Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Practical Issues for Ground Zero - Feb 28, 2003
In the end, it was not so much about architecture, about solemn memorial pits or soaring gardens in the sky. Instead, the decision announced yesterday to choose Daniel Libeskind's design for the World Trade Center site revolved mainly around politics, economics and engineering, people close to the selection process said. (New York Times)

Vision for Lower Manhattan Is Still in Flux - Feb 28, 2003
As the winner of a grueling design competition, Daniel Libeskind was exuberant yesterday. Joseph Seymour, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16-acre site, was more pragmatic. In four years, Mr. Seymour said, he expects the memorial garden will be completed, as well as a $2 billion transit center that will rival Grand Central Terminal and newly built stretches of Greenwich and Fulton Streets that are to crisscross the site. But many other elements of Mr. Libeskind's striking plans, he said, are "going to have to evolve." (New York Times)

Silverstein Will Pay For Libeskind's Tower - Feb 28, 2003
Developer Larry Silverstein threw his support behind the soaring new vision for Ground Zero yesterday, vowing to pay for a 1,776-foot spire that would raise the city's skyline higher than any other in the world. Silverstein's commitment for the first time offered rebuilding officials a solid way to pay for the signature tower in architect Daniel Libeskind's plan. (New York Daily News)

Neighbors See New Plan As Roadblock - Feb 28, 2003
Architect Daniel Libeskind spoke passionately Thursday about his design for the World Trade Center site, using words such as democracy and freedom. But for Battery Park City resident Michael Kaufman, who has lived in the adjacent area for six years, the new plans seems to create a roadblock. (Newsday)

WTC Architect Sees 9/11 Memorial Within 4 Years - Feb 28, 2003
The architect named to redesign the World Trade Center site hopes a memorial, transit station and cultural buildings will be built within four years, although Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials Thursday said it could take longer. (Newsday)

Libeskind Comes Home to New York - Feb 28, 2003
It was the magnanimous Daniel Libeskind Ă‘ the adopted son of the great metropolis, the engaging former math and music wunderkind from the Bronx High School of Science Ă‘ who showed up at center stage in the Winter Garden yesterday to accept the most extraordinary commission that any city has ever offered. (New York Times)

Changes to Libeskind's Design - Feb 28, 2003
The scarred foundation of the World Trade Center shielded behind glass, a memorial pit 30 feet below street level, and a spindly spire with a 110th-floor restaurant - those are among the new twists in a rejiggered plan unveiled yesterday by winning Ground Zero architect Daniel Libeskind. (New York Post)

Libeskind Design Chosen for Rebuilding at Ground Zero - Feb 27, 2003
Officials overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan yesterday agreed to hire Studio Daniel Libeskind, the Berlin-based firm whose plan for the site centers on the excavated pit at the trade center, ringed by glass towers that swirl upward to a 1,776-foot spire. The Libeskind design was considered the front-runner for weeks, although a rival plan by an architecture team called Think, which featured two soaring latticework towers called the World Cultural Center, collected strong support as the decision neared. Ultimately, however, rebuilding officials voted in favor of Mr. Libeskind's somber treatment of the memorial and the incorporation of an active street life in the commercial portions of the site. (New York Times)

Battle Lines Harden Over W.T.C. Bus Garage - Feb 26, 2003
Relatives of the Sept. 11 victims clashed last week with Downtown residents and businesses over whether a proposed garage for tour buses built over the "footprints" of the Twin Towers would dishonor the victims. Conflicting priorities between residents and family members over the World Trade Center site have been apparent for some time, but rarely has the dispute come to the surface as clearly as it did last week and in a forum where both sides, roughly speaking, were equally represented. (Downtown Express)

Finalists for Ground Zero Design Pull Out the Stops - Feb 26, 2003
Packed meetings at Town Hall, get-out-the-vote e-mails and head-to-head chats with Charlie Rose may not be as rugged and ritualized as photo-ops in the South Bronx, but in many ways the architects proposing designs for the World Trade Center site have been acting like media-age politicians. The two finalists from an original pack of seven design teams Ñ Daniel Libeskind from Berlin and Rafael Vi–oly and Frederic Schwartz, the two front men on the Think team Ñ grasped the political nature of the selection process from the start, playing straight to the public as if the citizens of New York City were the clients for the job. (New York Times)

