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Frequently Asked Questions
By Erica Pearson
MARCH 2003

Why was the Libeskind plan chosen?
Key decision-makers, including Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, backed Libeskind's design because of the focus it places on the memorial, as well as how well it meets practical concerns like engineering and economics.

Much of the decision also had to do with the skyline. In the days leading up to the final decision, a key Lower Manhattan Development Corporation committee met and decided to recommend the other finalist design, the latticework towers by the THINK team. But in the larger February 26 meeting with the mayor, governor and other officials, Libeskind ultimately garnered the most support. Some of the discussion, development corporation official Roland Betts said, came down to how each member of the committee felt about the THINK team's towers. Some, including Betts himself, thought that they would be an inspiring addition to the city's skyline, while others thought that they looked like "skeletal remains" of the old towers, he said.

How much will it cost?
According to Libeskind the public spaces in his design would cost $300 million to build. This is not including the office towers, transportation station, and other elements.

Who will pay for it?
Federal funds will pay to build the transportation center. Private developers will pay to build office and retail space. Developer Larry Silverstein, who owns a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center, has said that he will pay to build the 1776 foot tall building that Libeskind proposed.

Where the money to build the memorial, museum or cultural buildings will come from is not clear, but officials have said that both federal funds and donations could help pay for these public projects.

Who will ultimately control the site?
The Port Authority now owns the land at Ground Zero. However, the city is working to take over the 16 acres. Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff has proposed a land swap, which would exchange the land at the Kennedy and LaGuardia airports for Ground Zero. Talks are continuing in the swap, but Doctoroff said on Februrary 27 that he could not give an estimate of when the decision might be finalized.

When will this plan get built?
In his presentation, Libeskind said that the memorial, transportation station, museum and other cultural buildings, as well as the iconic 1776 foot tall spire, will be built within four years. The Port Authority, however, said that it may be more like five or six years before these elements are built.

The time frame for the other office buildings will depend on the economy, and whether there is demand for office space in lower Manhattan.

How much will what is finally built actually look like Libeskind's design?
Rebuilding officials have said that the theme and concepts of Libeskind's plan will be built. But the designs for the individual office towers may depend on the wishes of developer Larry Silverstein, and the Port Authority plans to hold a separate competition for the transportation center.

Just how much of the design will be preserved is a question that even development corporation member Betts does not have the answer for. "That's the major question. Does it happen in the form that Libeskind has proposed, or is it going to be adulterated by a thousand cuts?" he said.


Practical Issues for Ground Zero
by Ed Wyatt, New York Times

Vision for Lower Manhattan Is Still in Flux
by Charles Bagli, New York Times

Silverstein Will Pay For Libeskind's Tower
by Maggie Haberman and Greg Gittrich, Daily News

WTC Architect Sees 9/11 Memorial Within 4 Years
by Katia Hetter, Newsday

Finalists for Ground Zero Design Pull Out the Stops
by Julie Iovine, New York Times

Transcript of Live Chat with Daniel Libeskind
Gotham Gazette

Transcript of Live Chat with Rafael Viñoly
Gotham Gazette

The Chosen Design Virtual Tour Of The Chosen Design Frequently Asked Questions

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