Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

Rebuilding NYC

Rebuilding NYC April 2004


Bush "Candid" in Meeting With 9/11 Commission - Apr 30, 2004
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were questioned in the Oval Office for more than three hours on Thursday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. They said intelligence warnings they received throughout 2001 suggested that Al Qaeda was poised to strike overseas, not on American soil, according to accounts of commission and administration officials. (New York Times)

Jury Deals Blow to Developer in WTC Insurance Trial - Apr 30, 2004
A federal jury in Manhattan handed the developer Larry A. Silverstein a major setback yesterday in his bitter legal battle with two dozen insurers over how much money will be available for rebuilding the sprawling World Trade Center site. The panel ruled that many of the insurers were not liable for the double payments he had sought. (New York Times)

Westchester Picks 9/11 Memorial - Apr 30, 2004
Westchester County unveiled the winning design on Thursday for its own Sept. 11 memorial, a soaring sculpture with 109 intersecting steel rods, each representing a victim who lived in the county. The memorial, named "The Rising," was designed by Frederic Schwartz, an acclaimed Manhattan architect and a founder of the Think team. Think's entry in the master plan competition for ground zero was the runner-up in that contest. The Westchester memorial will be built at Kensico Dam Plaza, a county-owned park in Valhalla. Unveiling is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2005. (New York Times)

Governor Wants Additional Anti-Terror Team For New York - Apr 30, 2004
Gov. George Pataki is pushing federal authorities to launch a second specialized National Guard team in New York to detect weapons of mass destruction, saying the current outfit needs more help. Currently, 31 states have Civil Support Teams to screen for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. The group in New York has been used at times of heightened security alerts, often in New York City. (Albany Times Union)

Broadway Ticket Sales Back to Pre 9/11 Levels - Apr 29, 2004
Broadway ticket sales have been soaring on the Great White Way. Tourists are back in numbers not seen since before Sept. 11. A more diverse range of productions than at any time in memory is attracting new audiences. An unusually large number of smash-hit musicals is bringing in crowds. (Crains New York )

Midtown Retail Rates Surpass Pre-9/11 Levels - Apr 29, 2004
Midtown retail asking rents have not only returned to pre-Sept. 11 levels but have surpassed them. In the spring of 2004, according to the Real Estate Board of New YorkÕs spring retail report, asking retail rents in midtown averaged $125 per square foot. That tops the $122-per-square-foot average midtown rent in spring 2001; the terrorist attacks helped bring prices as low as $107 in the fall of 2001. Downtown and midtown south have yet to recover, according to REBNY. Downtown retail asking rents are averaging $59 per square foot, compared with $60 in the spring of 2001. Asking rents for midtown south retail space are averaging $75 a square foot, still shy of pre-Sept. 11 levels of $78. (Crains NY )

New Documentary Film Looks at NY Firefighters Post 9/11 - Apr 29, 2004
Thomas Burke has been a firefighter for 25 years. He's just one of the firefighters featured in "Brotherhood," an up-close and very personal look at New York's Bravest as the department rebuilds after 9/11. (NY1)

New Subway Tunnel May Require that Sphere Statue Be Moved - Apr 29, 2004
It appears that a subway tunnel leading to the planned new South Ferry terminal would come close to Fritz Koenig's "Sphere for Plaza Fountain" -- which has been in Battery Park since soon after 9/11 -- suggesting strongly that the sculpture may have to be relocated. (New York Times)

Police Parking Impeding Chinatown's Post 9/11 Recovery - Apr 29, 2004
Even though the attack on the World Trade Center happened two and a half years ago, residents and business owners in Chinatown say their neighborhood, just a short distance from ground zero, has not recovered. Because of the security measures imposed on the nearby police headquarters and other government offices, they say, conditions in their part of Lower Manhattan have actually grown worse. (New York Times)

Bush, Cheney to Meet With 9/11 Commission Today - Apr 29, 2004
President Bush and Vice President Cheney will meet privately for several hours with the Sept. 11 commission on Thursday. Bush faces the same challenge as he does on the campaign trail: convincing Americans that he responded appropriately to an intelligence system that CIA Director George Tenet said was ``blinking red'' with warnings of a terrorist strike. (Associated Press)

The Quiet But Aggressive Staff of the 9/11 Commission - Apr 29, 2004
When Dietrich Snell first felt his office shake on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 Ă‘ the reverberations from the first jetliner crashing into the World Trade Center down the street Ă‘ he ran into the office of his boss, the attorney general of New York, Eliot L. Spitzer. In the spring of 2003, Mr. Snell again walked into Mr. Spitzer's office, this time after he received an offer to be an investigator on the independent commission looking into government actions before the Sept. 11 attacks. "Well, you have no choice," Mr. Spitzer recalled telling Mr. Snell, who was a deputy attorney general. "You can't say no to that request." (New York Times)

$5 Billion in Antiterror Aid Reportedly Stuck in Pipeline - Apr 28, 2004
More than $5 billion in federal money to help communities brace for terrorist attacks has not yet reached the local authorities and remains stuck in the administrative pipeline, Congressional officials said Tuesday. That is more than 80 percent of the money approved by Congress to help cities, counties and states since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and efforts to prepare for possible attacks may be lagging as a result, a new Congressional analysis has found. (New York Times)

How Will the 9/11 Insurance Case Affect Commercial Real Estate? - Apr 28, 2004
So, One or Two: besides the not insubstantial sum of $3.6 billion, what difference will it make? A fascinating one. Commercial landlords across the city have to be feeling torn. Of course, they want to see their colleague Larry Silverstein emerge triumphant, a patrician warrior hero with an unfathomable bundle of cash in hand. But if he does, then they smell trouble. (Slatin Report)

Bush-Cheney Interview With 9/11 Commission Thursday Won't Be Recorded - Apr 28, 2004
The White House said on Tuesday that there would be no recording or formal transcription of the historic joint interview of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney by the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The interview, to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday at the White House, will be recorded by two note takers, one from the White House. Under a pact with the White House that allowed all its 10 members in the interview, the commission is permitted to take a note taker, but not a recording device. The panel said it did not press for a formal transcription of the session, letting the White House decide. (New York Times)

Homeland Security Funds Going To Communities That Don't Need It, Finds Congressional Study - Apr 28, 2004
Millions of dollars in federal homeland security aid has gone to communities that don't need it, and billions more remain unspent, according to a congressional study released Tuesday. The report affirms complaints of New York officials who say they've been shortchanged in homeland security grants and will fuel their push to require that the federal government give a greater share of funds to high-risk areas. (Newsday)

Feeling Shortchanged on Security Funds, Police, Firefighters Plan Convention Protest - Apr 28, 2004
Feeling shortchanged by Washington, some city firefighters and police are vowing to protest against President Bush and the Republicans at their convention in New York this summer. Unions representing cops and firefighters have requested permits to protest at the Republican National Convention in August at Madison Square Garden. (New York Daily News)

New York Emergency Responders Not Prepared for Chemical Attack - Apr 28, 2004
More than two years after 9/11 and nine years after a Japanese cult released a toxic gas on the Tokyo subway system, the majority of New York City's emergency medical technicians are not properly trained to enter a contaminated zone and treat victims, officials said Tuesday. Of 3,000 paramedics and emergency medical technicians in the city, only 133 have the necessary training. (New York Times)

St. Paul's Embraces Role As 9/11 Icon - Apr 28, 2004
St. Paul's Chapel, where Americans worshiped even before they were American, has long been known as the oldest public building in Manhattan. Old, it certainly was. But the Episcopal chapel did not really become public until Sept. 11, 2002, when the doors opened to "Out of the Dust," a temporary display about its ground zero ministry. Now this public role has been institutionalized (New York Times)

Juror Asks to Leave 9/11 Insurance Trial - Apr 28, 2004
A juror's unofficial request to be excused from the trial over insurance coverage at the World Trade Center sent a tremor through the courtroom yesterday during the sixth day of jury deliberations in the multibillion-dollar case. (New York Times)

British Minister of Parliament Back NY 9/11 Memorial for British Victims - Apr 27, 2004
British Minister of Parliament Gisela Stuart is supporting a campaign to construct a permanent memorial to the 67 British citizens who died in terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. (Evening Mail)

Many in Dance World Want Smaller Theater At Ground Zero - Apr 27, 2004
Many in the New York dance world are rallying behind the Joyce Theater's proposal to build a 900-seat home for dance as a cultural anchor for the World Trade Center site, favoring it over the New York City Opera's proposal to build a 2,200-seat opera house that would be used in part for dance in the off-season. (New York Times)

Agent Who Rebuilt ATF Headquarters After 9/11 Takes High Post - Apr 27, 2004
The man who led the rebuilding of the department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm's New York operations after its World Trade Center office was pulverized in the terror attacks was appointed yesterday to the agency's No. 2 spot. (New York Daily News)

After Nine Month Delay, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Begins To Spend Security Funds - Apr 27, 2004
The MTA began spending $591 million in security funds Monday, nine months after the money was first approved. A committee that oversees major projects approved the hiring of four firms to bolster the system's terrorism preparedness through several projects. Officials declined to say what exactly the firms will do, citing security concerns. (Newsday)

First Class Graduates From Fire Department's Anti-Terror School - Apr 27, 2004
A group of elite firefighters graduated yesterday from the FDNY's first-ever anti-terror school. In a City Hall ceremony, Mayor Bloomberg praised the graduates - top fire chiefs, captains, marshals and medics - who spent 14 weeks delving into the minds and means of the world's vilest terrorists. (New York Daily News)

Terrorism Concerns Inspire More Training for Transit Workers - Apr 27, 2004
Although the need to evacuate subway trains because of fires or other problems has always been a part of travel underground, emergency training for transit workers has taken on newfound importance in a jittery world of orange alerts and terrorist threats. Partly because of terrorism concerns, transit officials are planning to offer the daylong fire safety and evacuation training sessions to more workers and make those who have already gone through it do so more often. (New York Times)

Community Board One Battles Over Rebuilding Funds - Apr 26, 2004
In the face of a report that most of the remaining $1 billion in post-9/11 aid has already been slated to build a commuter-airport rail link to Downtown, Community Board 1 recommended spending much of the money on affordable housing, park space, community centers and a school. (Downtown Express)

Memorial Designer Joins NY Architecture Firm - Apr 25, 2004
Girding for the commission of a lifetime - translating an evocative idea into the reality of a permanent World Trade Center site memorial - New York's best-known unknown architect, Michael Arad, has joined a 50-person firm in Manhattan. On Monday, Mr. Arad was named a partner in Handel Architects, a 10-year-old firm that reshaped the Lincoln Center area in the 1990's with mixed-use projects for Millennium Partners. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission to Criticize Domestic Air Defense System - Apr 25, 2004
The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to offer sharp criticism of the Pentagon's domestic air-defense command in its final report, according to commission officials who said they believed that quicker military action might have prevented a hijacked passenger plane from crashing into the Pentagon itself. (New York Times)

City Comptroller Aims to Stop Companies From Dealing With Terror Sponsors - Apr 24, 2004
The city comptroller wants to change a loophole which lets the foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies deal with countries that sponsor terrorism. William Thompson says the firms are dealing in blood money and he vows to change the law. He's fighting several companies over their dealings with Iran and Syria. New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg says he will introduce a bill preventing this exception. They singled out Halliburton Company, ConocoPhillips, and General Electric for exposing a loophole in the law. (NY1)

Federal Reports Reveal Weakness of Airport Security - Apr 23, 2004
Passenger screening at the nation's airports is like Swiss cheese - full of gaping holes that are endangering travelers' lives, according to two top-secret federal reports. The alarming findings revealed yesterday outraged congressmen and immediately prompted calls for an emergency meeting to boost efforts to make the skies safe. (New York Post)

Fire Department Lagging on Communication, Terror Training - Apr 23, 2004
New York City Fire Department, while retaining a strong esprit de corps after the Sept. 11 attack, is nonetheless hurt by an inability to communicate during fires and other emergencies, a new workplace study reports. Moreover, half of the firefighters and their supervisors who participated in the study said they had not received enough training to handle "terror-related incidents." (New York Times)

New York Keeping Ground Zero Out of Olympic Bid - Apr 22, 2004
Ground Zero is so close to New York's Olympic bid-city headquarters, it's impossible not to think the two are intertwined. But bid officials, right from the days following Sept.11, said they would not use the terrorist attacks for sympathy in trying to win the 2012 Summer Olympics. (The Gazette )

Does the Port Authority Really Own Ground Zero? - Apr 22, 2004
What is said about the World Trade Center site can sometimes be at odds - if ever so slightly - with fine-grained reality. Case in point: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the 16-acre trade center site. That statement of fact is repeated reflexively in accounts of the ground zero rebuilding. But it turns out that it may not be quite true. (New York Times)

Firefighters' Post 9/11 Stress Not Unusual, Says New Study - Apr 21, 2004
City firefighters reported increased stress and emotional problems after 9/11, but that should be expected in such a high-risk job, according to a study by Cornell University. The report also said that firefighters are no different than the general population when it comes to possible alcohol abuse, despite several highly publicized events involving firefighters and drinking in recent months. (Newsday)

City Claims it Hasn't Received $2.6 Billion in Promised 9/11 Aid - Apr 21, 2004
New York City estimates it has not received some $2.6 billion in promised Sept. 11 aid, and is quietly seeking to swap that shortfall for hard cash as part of a key Senate vote expected as early as next week. (Associated Press)

City Seeks Formal Governing Role in Ground Zero Development - Apr 21, 2004
The Bloomberg administration called yesterday for a formal agreement with the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to govern the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, much as a 1967 compact did. Then, the biggest issues were television reception and how much money the city would receive in lieu of real estate taxes. Now, the goal is to ensure that rebuilding "is not delayed or hindered by lack of coordination or misunderstandings," Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said in a letter to state officials. (New York Times)

Train Crash Tests First Responders - Apr 20, 2004
Since the 9/11 terror attacks, cops and firefighters have been drilling regularly to coordinate their response to major emergencies. Penn Station has been of major concern, especially with the Republican National Convention coming this summer. A train crash yesterday tested their reactions. (New York Daily News)

Name Added to 9/11 Death List - Apr 20, 2004
The following name has been added to the list of those lost in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks: Thomas J. McCann, 45. (New York Post)

Firefighters Still Suffer Stress From Working At Ground Zero - Apr 20, 2004
Firefighters who worked at Ground Zero are experiencing high rates of depression, anxiety and stress, a new study shows. The survey of 2,000 firefighters found that 62% of those who worked at the World Trade Center site in the month after 9/11 still suffer from depression, said Samuel Bacharach, director of Cornell University's Smithers Institute, which conducted the study. (New York Daily News)

9/11 Suits Reveal Law Allowing Absentee Parents to Profit From Their Children's Deaths - Apr 20, 2004
The legal aftermath of the World Trade Center attack has revealed what some lawyers say is a flaw in New York State law: a parent who abandons a child may still be entitled to death benefits if that child is later killed on the job. The benefits come from the state workers' compensation fund, which awards $50,000 to the parents of people who die while working and do not leave spouses or children. And in two recent decisions, reported this month in The New York Law Journal, a state appellate court in Albany has ruled that the Workers' Compensation Board was right to split the money between a mother who raised a son alone and the biological father. (New York Times)

Amidst the Battles, Quality World Trade Center Plan Emerges - Apr 19, 2004
In the city that supposedly never sleeps, the redesign of the World Trade Center site has been the story that truly never stops. Lawsuits. Turf battles. Heavy political pressures. Intense emotional appeals. High-voltage international design contests. Daily press coverage of every big and little fight. It has been an exciting, confounding, downright messy process with surprises at every turn in the twisting road. And yet, so far, the biggest surprise of all is the high quality of the results. (Washington Post)

Suit Attempts to Stop Use of Liberty Bonds For Queens Power Plant - Apr 19, 2004
Five New York lawmakers plan to file suit today to keep a proposed power plant in Queens from getting $400 million in state Liberty Bonds, The Post has learned. The company that wants to build the plant, SCS Energy, has received preliminary approval for the bonds from the New York Liberty Development Corp., a quasi-governmental entity set up by the state. The legislators say the tax-free funds should not go to a project that has nothing to do with rebuilding lower Manhattan. (New York Post)

Police Department Racks Up Big Bill in Anti-Terror Efforts - Apr 19, 2004
The U.S. occupation of Iraq has cost the New York City Police Department more than $200 million as it has beefed up efforts to protect the city. That stark figure underscores how financial support for the domestic fight against terrorism remains a critical issue, with still no sizable amount of money from the federal government, Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. (New York Daily News)

Jury To Begin Deliberations On World Trade Center Insurance Suit - Apr 19, 2004
It will probably take more than 90 minutes for the judge to deliver a complex set of jury instructions this morning in the bitter multibillion-dollar court battle between developer Larry A. Silverstein and insurers over what coverage was in effect at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. But after hearing 10 weeks of testimony, the jury will begin to deliberate over matters that will ultimately dictate how much insurance money will be available to rebuild the sprawling trade center complex. (New York Times)