Panel Backs Think Team Design for Downtown - Feb 26, 2003
A key committee, led by Roland Betts, recommended yesterday that Lower Manhattan be rebuilt along the lines of a plan that had seemed out of favor, a proposal by the Think architectural team for two soaring latticework towers as the centerpiece of a memorial area. The unexpected decision appeared to set the stage for a showdown today among city and state officials. (New York Times)

THINK Team Trimming Plan - Feb 26, 2003
The underdogs in the race to redesign the World Trade Center site were reportedly working furiously in the last several days to reduce the cost of their proposal, making it more attractive to redevelopment officials. The proposal by the THINK team led by architects Rafael Vi–oly and Frederic Schwartz originally was estimated to cost as much as $800 million. Architect Daniel LibeskindÕs proposal, supposedly the favorite of Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, costs $330 million. (Newsday)

Vinoly: High Drama - Feb 25, 2003
Rafael Vi–oly landed on the short list of the world's most hotly pursued architects in 1989, when he defeated 394 contenders in an international competition to design the Tokyo International Forum. The $1.5-billion performing arts and convention center -- a huge glass and steel structure frequently described as a great ship gliding through the central city -- opened in 1997 to widespread acclaim. Since that spectacular success, Vi–oly has snagged dozens of large commissions, but his achievements so far are merely a warmup for the current competition to design a replacement for the World Trade Center in New York. (Los Angeles Times)

Ground Zero: Picking a Plan and a Direction - Feb 25, 2003
The two teams that have been chosen as finalists offer a chance to sort through our ambitions for the site. Their plans are polar opposites. For the architects, the real challenge will be to deal with the complex history of the site. The Twin Towers aggressively muscled their way into Lower Manhattan, interrupting the city's street grid. Yet the destruction of these unpopular buildings was even more horrible and aggressive. In order to truly heal the wound the terrorists created, the design also must attempt to repair old scars. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

WTC Finalists Step Up Lobbying - Feb 25, 2003
The conversations about "sacred ground" and "soaring memorials" have denigrated to sniping and snide remarks.Finalists Daniel Libeskind and the THINK team led by Rafael Vi–oly have stepped up - or brought down - their behind-the-scenes lobbying as they prepared to present their revised work before redevelopment officials today. (Newsday)

Officials Plan New Memorial to '93 Attack - Feb 25, 2003
State officials said yesterday that they would erect a temporary memorial to the victims of the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center and that it would include a fragment of the original memorial, which was destroyed in the collapse of the twin towers in 2001. The announcement came two days before the 10th anniversary of the bombing, which killed six people (New York Times)

Insider Expected to Head LMDC - Feb 25, 2003
Gov. George Pataki has selected another Albany insider to lead the lower Manhattan rebuilding effort when the current president leaves this week, sources say. Pataki has chosen Kevin Rampe, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.'s executive vice president and general counsel, to become president of the agency overseeing the World Trade Center site redevelopment, say sources familiar with the process. (Newsday)

Building Repair Work Begins At Ground Zero - Feb 25, 2003
Repair work will start soon to fix a jagged gash across the front of the mold-infested Deutsche Bank building, but the company said no final decision has been made about what to do with the black-draped structure that looms over Ground Zero. (New York Post)

New York Times at Center of Architectural Nightmare - Feb 24, 2003
The New York Times is at the center of an "architectural blood-feud" over the selection of a finalist to design the World Trade Center site, Clay Risen reports in The New Republic. (The New Republic)

Officials To Announce Winning Design For WTC - Feb 24, 2003
On Thursday the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will announce the winning design to be the basis for reconstruction at the World Trade Center site. The two finalists, Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind and the New York-centered consortium known as Think, have spent the last three weeks revamping their ideas to answer certain concerns of rebuilding officials. The deadline for their final proposals is Tuesday. (NY1)

