Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Rebuilding NYC May 2003

13,000 Register For WTC Memorial Contest - May 31, 2003
Some 13,683 people registered for the trade center memorial competition, coming from all 50 states and 94 countries, redevelopment officials said Friday. The competition has attracted the largest number of registrants for a design competition in history, although it remains to be seen how many people submit designs for a memorial, said Kevin Rampe, interim president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (Newsday)

Memorial Jury to Decide How to List 9/11 Rescuers - May 31, 2003
A Top rebuilding official said yesterday that the guidelines for the World Trade Center memorial were flexible enough to allow the professional affiliations of firefighters and other rescue workers to be listed on it with their names, if the memorial jury chose a design that did so. The issue has been the subject of aggressive lobbying and demonstrations by firefighters and other rescue workers in recent weeks. While some firefighters have campaigned for a separate memorial for rescue workers, a larger number have asked that "F.D.N.Y." or other such affiliations be listed with the names of rescue workers who were killed at the trade center. (New York Times)

Panel to Decide on a 9/11 Separate Memorial - May 31, 2003
Firefighters battling to have fallen rescue workers singled out in a Ground Zero memorial to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks got a glimmer of hope yesterday when a key official said the decision will be left to a "memorial jury." Lower Manhattan Development Corp. interim President Kevin Rampe said a 13-member panel, not the LMDC, will decide whether firefighters, cops and ambulance workers who died Sept. 11 are distinguished from others. (New York Daily News)

Libeskind: I Won't Be Pushed Out of WTC Project - May 31, 2003
The architect who designed the plan to rebuild at Ground Zero lobbed a shot yesterday at twin towers leaseholder Larry Silverstein, saying he's not going to be pushed out of the project. Daniel Libeskind spoke a day after Silverstein said that a different architect will take the lead in designing the 1,776-foot spire at the northeast end of Ground Zero, a signature element of the Libeskind plan. (New York Daily News)

Families Wait for Remains - May 31, 2003
One year after the official cleanup was ended at the World Trade Center site, about 1,300 families are still waiting for the remains of their loved ones to come home. (Associated Press)

Leaseholder Sees Limited Role for Libeskind at Trade Center - May 30, 2003
Larry A. Silverstein, the leaseholder of the World Trade Center site, said yesterday that Studio Daniel Libeskind would inspire but not actually design the office buildings he is planning there, including Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot skyscraper that is expected to be the first to rise. Mr. Silverstein has been talking with other renowned architects, among them Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Foster & Partners; and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. But he said no decision had been reached and declined to discuss any of his prospective choices. (New York Times)

Jury for Sept. 11 Memorial Is Facing Spirited Lobbying - May 30, 2003
An intense lobbying effort is under way, both in public and behind the scenes, to influence the jury that will choose the design for a memorial at the World Trade Center site. A group of family members of victims of the Sept. 11 attack that serves as an advisory council to rebuilding officials met with the jury this week. Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has been promised a similar private session. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Gov. George E. Pataki and board members of the lead rebuilding agency will also be offered meetings with the jury. Publicly, firefighters, downtown residents and business leaders have begun to push to have their desires represented in the memorial. (New York Times)

9/11 Fraud Pleads Guilty - May 30, 2003
A 31-year-old man yesterday pleaded guilty to swindling thousands of dollars earmarked for people committed to staying in lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. (New York Post)

Firefighters Insist WTC Memorial List Uniform Affiliations - May 29, 2003
Hundreds of firefighters and their relatives packed a public hearing last night in Manhattan to demand special recognition for firefighters and other uniformed personnel in any World Trade Center site memorial. Their pleas for listing the affiliation of each of the more than 400 uniformed services members who died on Sept. 11 dominated the hearing at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. (Newsday)

At Public Hearing, 150 Rally for Special 9/11 Memorial - May 29, 2003
Chanting "Never Forget," nearly 150 firefighters rallied outside a public hearing in Tribeca last night where officials met to take suggestions for a permanent Ground Zero memorial. The firefighters' anger centers on a decision by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. that the memorial not distinguish between civilians and rescuers. (New York Daily News)