For Disabled, Safer Way To Cross West Street Near Ground Zero Planned - Apr 18, 2004
By late June or early July, nearly three years after the Twin Towers were destroyed, officials hope to restore the first safe and reliable way near the World Trade Center site for wheelchair-bound people to enter Battery Park City. State Transportation Dept. officials told Community Board 1Õs Battery Park City committee Tuesday that elevators on the east and west sides of the Vesey St. pedestrian bridge will be running by the early summer and should not have the same mechanical problems that have plagued the neighborhoodÕs other pedestrian bridge elevators in the winter. The escalator on the west side of the bridge is expected to open Friday, April 16, and the escalators on the east by mid-to-late June. (Downtown Express)

Environmental Protection Agency Watchdog Panel Looks to Expand Health Testing Downtown - Apr 18, 2004
Experts charged with reviewing the Environmental Protection AgencyÕs response to the World Trade Center collapse have recommended broader testing to determine what, if any, contamination remains from the disaster. (Downtown Express)

Downtown Has One Billion Dollars in Federal Funds Left - Apr 18, 2004
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation board voted on Tuesday to earmark $176 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds Ă‘ most of which will go to buy and demolish the Deutsche Bank building. If the money is allocated, it will leave about $1 billion to pay for a competing set of priorities for Lower Manhattan including affordable housing, park space, part of a rail link to J.F.K. Airport and the Long Island Rail Road, a new school, a recreation center and cultural facilities. (Downtown Express)

New York Police Department's Ongoing Fight Against Terrorism - Apr 18, 2004
Hours after terrorist bombs killed 191 people on trains in Madrid, New York City Detective First Grade Mordecai Dzikansky, a bombing expert assigned to Tel Aviv, flew in to the Spanish capital. Within 17 hours, three more city cops joined Dzikansky, and the NYPD's Team Spain quickly connected with Spanish investigators. Less than two hours after the March 11 attacks, cops had poured into the New York subways to step up intensified patrols. Within days, the NYPD made a half-dozen tactical adjustments to how it safeguards the city's transit system, based on what the intelligence cops learned in Madrid. This is how it works in the new, post-9/11 NYPD, as Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly takes the fight against terrorism around the world. (New York Daily News)

Park Used Since 9/11 by Police Returned to Chinatown - Apr 17, 2004
The small stretch of asphalt is surrounded by 1 Police Plaza, Murry Bergtraum High School, a strip mall and the Gov. Alfred E. Smith Houses. Central Park it is not. But even a little bit of open space is better than none, so it was with some fanfare yesterday that residents and community leaders in Chinatown celebrated their reclamation of the park, James Madison Plaza, which the Police Department had been using as a parking lot since 2001. (New York Times)

Schumer Opposes Burying West Street - Apr 17, 2004
The loudest shot to date against the idea of building a short tunnel through Lower Manhattan was fired yesterday by Senator Charles E. Schumer, who said that he opposed the plan if it would divert money from other transportation projects. Mr. Schumer took issue with a plan to turn several blocks of West Street-Route 9A into a covered roadway between the World Trade Center site and Battery Park City. That plan is backed by Gov. George E. Pataki, but nearby residents have opposed it because of the potential disruptions. It is undergoing environmental review, with two others. (New York Times)

9/11 Commissions Find That Warnings of Attack Were Urgent and Persistent - Apr 17, 2004
The attacks of Sept. 11 seemed to come in a stunning burst from nowhere. But now, after three weeks of extraordinary public hearings and a dozen detailed reports, the lengthy documentary record makes clear that predictions of an attack by Al Qaeda had been communicated directly to the highest levels of the government. (New York Times)

Emergency Truck Is One Officer's 9/11 Legacy - Apr 16, 2004
George Howard's legacy weighs in at 12-1/2 tons - and saves lives. Howard, one of 37 Port Authority cops killed in the World Trade Center attacks, created the special rescue unit that handles emergencies at Kennedy Airport. Now his team is ready for plane crashes, hijackings and worse, thanks to the million-dollar rescue truck Howard designed before he died. (New York Daily News)

Deutsche Building To Come Down Piece by Piece - Apr 16, 2004
Later this year, if all goes according to plan, the monolithic 40-story office tower immediately south of ground zero - shrouded in black netting and far too like a 536-foot-high tombstone for many New Yorkers' tastes - will be coming down. Piece by piece. (New York Times)

City Agency Eyes Site of a 9/11 Memorial -- Without Considering Negatives - Apr 15, 2004
A city agency is planning to build a science park on the site of a Sept. 11 memorialÑbut it will "not reveal all negatives" of the project, according to an internal document obtained by The Observer. The cityÕs Economic Development Corporation (E.D.C.) is eyeing Memorial Park, which sits under a large white tent on the corner of East 30th Street and the F.D.R. Drive. Most of the tent is occupied by refrigerated trailers that hold unidentified body parts found at the World Trade Center siteÑ11,499 of these painful relics. The indoor park, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg dedicated at the end of 2002, is lined with shrines to the dead. (New York Observer)

Closing Arguments Begin in Silverstein Insurance Trial - Apr 15, 2004
Closing arguments began after a contentious, 10-week trial that World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein hopes is the first round in a bid to collect twice the $3.5 billion insurance policy he took out on the center, one for each tower that fell on Sept. 11, 2001. (Associated Press)

Activist Who Lost Mother on 9/11 Snaps Back into Action - Apr 15, 2004
Theresa M. MocGovern has never shied away from speaking her mind. But the death of her mother in the World Trade Center attack stunned her into silence. This public person became very private. Ms. McGovern is an assistant professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, though she is best known as the founder of the H.I.V. Law Project, where for a decade she fought to change policies affecting women and poor people with AIDS. Now, she is snapping back (New York Times)

Development's Effects on Fish and Birds Taken into Account at Ground Zero - Apr 15, 2004
Fish and birds, the smallest stakeholders in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, have been accounted for in the final environmental impact statement, which is to be made public today. And they may end up influencing some very large projects. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Faults CIA in Failure to Act on Terror - Apr 15, 2004
George J. Tenet and his deputies at the Central Intelligence Agency were presented in August 2001 with a briefing paper labeled "Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly" about the arrest days earlier of Zacarias Moussaoui, but did not act on the information, the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Wednesday. (New York Times)

Group of 9/11 Families Thanks Condoleezza Rice for Testimony - Apr 14, 2004
A group of 9/11 families has released an open letter thanking National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice for her testimony to the commission probing the attacks and saying it should end "the incredible notion" that President Bush knew 9/11 was coming and did nothing. (New York Post)

Extra $20 Million Earmarked for Demolition of Deutsche Bank Building - Apr 14, 2004
The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. earmarked an extra $20 million in public funds yesterday to tear down the Deutsche Bank building next to Ground Zero. (New York Daily News)

Secret Service Worker Accused of Stealing Cars from Ground Zero - Apr 14, 2004
Hundreds of cars were destroyed when the World Trade Center collapsed. But several United States Secret Service cars listed as "crushed," prosecutors said yesterday, were actually stolen by the head of the agency's motor pool at 7 World Trade Center, a retired police sergeant who received a commendation for rescue work on Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Times)

Giuliani: No One To Blame For Missed Clues - Apr 14, 2004
Laying blame for missed clues that could have signaled the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is ``Monday morning quarterbacking,'' says Rudolph Giuliani, who was New York's mayor at the time. (Associated Press)

Noise and Congestion Downtown Until 2015, Says Revised Environmental Impact Statement - Apr 14, 2004
A decade of development at the World Trade Center site will create noisy, congested streets, cast longer shadows over parks and probably remove some remnants of the original trade center, a new report says. ``Some adverse impacts are inevitable'' in downtown Manhattan until 2015, when the site should be finished, according to the report issued Tuesday by the agency overseeing rebuilding. (Associated Press)

Associate Architect Chosen for Ground Zero Memorial - Apr 14, 2004
A decade after preparing a sweeping plan to revitalize the public spaces at the World Trade Center, the firm of Davis Brody Bond was designated yesterday as associate architect for the memorial that is to be built on the trade center site. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation also approved a $45 million contract with the Gilbane Building Company of Providence, R.I., to dismantle 130 Liberty Street, a 40-story building near ground zero. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Criticizes FBI for its Handling of Terror Risks - Apr 14, 2004
The F.B.I. came under withering criticism on Tuesday from the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, with its chairman describing new staff reports on the bureau's performance before and after the attacks as an "indictment of the F.B.I." (New York Times)

Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Leans Towards JFK Rail Link - Apr 13, 2004
The remaining $1.2 billion in federal aid that the shepherds of Lower Manhattan's rebuilding have sitting in their treasury is, even in New York's exorbitant terms, no small amount of money. While the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency that controls the money, has been largely silent about how it should be spent, the agency's position can in some ways be gleaned by public statements from Gov. George Pataki and the corporation's president, Kevin Rampe. (Newsday )

Bloomberg Defends Bush's Pre 9/11 Actions - Apr 13, 2004
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday he stands behind remarks he made two years ago -- that it was "ridiculous" to believe President George W. Bush was warned about the Sept. 11 attacks and failed to act. But the mayor didn't repeat the adjective -- and shifted his focus to include calling the first World Trade Center bombing, during Democrat Bill Clinton's presidency, a missed "wake-up call." (Newsday)

Panel Calls For More Environmental Testing at Ground Zero - Apr 13, 2004
In a major breakthrough for advocates, a panel of experts looking at the 9/11 health fallout agreed yesterday to recommend the federal government do more comprehensive testing around Ground Zero. (New York Daily News)

Bloomberg: Drunken Firefighters Dishonor Memory of 9/11 - Apr 13, 2004
Furious about the weekend arrest of two firefighters on DWI charges, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday demanded that the city's Bravest clean up their act - and not dishonor their heroic brothers who died on 9/11. (New York Post)

New York, Feds End Dispute Over 9/11 Medical Claims - Apr 13, 2004
New York will not be held liable for up to $350 million in medical claims arising from the cleanup of the World Trade Center site, since city and federal officials said yesterday that they had resolved a dispute over the matter. (New York Times)

Draft Report by 9/11 Commission Critical Of Attorney General - Apr 13, 2004
Draft reports by the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks portray Attorney General John Ashcroft as largely uninterested in counterterrorism issues before Sept. 11 despite intelligence warnings that summer that Al Qaeda was planning a large, perhaps catastrophic, terrorist attack, panel officials and others with access to the reports have said. (New York Times)

Bush Defends Response To August Briefing on Al Qaeda Threat - Apr 12, 2004
President Bush said on Sunday that the intelligence briefing he received on Al Qaeda one month before the Sept. 11 strike contained no specific "indication of a terrorist attack" on American soil. He also defended the adequacy of his response to the warnings that terrorists in the United States might be planning hijackings. (New York Times)

Senator Schumer Criticizes Security at Passenger Ship Terminals - Apr 11, 2004
The failure to install high-tech "fingerscanners" at Manhattan's passenger ship terminal leaves a "gaping hole on the Hudson" for terrorists to exploit during the Republican National Convention, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Saturday. (Newsday)

FBI Gives 9/11 Commission Report on Islamic Fundamentalist's Attempt to Co-opt Mafia - Apr 11, 2004
The FBI last week turned over to the panel looking into pre-9/11 intelligence lapses a pile of documents detailing the efforts of terrorist Ramzi Yousef to recruit the American Mafia into a murderous alliance. (New York Post)

9/11 Commission To Question Giuliani in New York - Apr 11, 2004
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will appear before the 9/11 commission when it comes to New York next month, to answer questions about the level of cooperation between federal and local law enforcement. The commission is scheduled to take testimony from Giuliani and others on May 18 and 19. The first date will be devoted to the city's emergency response and the second to the terror plot. (New York Post)

Investigation of Attack on USS Cole Almost Uncovered 9/11 Plot - Apr 11, 2004
The American investigators probing the October 2000 terrorist attack against the Navy destroyer Cole came tantalizingly close to detecting the Sept. 11 plot, F.B.I. and C.I.A. officials now say. But the government missed the significance of a series of clues because some investigators believed that the evidence fit narrowly into their case against the ship bombers and, others say, they did not have access to all the information. (New York Times)

Text: President's Daily Brief, August 6, 2001 - Apr 11, 2004
Following is the text of the president's daily brief for Aug. 6, 2001, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," as provided by the White House. Omitted material is indicated by ellipses. (New York Times)

Pre-9/11 Secret Briefing Released; Said That Al-Qaeda Was Active In US - Apr 11, 2004
The classified briefing that President Bush received 36 days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks reported that the Al Qaeda terrorist network had maintained an active presence in the United States for years, was suspected of recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York and could be preparing for domestic hijackings. But the briefing did not point to any specific time or place of attack and did not warn that planes could be used as missiles. (New York Times)

Bush Was Warned Of Attack In August, 2001 - Apr 10, 2004
President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday. The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a "closely held intelligence report" that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford. (New York Times)

Clinton, Gore Meet With 9/11 Commission - Apr 10, 2004
Former Vice President Al Gore met with the Sept. 11 panel privately Friday, a day after President Clinton told commissioners that intelligence wasn't strong enough to justify a retaliation against al-Qaida for the 2000 bombing of a Navy ship. (Associated Press)

Politics of 9/11 Has Republicans Second-Guessing New York Convention - Apr 10, 2004
When the Republican Party chose New York City as the site of its 2004 nominating convention, the symbolism was apparent: the G.O.P. would be rallying around its nominee in the city that had come to embody the nation's resolve in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a place where President Bush once stood on a pile of debris at ground zero, rallying the nation to unite in the war on terror. Now, as the administration faces increasing scrutiny of its handling of pre-9/11 terror threats and the wisdom of extending the war on terrorism into Iraq, the question has emerged whether New York is the best place for the Republicans to be gathering this summer. (New York Times)

Some 9/11 Families Skip Rice's Testimony - Apr 09, 2004
While some families of Sept. 11 victims eagerly awaited Rice's nationally televised testimony, others chose not to watch. They said they didn't care to hear her speech or had more pressing daily concerns. (Associated Press)

Rice Knew of Al-Qaeda Surveillance of New York - Apr 09, 2004
Condoleezza Rice told the 9/11 Commission Thursday that the Bush Administration was aware of al-Qaida's "surveillance" of buildings including the Federal Courthouse in lower Manhattan and threats that the building could be the target of a possible terrorist attack. (Newsday)

9/11 Families Rip Rice Over Testimony - Apr 09, 2004
Relatives of the Sept. 11 victims ripped into Condoleezza Rice yesterday after she insisted the Bush administration had no clue the U.S. would be attacked. "Shame," Terry McGovern, a New Yorker whose mother was killed, yelled at the national security adviser during Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission (New York Daily News)

New Yorkers React Favorably to Rice's Testimony - Apr 09, 2004
A politically diverse panel of New Yorkers assembled by The Post generally gave Condoleezza Rice high marks yesterday for showing grace under pressure during her appearance before the 9/11 commission. (New York Post)

Advisory Committee For Cultural Complex Selected - Apr 09, 2004
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation yesterday introduced a 24-member Memorial Center Advisory Committee to assist it in developing a cultural complex at the World Trade Center site. (New York Post)

Impact of Ground Zero Still Powerful - Apr 09, 2004
The topic of Sept.11 was a powerful draw on Tuesday. Local older residents flocked to the Inn at HillenVale to hear Carl Askew, Columbus American Red Cross director of labor relations, speak about his experiences during three months at Ground Zero. Askew used his labor and union background to act as the liaison between the ARC and the AFL-CIO union during the three months immediately following the terrorist attacks in New York. During that time, the current Apple Valley resident became deeply immersed in the disaster relief efforts. (Mount Vernon News)

New York Could Be Liable for up to $350 Million in 9/11 Claims - Apr 09, 2004
New York City may be liable for up to $350 million in medical claims as a result of a tangle with the federal government over who is responsible for the claims of workers who cleaned up the World Trade Center site. The dispute focuses on a federal program that would provide $1 billion in liability coverage to New York City and the four construction companies whose workers toiled at the site. They could not get coverage because commercial insurance companies had refused to issue such policies, contending that the financial risk there was too great. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Grills Rice on Early Warning Signs - Apr 09, 2004
In her long-awaited sworn testimony before the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, Ms. Rice acknowledged that the special intelligence briefing that had been requested by Mr. Bush and presented to him on Aug. 6, 2001, at his Texas ranch had carried an ominous title: "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." Under often harsh questioning from Democratic members of the panel, Ms. Rice dismissed the importance of the still-classified August 2001 report that had been prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency, describing it as "historical information based on old reporting Ă‘ there was no new threat information." (New York Times)