WTC Project Coming Down To The Wire - Feb 24, 2003
In the coming week, one of two designs for the World Trade Center site is slated to be chosen. While those close to the process are speculating that the design of Daniel Libeskind has won over the plan devised by the THINK team of architects, development officials insisted last week they wonÕt decide until theyÕve seen the latest versions of the proposals. (Newsday)

Libeskind: Building Resolve - Feb 23, 2003
Daniel Libeskind digs in as the contest to design the replacement for the World Trade Center winds down. It's a project calling for vision -- and the will to ride out competitors' gibes. Libeskind knows his bid for the New York project may be in vain. The Think design may win, or neither get built. In either case, the Libeskinds are moving to New York. (Los Angeles Times)

Manhattan Ready to Pick Libeskind's Jagged Towers - Feb 22, 2003
The design of one of the world's most versatile and celebrated architects, Daniel Libeskind, is expected to be chosen as the replacement for the World Trade Centre buildings, although some of its central features are likely to be either radically altered or left out. In an increasingly fraught process, which has been dominated by inter-agency rivalry and public disaffection, Libeskind had to apologise on Thursday for voicing sharp criticism of his rival's plans in a live internet forum. (Guardian)

World Trade Center Design Finalist Criticizes Competitor - Feb 21, 2003
Ground Zero design finalist Daniel Libeskind Thursday criticized the other finalist in the competition to redevelop the site. Ă’There is a dramatic and urgent need to repair the skyline,Ă“ Libeskind wrote in an online conversation with Ă’I do not believe that two skeletons in the sky asserts the vitality of New York or the courage of America. I do believe that a distinctive and economically viable skyline has to be built.Ă“ (Newsday)

WTC Plan May End Up Looking Very Different From Architect Vision - Feb 21, 2003
Development officials are expected to pick the Ground Zero plan by architect Daniel Libeskind - but the new World Trade Center is likely to end up looking a lot different from the way he envisioned it. And that will come as a huge surprise to many New Yorkers, who had been led to expect that the buildings that go up on the city's hallowed ground will look just the way they do in the models that have been debated for weeks. Officials see Libeskind's plan as flexible, something they can shape to their needs. (New York Post)

Woman Faces New Charges of Falsely Obtaining 9/11 Funds - Feb 21, 2003
A Manhattan businesswoman who had been charged with stealing money from agencies after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack was indicted for a second time yesterday on new charges of using her business to falsely obtain emergency funds. State prosecutors in Manhattan said the woman, Beatrice Kaufman, 68, falsely claimed that her business, an employment agency for lawyers, was damaged by the terrorist attack and collected thousands of dollars from two charities, the Red Cross and Safe Horizon. (New York Times)

Port Authority's New Budget Reflects the Times - Feb 21, 2003
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yesterday approved a $5 billion expense and capital budget not much larger than last year's, reflecting the region's flagging economy and the new security and rebuilding demands on the agency since the attack on the World Trade Center. (New York Times)

Broadway Atrium in Plan for 750M Transit Hub - Feb 21, 2003
A sweeping glass atrium opening onto Broadway would greet more than 275,000 commuters a day in lower Manhattan, according to drawings for a new transit hub. The schemes for the $750 million Fulton Transit Center, obtained by the Daily News, show a bright and airy hub that would be a drastic upgrade from the current bleak, mazelike subway complex. The hub, scheduled to be completed by 2007, is expected to be among the transit projects to receive federal funding stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (New York Daily News)

Support Builds for One Plan for Trade Center Site: Libeskind - Feb 20, 2003
State and city officials involved in choosing a design for the World Trade Center site have begun lining up in favor of a plan by Studio Daniel Libeskind, which uses the ground zero pit as the setting for a memorial to victims of the terrorist attack, giving that plan important momentum in the week before the final site plan is chosen. (New York Times)

Twin Towers Fund To Close Later This Year - Feb 20, 2003
The Twin Towers Fund - created by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to help the families of the heroes of 9/11 - will close up shop later this year, organizers said yesterday. Fund officials said the organization had been set up to distribute the huge outpouring of financial support for the families of uniformed rescue workers who lost their lives, or were seriously injured, in the World Trade Center tragedy. (New York Post)

