorous public debate as we move toward the selection of the final land use plan, and commend both the Governor and the Mayor for their leadership throughout this process."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, "The memorial and the buildings that rise at this site will be a symbol of the rebirth of Lower Manhattan, and of the strength and determination of all Americans. Planning for the site calls for careful coordination involving the Port Authority, the LMDC, other public agencies, representatives of families who lost loved ones on September 11, elected officials, community and civic groups, leaseholders and the general public. Today, with the presentation of these six options, the dialogue can begin."
All of the proposed options have common elements, including:
- A permanent memorial
- Public open space
- 11 million square feet of commercial office space, a 600,000 square-foot hotel and
600,000 square feet of retail space
- A transportation hub serving New York and New Jersey
- Cultural and civic institutions
- A rebuilt St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
- Residential facilities off-site
The following are summaries of the six options presented at Federal Hall today:
Memorial Plaza, featuring an eight-acre open space bordered by extensions of Fulton and Greenwich streets, and by Liberty and West streets, which would include a memorial and cultural facilities such as a museum. A tall, freestanding tower would be located at the northwest corner of the site as a dramatic addition to the Lower Manhattan skyline. The plan includes 18 acres of new public open space and five office towers. The plan does not build on the footprints of the Twin Towers, and no property would be acquired or demolished. A traffic tunnel would be created below West Street, allowing creation of a Memorial Promenade linking Battery Park, and, via ferry, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Memorial Square, featuring a 10-acre open square that accommodates a range of cultural and memorial spaces, including a tower that would serve as a focal point along key view corridors, and a multi-level cultural and memorial walkway that would extend to Battery Park, Liberty Island and Ellis Island. This plan includes four office towers and 24.1 acres of public space, including parks, streets, sidewalks and walkways. Greenwich Street would be extended through the site. Thirteen acres of new property would be created or acquired to create a cultural district or new park space. West Street would run underground, allowing creation of a Memorial Promenade linking the site to Battery Park, and, via ferry, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. This plan does not build on the footprints of the WTC towers.
Memorial Triangle, featuring a five-acre triangular open space surrounded by memorial buildings on the block between Liberty, Vesey, West and Greenwich streets. Greenwich Street would extend through the site from north to south. The plan includes memorial, cultural, and commercial facilities, six towers and 13.2 acres of public space to contain a promenade, streets, squares, walkways and an enclosed galleria. A broad elevated pedestrian deck spans West St. to reach the upper level of the Winter Garden, leading to the waterfront. This plan does not build on the footprint of the south tower, includes a public pavilion on the footprint of the north tower and would require no land acquisition beyond the WTC site.
Memorial Garden, featuring a four-acre open space bordered by extensions of Greenwich, and West streets. The southwest section of the site will house memorial and cultural facilities. The plan also extends Fulton St. The plan includes five office towers, 6.8 acres of new public space.
Memorial Park, featuring memorial sites included in a six-acre park, partially situated on a deck that would cross from West St. to the World Financial Center. The plan includes five office towers, a 1,500-foot-high beacon at Church and Liberty streets, and extensions of Fulton, Cortlandt and Greenwich streets. The plan creates 14.4 acres of new public space. The plan suggests the acquisition of parts of the Deutsche Bank Plaza and the parking lot at Cedar and West streets.
Memorial Promenade, featuring a large oval park on a deck above West Street, as well as new public squares, memorial sites, museum sites, and cultural buildings. A grand 18–acre promenade would connect a museum to be built on the site, to Battery Park lined by trees to remember the victims of Sept. 11. The plan includes six towers and 27.7 acres of public space.
To address the need to improve the transportation network of Lower Manhattan, a transportation study is under way. The study involves PATH, the MTA, the New York State and New York City Departments of Transportation, the New York City Department of City Planning, New Jersey transportation agencies and private transportation operators.
The transportation improvement plan will focus on creating a mass transit hub and pedestrian access to serve the needs of both New York and New Jersey. It will consider, for example, ways to provide easy transfers from PATH and trans-Hudson ferries to buildings on or near the site, and to the extensive network of subway lines in the area. They include the 1 and 9, the A, C and E lines, and the 4, 5 and 6 lines. One possibility under active consideration is a connecting corridor running from West Street to Fulton and Nassau streets, linking the many transportation lines in the area. Provisions will also be made to one day allow the Long Island Rail Road to provide direct service to Lower Manhattan. The planning effort for rebuilding the site, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a state-city corporation, and the Port Authority, which owns the WTC property, have worked with a variety of stakeholders, including representatives of families of those killed on September 11, elected officials, civic and community organizations, and the holders of net leases on the property, Silverstein Properties (office space), Westfield America (retail space) and Marriott Hotels (hotel space).
In May, the LMDC and the Port Authority selected Beyer Blinder Belle, a respected New York architectural and planning firm, to lead a team of planners and consultants to conduct the urban planning and transportation study of the World Trade Center site and adjacent areas. Beyer Blinder Belle has worked on such projects as Grand Central Terminal, Governors Island, and Ellis Island.
The LMDC developed a set of guiding principles for rebuilding the WTC site and revitalizing lower Manhattan through a collaborative process. They call for a permanent memorial to the victims of Sept. 11, economic revitalization, more open public spaces, new office space, improved transportation access and the overall creation of a vibrant mixed-use community in Lower Manhattan. The principles also call for arts and cultural facilities, such as museums or performing arts centers, and improved pedestrian access to the site from surrounding neighborhoods.
The first opportunity for the public to comment on the six options will be at a large town hall meeting, to be held at the Jacob Javits Center starting at 8 a.m. on July 20, 2002. On that date, up to 5,000 people from the tri-state area will participate in "Listening to the City," a historic, interactive event organized by the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York. Space is still available for this free, daylong gathering. Translation services, free childcare and meals will be provided. To register, individuals should call 1-800-862-3154 or visit www.listeningtothecity.org.
To obtain a copy of the conceptual options, visit LMDC's website at www.renewnyc.org.