Transit Workers Will Be Included In Anti-Terror Training - Apr 08, 2004
Transit workers will take part in anti-terror exercises, police said yesterday - a day after the Daily News detailed union gripes about being shut out of the training sessions. (New York Daily News)

Ten Members of the 9/11 Commission - Apr 08, 2004
The 10 members of the Sept. 11 commission, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: (Associated Press)

Rice to Testify in Front of 9/11 Commission Today - Apr 08, 2004
US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice is set to give her defence of the White House to the body looking into the 11 September attacks. After weeks of refusal, President Bush has agreed to let one of his closest aides testify publicly about policy in the months before the attacks. (BBC News)

Four '9/11 Moms' Keep Heat on 9/11 Commission - Apr 07, 2004
Mashing spinach in her kitchen in East Brunswick, N.J., for a family Seder on the first night of Passover, Lorie Van Auken can hardly have looked like one of the driving forces behind new developments with the 9/11 commission as she cradled a telephone in the crook of her neck and spoke with this writer, firing off a list of angry questions that she wants to ask Ms. Rice. (New York Observer)

Federal Grant Gives $81 Million for 9/11 Health Monitoring - Apr 07, 2004
Firefighters and volunteer rescue workers who toiled at Ground Zero for months after the Sept. 11 attacks will now be eligible for a long-term health screening program paid for by an $81 million federal grant, officials announced Tuesday. (Newsday)

Transit Workers Say They're Being Left Out of Anti-Terror Training - Apr 07, 2004
Transit workers complain they're being left out of NYPD anti-terror training exercises - potentially putting riders in greater danger if there's an attack. Concerns over the Madrid train bombings and a federal warning that New York buses and subways could be targeted prompted union leaders to demand a role in the training sessions. (New York Daily News)

Top Architecture Firms Eye Collaborating Role on Ground Zero Memorial - Apr 07, 2004
Some of the best-known, largest and most prolific design firms in New York are vying to be named associate architect for the World Trade Center site memorial. Technically, the associate's role would be to help Michael Arad and Peter Walker realize their competition-winning plan, "Reflecting Absence," with two voids where the twin towers stood. But the caliber of the firms being considered by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation suggests that they might also play an influential role in refining the evolving design. (New York Times)

9/11 Charity Will Give Artifacts Back to Fire Department - Apr 06, 2004
A New York charity that draws raves from educators but ran afoul of city fire marshals because of its traveling exhibit of Sept. 11 artifacts has agreed to return some items to the FDNY. (New York Post)

Low Crime Rates in Subway Attributed to Post 9/11 Tactics - Apr 06, 2004
Police are on track to beat last year's historic low tally of subway crimes - and cops are crediting part of the ongoing decline to anti-terror efforts. Crime in all major categories combined is down about 2% from last year, which was the lowest in more than three decades. From January through Sunday night, there were 775 felonies, compared with 789 during the same period last year. (New York Daily News)

Bloomberg: Reopen Statue of Liberty Completely - Apr 06, 2004
A week after Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended a ceremony in which federal officials announced that the Statue of Liberty would remain closed to visitors, he said Monday the statue should be reopened, even if each tourist is escorted by a police officer. (Associated Press)

Senate Committee Seeks Statue of Liberty Foundation's Records - Apr 06, 2004
The Senate committee that oversees charities' compliance with the nation's tax laws requested records yesterday of contracts, staff salaries and other financial information from the nonprofit foundation managing the reopening of the Statue of Liberty. The Finance Committee, prompted by reports that the statue's opening had been stalled because of governmental delays and fund-raising by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, wants the foundation to justify staff salaries that exceed $100,000 and explain any contracts that were awarded without competitive bidding. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Plans Tough Questions for Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation - Apr 06, 2004
Current and former leaders of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. are expected to come under criticism from the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at public hearings next week, with Attorney General John Ashcroft and Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director, being called to account for their agencies' failures before the attacks, panel officials say. (New York Times)

Memorial to British 9/11 Victims Planned for Hanover Square - Apr 05, 2004
Sculptor Anish Kapoor is to create a memorial in New York to the British victims of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre. The 19.5ft (6m) sculpture, Unity, will form the centrepiece of a memorial garden in Hanover Square, near the twin towers site. (BBC News)

Architect Who Designed Glass Wall for Times Warner Center Will Work on Fultron Street Transit Center - Apr 05, 2004
James Carpenter, 54, whose work includes the astonishingly transparent cable-net glass wall at the new Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, was awarded a $340,000 contract by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last week to join the architectural and engineering team working on the Fulton Street Transit Center, which is to be completed in 2007. (New York Times )

Representative Calls For Investigation Into Statue of Liberty Foundation - Apr 05, 2004
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner called Sundayy for a federal investigation into a non-profit organization that raises funds for the Statue of Liberty that he said misled contributors by telling them their donations were needed to re-open the monument. (Newsday)

9/11 Commission: White House Won't Block Final Report On Security Grounds - Apr 05, 2004
Leaders of the commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks don't expect the Bush administration to order major changes to the commission's final report on national security grounds (Associated Press)

Charity Displaying 9/11 Artifacts Under Investigation - Apr 05, 2004
A New York charity that runs a traveling exhibit of Ground Zero "artifacts" - including part of a plane, pieces of destroyed buildings and earrings, shoes and eyeglasses belonging to victims - is under investigation by city fire marshals, The Post has learned. (New York Post)

US Investigates How Donations to Reopen Statue of Liberty Were Spent - Apr 05, 2004
Federal investigators have begun an inquiry into the National Park Service's dealings with a nonprofit foundation it relied on to handle the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, according to a government official. The inspector general of the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Service, is investigating how the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation spent donations it raised for projects at the monument and whether it followed federal guidelines on competitive bidding for certain contracts, the official said. (New York Times)

US Investigates How Donations to Reopen Statue of Liberty Were Spent - Apr 05, 2004
Federal investigators have begun an inquiry into the National Park Service's dealings with a nonprofit foundation it relied on to handle the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, according to a government official. The inspector general of the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Service, is investigating how the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation spent donations it raised for projects at the monument and whether it followed federal guidelines on competitive bidding for certain contracts, the official said. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Head: 9/11 Could Have Been Prevented - Apr 04, 2004
The terrorist strikes of Sept. 11, 2001, could have been prevented had the United States government acted sooner to dismantle Al Qaeda and responded more quickly to other terrorist threats, the chairman of the commission investigating the attacks said today, even as the White House sought to dispel the notion that the attacks were avoidable. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission To Decide Whether Bush Inappropriately Held Back Clinton-Era Documents - Apr 03, 2004
The federal panel reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks will determine early next week whether thousands of classified counterterrorism documents from the Clinton administration were unduly held back by President Bush's aides. (Associated press)

Clinton Calls For $570 Million For Tunnel Security - Apr 03, 2004
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that the current wave of terrorism concerns surrounding the nation's railways make it imperative for officials to increase security around New York City's rail tunnels. (Associated Press)

Man Who Left Family Collects On Their 9/11 Cash - Apr 03, 2004
A heartbroken mother whose son was killed in the 9/11 attacks blasted a court ruling that allows her ex-husband - who abandoned the family 30 years ago - to cash in on her son's estate. (New York Daily News)

FBI To Return Paperweight Taken From Ground Zero To Its Owner - Apr 03, 2004
The Justice Department is looking for the rightful owner of a Tiffany globe paperweight taken by an FBI agent from the wreckage of the World Trade Center - the same paperweight that a New Jersey woman whose son died on Sept. 11 claims belonged to her son. (New York Post)

In Storage, 9/11 Artifacts Vulnerable To Elements - Apr 03, 2004
Water, daylight, gravity and salt air have taken their toll as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - improvising a curatorial mission no one could have imagined - has transformed an abandoned Tower Air hangar, five miles from the Atlantic Ocean, into a storehouse, conservation workshop, temporary museum and shrine. (New York Times)

City Agencies Spar Over Roles In Future Disasters - Apr 03, 2004
More than two and a half years after the World Trade Center attacks exposed weaknesses in New York City's emergency response system, the city still lacks what many experts say is the most basic and essential tool for handling disasters: a formal agreement governing which city agency would lead the response at the scene of any catastrophic accident or terrorist strike. (New York Times)

Extra Fund-Raising Put Off Statue Of Liberty Reopening - Apr 03, 2004
Millions of dollars held by the nonprofit Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation have long been available for the monument's emergency needs but went unspent. The National Park Service, which is responsible for the landmark, never asked Congress to provide the $2.3 million that they initially estimated was needed to do the work. (New York Times)

Victims Compensation Fund Has Paid Out $2.6 Billon - Apr 02, 2004
The federal compensation fund for Sept. 11 victims has paid out more than $2.6 billion so far, officials said Thursday. The fund, created to compensate those killed and injured in the attacks while protecting U.S. companies from potentially crippling litigation, is scheduled to finish processing claims June 15. (Associated Press)

10,000 Police Officers Train in Terror Preparedness For Convention - Apr 02, 2004
Police officers from across the city played out terrorist scenarios yesterday, from a gas attack in a hotel room to an explosion in a subway in preparation for the Republican National Convention in August. The two-day drill, called COBRA training, is part of a goal of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to train 10,000 members of the department in terrorist preparedness for the upcoming convention. (Newsday)

Health Concerns Keeps Some Businesses Away From Downtown - Apr 02, 2004
When Gov. George E. Pataki announced plans 21 months ago to move 750 to 1,000 state employees to Lower Manhattan, he said he was doing so to show confidence in its viability as it struggled to rebuild. The only problem is that 425 State Health Department employees do not want to go. They are concerned about health conditions at 90 Church Street, the Art Deco tower at the edge of ground zero where the state is negotiating a lease. (New York Times)

Bush Aide Keep 9/11 Commission From Seeing Clinton-Era Papers - Apr 02, 2004
The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Thursday that it was pressing the White House to explain why the Bush administration had blocked thousands of pages of classified foreign policy and counterterrorism documents from former President Bill Clinton's White House files from being turned over to the panel's investigators. (New York Times)

The 'Jersey Girls' Behind the 9/11 Commission - Apr 01, 2004
Kristen Breitweiser was at home in Middletown, N.J., cleaning out closets. Patty Casazza of Colts Neck was dashing to the dry cleaners. Lorie Van Auken of East Brunswick was headed out to do grocery shopping. Her neighbor Mindy Kleinberg had just packed her children off to school. Then came word, Tuesday morning, that President Bush had agreed to allow his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to testify publicly about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. All at once, the cellphones started ringing and the e-mail started flying and "the Jersey girls," as the four women are known in Washington, were getting credit for chalking up another victory in the nation's capital. (New York Times)

Federal Panel Split On Clean-Up Of Ground Zero - Apr 01, 2004
A panel of experts began its critical review yesterday of the federal government's cleanup of Lower Manhattan after the collapse of the World Trade Center, and immediately found itself torn between the needs of science and the health concerns of residents. The 17-member panel, meeting publicly for the first time, released the outlines of a plan to retest 250 to 1,000 of the 4,167 apartments that were tested and cleaned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2002 and 2003. (New York Times)

Stock Exchange Is Now Policing Public Streets Downtown - Apr 01, 2004
At the present time, a private police force controls the public streets in the vicinity of the New York Stock Exchange," Justice Walter B. Tolub of State Supreme Court wrote last month. "The specter of private police forces patrolling public streets is unacceptable," he concluded, "and private entities may not take the law into their own hands, no matter how well intentioned." (New York Times)

Rebuilding NYC April 2002


Subway Stations Near World Trade Center Site To Reopen By November - Apr 30, 2002
A subway station on the eastern edge of Ground Zero is expected to reopen by November, a top transit official said. The N and R Cortlandt St. station was closed because entrances in the World Trade Center complex were destroyed Sept. 11. The Transit Authority also hopes to reopen the Rector St. and South Ferry stations on the 1 and 9 line by Nov. 1. A new tunnel is under construction. (New York Daily News)

Federal Agency Criticized For Not Reimbursing New York City Schools After 9/11 - Apr 28, 2002
City schools are being shortchanged $110 million by the federal agency charged with helping pay for recovery efforts after Sept. 11, two New York members of Congress charge. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to pay for classroom time lost after the terrorist attacks, yet when a 1994 earthquake closed Los Angeles schools for a week, the U.S. Education Department offered $45 million in aid. (New York Daily News)

Fire Chiefs Less Likely To Send Firefighters To Top Floors To Battle Skyscraper Fires - Apr 28, 2002
Strategies for battling high-rise blazes probably won't change much due to the World Trade Center attacks, but fire chiefs might be reluctant to send firefighters to upper floors, New York City's former fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen said yesterday. He also stressed the need for better communication between firefighters. (New York Daily News)

Ground Zero Minority Workers' Ailments Persist Months After September 11 - Apr 28, 2002
More than 400 immigrant workers hired to clean buildings near the World Trade Center site continued to suffer respiratory and other symptoms months after their first exposure to the dust, a Queens College physician reported yesterday. Dr. Steven Markowitz, who supervised a medical monitoring van near Ground Zero for two months, gave preliminary results of examinations of 415 building cleanup workers. In late February, nearly all the workers still had health symptoms, which either first appeared or had worsened after Sept. 11, Markowitz said. (Newsday)

Street Fairs Delayed By September 11 Back On Track - Apr 28, 2002
After an autumn in which all but 4 of the nearly 100 street fairs scheduled after Sept. 11 were canceled, New Yorkers are seeing the earliest of about 400 such events, ranging from a single block to more than 20, that are to be held through November. (New York Times)

Underground World Trade Center Shopping Mall Can Be Rebuilt - Apr 27, 2002
The entire shopping mall that was lost in the World Trade Center attack can be rebuilt below the site, a top Port Authority official said yesterday. The 460,000 square-foot retail mall that was beneath the trade center complex can be rebuilt as part of the "grand concourse" that the Port Authority, which owns the land, is looking at - with most of the shops in the area between Church Street and Greenwich Street. (New York Post)

State to Ask for More Money for Rebuilding From Congress - Apr 27, 2002
New York will ask Congress for more than the $21.3 billion it has already been promised to help rebuild Lower Manhattan, Senator Charles E. Schumer told a conference of civic and urban-planning groups on Friday. Mr. Schumer told reporters after his address that more money would probably be needed for the repair and revitalization of Lower Manhattan's transportation system and the redevelopment of its waterfront. (New York Times)

14 Major Companies Pledge To Stay Downtown - Apr 26, 2002
Fourteen companies announced Friday that they would remain in Lower Manhattan, signing long-term agreements that would retain more than 10,000 jobs downtown. In exchange for their commitments to stay in New York, the companies are eligible for $32.9 million in grants under the federally funded Job Creation and Retention Program, Gov. George Pataki said in a news release. Among the companies are Century 21, Deloitte and Touche, Media Planning Group, and Pace University. (Newsday)

One-Stop Commuting For Lower Manhattan Is Key, Says Member of Rebuilding Agency - Apr 26, 2002
A one-stop commuter ride to lower Manhattan will guarantee the neighborhood's future, according to one board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, while downtown's success would serve as the "ultimate retort" to the terroists who destroyed the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. (Newsday)

Cancer Risk From World Trade Center Asbestos "Relatively Low," Says One Expert - Apr 26, 2002
For the thousands of people who were exposed to World Trade Center dust and debris on Sept. 11, the risk of developing asbestos-related cancer is relatively low, a leading physician said yesterday. Dr. Stephen Levin, medical director of the Mount Sinai-Irving J. Selikoff Occupational Health Center, said that although more than 20,000 people are at risk of developing the rare, insidious cancer known as malignant mesothelioma as a result of inhaling asbestos and other substances after the collapse, few are likely to come down with the disease. (Newsday)

New Yorkers More Fearful of Terrorism Than Residents of Other Cities - Apr 26, 2002
New Yorkers are more worried about future terrorism than other Americans, a new poll shows. 22% of New Yorkers worry a great deal about another attack, according to a survey by the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston. By contrast, 14% in Chicago and 13% in Los Angeles and Houston worry a lot about the possibility of attacks on their cities, the center said. (New York Daily News)

Federal September 11 Relief Lags Behind Aid Given For Other Disasters - Apr 26, 2002
Almost eight months after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has doled out less than $65 million to help needy families in the disaster area pay their bills, avoid eviction and buy food -- only a fraction of what the nation's frontline relief agency distributed in the months after other major catastrophes. (New York Times)

Barges Near Stuyvesant High School To Stop Transportation of Ground Zero Debris Next Month - Apr 25, 2002
The first of the barges which have towed away Ground Zero debris and have been the source of many complaints over the last seven months is about to be moved, possibly as soon as April 29. By all accounts, all three barges should be tugged out of the Hudson for good before the end of May. (Downtown Express)