German Court Convicts Moroccan For Involvement In WTC Attack - Feb 20, 2003
New Yorkers who lost family members at the World Trade Center said Wednesday they were pleased that a German court convicted a Moroccan student of being an accessory to murder in the terrorist attacks. "I'm thrilled," said Joan Molinaro, who testified last month at the trial of Mounir el Motassadeq in Hamburg. "He's only one person, but one's better than none. It's justice for my son and 3,000 other victims." (Newsday)

WTC Federal Aid Program Plagued By Scams - Feb 20, 2003
As many as 90% of the people who applied to a $100 million federal program to clean apartments of World Trade Center dust were scam artists, officials admitted yesterday. Some of the 219,000 applications - seeking reimbursement for items to purify their air of WTC dust - were from people who lived several miles away from Ground Zero, officials said. (New York Daily News)

Downtown's Future Will Be Determined Soon - Feb 19, 2003
The long-term viability of Lower Manhattan will be determined in less than two weeks if you believe the many analysts who say improving transportation is the key to downtown's future. Officials from the various agencies with a stake in transportation or in the land in and near ground zero are expected to make most of the final transportation decisions by the end of February, when the street plan for the World Trade Center site is also selected. (Downtown Express)

A Slow, Deliberate Process of Weighing 9/11 Awards - Feb 18, 2003
High above the streets of Manhattan, one judge presides over a deeply intimidating institution: the unofficial Supreme Court for the families of Sept. 11 victims. There are no gavels or robes, no jurors or bailiffs. Sometimes, only one relative shows up for a businesslike proceeding that can be as brief as 15 minutes. Sometimes, though, there can be an entire battalion of relatives, lawyers and forensic experts who fold heartbreaking videos and head-hurting statistical presentations into two-and-a-half-hour crucibles during which even foreign-language interpreters have been moved to tears. (New York Times)

Rockaway Artist's Tribute Will Honor Victims of World Trade Center Attack - Feb 17, 2003
Drawing on a variety of materials and themes, 40 artists submitted entries for a memorial to the 70 residents of the Rockaways, including many firefighters, who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Though entries were submitted from as far away as Greece, the winning design came from a local artist. "The Heavens Over the Rockaways" was designed by stained-glass artist Patrick Clark of Rockaway Park. (Newsday)

Trade Center Developer Objects to City's Insurance Talks - Feb 16, 2003
Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the World Trade Center lease, claims that his effort to get the largest possible insurance settlement to rebuild Lower Manhattan is being undermined by city officials. With public officials on the verge of adopting a development proposal for the site, Mr. Silverstein has complained in recent weeks that despite his legal obligation to rebuild the trade center he has been shut out of the planning process. At the same time, he said he has been undermined in his negotiations with the 23 insurance companies that provided coverage for the trade center. (New York Times)

Mayor Prefers WTC Plan By Libeskind - Feb 15, 2003
Mayor Bloomberg yesterday said he prefers the Ground Zero plan by Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind, which leaves much of the pit open as a memorial space. The mayor's remarks on his weekly radio show were the first time a major elected official has voiced a preference on the two remaining designs. (New York Post)

9/11's Hard Lessons Lead Agency to Urge Tougher Building Code - Feb 15, 2003
Trying to apply the lessons learned at a terrible cost on Sept. 11, 2001, the New York City Buildings Department yesterday outlined a future in which office towers could have larger, sturdier and more numerous stairwells; full sprinkler systems; and better protected ductwork. (New York Times)

Trade Center Would Keep Retail Space Underground - Feb 14, 2003
Plans for an underground concourse at the World Trade Center would allow for the building of several hundred thousand square feet of retail space below ground, or nearly as much as existed at the site before the 2001 attack, officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday. Testifying at a City Council hearing, the officials said that no decisions had been made yet about how the retail space at the trade center would be divided between above and below ground. (New York Times)