TV Stations to Put Antennas on New Ground Zero Tower - May 29, 2003
The 1,776-foot Freedom Tower planned at the World Trade Center site is meant to send a signal of resilience to the world. Now it will also be designed to send signals of another kind to households from the New Jersey Shore to the end of Long Island to Fairfield County, Conn. Specifically, Channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 31, 41, 47 and 68. On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Television Alliance signed an agreement with Larry A. Silverstein, the leaseholder and developer at the trade center site, to install as many as 22 antennas atop Freedom Tower, to be completed in 2008. (New York Times)

M.T.A. Projects Threatened by Federal Money Changes - May 29, 2003
New York could lose $300 million a year in federal transportation money, an amount that could threaten subway maintenance and expansion projects like the proposed Second Avenue Station, according to a report by researchers at New York University. The report, to be published today, analyzes a proposal made in Congress last week by the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas. The proposal seeks to alter the way federal transportation money garnered from gasoline taxes and other sources is divided among the states. (New York Times)

Poll: Residents Don't Like Libeskind Plan - May 28, 2003
More than half the people living near Ground Zero don't like the plan for a sunken memorial area at the World Trade Center site, a poll released yesterday shows. Fifty-one percent turned thumbs down on architect Daniel Libeskind's winning design, according to the poll commissioned by a coalition of downtown civic leaders called Downtown Rebuilds. (New York Daily News)

Tower's Leaseholder Is Suing Cantor Fitzgerald for Rent - May 28, 2003
The company that held the lease on 1 World Trade Center before terrorists destroyed the building on Sept. 11, 2001, is suing a former tenant, Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, for more than $1 million in back rent. The leaseholder, 1 World Trade Center L.L.C., a company controlled by the real estate developer Larry A. Silverstein, says in court papers that Cantor Fitzgerald, which occupied floors near the top of 1 World Trade Center, owes $1,027,685.96 in rent from Aug. 1 through Sept. 10, 2001. (Associated Press)

Downtown Favors West St. Tunnel, Poll Says - May 28, 2003
Most people living in Battery Park City think building a short tunnel under West St. is at least somewhat important if not a top priority, according to a new poll of Lower Manhattan residents. (Downtown Express)

Greening of Lower Manhattan With $25 Million Grant to City - May 28, 2003
A carousel is planned for the Battery Park Bosque. A new park will spring from rutted asphalt at a bustling corner along Canal Street. Synthetic turf or natural grass will spread over concrete in several playgrounds. In all, city officials announced yesterday, at least 13 green or recreational spaces south of Canal Street will get a makeover or be created under a $25 million grant to the city from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. (New York Times)

Millions in 9/11 Trauma Aid Unspent - May 27, 2003
An unprecedented federal crisis counseling program set up to help New Yorkers cope with the Sept.11 attacks has yet to spend roughly $90 million - more than half the money earmarked for the free care. The tens of millions sit unspent as the state and city battle budget shortfalls and struggle to pay for myriad expenses related to the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Daily News)

A Roundup of WTC Rebuilding Developments - May 25, 2003
A year after workers finished the cleanup at the World Trade Center site, the rebuilding of Ground Zero has picked up an architect, official support from political leaders, much momentum as well as some delays in insurance payouts Ă‘ and hopes that some office buildings along the perimeter may reopen. (Newsday)

High Terror Alert Raises Concerns About Mass Transit Safety - May 22, 2003
The city is under high terror alert. The MTA is without a counter-terrorism director. Subway workers say supervisors have instructed them to run and leave passengers behind in the event of an attack. From transit-union fears over the safety impact of station-booth closings to the latest revelations emerging from the firing of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's anti-terror chiefs, questions about preparedness have critics wondering if the system is as ready as it could be. (Newsday)

Space Questions About W.T.C. - May 22, 2003
Daniel LibeskindÕs design for the World Trade Center site has been praised for creating a large public square at the Wedge of Light, but the proposed plaza will be much smaller than it appears on some diagrams once you allow for vehicles to run through the plaza at Fulton St., according to some. (Downtown Express)

NYPD Steps Up Security Measures - May 21, 2003
The NYPD, acting on a FBI warning that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil is "likely," Tuesday stepped up its presence on the streets, posting more cops at bridges and tunnels and keeping closer watch on landmarks buildings, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. (Newsday)