Head of City-State Rebuilding Authority Maintains Everyone Has Final Say - Apr 25, 2002
The head of the downtown rebuilding agency yesterday insisted his board has equal say in what gets built at Ground Zero - a day after the Port Authority said it alone will make the final call. "I think everybody has the final say," said John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., adding that "both boards" will approve the plans for the 16-acre World Trade Center site, which is owned by the Port Authority. Whitehead spoke just a day after the Port Authority board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation that clearly laid out each agency's role - with the Port Authority having "primary" responsibility over the site and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation doing outreach and overseeing the permanent memorial. (New York Post)

Memorial May Need Two Years For A Design - Apr 25, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday it could take as long as two years to come up with a fitting design for a World Trade Center memorial. Bloomberg made his comments a day after development officials said they hoped to have a master plan for the disaster site by Dec. 1 -- but conceded it could take longer to design a permanent memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Daily News)

United Way Report Details Those Left Unemployed After 9/11 And Their Lack Of Relief - Apr 25, 2002
A United Way of New York study released yesterday said that an estimated 50,000 city workers lost their jobs due to September 11 and can't receive relief set aside for Sept. 11 victims because they did not work in lower Manhattan. Nine thousand New York City people lost jobs related to the aviation industry as a direct result of the terrorist attacks, but are ineligible for help from Sept. 11 charities because they worked in Queens. The report also said social service agencies were likely to see significant increases in appeals for rent assistance, other housing help, and mental health services, due to the lack of relief available to these 50,000. (New York Daily News)

Ground Zero Cleanup To Cost Less Than Previously Estimated - Apr 25, 2002
Cleaning up and rebuilding downtown Manhattan is expected to cost up to $29 billion, $6 billion less than previously estimated, according to a report released yesterday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. One reason the cost estimate has dropped since fall is that the cleanup of the World Trade Center site has gone more rapidly than expected. The report also said that 50,000 private jobs were lost in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, and 20,000 more were lost in early 2002. An additional 100,000 city workers were displaced by the attacks. (New York Daily News)

Risk Of Post-9/11 Job Loss Could Hurt New York City Long-Term, Says Federal Report - Apr 24, 2002
The risk of New York City permanently losing thousands of jobs has placed a premium on expediting the reconstruction downtown, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The report highlighted the impact of more than $10 billion in lost tax revenues for the city and state this year and next, and warned that budget cuts "could entail policies that may lead to a long-term decline in the attractiveness of the city." (Newsday)

Timeline Set For Development Of World Trade Center Site - Apr 24, 2002
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the trade center site, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is overseeing much of the downtown redevelopment, jointly issued a request for proposals for a design for the site, including space for offices, a hotel, retail stores and services, and an analysis of transportation projects. A deadline of July 1 was set for initial plans, and a final proposal for the development of the site is due by Sept. 1, according to the timetable laid out yesterday. Final transportation plans and an urban design for the broader downtown area are to be completed by Dec. 1, the agencies said. Would-be planners must apply by May 6, less than two weeks away. (New York Times)

Gay Partner Seeks World Trade Center Benefits - Apr 23, 2002
A gay man who lost his partner in the World Trade Center is asking the state workers’ compensation board to consider him as the man’s spouse. It is the first case brought by a gay partner seeking workers’ compensation coverage in New York. (Newsday)

Federal Government To Reimburse NYC Schools For Post-September 11 Expenses - Apr 23, 2002
Brad Gair, federal recovery officer for the World Trade Center disaster, told the Daily News on Friday he expected the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse city schools for full damage -- including ongoing environmental testing at lower Manhattan schools. Until Gair's comments Friday, school officials said the feds balked at reimbursing millions in expenses — including a $3 million asbestos cleanup of the two high schools closest to the World Trade Center. (New York Daily News)

As Recovery Effort Ends, Disappointment Among Some Recovery Workers - Apr 23, 2002
The overwhelming feeling at Ground Zero is not animosity or anger, say the laborers, machine operators, cops, and firefighters. It is frustration -- that many of those who died on Sept. 11 will never be found. "Over 2,800 people perished," said one recovery worker. "We've found about 900 of them. We had hoped to find more." (New York Daily News)

Confusion Reigns As Port Authority Argues It Has Control Over World Trade Center Site - Apr 23, 2002
The Port Authority is asserting control over the World Trade Center site, saying it -- and not the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. -- is ultimately responsible for rebuilding the 16-acre parcel. The bistate agency began soliciting proposals Friday for a master building plan for Ground Zero. The Port Authority owns the disaster site. The plan being commissioned by the agency will deal with transportation infrastructure, a memorial, retail and office space, parking, and pedestrian and traffic flow. Proposals must be submitted by May 6. Adding to the confusion, developer Larry Silverstein, who holds the lease on the twin towers site, also has hired a firm to come up with a plan. (New York Daily News)

DNA Research Pushed To Limits By Identification of World Trade Center Victims - Apr 22, 2002
The identification of the remains of the World Trade Center victims has now become the largest forensic investigation in United States history. It is an investigation that is pressing the limits of biomedical research even as it brings a painful mixture of relief and fresh grieving to families. A third of the 2,824 victims of the World Trade Center attack have now been identified, a number far beyond what many had thought would be possible. The goal now, experts involved in the effort say, is to use new scientific techniques to identify half or even two-thirds of the victims, despite the miserably deteriorated state of many of the remains being pulled from ground zero. To date, 18,937 body parts have been recovered, along with 287 whole bodies. (New York Times)

Footbridge Over West Street Reopened - Apr 21, 2002
A bridge over West St. that once allowed pedestrians to walk from the World Financial Center to a spot just across from the World Trade Center was reopened yesterday after being repaired and extended. Formerly called the South Bridge, the covered walkway from Battery Park City was closed after it was damaged by cascading debris from the twin towers on Sept. 11. It has been renamed the Liberty St. Bridge. (New York Daily News)

Feds Warn of Threat Against Northeast Banks - Apr 20, 2002
Banks in New York and across the Northeast could be the next terror targets, the FBI warned yesterday after receiving information extracted from one of Osama bin Laden's top aides. The threat - which was branded "credible but unspecific" by U.S. officials - came from Abu Zubaydah, the highest-ranking al Qaeda figure in U.S. custody. (New York Post)

$7.4 Billion Cost For Rebuilding Transportation Downtown - Apr 20, 2002
Rebuilding lower Manhattan's shattered transportation network will cost about $7.4 billion, the city-state agency leading the effort has revealed. Lou Tomson, executive director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., unveiled the rough price tag Thursday for the first time during meetings with several key lawmakers in Washington, sources said yesterday. The delegation estimated it would cost $2 billion to sink West St. from Chambers St. to the Battery Tunnel; $2 billion for a new PATH terminal with airport-style moving sidewalks to nearby subways; $1.3 billion for security improvements in subways; $750 million for a new transit hub at Fulton St., and $400 million to expand the antiquated South Ferry subway station. (New York Daily News)

New Construction Already Beginning At Ground Zero - Apr 19, 2002
New steel has finally begun to rise at Ground Zero - even as workers continue to haul tons of twisted steel from the ruins of the destroyed World Trade Center. Construction crews have started putting up structural steel supports for the tunnel that will cover the rebuilt Nos. 1 and 9 subway tracks, running along the fringe of the trade center site. (New York Post)

Ceremony Will Mark End of Recovery Effort - Apr 19, 2002
The Bloomberg administration is working with relatives of victims to plan a ceremony honoring the end of the Ground Zero recovery work - possibly in three weeks - family members and sources said yesterday. (New York Post)

Giuliani Finally Takes Control of Twin Towers Fund - Apr 19, 2002
After months of haggling, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has finally gained control of the Twin Towers Fund. A state Supreme Court justice signed off Tuesday on the transfer of the fund from the city to Giuliani's new organization. The city will transfer the $100 million left in the fund to the Giuliani-controlled charity. The money will be dispersed over the next 60 days. (New York Post)

Amish Market Suing Airlines and Security Firms For September 11 Economic Losses - Apr 19, 2002
The owners of a popular supermarket damaged in the World Trade Center attacks sued American and United Airlines and two airport security firms yesterday. The suit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court, is believed to be the first filed by a business against an airline related to the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Daily News)

Victims' Relatives Not To Be Penalized For Pension Benefits, Says Victims Fund Manager - Apr 19, 2002
The families of firefighters and cops killed Sept. 11 will now be able to keep some pension benefits -- in addition to their payout from the federal government, a top official said yesterday. Surviving families had angrily complained that the government's plan to deduct the amount of their pension payments from any federal money they got was unfair. But Kenneth Feinberg, overseer of the federal compensation fund, reversed course on the controversial issue. (New York Daily News)

A Census of the September 11 Victims Released By Department Of Health - Apr 19, 2002
The New York City Department of Health has released a census of the September 11 victims. It is the first detailed look at the age, gender, and national origins of the 2,617 who are officially counted as having died on that day. (Several hundred more are still classified as missing). Forty-three percent of the dead were from New York City, with Manhattan accounting for the greatest number, followed by Brooklyn and then Queens. One out of five was a foreign-born resident living in the city, with the toll from Latin America exceeding that of more populous countries like Russia and Italy. (New York Times)

Greenwich Street May Be Extended - Apr 18, 2002
The state and city plan to condemn land near the 7 World Trade Center site to preserve the possibility of extending Greenwich Street, sources close to the process said yesterday. The condemnation would allow for a 60-foot wide Greenwich Street and reconstruction of 7 World Trade's Class-A office space and the Con Edison substation that had been housed on eight floors of the old building. (Newsday)

Tomb Of Unknowns Could Be Part of Ground Zero Memorial - Apr 18, 2002
A proposal for a tomb of unknown victims -- reminiscent of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia --has been steadily gaining favor at meetings among victims' relatives, Mayor Bloomberg and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials, family members said yesterday. The tomb of unknown victims would hold the unidentified remains of hundreds killed Sept. 11. (New York Daily News)

Stuyvesant High School Parents May Sue Board of Ed Over Ventilation System - Apr 18, 2002
The Stuyvesant HS Parents Association said yesterday it's prepared to sue the Board of Ed for allegedly failing to properly clean the school's ventilation system. (New York Post)

Less Than 10 Percent Of Victims' Relatives Applying For Federal Aid - Apr 18, 2002
Less than 10 percent of the relatives of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks have sought sought compensation through the federal government's victims fund. Only 265 applications from relatives of the 3,054 people killed have been received, according to Justice Department figures. The lag is due in part to confusion about the fund's rules, and awards from charities that have bought families time to weigh their options, victims groups say. (New York Post)

Ground Zero Wall May Have Views Of Site - Apr 18, 2002
The wall that will be built around the perimeter of Ground Zero may include see-through panels to allow people to view what's going on - and sections where memorial tributes can be left, sources said yesterday. (New York Post)

Firefighters And Emergency Workers To Receive More From Federal Compensation Fund - Apr 17, 2002
Firefighters and other public-safety officers will be eligible for more money from the federal government's Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund under a more generous interpretation of guidelines expected to be announced this week. The fund's special master, Kenneth Feinberg, said yesterday that he would soon make it clear that not all uniformed officers' government pension would count against a fund award. The exact percentage is still being worked out, he said. (New York Post)

Leading Congressmember Sees Problems With Idea Of Joint Congress Session in New York City - Apr 17, 2002
A key House Republican yesterday poured cold water on the idea of bringing Congress to New York one day this year -- likely marking the end of a crusade that began after 9/11. Rep. Dick Armey told The New York Post that the obstacles to holding a one-day congressional session in the Big Apple on or around Sept. 6 are "insurmountable" and outweigh any symbolic benefits -- especially given the estimated $1 million price tag. Support for the idea is even weaker in the Senate, where the idea has languished since Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution last Nov. 15. Only nine senators have co-sponsored the measure. (New York Post)

Dispatchers Still Haunted by the Voices of Sept. 11 - Apr 17, 2002
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly recognized 192 police communications workers yesterday for the vital service they provided on Sept. 11. Many recounted their troubling stories. In many cases, their voices were the last voices the victims heard. There were more than 3,000 calls within the first 18 minutes; more than 57,000 calls in the 24 hours after the first plane hit at 8:46 a.m. It was the single busiest day ever for the dispatchers, with nearly twice the average number of calls logged. (New York Times)

Girder From World Trade Center Will Help Provide Insight Into Collapse - Apr 16, 2002
Recovery workers this week found a mauled, 4-ton column of steel that stretched from the 100th to 103rd floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center. Thick bolts fastened to the column more than 30 years ago -- securing it to a much thinner structural plate -- were still in place. But the plate ripped apart. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which investigates building collapses after disasters, will get the column -- along with about 60 other steel beams from important areas in the towers. (New York Daily News)

Ads Push New Yorkers to Have Say in Rebuilding - Apr 16, 2002
Celebrity New Yorkers are asking city residents to “imagine” the future of the city and to do something about it. In a public service announcement that hit the TV airwaves recently, local stars such as Kevin Bacon, Bebe Neuwirth, Harvey Keitel and Yoko Ono recite lines from John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” The campaign is sponsored by the Municipal Arts Society and aims to get the public involved in the process of rebuilding Lower Manhattan. (Newsday)

New York City Still Puts A Premium On Tolerance, Bucking A National Trend Post-September 11 - Apr 15, 2002
While some surveys find as many as two-thirds of Americans in favor of limiting immigration and sixty percent favoring an expansion of police wiretapping capabilities, New York City residents are going against the national grain. According to a recent Hunter College poll, "residents of the nation's largest city [are] far more reluctant to see any erosion of basic civil liberties" than people in other localities in the country. They are also firm in their belief that immigration should not be curtailed. (New York Daily News)

Tribute In Light Ends As Spotlights Fade Into Dawn - Apr 15, 2002
The twin pillars of light that rose as an ethereal monument to the losses of Sept. 11 ended their monthlong illumination early yesterday morning, the 88 searchlights silently blending into the hazy dawn before a police officer pressed a button and cut off the 616,000 watts of power. "They aren't turning them off," said a security guard at the scene. "They are fading off in the morning light." (New York Times)

September 11 Aftermath Leads To More Greeting Cards - Apr 14, 2002
After the September 11 attacks, greeting-card company Hallmark rushed cards with patriotic themes to 20,000 of its 47,000 outlets, including seven new cards with stronger references to Sept. 11. Though the majority of the seven billion greeting cards sold annually in the United States celebrate Christmas or birthdays, Hallmark expects the demand for patriotic cards to rise for this year's Memorial and Veterans Day holidays. (New York Times)

Rebuilding By Autocracy Less Likely For Downtown Than In The Past - Apr 14, 2002
Today, it is less likely that a plan for rebuilding downtown will emerge by autocratic fiat, as might have been the case a generation or two ago, when master builders like Robert Moses presented the fruits of their wisdom with little room or patience for criticism. The master builder is out. Consensus and process are in. (New York Times)

Businesses Dependent on Foreign Tourism Still Suffering After September 11 - Apr 14, 2002
Although many New York businesses report improvements since Sept. 11, local businesses that depend on foreign tourism say that they are still in pain. Foreigners make up about 18 percent of the annual tourists to New York, but generate 42 percent of the revenue in the industry, according to NYC & Company, the city's convention and visitors bureau. The organization also reports that the average foreign visitor spends about $1,040 per trip to New York, compared with $319 per visit from domestic tourists. Explanations range from cultural differences to media focus on Ground Zero as representative of New York after September 11 to economic problems in other countries. (New York Times)

Hundreds Downtown Bear Witness End of Tribute In Light - Apr 14, 2002
Hundreds of people traveled to lower Manhattan yesterday to view the last night of the Tribute in Light. Police said crowds were greater than at any time since the twin shafts of light were turned on March 11, the six-month anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center. (New York Daily News)

Queens Public School Receives Solidary Quilt From California Elementary School Students - Apr 14, 2002
Students at Public School 206 in Rego Park received a "solidarity quilt" made by children at an elementary school in California as a show of support for city school kids in the aftermath of Sept. 11. (New York Daily News)

Injuries Few Among Crews at Towers Site - Apr 12, 2002
As the cleanup at ground zero draws to a close, federal records show that only 35 of the more than 1,500 workers assigned to help clear debris from the World Trade Center site were seriously injured in more than six months of work there. None of these injuries were classified as life-threatening. The resulting injury rate, given the estimated three million hours of contractor labor invested in the site since Sept. 11, means that the job has turned out to be far less dangerous than an average demolition job in the United States, according to federal statistics. (New York Times)

Tighter Security Planned for New York Airports - Apr 12, 2002
Gov. George E. Pataki plans to begin a sweeping program to sharpen security at New York City's area airports, going beyond some new federal regulations by requiring criminal background checks of workers in airport shops, the governor's senior aides said today. He also wants to install fingerprint scanners quickly for all airport employees and do away with simple plastic passes. (New York Times)