Silverstein Says Mayor's Plan to Use Insurance Billions Is Unworkable - Feb 14, 2003
World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein told Mayor Bloomberg yesterday that a City Hall proposal to take over his insurance billions is unworkable, sources told The Post. The private meeting with the mayor came as Silverstein, who signed a 99-year lease on the trade center just weeks before the Sept. 11 terror attack, is seeking a more visible role in the planning process. (New York Post)

Polish Immigrant Gives Life Savings to NYC After 9/11 - Feb 14, 2003
A field in Chinatown's Columbus Park will be renovated thanks to a Polish immigrant who donated his entire life savings to New York City - even though he lived more than 1,000 miles away. Joseph Temeczko, who came to America through Ellis Island and once worked at the Statue of Liberty, bequeathed $1.4 million to New York. Temeczko told his lawyer to amend his will just one week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He died the following month after suffering a heart attack in the backyard of his Minnesota home. (New York Daily News)

Interviewers In 9/11 Oral History Project Were Changed By Experience - Feb 14, 2003
About a year ago, 30 interviewers armed with tape-recorders and resolute curiosity fanned out across New York City, seeking true-life stories of 9/11. The 449 accounts they came back with, on more than 400 hours of tape, captured the horror, and sometimes, the spiritual transcendence of those days. But something else happened, too. The interviewers, working for Columbia University's 9/11 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project, became entangled themselves in the stories they'd heard. (New York Times)

Silverstein May Seek Office Space Away From WTC - Feb 14, 2003
Twin towers leaseholder Larry Silverstein may be open to recapturing some of the 10 million square feet of office space lost in the terror attacks by acquiring nearby properties. Sources said the possibility was discussed in a meeting between Mayor Bloomberg and Silverstein, who has maintained that any new development at Ground Zero must allow him to recoup all of the lost office space. (New York Daily News)

Libeskind Acolytes Attack Muschamp and the Times - Feb 13, 2003
Ever since crews began clearing debris from Ground Zero, the strong and sometimes acerbic writing of The New York TimesÕ architecture critic, Herbert Muschamp, has helped trigger a citywideÑand worldwideÑdebate over what should stand at the site of New YorkÕs greatest civic disaster. Some within the architectural community are charging that Mr. Muschamp exhibited a conflict of interest in his read-by-everyone review in the Feb. 6 Times, which promoted the two-tower Ground Zero plan helmed by an architect he knows and has worked with - Rafael Vi–oly of the THINK group - while aggressively diminishing the other, Daniel LibeskindÕs single-tower, "bathtub"-preserving design. (New York Observer)

Ground Zero Designers Are Asked for Revisions - Feb 13, 2003
The two teams of architects working on designs for the World Trade Center site have been asked to modify their plans to address engineering problems in the pit at the site, according to people involved in the rebuilding effort. In the two weeks since the two finalists were announced, both teams, Studio Daniel Libeskind and Think, have been asked to change their designs to make room for parking, public transit and other purposes in the "bathtub," the seven-acre hole on the western half of ground zero, beneath the spots where the twin towers stood. (New York Times)

Ground Zero Foundations Will Need to Be Covered and Reinforced - Feb 13, 2003
Most of the scarred and decaying wall inside the Ground Zero pit is in such bad shape it will need to be covered with a three-foot layer of concrete and braced with steel reinforcements, Port Authority officials said yesterday. Engineers are studying the wall to find out if any portions are strong enough to be displayed in a future WTC memorial, as called for in one of the design proposals being considered by development officials. (New York Post)

Port Authority: We Will Have To Use the Pit - Feb 13, 2003
The vast pit at Ground Zero - the area where most of the remains of victims of the terror were recovered - cannot be left empty, top Port Authority officials said yesterday. Port Authority Executive Director Joseph Seymour said the foundation for a memorial - as well as transit infrastructure and probably a parking garage for buses - will be placed within the 70-foot-deep ditch. (New York Daily News)

