Rebuilding Roundup Archive: October 2003

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Friday, Nov 21

Eight designs for the memorial at Ground Zero were named as the finalists in a two-stage competition being run by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The jury reviewed 5,201 anonymous entries in the first stage, which started in August and ended in an event Wednesday at the Winter Garden. The finalists will now work on the details of their plans, including what their cost, and the jury will soon announce a winner. Fundraising for the memorial will start in January. While there is no official public comment period, Imagine New York is playing host to a series of open forums over the next two days, and is also asking for responses online

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has introduced a bill into the House of Representatives which calls for a study that examines whether the National Park Service should be put in control of the sites of the twin towers, in a gesture to some victims' family groups who want to leave these areas empty to the bedrock seventy feet below street level. Development officials and others have criticized the plan, saying that such a large change now will slow progress on the memorial.

Yesterday, a federal commission subpoenaed New York City for failing to turn over transcripts of emergency calls made on 9/11. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that doing so would be a violation of the privacy of those who made calls from the towers just before they collapsed.

After a bombing in Turkey, New York Police Department stepped up security around the city, at synagogues and city landmarks. At a conference at the law school at New York University, a panel of experts including the city's former police chief said that intelligence needed to be improved to prevent another terrorist attack in the city. The current police chief criticized the Department of Homeland Security, saying it was “going in the wrong direction.”

Friday, Nov 14

This week, Con Edison began rebuilding two power substations destroyed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The substations will be placed at their previous location at Seven World Trade Center, but their design has been altered to allow for the extension of Greenwich Street through the site. Con Edison expects the substations to begin providing power to Battery Park City and other areas in lower Manhattan by next summer.

Most of the requests for Liberty Bonds, which were established to encourage investment in the area below Canal Street, are coming from companies looking to develop in other parts of the city, according to Frances Walton, chief financial officer of the Empire State Development Corporation. The New York Times, for example, is seeking $150 million in Liberty Bonds to build new offices in midtown.

Public officials are asking for private donations to reopen the Statue of Liberty. The monument has been closed since 9/11 because of the threat of terrorism and needs about $5 million in security improvements to reopen, according to the National Park Service. Also, Senator Charles Schumer has asked the US Coast Guard to do a "top to bottom" review of security on cruise ship passenger piers.

The Bush administration announced on Thursday that it would provide the New York City region with $64 million in the latest round of payments for antiterrorism programs, an amount that several New York lawmakers called inadequate.

On Wednesday, November 19, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is expected to announce the eight finalists selected in the World Trade Center site memorial design competition. The final designs will be selected from 5,201 submissions, and one will ultimately be chosen as the memorial to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Jury members, who will select the winning design, have requested that all of the submissions be put on display for the public.

Friday, Nov 7

Governor George Pataki outlined a new schedule for rebuilding Ground Zero yesterday, saying that architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs must agree to a design for the World Trade Center site's iconic "Freedom Tower" by December 15. Speaking to the Association for a Better New York and the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association, Pataki said that plans are "right on track" to complete a memorial, transit complex and the first office tower on the site by September 2006.

Eight proposals for the 9/11 memorial will be selected by November 17 and will be exhibited at the Winter Garden before the jury selects a winning design, Pataki said. The PATH station at Ground Zero will reopen on November 23, one month ahead of schedule. Also in November, the security barricades around the New York Stock Exchange will be taken down, and a pedestrian bridge will open to connect Battery Park City to the World Financial Center.

Earlier this week, the mayor's office also made an announcement about rebuilding downtown, saying that the Ground Zero master plan should include one more full street, and more retail space above ground. In a letter sent to state officials, Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said that Cortlandt Street should be restored between Church and Greenwich Streets.

The city removed 40 names from the official tally of World Trade Center victims this week, bringing the number to 2,752. In updating the list, investigators found people alive who were believed to be dead and uncovered cases of fraud.

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