Questions Remain Over Lack Of Safety Authorities In Sky Lobbies of Twin Towers - Apr 11, 2002
On June 2, 1997, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey removed certified deputy fire safety directors from the 44th- and 78th-floor sky lobbies in each tower, records show. The fire safety specialists had been placed there as one in a series of reforms after the 1993 bombing. Survivors' accounts suggest that confusion on the sky lobby floors may have resulted from the absence of these safety workers. (Newsday)

$600,000 In Donations To City Schools After September 11 Still Unaccounted For - Apr 11, 2002
More than 3,000 people from around the world sent about $4 million to city schools after Sept. 11 — but officials were unable to say exactly how nearly $600,000 of the money was spent.Some $579,976 was spent on "school needs," said Board of Education officials, who were unable to give a breakdown. Another $1.4 million hasn't been touched yet, they said. (New York Daily News)

Tribute In Light Going Dark After This Weekend - Apr 11, 2002
Two pillars of light that have stood sentry in the night sky over Ground Zero will go dark this weekend as planned, officials said yesterday. Although the Tribute in Light has captivated New Yorkers and visitors with its uplifting effect and some have called for keeping the tribute going, the memorial will shine for the last time Saturday. (New York Daily News)

Plans for a Makeover of Lower Manhattan in a Blueprint of Downtown - Apr 10, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation yesterday made public a blueprint for a commercial and cultural makeover of downtown Manhattan, an outline that includes a new Freedom Park with memorial and museum, and a transit hub connecting subway, commuter rail and ferry lines. While the outline issued yesterday was only a general document, with few specifics or timetables, John C. Whitehead, chairman of the development corporation, said the proposals should serve as evidence that the rebuilding process has begun. (New York Times)

Head of Rebuilding Authority Asks For Money To Keep Tribute In Light Going - Apr 10, 2002
Downtown rebuilding czar John Whitehead yesterday asked businesses to donate $100,000 to keep the Tribute of Lights burning beyond this weekend, when it is scheduled to go dark. (New York Post)

Mapping Ground Zero's Future - Apr 10, 2002
The Daily News presents a visual representation of the ideas presented yesterday in the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's blueprint and principles for rebuilding. (New York Daily News)

Mayor Appoints Four Members To Board of City-State Rebuilding Authority - Apr 9, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg announced today four of his appointees to the Board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Two of Bloomberg's appointees are women, including an Asian-American (architect Billie Tsien) and a Latin-American (attorney Sally Hernandez-Piñero). E. Stanley O'Neal, President and COO of Merrill Lynch, will be the second African-American on the Board. Bloomberg also named Carl Weisbrod, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. Their appointments signal a response to criticisms of the Board's lack of gender and ethnic diversity. (Gotham Gazette)

City-State Rebuilding Agency Approves Preliminary Blueprint For Redevelopment - Apr 9, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on Tuesday morning approved a preliminary blueprint for rebuilding lower Manhattan. The board -- charged with distributing roughly $2 billion in federal aid and with overseeing downtown rebuilding -- approved a redevelopment plan that includes proposals for “a museum of freedom and remembrance” near the World Trade Center site and a redesign of the downtown street grid to improve pedestrian access and link neighborhoods. (Associated Press)

South Ferry Station To Be Rebuilt - Apr 9, 2002
The cramped, century-old South Ferry subway station is on track for a major renovation to be paid for mostly with federal dollars, sources said yesterday. The proposed $400 million makeover of the station could include new connections to the Whitehall St. stop of the N and R lines, as well as nearby ferry terminals, sources said. Officials said they expect to receive as much as $300 million in federal money for the project, money which will come from the $1.8 billion in federal aid the state got last month to rebuild transit lines damaged by the terrorist attacks. (New York Daily News)

Rebuilding Authority Set To Expand Incentive Program For Downtown Residents - Apr 9, 2002
A cash-incentive program designed to entice people to live near Ground Zero is expected to get sweeter today, as a state-city agency is set to increase the total payouts and widen eligibility. There will be new one-time payments, including funds for those living as far north as Delancey St., and bonus grants to families with children under 18. And the maximum grant will be available to more people, as the boundaries in the immediate impact zone have been expanded. (New York Daily News)

Mayor Will Not Name A Relative of September 11th Victim To Board of Rebuilding Authority - Apr 9, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg angered families of Sept. 11 attack victims last night by refusing to budge on his decision to not appoint any of them to the agency charged with rebuilding lower Manhattan. John Whitehead, head of the development corporation, tried to reassure the families by promising them more involvement in the agency's work. But many are increasingly concerned that they will be shut of the process — particularly the planning of a permanent memorial. (New York Daily News)

New York Times Wins 6 Pulitzer Prizes For September 11 Reporting - Apr 9, 2002
The New York Times won a record seven Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, including six for its news coverage of the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, its victims, its causes and its aftermath, all transformative events in the modern history of the United States. The attacks and the war on terrorism were the focus of 8 of the 14 Pulitzer Prizes awarded for journalism. (New York Times)

Questions Linger About Paying For Rebuilding - Apr 8, 2002
A vast array of costly projects has been proposed for an extensive makeover of lower Manhattan - but very little has been said about who'll pay for a massive rebuilding that reaches far beyond the World Trade Center site. With insurance payouts and federal aid added together, there is an initial rebuilding pot of $11 to $18 billion. However, other than $1.8 billion in funds designated for a possible transit hub in the federal aid package, virtually no money is directly earmarked for long-term rebuilding. $9 billion allocated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has disbursed $965 million so far, can only be used to restore things as they were, not for new building. There are hopes that some of this money will be diverted, however, for longer-term rebuilding. (New York Post)

Transportation Hub Could Be One of First Approved Projects For Downtown - Apr 8, 2002
A gleaming new transit hub connecting PATH and subway trains and ferry terminals is likely to be the first multibillion-dollar project approved for a rebuilt downtown. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. says a transit hub will be the subject of the agency's first set of concrete proposals, to be issued in May. (New York Post)

State Legislature Proposes Extending Workers Comp for Ground Zero Workers - Apr 8, 2002
A new bill in the State Legislature would extend workers' compensation benefits to rescue and recovery personnel at the World Trade Center in an effort to deal with any long-term health effects from debris. The bill would classify any ailment linked to the trade center as an occupational disease, providing the same benefits as if a worker had suffered an injury on the job. A preliminary list of possible health problems includes pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, bronchitis, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. (Associated Press)

Five More Appointees Will Balance City and State Power In Rebuilding Authority - Apr 8, 2002
The board of the state-city agency charged with rebuilding lower Manhattan will expand this week by five people -- two more than had been expected, a source said yesterday. Mayor Bloomberg will name four new members to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and Gov. Pataki will add one, a source close to the decision said, giving the city and state an even share of appointees on the board. At least one of the new appointees is expected to be a victim's family member. (New York Daily News)

Cycling Championship Coming To Lower Manhattan This Year - Apr 8, 2002
The New York Cycling Championship, which last year failed to find a sponsor in time to come together, will be held on Sunday, Aug. 4, in Lower Manhattan. The course will consist of a circle around Lower Manhattan, and the race will feature roughly 65 professional teams, including Mr. Armstrong's United States Postal Service racers. (New York Times)

Towers' Collapse Raises New Doubts About Fire Tests - Apr 8, 2002
The fiery collapse of three World Trade Center skyscrapers has led scientists, engineers and building officials to question the century-old practice of relying on fire tests conducted in low-tech furnaces to determine if building materials will survive out-of-control blazes. (New York Times)

Security Upgraded At LaGuardia Airport - Apr 7, 2002
Sweeping tarmac-level security measures designed to thwart a terror attack are being implemented at La Guardia Airport and could become a model for airports around the nation. Among the changes will be pop-up barriers at three or four entrances to the airfield used by ground crews, caterers, repairmen and others who have access to airliners. The barriers will prevent trucks from entering the tarmac. Improved lighting, new fencing and bomb-sniffing dogs are also part of the program, sources said. (New York Post)

Movie Theater To Reopen Near Ground Zero - Apr 7, 2002
In another sign that life is bouncing back around Ground Zero, a shuttered movie megaplex across the street will reopen soon. The United Artists Battery Park City Stadium 16, which closed after sustaining severe exterior damage from the attacks on the World Trade Center towers Sept. 11, will reopen in time for the first TriBeCa Film Festival, scheduled for May 8-12. (New York Post)

494 Foreign Victims Killed In World Trade Center Attacks - Apr 7, 2002
Nearly 500 foreigners were killed in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, according to a new city tally that shows the terror attack claimed a significant portion of its victims from countries all over the world. The tally, the most complete to date, shows foreigners account for more than 17 percent of the estimated 2,830 who were killed. The 494 foreign victims came from 91 different countries. (Associated Press)

People Still Experiencing Trauma Throughout New York Metro Region - Apr 7, 2002
A new report released today from the Red Cross finds residents across the New York region are continuing to experience increased symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The survey, conducted by Strategic Surveys International, is the first report to document the widespread prevalence of trauma beyond Manhattan. Researchers found 30 percent of those interviewed were at increased risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, 43 percent expressed feelings of hopelessness and fear about the future. Thirty-one percent said they worried about the ongoing threat of terrorism or that more people could die, and 22 percent feared for the safety and security of their families. (Newsday)

Long Island Man Charged With September 11th Charity Fraud - Apr 7, 2002
A Long Island man was charged yesterday with soliciting donations by falsely claiming they were for the children of a firefighter killed at the World Trade Center, then using the money to buy crack cocaine, Suffolk County police said. (New York Daily News)

Cleaning Set for Exteriors Near September 11 Site - Apr 6, 2002
Within a few weeks, efforts will begin to clean the exteriors of hundreds of buildings around the World Trade Center site, to keep pollutants like asbestos from blowing off them and into apartments, city and federal officials said today. "While the streets were cleaned up, the outsides of the buildings themselves were not cleaned up," said Christie Whitman, head of the Environmental Protection Agency. She said the buildings would be cleaned using giant vacuum cleaners equipped with high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters, just as the Lower Manhattan streets were cleaned in the months after the Sept. 11 attack. (New York Times)

Towering TV Transmission Antenna Planned To Replace One Lost On September 11 - Apr 6, 2002
A skyscraping 2,000-foot-tall TV and radio transmission tower is being planned to replace the one lost in the World Trade Center attacks. The new tower would be 250 feet taller than the one that stood atop the trade center's north tower. He goes on to mention several waterfront locations within 3.2 miles of the trade center site, including downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City and Governors Island. (New York Post)

Thousands Still Visiting Ground Zero - Apr 5, 2002
The throngs of visitors to Ground Zero are reaching unforeseen levels, defying predictions that crowds would thin out as the excavation and recovery efforts wound down. The number of tickets issued for the Church St. viewing platform has doubled in the last two months to 7,700 a day. That's prompted city officials to consider adding platforms to meet the demand, which is expected to surge further with the warmer weather. (New York Daily News)

Report Says 10 Percent of Jobs Lost Post-Sept. 11 Were in Chinatown - Apr 5, 2002
The effects of the World Trade Center attack on Chinatown included layoffs of about one-fourth of the area's 34,000 workers, and economic ripples in Queens and Brooklyn, according to a report by the Asian American Federation released yesterday. Furthermore, Chinatown accounts for 10 percent of the jobs lost in the city in the three months after Sept. 11, the report said. That amounts to about 7,500 of the 75,000 jobs lost in that period, the authors of the report said. This report is arguably the most comprehensive economic analysis in the history of the more than 150-year-old neighborhood. (New York Times)

Downtown Rent Subsidy Plan To Expand Coverage Area - Apr 4, 2002
Downtown planners have revised a proposal for rent rebates for lower Manhattan residents in a way that would expand coverage to hundreds of apartment dwellers affected by the Sept. 11 terror attack. The new plan enlarges the boundaries of the so-called immediate-impact zone of residents near the demolished trade center by pushing the eastern line from Broadway to Nassau Street, said sources familiar with the proposal. (New York Post)

Schools Trying To Attract September 11 Heroes To Speak - Apr 4, 2002
Institutions of higher learning are dangling honorary degrees, medals and other awards before Giuliani and Ground Zero heroes so they'll give commencement addresses in June. Instead of celebrities, campuses are choosing to seek New York firefighters, police officers, and former mayor Rudy Giuliani to speak to their graduating classes. (New York Daily News)

Celebrities To Promote Imagine New York - Apr 4, 2002
Harvey Keitel, Kevin Bacon, Bebe Neuwirth and Yoko Ono will appear in public service announcements touting "Imagine New York," a Municipal Art Society campaign to solicit comment in the next few weeks on what should be done with the 16-acre parcel. (New York Daily News)

Bronx Businesses Hurt By September 11 - Apr 4, 2002
A newly released survey of 151 local businesses by the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. found that sales by local businesses plunged 36%, wiping out 11% of the jobs at those businesses in the months after Sept.11. The report also found that 93% of the businesses surveyed were unaware of post-Sept.11 assistance available to Bronx firms. The federal Small Business Association has distributed 56 loans in the Bronx so far, totaling $4.94 million. (New York Daily News)

Three New Staff Hired For Rebuilding Authority - Apr 3, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the joint State-City corporation formed to oversee the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, announced today the appointment of three key executives to its staff. Irene Chang was named Vice President for Legal Affairs, Patrice Derrington was named Vice President for Corporate Development and Amy Peterson was named Program Administrator. (Gotham Gazette)

Fire Department Seeks To Expand Staff, Equipment - Apr 3, 2002
The post-Sept. 11th New York Fire Department hopes to double its hazardous materials squad, stockpile equipment and medical supplies and boost training, the fire commissioner told a City Council committee at City Hall yesterday. If anticipated federal funding comes through the department would create an Emergency Mobilization Cache that would stockpile the specialized tools and equipment used by its highly trained five rescue companies and seven squads. It would also add to its fleet of backup engines, ladders and speciality vehicles "in the event that another major disaster results in the heavy loss of vehicles." (Newsday)

Rebuilding Agency Could Become Permanent - Apr 3, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. could remain beyond the initial redevelopment of lower Manhattan, if the agency does its job well. Before Sept. 11, different agencies had the technical expertise to solve the city's problems, said executive director Louis Tomson, but they didn't have a neutral meeting place. With an equal number of state and city board members, billions of dollars and a renewed spirit of cooperation, the corporation has the potential to be "a meeting place for ideas." (Newsday)

Explosives-Detecting Dogs In Use At JFK Airport - Apr 3, 2002
Dogs are trained to hit on 13 different scents found in explosives are now working the terminals at JFK Airport. The dogs recognize TNT, nitroglycerin, fuses, powders and other bomb-making materials. Unlike the barking rescue dogs who were so visible sniffing in the rubble at the of the World Trade Center after Sept. 11, the explosive-detecting canines do not bark or react with excitement when they hit on something. (New York Post)

Museum of Television & Radio To Focus On September 11 - Apr 2, 2002
The Museum of Television & Radio will spotlight September 11 and its aftermath for its third annual Television Documentary Festival, unspooling May 1-19 in New York, Variety reports. The festival will open May 1 with a panel discussion, to be headed by "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt, that will debate moral responsibility in capturing 9/11-related images. Other participants for the session, titled "To Testify or to Sanitize: Portraying 9-11," include filmmaker Jon Alpert and HBO original programming executive Lisa Heller. (Reuters)

Americans Slept Less After September 11 - Apr 2, 2002
Almost seven out of 10 Americans experienced some sleep disturbance after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, says a survey that also shows almost half the people say their sleep is only fair or poor. (Associated Press)

Websites Cover Rebuilding - Apr 2, 2002
Whether you use www.renewnyc.org or www.renewnyc.com, both addresses will take you to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.'s new Web site. Other nonprofit groups have already launched downtown oriented Web sites, including the Alliance for Downtown New York, the area's business improvement district. Their site can be found at www.downtownny.com. The Citizens Union Foundation's Gotham Gazette provides information about various redevelopment plans and coalitions. (Newsday)

First Federal Assessment Of Twin Tower Collapse Cites "Spray-Applied Fireproofing" And Other Flaws Common To Modern Skyscrapers - Apr 2, 2002
The first federal assessment of the trade center disaste has made clear that there may have been no reasonable precautions that could have stopped the towers from collapsing once they were struck and huge fires broke out. "Spray-applied fireproofing may be vulnerable to damage from blasts and impacts," says a draft of the FEMA report, adding that failure of support structures protected with this fireproofing "is likely critical to the ultimate building failure." (New York Times)

Rebuilding NYC December 2001


The New York State Action Plan
Crain's New York Business - December 27, 2001
The plan for spending the federal aid money (the 11-page plan available online in pdf format) calls for raising the cap in aid to retailers and other small businesses from $10,000 to $100,000; those businesses that suffered actual property damage would get up to $200,000.