Downtown Express: Interviews with the W.T.C. Architects - Feb 12, 2003
Downtown Express interviewed Daniel Libeskind and Frederic Schwartz to find out their views of the site and to learn what types of modifications they are making. Schwartz was more willing to talk about specific changes. They were both reluctant to criticize the other's plan, although Libeskind did take a passing swipe at THINK's concept. Both dismissed the common criticism that "none of these buildings will ever be built" and expressed confidence in the process. They also felt their plans provide a feasible way to build structures taller than the Twin Towers, and far from seeking an extension about the pending deadline, they were looking forward to it. (Downtown Express)

Pataki Backs West St. Tunnel in Letter - Feb 12, 2003
Gov. George Pataki wrote that the state is likely to build a tunnel on part of West St./Route 9A, in a letter requesting $5 billion in federal transportation funds to rebuild Lower Manhattan. "[S]afe pedestrian across West St. will be restored. Such restoration will likely occur through the tunneling of some portion of Route 9A," Pataki wrote to Joseph Albaugh, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Jennifer Dorn, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. (Downtown Express)

Designs Leave Blanks for 9/11 Memorial Contest to Fill - Feb 12, 2003
When rebuilding officials selected the finalists for the design of the World Trade Center site, their choices instantly raised a difficult question: In light of the finalists' designs for memorials to victims of the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, what is left for a memorial competition? Plenty, according to the architects. They say their site plans -- Daniel Libeskind's, with a deep pit remaining at ground zero, and the Think group's plan, featuring tall cultural towers -- offer acres of space, spread over multiple parts of the site, that could be the subject of the memorial competition. (Select one or type in another)

Federal Government Allots $90 Million for Ground Zero Health Study - Feb 12, 2003
The feds will set aside $90 million to pay for health screening for hundreds of firefighters and other heroes who rushed to Ground Zero after 9/11, officials said yesterday. The funding should insure that Mount Sinai and other hospitals can study and track the long-term health of scores of first responders - some of whom are beginning to report lung and breathing woes they attribute to Ground Zero. (Select one or type in another)

Silverstein's Low Opinion of WTC Designs Tall Towers - Feb 12, 2003
World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein yesterday criticized the signature elements of the two remaining Ground Zero site plans. "I don't understand those latticework towers, how they would be utilized," Silverstein said of the THINK architecture team's plan, which calls for two steel structures taller than the original Twin Towers. Silverstein said he is very concerned about erecting buildings more than 60 stories tall - because it is difficult for people to evacuate them in an emergency. (New York Post)

Silverstein Says WTC Insurance Billions Must Be Used for Office Buildings - Feb 11, 2003
Twin towers leaseholder Larry Silverstein insisted yesterday that billions of dollars in insurance money for the World Trade Center must be used to rebuild office buildings - and nothing else. "There's no way that you can take insurance company money for office buildings and allocate it for some other use," Silverstein said at a meeting with Daily News editors and reporters. (New York Daily News)

$90 Million in Federal Aid for Ground Zero Workers Expected To Be Approved - Feb 11, 2003
Millions of dollars in federal aid to monitor the long-term health of Ground Zero workers is expected to be approved this week -- after being tied up for months by partisan sparring. Congressional leaders and the White House inserted the $90 million yesterday into the 2003 omnibus spending package. (New York Daily News)

Families Angry At Plan To Put Bus Garage in WTC Pit - Feb 11, 2003
Secretive plans to turn part of the World Trade Center "bathtub" into a bus garage could put development officials on a collision course with angry family members who consider the Ground Zero pit sacred space. The decision - and the reluctance to talk about it publicly - has angered relatives of 9/11 victims who have been calling for months for the WTC pit to be declared off-limits to all development down to bedrock. (New York Post)

Construction Forging Ahead at WTC location - Feb 10, 2003
For a place supposedly mired in a long planning process, the World Trade Center site seems awfully busy these days. The site is thronged with workers in hard hats, crowded with trailers and vehicles and buzzing with the sounds of construction. On the north side of the site, workers have dug some 40 feet into the ground, placed supporting caissons, and started to pour concrete for the foundations of the new 7 World Trade Center. (Newsday)

Pataki Presents Washington With A $5 Billion Transit Plan - Feb 8, 2003
Gov. George E. Pataki outlined a long-awaited plan yesterday to spend up to $5 billion to restore and upgrade transportation in Lower Manhattan, including new above-ground hubs at the World Trade Center site and at the Fulton Street subway stations, as well as a rebuilt subway terminal at South Ferry. (New York Times)