Survey: Residents Will Stay Despite 9/11 - May 21, 2003
With a new poll finding that 78 percent of downtown residents plan to stay in lower Manhattan, they said their neighborhood must improve to keep them there. While about 42 percent of lower Manhattan residents living below Canal Street rated the overall quality of life as "excellent" prior to Sept. 11, 2001, that number dropped to 14 percent when the poll was conducted two weeks ago, according to a Blum & Weprin Associates poll released Tuesday. (Newsday)

Unions Use 9/11 Defense - May 21, 2003
City union leaders said yesterday the city's workforce should not be blamed for the soaring cost of fringe benefits, and cited the Sept. 11 terror attacks among the causes. (New York Post)

Civil Service Exam Bonus Is Resisted for 9/11 Siblings - May 21, 2003
Last year the State Legislature passed a law granting an advantage on the Civil Service examinations to the children of firefighters and police officers who died in the Sept. 11 attack. The city, eager to offer concrete help to victims' families, supported the bill, as did the fire and police unions. Now the State Senate is reviewing another bill, already passed by the Assembly, to extend the advantage -- 10 points out of 100 -- to the siblings of those who died. But this time the city has opposed the measure, and while the largest police union supports it, the two fire unions, whose members suffered by far the greater losses in the attack, have refused to take a position. (New York Times)

Silverstein Angling for 5th Tower on Site - May 20, 2003
Developer Larry Silverstein is pushing to overhaul the official vision of Ground Zero so another office tower can be squeezed onto the site, sources said yesterday. Silverstein's back-room campaign began more than a week ago and ran into immediate opposition from some rebuilding officials, sources said. (New York Daily News)

WTC Children To Create Art Work - May 20, 2003
Children of World Trade Center victims will create artworks that will be stitched together and displayed at schools and museums around the country, officials announced Monday. The "Art for Heart" program was the brainchild of Ali Millard, the 16-year-old stepdaughter of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive director Neil Levin, who died at the trade center. (Associated Press)

9/11 Families Weigh Lawsuit Options - May 18, 2003
More than 75% of those eligible for death benefits from the 9/11 victim's compensation fund- about 2,160 families - are taking a wait-and-see attitude, with the application deadline more than seven months away. They are on an unusual fence, with one of two options under fund rules: go with the fund or file a wrongful-death suit against the airlines, the Port Authority, airport security companies and others. (New York Daily News)

City Opposing WTC Benefits Bill - May 17, 2003
The city is opposing a bill that would make it easier for employees who participated in Sept. 11 rescue, recovery or cleanup efforts to qualify for accidental-disability benefits. The legislation provides that any disability resulting from a specified illness contracted by a 9/11 worker - even in the future - be presumed to have been caused by an accident in performance of duty. (New York Post)

A Sign May Cast a Somber Shadow Over a Memorial - May 18, 2003
According to artist Patrick Clark, a new pharmacy under construction at Beach Channel Drive and Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park would hold a rooftop sign so large and brightly lighted that it would dominate and cheapen a 9/11 memorial that Clark is designing for a small city park across the street. (New York Times)

Official Puts Cost of Rebuilding Ground Zero at $10 Billion - May 16, 2003
Rebuilding the World Trade Center site will cost roughly $10 billion, with two-thirds of that paying for the office, cultural and transportation buildings envisioned in the architect Daniel Libeskind's design, a top rebuilding official said yesterday. The rest of the money will be for architectural and engineering fees, insurance, administration costs and legal fees and other costs, according to the official, Andrew Winters. (New York Times)

Print Friendly and PDF

Editor's Choice

Gotham Gazette: New York Voters Approve $4.2 Billion Environmental Bond Act
New York Voters Approve $4.2 Billion Environmental Bond Act
Gotham Gazette: 
New York City Voters Approve Racial Justice Ballot Measures
New York City Voters Approve Racial Justice Ballot Measures
Gotham Gazette: Max Politics Podcast: A Winning Formula for Democrats in Tough New York Races
Max Politics Podcast: A Winning Formula for Democrats in Tough New York Races
Gotham Gazette: Max Politics Podcast Max Politics Podcast