Schumer & Hil: Aid Coming
New York Daily News - December 24, 2001
Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton assured small business owners, displaced workers and people who live near Ground Zero yesterday that billions of dollars of help is on the way.The senators told how the $10.9 billion in federal aid promised to New York would be spent. Although nearly $6.4 billion will cover cleanup costs, $4.6 billion will go directly to small businesses, nonprofits and other groups struggling to stay afloat since the disaster, the senators said. Of the $4.6 billion, $2.7 billion has been earmarked as grants for downtown residents and businesses. An additional $140 million will go to lower Manhattan hospitals. The rest will go toward transportation projects, job training for displaced workers and other programs. Schumer and Clinton pledged to continue pressing Washington for more help.

Goldman's Ex-Chief, John C. Whitehead, Is Downtown's Czar
New York Observer - December 24, 2001
At 79, John Whitehead is facing what his says is his last challenge. As chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., it will be his job to determine how billions of dollars will be spent and to mediate among the many groups that want a say in the rebuilding of lower Manhattan.

The Forgotten
New York Times - December 22, 2001
The planners, survivors and philosophers who contemplate the monument that will certainly be built to mark the trade center disaster would do well to realize that not a single memorial has successfully held the attention and affection of New Yorkers for more than a generation or two. In 1904 the General Slocum, a wooden excursion boat carrying picnickers from Manhattan, caught fire in the East River. More than 1,000 passengers, all New Yorkers, died horribly, drowning or burning to death. The vast majority of the casualties were women and children. Yet, who remembers the disaster today? The two memorials that were erected, one in Tompkins Square Park and another in Queens near the victims' graves, are largely ignored. More people mourn the passing of the Brooklyn Dodgers than the victims of the Slocum fire.

Downtown Is Slower to Embrace Optimism
New York Times - December 22, 2001
Three months after it was blanketed with smoke and choking ash, Lower Manhattan has largely returned to its former harried self. Gone are the National Guardsmen who stood sentinel at the avenues below Canal Street, checking ID's. Most businesses in the area formerly known as the frozen zone have reopened. Some of SoHo's most stylish restaurants, once eerily empty, are happily turning away diners on Saturday nights. "The pessimism has lifted and there's a joyousness in the air," said Ashley Massie, 32, a Stuyvesant High School teacher and Battery Park City resident who almost moved away. "For the first time in months, we feel like we can live again." But for every optimist, there are a dozen pessimists still fitful and sad, uncertain whether their beloved neighborhoods will fully recover

Mayor: No Biz at WTC?
New York Daily News - December 21, 2001
In his last radio show while in office, Mayor Giuliani suggested yesterday using the entire 16-acre site at Ground Zero for an interactive memorial that could draw millions of visitors a year.For weeks, Giuliani has spoken about the importance of erecting a major memorial at Ground Zero, where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, including 402 firefighters and cops for the city and Port Authority. But yesterday the mayor suggested - apparently for the first time - that the whole site could be set aside as a memorial, as opposed to a memorial combined with commercial development.

Statue Will Salute Bravest Flag Raisers
New York Daily News - December 21, 2001
A statue inspired by three firefighters who raised the American flag amid the rubble of the World Trade Center was unveiled yesterday, with officials saying it will serve as a permanent symbol of their bravery and strength. The statue, "Flag-Raising at Ground Zero," will be cast in bronze and is expected to be installed at the MetroTech complex in April.

Head of Fund Says Families Should State Their Cases
New York Times - December 21, 2001
Faced with widespread protests that he has been stingy, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master of the federal fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, urged disappointed families yesterday to seek a hearing to argue for larger compensation awards.

Downtown Renewal Head Vows Independent Effort
New York Times - December 20, 2001
John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., has been telling business groups that he will lead a politically independent effort to revitalize lower Manhattan and build a memorial on the scale of the major monuments in Washington, D.C. But many observers question just how independent Whitehead can be, given that he was appointed by Governor George Pataki and his agency is a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corp. Whitehead got a boost when the House and Senate agreed to give $2 billion of New York's $8.2 billion federal aid to the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. That decision, though, might not survive the final vote on the aid package.

Interim Wtc Park Will Be Built First
New York Post - December 20, 2001
John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., said a temporary memorial, featuring a park, will be built at Ground Zero until the permanent memorial built .

Deal May Land City 11B
New York Daily News - December 18, 2001
The Senate and House were near a deal last night that would give New York City more than $11 billion this year to cope with the World Trade Center attack.

Many Visions for WTC Site
New York Daily News - December 17, 2001
A number of groups with different interests and visions are fighting to control what will be built on the World Trade Center site. Among those vying for a say are Larry Silverstein and shopping mall giant Westfield, who hold a 99-year lease on the land; the Port Authority, which owns the land and wants to rebuild its damaged PATH lines below it; Mayor Giuliani and Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg; Governor Pataki; the Empire State Development Corp. and its new subsidiary, the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., and people who lost family members on Sept. 11. The job of trying to forge a consensus among these groups could fall to John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., the new agency charged with rebuilding downtown. Whitehead says he will appoint advisory boards, each representing one of the constituencies that want a say in determining what will become of what is now ground zero.

The Chuck and Hillary Show
New York Times - December 16, 2001
No two people are more central to New York's fight for disaster aid than its two senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. In their battle, which overshadows all their other tasks, the two must confront national misconceptions about and wariness of New York. To overcome those obstacles, the two senators must work together, a difficult challenge too, given how different the two politicians are.

Toppling of 'Shroud' Stirs Emotions
New York Times - December 16, 2001
Work crews pulled down the last standing piece of the Twin Towers, four stories of steel known as "the shroud."

Painful Issue: Putting A Value On 9/11 Victims
New York Post - December 16, 2001
The government and the courts will soon be putting a value on the lives of those who perished in September 11, and the disparities are sure to be upsetting to some families. The life of a Wall Street trader will be worth more than that of a security guard. The federal fund handling compensation is expected to announce its rules for payments on Friday.

Lawsuits Pile Up
New York Post - December 15, 2001
More than 135 potential lawsuits have been filed against the city stemming from the World Trade Center disaster with hundreds more expected. Most involve service personnel who were at ground zero when the Twin Towers collapsed or who helped with the cleanup or rescue efforts.

Tower Facade To Fall
New York Post - December 14, 2001
The last vestige of the Twin Towers - a haunting skeletal fragment of one of the gleaming buildings - will be taken down this weekend.

Port Authority Approves New PATH Station for Lower Manhattan
New York Times - December 14, 2001
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yesterday authorized spending $544 million to build a temporary PATH station in Lower Manhattan beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center. The temporary terminal could be completed within two years, said officials of the agency. It would help directly reconnect downtown to the rest of the PATH system for the more than 65,000 commuters who used the Lower Manhattan station before the Sept. 11 attack, which destroyed the trade center and the underground network of train tunnels and shopping concourses there. In addition, the agency's board of commissioners allotted $10 million yesterday to plan an ambitious, permanent PATH terminal in the area - one that would establish better and more connections to city subways, buses and ferry terminals.

Remembering the dead
BBC News - December 13, 2001
To some, re-creating the towers would send the strongest possible message to the world that America will not be cowed by an act of terrorism. But others would like to see the site, or a large part of it, turned over to a lasting memorial to everyone who died there.

Remembering the dead
BBC News - December 13, 2001
To some, re-creating the towers would send the strongest possible message to the world that America will not be cowed by an act of terrorism. But others would like to see the site, or a large part of it, turned over to a lasting memorial to everyone who died there.

Back to work
BBC News - December 11, 2001
Many of the banks and stockbrokers that lost their offices at the World
Trade Center moved to other locations in the city, notably the Midtown area. Whether they return to Lower Manhattan is an open question. There were already signs of a recession before September 11.According to one estimate, the district has lost 100,000 jobs, half of them from the World Trade Center. Warren Wechsler, of the Real Estate Board of New York, believes that the state of the economy will determine how quickly Lower Manhattan recovers.

Silverstein Sees Mixed Use At WTC Site
Newsday - December 12, 2001
Larry Silverstein, who holds the lease on the World Trade Center site, told
Newsday that he is now considering building several office buildings, a
museum, a performing arts center and a memorial on the site. In an interview with Newsday he said the buildings would be from 50 to 65 stories high. The performing arts center and museum, he said, would improve the quality of life for families who live in lower Manhattan. The developer, who is currently battling with insurers over how much compensation he will receive for the destruction of the trade center, said he hopes to begin construction next year and finish by 2005.

Rudy Thrown for Loss
New York Daily News - December 13, 2001
A 65-page study of the Far West Side predicts that the area from Eighth
Avenue to the Hudson River and between 24th and 42nd Streets could become another midtown within 20 years. To accomplish this, the study, which was released by the mayor, proposes zoning and transportation improvements, including extending the Number 7 subway line west of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This would encourage the building of ommercial districts, manufacturing and apartments in the area. The report also called for an improved waterfront and green space connected to the planned Hudson River Park.

Rebuilding WTC Area From the Ground Down
New York Daily News - December 11, 2001
As a result of the terrorist attacks, more than 300,000 telephone lines were severed. About 13,000 customers lost power. Nearly 6 miles of water mains broke. The final repair tab will come to at least $2.3 billion, based on estimates by Con Edison, Verizon and the city Department of Environmental Protection, which manages the city's water supply.Insurance will not cover all the costs, and customer rates could rise to pay for the repairs and technology improvements, officials said.

Silver Raps Downtown Rehab Panel
New York Daily News - December 11, 2001
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver criticized yesterday the new joint
state-city agency charged with overseeing the redevelopment of lower
Manhattan because it hasn't met to discuss construction of a Sept. 11
memorial.

The Battery Recharges
New York Post - December 10, 2001
The psychological and financial damage caused by the World Trade Center attacks forced about half of Battery Park City's residents to move out -while the other half have found their homecomings grueling and painstaking.

Downtown small business struggling
Dow Jones - December 10, 2001
Downtown small businesses struggling in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks will have to jump through fewer hoops to get financial relief from New York City. Small companies doing business in a larger swath of lower Manhattan will now be eligible for financial grants - a change from prior rules. Originally, grants were only doled out to proprietors near Ground Zero. At the same time, businesses that operated in the World Trade Center itself can bypass the eligibility requirement that they first apply for a government-backed emergency loan.

Coalitions work to create plans for WTC site
Crain's New York Business - December 10, 2001
At least four separate ad hoc groups are drawing up plans to guide the
rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, and expect to funnel their
proposals to the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp., the new state agency
created to oversee the rebuilding of the 16-acre trade center site.
The New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce has created NYC
REBUILD, an infrastructure task force.


The American Institute of Architects has put together NEW YORK NEW VISIONS,
an umbrella group of 18 organizations to ensure that the planning and design
community have a voice.


The Regional Plan Association has organized THE CIVIC ALLIANCE FOR
REBUILDING LOWER MANHATTAN, made up of civic, advocacy and environmental
groups.


Rebuild Downtown Our Town, known as the R.DOT COALITION, is made up of
residents, businesses and planners in Lower Manhattan who are eager to have
a say in how their neighborhoods are rebuilt.


The coalitions are hoping that their ideas will give the agency a head start
on its deliberations and pave the way for wide public support for its
eventual decisions. They have begun talks among themselves on collaborations
in an effort to reach a consensus on rebuilding.


"What you want to do is shape a program leading to a master plan," says Bob
Yaro, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, who is involved
with several of the groups.


But given the broad-based nature of the organizations, conflicting agendas
could easily emerge, making it more difficult for the state agency to win
public backing for its reconstruction plans. The agency also must contend
with the plans of Larry Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease for
the World Trade Center buildings, and the many groups of victims' families
that have formed to lobby for a memorial on the site.
"I'm concerned that we end up with deadlock like we had at Columbus Circle
or Times Square, where we had development sites sitting for decades or
longer," Mr. Yaro says.

Pataki Still Seeking Nominees for Rebuilding Leader
Crain's New York Business - December 10, 2001
The Pataki administration is still gathering names of possible candidates
for the operations chief position at the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp.

The most often mentioned person is Rebecca Robertson, head of Lincoln Center's rebuilding plan and a former head of the Times Square Redevelopment agency. Others said to be under consideration include Carl Weisbrod, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the lower Manhattan business improvement district; Richard Kahan, chairman of the Urban Assembly; and Ross Moskowitz, former executive vice president at the city's Economic Development Corp.

At the Pit, a Night Shift to Numb the Body and Soul
New York Times - December 10, 2001
There is no extra money for working the night shift, though there are extra
physical and psychological challenges. There are the strained marriages, the spotty eyes from the floodlights, the cold and the wind. At night, the
tourists don't line up to take your picture or slap your back. The movie
stars rarely visit. At night, it is all about the work, work that the men
and women at ground zero consider an honor to do.

The Battery Is Up, for Once, With a Remade Park
New York Times - December 9, 2001
The plan was to make Battery Park an elegant period just below the exclamation point of the nascent Hudson River park, with a new upper promenade lined with granite benches in shades of soft pink. Then came Sept. 11, and the park, just south of the World Trade Center, became a military site. Battery Park was the first harbor site to reopen after the soldiers left. For the last several weeks the public has been able to enter it. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are scheduled to reopen around Christmas, said Warrie Price, the president of the Conservancy for Historic Battery Park, a nonprofit group. Security for the tourist areas will be much tighter, with visitors required to go through scanners like those at airports before boarding ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In the midst of the recovery work, construction on the upper promenade continued. The renovations, which cost $6.6 million and were financed by the city, were completed only a few weeks behind schedule.

Senate Rejects $17 Billion Bill to Aid the City
New York Times - December 8, 2001

Ground Zero Cleanup To Remain A City Job
New York Post - December 8, 2001
Mayor Giuliani is heeding the advice of federal experts not to replace city workers overseeing the World Trade Center cleanup and will not be hiring the Bechtel construction company for the job.

Gem Of A WTV Lawsuit Vs. Chase
New York Post - December 8, 2001
Sylvia Yamamura, a 30-year-old Manhattan lawyer, knows her precious
heirlooms lie somewhere in the fire-scarred safe-deposit vault of the Chase Manhattan branch at 5 World Trade Center - and she's suing Chase to get them back. Her class-action lawsuit was prompted by a Dec. 3 letter, sent by the bank to its 2,500 safe-deposit customers. The letter tells customers it has abandoned efforts to salvage their property.

Shrine to WTC Civilian Victims
New York Daily News - December 7, 2001
A makeshift memorial to the civilian victims of the World Trade Center attacks has been scaled back, while a similar nearby shrine to fallen cops and firefighters has received a more permanent home. The memorials, which sit opposite one another along a path that leads from the Hudson River esplanade in Battery Park City to the fallen south tower on Liberty St., are now strikingly disparate. Battery Park City Authority officials said the changes were made this week for maintenance reasons and to protect thousands of mementos from the coming cold weather.

FDNY Redeploys Safety Battalion
New York Daily News - December 7, 2001
The Fire Department has temporarily disbanded its safety battalion - whose normal job is to assess a major fire for its potential danger to
firefighters -- so it can deploy the unit's chiefs to interview firefighters
about the events of Sept. 11. "This is unacceptable," said Chief Nick
Visconti, an official of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "We had a
fire that injured 40 firefighters last week, and a plane crash earlier this
month. We need these safety chiefs in the field."

Firefighters Oppose a Plan to Record Their Memories of Sept. 11
New York Times - December 7, 2001
In the days after the Sept. 11 attack, the Fire Department tried to gather
its surviving firefighters to record an oral history of the day when more of
their colleagues perished than any other. It was to be a kind of spoken
monument of scarred memories, captured in individual voices, to immortalize an awful but seminal event. The department officials wanted to act fast to get the most detailed recollections, in the rawest terms. But the plan hit a wall as soon as it began, and the bid to document the department's saddest and most heroic moments has turned into an ugly dispute between department officials and many firefighters and their unions.

Exchange Says It Has Trading Floor in Waiting
New York Times - December 12, 2001
The New York Stock Exchange said yesterday that it had a fully equipped alternative trading floor ready to go somewhere in New York City should a disaster like the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center render its current building unusable.

Firm bidding on cleanup promises recovery of remains will remain priority
Newsday - December 6, 2001
The company negotiating for the Ground Zero cleanup job says it will not try to speed up the recovery effort at the risk of compromising the search for human remains. Bechtel Corporation has in the past used incentive-based contracts that result in bonuses if a job is completed ahead of schedule. Incentive-based contracts are not uncommon in the industry, but at Ground Zero, where an effort to recover human remains continues, such a deal could be controversial. However, an official with the San Francisco-based firm, Bechtel, said yesterday that the firm will forego a schedule-based incentive formula in their contract if chosen for the trade center project.

New NYSE Plan Looks Less Lofty
New York Post - December 3, 2001
City officials expect to go ahead with a new $1.1 billion building for the New York Stock Exchange, but a grand vision - which included a 900-foot skyscraper - will likely be scaled down. "The New York Stock Exchange and the city are going to revise that plan. I'm very confident that the stock exchange will remain [in the same area]," Mayor Giuliani said yesterday.