Agencies Jockey for Control Over Future of Ground Zero Design - Feb 7, 2003
With the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation only weeks away from adopting a long-sought plan for the World Trade Center site, a struggle is taking place over just how much of the grand designs will ever be built, a struggle that is connected to the future of the agency. (New York Times)

White House in Tentative Deal on New York 9/11 Rescue Package - Feb 7, 2003
The Bush administration has tentatively agreed to provide up to $980 million that New York City and state officials had counted on to help close multibillion dollar budget deficits, according to New York and federal officials involved in the negotiations. The agreement taking shape would give about $350 million to the state and about $630 million to the city, with fewer restrictions than normally govern such emergency aid. The money would be drawn from the federal funds that had been allocated in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Times)

City Medical Examiner Now Can ID Hijackers Remains - Feb 7, 2003
The FBI has given the city medical examiner's office DNA profiles from the 10 hijackers who crashed planes into the Twin Towers so their remains can be separated from those of their victims, officials said yesterday. (New York Post)

Silverstein Meets With Architects - Feb 7, 2003
A week after he slammed the design proposals and warned development officials not to leave him out of the loop, World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein is back in the mix. The 71-year-old developer met Wednesday with Rafael Vinoly of THINK - one of two teams of architects picked this week to compete for the job of WTC planner. (New York Post)

WTC Designs Do Not Include Tallest "Structures" - Feb 6, 2003
This may seem like the height of hairsplitting, but many newspapers got it wrong Wednesday when they reported that the two finalists in the competition to design a replacement for the World Trade Center would be the world's tallest structures. The accounts neglected the very big, very cold country just to America's north, where in the city of Toronto is the CN Tower, which soars to 1,815 feet, 5 inches, taller than either the Libeskind or THINK plans would go. (Chicago Tribune)

Two Firms Vie At WTC Site - Feb 6, 2003
After responding to a series of requests for modifications to their designs over the next two weeks, one of the two new finalists will emerge as the architect of the rebuilt World Trade Center. But whether or not the vision of that architect translates into real buildings erected at Ground Zero over the next decade may not be a matter for the public to decide. If the architect selected by the LMDC and the Port Authority is really to leave his stamp on the World Trade Center site, the LMDC will have to back up its claim to be the ultimate authority in the rebuilding process. (New York Observer)

Map Becomes Clearer in Trade Center Choices - Feb 6, 2003
Now that the designs for ground zero have been reduced to two finalists, it is possible to understand better what the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have in mind for ground zero and the surrounding blocks. Aside from the aesthetic eloquence in the Libeskind and Think proposals, both offer a framework for intense commercial development. (New York Times)

Web Campaigns Against WTC Plans Begin - Feb 6, 2003
The Internet campaigns against the two visions for Ground Zero have begun. One day after redevelopment officials selected Studio Daniel Libeskind and the THINK team as finalists to redesign the World Trade Center site, critics have launched e-mail initiatives to criticize the plans, warn of danger or pitch their own designs. (Newsday)

City Must Release 9/11 Information, Judge Rules - Feb 6, 2003
The city must turn over hundreds of documents and transcripts detailing the Fire Department's response to the World Trade Center attacks - but don't expect anything right away. The Bloomberg administration said yesterday it would appeal the judge's order, effectively keeping the records under wraps for several more months. (New York Daily News)

Two Finalists Are Selected for the Void at Ground Zero - Feb 5, 2003
Two teams of architects, one that sees the foundations of democracy in the concrete walls surrounding ground zero and another that imagines New York's rebirth in soaring towers of culture, have been selected as finalists in the competition to create the design for the World Trade Center site, rebuilding officials said yesterday. (New York Times)

2 WTC Plans Chosen, But Neither Plan Is In Final Form - Feb 5, 2003
The contestants vying to redevelop the World Trade Center site were narrowed to two Tuesday, but even after a winner is chosen, the look of the structures that will finally emerge from Ground Zero is likely to be a work in progress. (Newsday)