De Niro Plans a Film Festival in TriBeCa
New York Times - December 6, 2001
In an effort to bring economic and emotional relief to downtown Manhattan, actor Robert De Niro and film producer Jane Rosenthal have accelerated their plans for a TriBeCa Film Festival. The four-day festival is now set to begin on May 1 with about 40 world premieres of independent and studio films, which will be eligible for jury awards, said Rosenthal. About 20 original short films, as well documentaries and student movies will also be shown. The films have not yet been selected. De Niro lives in the neighborhood and has based his film company there.

The four mayoral appointments to the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation :
1. Richard Grasso, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange
2. Robert M. Harding, a deputy mayor for economic development and finance
3. Howard Wilson, the chairman of the School Construction Authority
4. Paul A. Crotty, who was corporation counsel in Rudy Giuliani's first term and who is now a public affairs executive for Verizon Communications.

The seven gubernatorial appointments:
5. As chairman, John C. Whitehead, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, deputy secretary of state under ex-President Ronald Reagan, and former co- chairman of the investment firm Goldman Sachs & Company
6. Frank G. Zarb, the former chairman of Nasdaq 7. Deborah C. Wright, the chief executive of Carver Federal Savings Bank in Harlem and a member of the transition team of Mayor- elect Michael R. Bloomberg.
8. Ed Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. "The corporation is expected to solicit investment by private entities," the Times reports, "among them union pension plans, in redevelopment."
9. Lewis M. Eisenberg, who to join this redevelopment corporation has resigned as chairman of the board of commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Christie Whitman of New Jersey
10. Roland W. Betts, the lead owner of Chelsea Piers and the former lead owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, whose fellow owners from 1989 to 1998 included his friend and Yale University classmate George W. Bush
11. Madelyn G. Wils, the chairwoman of Community Board No. 1, which includes the financial district and TriBeCa.

Rebuilding NYC November 2001


Dems Get Picky Over WTC Redevelopment Picks
New York Post - November 30, 2001
Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani officially unveiled an 11-member city-state redevelopment corporation, promptly criticized by some elected officials as "political." At a press conference with most of the panel members, along with Giuliani and Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg, Pataki said the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. will have the rebuilding process well under way in "a matter of just a few years." The redevelopment panel's appointees - four by the mayor, and seven by the governor - still have to pick a salaried executive director, who apparently will hold much of the commission's power.

Committee Leader Says Victims' Memorial Will Be Main Priority
New York Times - November 30, 2001
John Whitehead, the newly appointed chairman of a commission charged with rebuilding Lower Manhattan, said yesterday that establishing a memorial to the victims of the World Trade Center attacks would be among the first priorities for the panel. As for everything else: "We want it to be done right and we want it to be done well," Mr. Whitehead said of the redevelopment effort. "How quickly it's done is not the primary concern."

House Panel Boss Backs $6B in City Aid
New York Daily News - November 30, 2001
Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, has endorsed a $6.1 billion stimulus plan for lower Manhattan drafted with Governor Pataki, boosting chances that some Sept. 11 tax relief will be enacted for the city this year.

New Apts. at Ground Zero?
New York Daily News - November 30, 2001
When the World Trade Center site is eventually redeveloped, apartment buildings - and not exclusively office towers - could be part of the answer, Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg said yesterday. Bloomberg noted there's a dearth of affordable housing and a glut of office space in the city. "The first step," he said, "is to say, 'What does this city need?'"

Ex-Banker Will Lead Rebuilding Effort
New York Daily News - November 29, 2001
Governor Pataki will announce members of the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp. at a news conference today. John Whitehead, a 79-year-old former investment banker and deputy secretary of state with strong ties to the Republican Party, is expected to be named to head the 11-member panel. Sources said that New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso, former National Association of Securities Dealers chairman Frank Zarb, labor leader Ed Malloy and real estate developer Roland Betts are also likely to be appointed.

NYSEĂ•s Chairman Unplugs His Plans For a New Exchange
New York Observer - December 3, 2001
Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, has essentially abandoned his idea of constructing a 900-foot skyscraper over the new stock exchange to help defray the costs of the project. Instead, Grasso is reportedly considering abandoning the location at 33 Wall Street in favor of the World Trade Center site. This would be a major setback for the Giuliani administration which has committed the city to buying property at 33 Wall. A $950 million bond deal to finance the project has been postponed indefinitely.

Cleaning Up at Ground Zero
Village Voice - November 28, 2001
Mayor Giuliani is moving to award the city's biggest-ever emergency contract to one of America's most politically connected corporations. With barely a word of explanation and brushing aside four local firms that have been doing the cleanup since immediately after the attacks, Giuliani has moved to appoint the giant San Francisco-based Bechtel Group, Inc. to take over the lucrative job of cleaning up the World Trade Center site. Since the federal cleanup funds are being allocated by a Republican administration, Washington insiders see the award as a favor to a firm long close to the GOP. But whatever the rationale, Bechtel is a dream ally for someone like Giuliani with potential national political aspirations. The privately held contracting colossus was the fifth largest political contributor during last year's presidential race and poured an additional $449,000 in soft money into political coffers, two-thirds of it to Republicans.


New York Daily News - November 27, 2001
Nearly three months after the World Trade Center attacks left it a virtual island, Battery Park City may be reconnected to the rest of Manhattan by a proposed pedestrian bridge over West St. Meanwhile, the cost of insuring Battery Park City could jump as much as 300 percent next year - with no coverage for future terrorist attacks, the development's insurance broker warned yesterday.

As Sept. 11 Widows Unite, Grief Finds Political Voice
New York Times - November 25, 2001
Relatives of the victims of September 11 have formed a potent political force that no city official wishes to offend. The group, known as the widows because many had husbands who were firefighters who were killed, reversed a cutback in the number of firefighters at the Trade Center site, got criminal charges dropped against all but one of the 18 off-duty firefighters who recently scuffled with police officers at Ground Zero and pressured the Giuliani administration to order that rescuers searching for bodies take no Thanksgiving Day break.

Developer Briefs Bloomberg on Plans to Rebuild Towers
New York Times - November 21, 2001
Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease on the World Trade Center, met with Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday and said afterward that he would go ahead with plans to rebuild at the site, probably with new towers reaching about half as high as the ones destroyed on Sept. 11. He also said groundbreaking at 7 World Trade Center would begin in 2002.Mr. Silverstein, who is developing plans for a memorial to those who died in the attack, said he expected the buildings to attract businesses because they would be "first class" and affordable. The new towers should be up in five or six years, he said.After the briefing, Mr. Bloomberg emphasized that the rebuilding would be privately financed, and he spoke of the need to consider the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan in connection with development and transit needs in the rest of the city.Just how much private money the developer would have at his disposal is still an open question.

The Power of Partnership
New York Magazine - November 29, 2001
The New York City Partnership, a group of civic-minded business leaders has put together a study the size of two phone books that recommends ways to support Wall Street right now, in its time of need, while building a more nimble and diverse economy for the future. The Partnership is lobbying to ensure Congress signs over the $20 billion George Bush promised New York in the wake of the attack, plus a $5 billion package of tax breaks for lower Manhattan. recommendations -- a swift rebuilding of downtown's infrastructure, incentives for corporate retention, bailouts for small businesses, a life raft for retail during the holiday season.

Billions at Risk as New York Makes Missteps
New York Times - November 20, 2001
New York has fallen far down Washington's list of priorities since September 11 and as a result could lose billions of dollars in aid. Some of the reasons for this are beyond New York's control, but members of Congress from both parties says New York officials bear part of the blame. Federal, state and city officials from New York have seemed to have different agendas, and it has been difficult to determine who really speaks for the city. As a result, many observers are skeptical that New York will ever get all of the $20 billion it was promised by President Bush after the attacks.

Since Sept. 11, Vacant Offices and Lost Vigor
New York Times - November 19, 2001
A lack of demand for downtown office space, despite the destruction of the World Trade Center complex, is spurring debate about what can be done to make the area more attractive to tourists and residential and commercial tenants. Some experts believe transportation is key, while others are focusing on culture, arts, restaurants and retailing.

History Is Impatient to Embrace Sept. 11
New York Times - November 18, 2001
Museums and other institutions are considering how to collect and preserve the countless artifacts and images that documented the events of September 11. Some museums and galleries are already presenting exhibitions about the tragedy. For example, "New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers," which will open Tuesday at the New-York Historical Society, is the first of at least six exhibitions on the events of that day planned by the society. But not everyone believes that an immediate response is necessarily best. The Museum of the City of New York, for example, is not planning an exhibition directly connected to September 11 until it moves from its current Fifth Avenue location to the Tweed Courthouse near City Hall in 2004.

New York Times Magazine (11/11/01)
Issue About the Next New York

1. The Return of New York
By JACOB WEISBERG
Out of the haze of grief, we can see more clearly than ever what ourcity is and what it could become.

2. Manifestoes for the Next New York
John Tierney on Traffic
Michael Lewis on the Financial District
Frank Rich on Times Square
Michael Sorkin on the Boroughs
Amy M. Spindler on Style
Alex Marshall on Mass Transit
Sara Mosle on Labor
Felix Rohatyn on the Economy
Daniel Okrent on Development

3. What To Build
Moderated by TERENCE RILEY
Two architects, an urban planner, a structural engineer and a landscape designer consider the future of ground zero.

City Journal (Autumn 2001)
1. How To Rebuild New York
by Steven Malanga

2. What Should Rise From The Ashes
by Franck Lohsen McCrery and Alexander Stoddart

Embracing Growth, Preserving Neighborhoods


Related Articles:
•
Overdevelopment by Julia Vitullo-Martin

New York City is undergoing a building boom, with more than 21,000 housing construction permits issued last year, the highest since 1973. As a result, some neighborhoods are being overwhelmed by development. Many quiet, tree-lined communities are struggling with traffic, a lack of parking, and housing that is vastly out-of-character for areas that are used to single-family homes and big lawns.

New Yorkers in neighborhoods fiercely protect their communities, and with good reason. The problems of congestion affect New York City's long-term prospects for business and job growth.

However, halting development altogether is not the answer. Our need to house a growing population is too great.

Instead, we at the Bloomberg administration are working with local elected officials, community representatives and builders to address real problems in these communities, while still allowing housing development of an appropriate density, type and scale.

OVERDEVELOPMENT AND SOLUTIONS

Many neighborhoods are beyond the reach of subway and bus lines, and so many households often have two or more cars.

Some new developments in these neighborhoods do not have enough off-street parking. A moderate-sized lot that once would have been the site of three single-family homes, might these days be developed with as many as 12 dwellings generating up to 24 cars. Even with driveways, garages and curbside space, many blocks cannot accommodate so many additional automobiles.

These larger dwellings are possible because of zoning rules that go back four decades, which enable new housing to be larger than its neighbors. The very qualities that make these neighborhoods attractive and desirable are being compromised by new multi-family development.In parts of Staten Island, for example, homes once had big back yards; today they often are developed as multiple buildings with minimal front, side or rear yards.

Last fall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg?s Staten Island Growth Management Task Force developed ways to revamp the zoning regulations for the borough that, when implemented later this year, will result in better housing and a better neighborhood fit.

Under the plan, parking requirements would be increased from the current one space per dwelling to two spaces for a single-family house, and three spaces for a two-family home. This will require somewhat wider lots and reduce the number of units on many lots.

New rules for developments on private roads and interior lots would be similar to those for lots that face public streets throughout the city, ensuring that new construction would enhance, not detract, from neighboring homes. There will no longer be any new housing without front and rear yards, or with stoops descending directly into the street.

BALANCING HOUSING GROWTH

The Department of City Planning has an ambitious, two-pronged program that seeks to create new opportunities for housing throughout the city, and to put in place new zoning that responds to local needs and conditions.

In the Bronx, for example, mixed-use zoning has already been adopted to spur housing development in Morrisania, even as special preservation rules were enacted for historic City Island.

Last year, we enacted the first comprehensive revisions to Harlem's zoning in more than 40 years. New zoning for 100 blocks of the community will preserve the row house character of its side streets while greatly increasing housing density on the avenues, which are well served by mass transit.

In Brooklyn, Fourth Avenue in Park Slope will embrace new 12-story residential buildings, while new development on brownstone-lined historic blocks will need to match the existing building heights and footprints.

In Queens, zoning changes will ensure that new development reflects the low-density character of such neighborhoods as Forest Hills, Rego Park and Holliswood, whereas new opportunities for growth will now be directed to Northern Boulevard and North Corona's other broad thoroughfares.

And, in keeping with the mayor's ambitious strategy to create 65,000 new units of housing over five years, thousands of apartments will be built along Brooklyn's East River waterfront, the west side of Manhattan and other neighborhoods throughout the city that are well served by transportation.

Zoning for other areas will also benefit from a fresh look.

In the Bronx, city planning studies are underway in Riverdale and Morris Park. In Brooklyn, we will be updating the zoning for Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. And in Queens, we are studying Bellerose, Kew Gardens/Richmond Hill, Bayside, and East Flushing. Lessons learned on Staten Island and in the zoning study of Throgs Neck in the Bronx will be applied elsewhere, if appropriate.

We will insist on tree planting on sidewalks and landscaping that camouflages parking to enhance the look and lifestyle of these neighborhoods. We will distinguish between areas that are far from the city's mass transit system and others that are better served. Our lower density neighborhoods deserve the same level of attention as the brownstone blocks on the Upper East Side, which were rezoned to protect their special character in the mid-1980s.

If we are to continue to accommodate a growing population and protect our precious neighborhood assets, we must preserve the very qualities that make these neighborhoods special without stopping housing construction.

We must continue to pursue new housing opportunities in the right locations and at the right scale. By doing so, we can increase the supply of housing for everyone and preserve one of the special attributes of New York City, the diversity of housing and neighborhood choices. Here in New York, we can choose from center-city high rises; converted warehouses in mixed use areas; the "suburbs" of garden apartments and one- and two-family homes.

With creative and responsible planning, we can balance neighborhood preservation and the need to create housing for New Yorkers, and we will.

Richard Barth is executive director of the Department of City Planning.

The Overdevelopment Debate


Related Articles:
• Embracing Growth, Preserving Neighborhoods by Richard Barth

A red Cape Cod house on Bentley Street in the Staten Island neighborhood of Tottenville once had a backyard, but no longer. Where once was a lawn there now are two new two-family homes, bringing four new families to the neighborhood.

This scene, reported by the Staten Island Advance is being repeated throughout Staten Island, and through the rest of the city, in places like Bayside in Queens and Throgs Neck in the Bronx, where residents believe that an explosion of poorly planned, badly constructed, ugly housing developments threaten their attractive neighborhoods.

Old single-family houses have been torn down to make way for rows of flat-roofed, wooden townhouses in Staten Island and bulky brick apartment buildings in Queens. Developers have demolished bungalows in Throgs Neck and replaced them with as many as six attached houses. Few of the new developments offer open space, parks or play areas. Some have no trees or landscaping.

All of this construction adds to the number of people in the neighborhood. But the city has not increased basic services enough to accommodate the new people. The result is new burdens on the old residents.

But now the city is offering some relief. At his State of the City speech at the Silvercup Studios in Queens last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to help fight overdevelopment. "Physical improvements and development are part of our efforts to improve neighborhoods, but we'll also work to end overdevelopment where it has gotten out of hand," he said. After tremendous applause he smiled and said, "I thought you'd like that."

But what is overdevelopment, particularly in a city whose fame and fortune come from its skyscrapers and towers, people crowding onto sidewalks and into trains, its sheer human density and diversity? And how can the city balance the need to protect neighborhoods with the demand for affordable housing? The problems encapsulated by the term overdevelopment are real, but they are also complex, messy, and not easily resolved.

DEVELOPMENT VS. OVERDEVELOPMENT

Development in New York City is regulated by the zoning code of 1961. Written at a time when officials believed planning should be centralized, the code assumed the city would have a population of some 12 million people and zoned accordingly. It allowed for denser construction than had existed previously in many residential neighborhoods that had predominantly single-family homes. Along with conditions that make building new single-family homes onerous and expensive, the plan virtually required multiple units in many neighborhoods.

High market demand for the new housing accelerated the trend toward larger homes, townhouses and apartment buildings. Townhouses in Staten Island, for example, are priced between $250,000 and $500,000. Although loathed by longtime residents of the borough, they sell quickly, usually to New Yorkers moving in from other boroughs.

The reason is simple. As Alan Cappelli of the Building Industry Association points out, buyers get more house for their money in Staten Island than anywhere else in New York. The market demand is immense, and no amount of neighborhood protest is going to stem those forces.

Faced with the growing number of New Yorkers in search of housing, the city has two choices. It can adopt policies that would squeeze more families into existing units, producing the kind of crowding found in many parts of Queens where dozens of immigrants cram into housing designed for a single family. The second choice is to permit more construction.

New York City's well-being requires development – particularly new housing to accommodate the hard-working people who want to live here and contribute to the economic and social life of the city. And it is certainly better for the city that home-owning, tax-paying New Yorkers move to Staten Island than to, say, New Jersey.