2 Finalists Picked for WTC Site - Feb 5, 2003
A pair of dramatically different visions for Ground Zero - one that evokes the original twin towers and another that preserves the scarred foundation of the World Trade Center - were embraced as finalists by rebuilding officials yesterday. For the first time since the struggle to resurrect lower Manhattan began more than a year ago, officials also defined the area for a memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks. (New York Daily News)

Sometimes Artful PR Campaigns Helped Firms - Feb 5, 2003
It may be coincidence, but the two architectural teams selected yesterday in the World Trade Center site competition made it their mission to woo as many people as possible at public hearings and private meetings over the past seven weeks. Rafael Vi–oly and Frederick Schwartz, leaders of the THINK team, showed up at almost every public hearing last month, including a community board meeting. Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind ran a similar campaign. He also met with a number of groups that had been critical of the planning process. (Newsday)

For Ground Zero Planners, Tough Job Begins - Feb 5, 2003
Now that two Ground Zero finalists have been chosen, the toughest work begins for those who will choose the master plan. By the end of this month, officials must decide everything from specifics about where office buildings will stand to the exact memorial space. Decisions also await on what streets will once again run through the 16-acre site, and on below-ground infrastructure. Those decisions, which the Port Authority has been studying for months, will largely affect what gets built. (New York Daily News)

Trade Center Developer Is Portrayed in Court as Calculating - Feb 5, 2003
Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the World Trade Center, has fought for the past 17 months with his insurance companies, claiming that there were two terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, requiring a double payment, nearly $7 billion, for the rebuilding effort. But in the latest courtroom skirmish, Silverstein is portrayed in a brief filed yesterday by Swiss Re, the largest of the 23 insurers at the trade center, as coldly choosing a strategy calculated to reap the most money possible from the catastrophe while the ruins of the trade center were still smoldering. (New York Times)

New WTC Finalists Chosen, To Be Announced Later Today - Feb 4, 2003
Redevelopment officials apparently chose finalists for the World Trade Center site Monday night during a three-hour meeting, although they declined to comment on specific details. (Newsday)

Mayor Declines Question On Whether Taylor Should Head LMDC - Feb 4, 2003
Mayor Bloomberg had few words yesterday when asked if his girlfriend - Diana Taylor - should be named the next president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., an idea floated by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. (New York Daily News)

Time to Pick Finalists For Redesign of WTC - Feb 3, 2003
This week, a committee of state, local, Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials will choose two or three finalists from the six remaining teams. They will select a winner sometime this month. Tara Snow, LMDC's vice president for government affairs, said community comments "told us what people thought was important." About 100,000 people have come to see the plans at the Winter Garden exhibit since it opened Dec. 19. There have been 8 million visits to the Web site ( More than 6,000 people wrote down their comments at the exhibit, while another 4,000 registered their views via e-mail. (Newsday)

Victims' Families Criticize Silverstein For Trying To Take Control of WTC Site - Feb 2, 2003
Relatives of those who perished in the World Trade Center terror attack rapped twin towers leaseholder Larry Silverstein yesterday for trying to grab control of the site's rebirth. "It's like throwing a monkey wrench into the works," said Lee Ielpi, who lost his firefighter son, Jonathan. (New York Daily News)

A Bittersweet Honor for a 9/11 Victim - Feb 2, 2003
In a few weeks, Roger and Rosalie Marti will be able to look out the front window of their brick twin home in Glendale, Queens, and see a green and white street sign on the corner that says Michael A. Marti Street. Since the terrorist attack, the City Council is renaming 217 streets after people who died at the World Trade Center, most in Queens and Staten Island. If bereaved families continue putting in requests, there could be more. (New York Times)

Trade Center Leaseholder Says He Has Right to Rebuild as He Wants - Feb 1, 2003
Days before city and state officials are scheduled to narrow the design competition for the World Trade Center site to two architecture teams, Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who holds the lease to the property, charged yesterday that rebuilding officials were ignoring his right to rebuild the site as he sees fit. (New York Times)