Yet Bloomberg, who generally supports economic development, has entered this war on the side of the anti-development forces, condemning "overdevelopment" and instructing the City Planning Commission to do something about it in the outer boroughs.

The mayor says he knows overdevelopment when he sees it. He describes "houses so poorly designed that they have front doors that open directly into the street and houses that have no front yards, that even lack sidewalks." The mayor went on to condemn developments "that seem, with little exaggeration, to pile homes, one right on top of one another."

The mayor's examples, however, are extreme and apply primarily to Staten Island. Indeed, the nature of the overdevelopment charge is generally that some new building is in the wrong place. Sensible regulation can easily address the problem of the poorly designed houses or those without sidewalks. The dense development the mayor cites, on the other hand, describes the very essence of Manhattan.

Despite what might look like a rush to judgment, however, Bloomberg intends to put expert opinion between him and angry residents: He has instructed city planning to carry out studies on growth management in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, similar to the study already conducted in Staten Island.

NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERNS

The features of overdevelopment most likely to rile neighbors are traffic and the disappearance of open space. "Overdevelopment is the No. 1 issue here," James Vacca, district manager of Community Board 10 in the Bronx, which covers Throgs Neck, Pelham Bay and City Island, told the Daily News. "Our open space is disappearing, blocks are becoming congested beyond belief and there's not a parking space to be found."

The vanishing open space is usually, of course, private property and therefore available for development. When it is city property, such as a community garden, community boards have an opportunity to weigh in.

One only has to drive through some of the communities to understand the concerns about traffic. At its best, New York's planning has encouraged high-density development at places where subway and bus lines converge -- the West Side of Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn, Jamaica Center -- and low-density development far from transportation. Most of the neighborhoods reeling from overdevelopment are indeed badly served by public transportation. Thus more development and more people mean more cars and the parking woes, slow travel times, noise and pollution that they bring.

But a number of experts argue that choking off development is not the solution. Some say the focus should be on improving mass transit to serve the newly developed areas better. And others argue that what is needed is a judicious combination of allowing for more density in some areas –- or upzoning -- and downzoning, or permitting less density, in others.

Mobilizing the Region, a transportation advocacy group, points out that Staten Island's proposed huge downzoning -- which would make attached homes illegal and detached homes the norm -- is "a Band-aid solution for a larger problem," which "is too much unplanned, medium-density development. A better solution is to create growth centers with increased housing density and commercial areas.” This, it says, would focus the island's economic development where it makes most sense.

On the other hand, simply downzoning will freeze things as they are now and leave the traffic nightmare in place. While Staten Island needs more and better mass transit, Mobilizing the Region argues, its "de-centered nature does not lend itself to intensive transit investment. Without any centers, a good mass transit system is simply not feasible."

Some of the objections to overdevelopment focus on aesthetics and will not be addressed by changes in zoning. "The word overdevelopment doesn't quite describe the concern in Bayside and Bay Ridge, which largely has to do with the replacement of big old houses with rental units that are much less charming but that conform to the use and bulk restrictions of the zoning code," says Norman Marcus, former general counsel of the City Planning Commission and now a lawyer with Swidler Berlin.

Such changes are taking place in other attractive neighborhoods as well. As Brendan Sexton, who owns a house in Staten Island's historic St. George district, says a bit sadly, "the day of the detached single family home is probably over. They're just too expensive to build. The two- or three-family home is more realistic."

WHAT IS TO BE DONE

Some problems can be solved by the kind of sensible rezoning that the current city planning director, Amanda Burden, prefers. (See Embracing Growth, Preserving Neighborhoodsby Richard Barth.) In Staten Island, for example, the commission proposes that new one-family homes have two on-site parking spaces rather than one, and two-family homes have three spaces rather than two. The commission is also sensitive to the many ugly unintended consequences of earlier zoning restrictions and is proposing new homes that feature traditional pitched roofs rather than the flat roofs now encouraged.

City planning has also intervened piecemeal with some special district zoning, such as in Bay Ridge. While special districts allow planners to avoid having to overhaul the entire code, they only provide a stopgap.

But beyond zoning, the basic problem in many growing areas is that the city has been derelict in providing the new services needed by new residents. The city knew that the opening of the Verrazano Bridge in 1964 would set off a great migration to once unsettled Staten Island. But government never provided the necessary public transportation or roads to carry people to jobs and services. Nor is the government seriously contemplating further transportation investment in the near future.

In the end, the city is going to need to zone to increase density in some areas, particularly in desirable sections near both public transportation and the waterfront, and to downzone areas that truly cannot accommodate more people.

The city is proposing to do this in some neighborhoods. It hopes, for example, to convert large swaths of manufacturing areas to residential use. On part of the Brooklyn waterfront, this would allow for the building of apartment towers as high as 35 stories. In other neighborhoods, such as East Harlem and Park Slope, the city has rezoned to allow high-rise housing to go up on some avenues, while preserving lower density on side streets.

Although acknowledging that it is usually easier to change the zoning to decrease density than to increase it, Michael Schill, director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at the NYU School of Law, says he would like to see the city allow for increased density in some areas. “The city is doing all this good stuff in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, but why not comprehensively look at the entire city? Where is transportation strong? What neighborhoods have the infrastructure to add people?" he says.

Schill notes that when the city rebuilt certain neighborhoods over the last two decades, it deliberately focused on low-density housing. Now those neighborhoods could sustain higher density. "The city did such a good job that it created a market for those areas that can now be developed more intensively,” he says. “The Bronx has great transportation. It was built for a lot of people, then it emptied out, then the city rebuilt the Bronx but with fairly low density. We now need to recognize there is a market for density along with a scarcity of vacant land. We need to increase density when areas can support it."

Despite the attention paid to overdevelopment, Norman Marcus points out that overall, the outer boroughs may have suffered until recently from a "dearth of construction." The new development, particularly in the Bronx, he says, represents "a vote of confidence in the city, a sign that the problem all along hasn't been the zoning but the market's unwillingness to go into some of these areas."

But the political fallout for any mayoral administration proposing denser zoning could be immense. The solution is probably that time-honored device of all well-intentioned but uneasy elected officials: a commission to look at the proposal, with a report due at a date well into the future.

Julia Vitullo-Martin, former executive director of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Permanent PATH Station


aerialOn an oversized sketchpad, famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava drew a sketch of pair of children's hands releasing a bird into the air. This image, he told the audience who had gathered to see him at the Winter Garden on January 22, was the root of his plan for a permanent train station at Ground Zero. He then grabbed another marker and, over his previous drawing, drew the design that many are already referring to as downtown's Grand Central – an oval of glass and steel with wings rising from its spine.

This, in broad strokes, was the third major piece of architecture for Ground Zero to be presented to the public in the last two months, and part of yet another extravagant "unveiling." The previous ceremonies, for the freedom tower and the memorial, have inspired intense anticipation, attracted large crowds, and received mixed reviews. While the presentation for Ground Zero's train station drew fewer people and less emotion, those in attendance seemed uniformly dazzled.

nightConstruction for the station, for the Port Authority Trans Hudson or PATH train, is expected to begin next year. It will begin carrying riders in 2006, and will be completed by 2009. The cost of the station is about $2 billion, much of that coming from federal money earmarked for Lower Manhattan transportation after 9/11.

Calatrava said that the main intention of his design was to "use light as a construction material." The steel, concrete and glass pavilion at ground level is essentially a skylight for the station's lower levels, allowing daylight to travel 60 feet straight down to the tracks below.

By creating covered areas around the station, the block-long, 150 foot-tall wings serve to protect visitors from wind and rain. On more favorable days, the roof retracts, a sort of train-station-skydome that opens the station to fresh air.

The large wings are the station's most striking visual feature. But Calatrava intends the roof of the PATH station to be more than a grand architectural gesture; it serves practical purposes as well. A building that relies on the sun for much of its light needs to use less energy from other sources, he said, and a retractable roof offers safety in the case of fire.

Calatrava is best known for applying this kind of expressive architecture to bridges and train stations. When the Port Authority chose Calatrava, along with architectural-engineering firms DMJM + Harris and STV Group, Inc., to build the station at Ground Zero in July 2003, Herbert Muschamp of the New York Times proclaimed that Calatrava was "the world’s greatest living poet of transportation architecture…Long before the word 'infrastructure' had entered the lexicon of contemporary architecture, Mr. Calatrava had taken this genre of design to the level of genius."

newpathIn contrast to the Memorial and the Freedom Tower, which have departed in many ways from Daniel Libeskind’s master plan for the site, Calatrava’s station uses one of the major elements of the plan as a starting point for its own design. The wings that run the length of station frame the "wedge of light," a public space envisioned by Libeskind that is designed to have no shadows on September 11 of each year from 8:46 a.m., when the first tower collapsed, to 10:28 a.m., when the second fell, accenting further this element of the original master.

"This is how architecture develops out of master plan," said Mark Ginsberg, president of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. "The master plan had this strong idea of the wedge of light. Calatrava took that and used it to in certain ways generate his building, making something that is a wonderful sculptural element and an icon in the city and for the site, but also by in some ways modifying the ideas of the master plan strengthening [it]."

The station will eventually connect to the Fulton Street subway station, which is currently being renovated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority in a plan that will be presented to the public this spring. In all, 14 subway lines will be accessible from the station, which will also connect to ferry service and airport rails. It will also include pedestrian access to the World Financial Center. Many hope that it will serve as the centerpiece for a regional system of transportation that will rejuvenate downtown Manhattan.

"Much as the rehabilitation of Grand Central Terminal has sparked the revitalization of midtown, the restoration and enhancement of Lower Manhattan's transportation system will accelerate the economic recovery of the nation's third largest business district," said Port Authority vice chairman Charles Gargano at the unveiling.

Calatrava's building was being referred to as the Grand Central's downtown equivalent long before his sketches were made public. Now Calatrava himself has reaffirmed this hope. He referred to the midtown station as the "most beautiful public hall of any station in the world," adding that it was probably the "deepest inspiration" for his design.

interior1 interior2

Revising Absence


When a design featuring two sunken pools in the middle of a barren plaza was selected as the memorial for Ground Zero - "Reflecting Absence" - critics focused on its flaws:

• Some described the plain, street-level plaza as bleak, brutal.

•Fans of Daniel Libeskind's master plan for Ground Zero, which originally called for the entire memorial site to be sunken, complained that "Reflecting Absence" violated the spirit of that design by raising the memorial site to ground level.

• Some family members of 9/11 victims complained there was no access to the bedrock level on the footprints, the area where the Twin Towers had stood.

• Many called for original artifacts from 9/11 to be incorporated into the design.

Just wait, officials told all the critics, your concerns are being addressed.

A week later, Michael Arad, the original designer, and landscape architect Peter Walker, had struggled to incorporate the requirements of countless clashing visions. Many believe they were able to pull it off.

The most striking difference between Arad's original memorial design and its revised version is the color. But it is underground, beneath the trees and below the water, where many found the satisfaction they had been looking for:

• Arad and Walker livened up the plaza surrounding the pools by planting a "forest grove" on the site.

• They incorporated access to almost the entire north footprint, and about half of the south footprint, all the way to the bedrock level.

• The slurry wall, part of the 'bathtub' foundation of the original towers, is now accessible.

These revisions did not end all criticism, but they did change the tone from one of negative skepticism to one of, if not satisfaction, hope for satisfaction. With a final memorial design now on display at the Winter Garden, many began to discuss what will happen next. Others continued to dwell on their specific controversies, while some even found new elements to debate.

By placing artifacts on the site, Arad has addressed a widespread criticism of his original plan. But by putting them underground, he has also brought a new debate to the fore. Some now insist that these artifacts be presented at ground level, becoming a part of the primary memorial experience. Others have said that seeing the destroyed facade of the Twin Towers or a burnt fire truck, is too traumatic to be in plain site. Visitors, they say, should be able to choose whether or not to view these items.

One particularly contentious issue, how the namesof the victims will be ordered, was left unresolved in Reflecting Absence's original plan. Some asked for no distinctions to be made amongst the dead, but a number of uniformed rescue workers insisted that their colleagues who died on 9/11 be listed together, with an indication of their rank. Arad admitted that the ordering of the names was an especially difficult issue, saying that "every way that you find to do this satisfies some but causes pain and anguish to others." His solution was to list victims' names randomly while distinguishing rescue workers and firefighters by a helmet or similar symbol next to their name.

The New York Post immediately reported that upon learning of this arrangement, some firefighters were still angry about this proposal.

But even those who were left unsatisfied seemed upbeat after seeing the revisions. There have been few of the harsh denouncements that have become a standard part of any discussion about the memorial. Criticisms have been couched in optimism.

"Although it's late in the process, we feel like it's a vital first step towards realizing a memorial that is not only going to provide remembrance, but also historical authenticity," said Anthony Gardner of the Coalition of 9/11 Families. "We do, however, feel that further modifications to this plan are necessary." This was a big shift for Gardner's group, which gave the original Reflecting Absence design a grade of 'F,' for not providing access to the bedrock level of the footprints. As late as last week, Gardner was threatening to push for a new memorial process.

Arad himselfcaused some to change their tunes. The shy looking 34-year-old architect for the city's Housing Authority contrasts sharply with the better-known architects and public officials schooled in presenting their cases to the public. But while Arad's nervous, emotional mpresentation at the Federal Hall on January 14 gave away his inexperience, it also won him some fans.

Arad met with family members of 9/11 victims the night before the revised design was shown to the public. Those who attended the meeting expressed confidence in him as genuine, and said that he seemed emotionally vested in the process. His personality convinced skeptics that their concerns would continued to be addressed.

Inevitably, others felt left out in the cold. Arad's plan made larger changes to the Libeskind master plan than did any of the other eight finalist designs in the memorial competition. By bringing the plaza up to ground level, and by changing the cultural buildings that Libeskind originally envisioned on the memorial site, the memorial has created new problems, said members of civic groups who have long been involved in the design process. Now, the memorial will be too loud, too integrated with the street, too easy to use as a way to cut-through.

"The whole Civic Alliance has a problem with how they've abandoned the Libeskind plan," said Beverly Willis, head of Rebuild Downtown Our Town, a group of Lower Manhattan residents, businesses, and professionals. By not adhering to the master plan, Willis worries that the development of Ground Zero risks being left rudderless. "Now that so many changes have been made to the plan, we'd like to see what the new plan is."

For his part, Libeskind insisted that he has not been left by the wayside. He claimed that Reflecting Absence was his favorite of the eight memorial finalists, and that it was consistent with his original vision. The job of a master planner, said Libeskind, is the creation of a setting for the memorial, not the creation of the memorial itself.

"What I was presented in the master plan was the largest possible canvass for the contestants to design a memorial," he said. "[Arad] chose to cut it fully to the bedrock at the footprints, but nowhere else. It's fine, it's a very interesting, very bold, simple interpretation of my idea."

Now that the public has seen this design, there is the sense that the emotional peak of the process has been reached. Practical issues are beginning to get discussed. One the day of the presentation, one development official said that the memorial will cost over $350 million. Environmental control and traffic planning are right around the corner, said Councilmember Alan Gerson , whose district includes Ground Zero. While these issues may not pack the same emotional punch as the actual design, Gerson said that his constituents, who will be the memorial's neighbors, are already beginning to show concern.

"We have to recognize that this is not the end of the process. The integration of this design, this concept, with the surrounding community is a critical phase which has to be informed by community input, democratic oversight, and recognition of all of these needs," he said.

Victims' family members, who have invested themselves emotionally in the design process itself, are also shifting their focus. Monika Iken, who lost her husband Michael on 9/11, announced that she was starting a foundation to raise money for cultural events centering on the memorial site. Her initial goal is to raise $9.11 million by September 11, 2004, and to begin sponsoring events within months.

Through this type of effort, Iken hopes to give those who lost loved ones on 9/11 an emotional outlet, until the memorial is actually built. "Now that this memorial is out, it's important to realize that families aren't going to have anything for years," she said. "We don't have anything now."

• view the original memorial design







Print Friendly and PDF

Editor's Choice


Gotham Gazette: Fixing City's 'Non-Functioning' Board of Elections Relies on State Fixing City's 'Non-Functioning' Board of Elections Relies on State Gotham Gazette: De Blasio Continues Deliberative Approach to Appointments De Blasio Continues Deliberative Approach to Appointments Gotham Gazette: Despite Expectations, Design-Build for New York City Not Approved in Albany Despite Expectations, Design-Build for New York City Not Approved in Albany Gotham Gazette: De Blasio and The Complications of Vetting Campaign Donors De Blasio and The Complications of Vetting Campaign Donors


Comments
Comment(s)

The comments section is provided as a free service to our readers. Gotham Gazette's editors reserve the right to delete any comments. Some reasons why comments might get deleted: inappropriate or offensive content, off-topic remarks or spam.