Gotham Gazette

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Rebuilding NYC July 2003

Cut in Space at Ground Zero May Bar Home for City Opera - Jul 31, 2003
The floor space available for a performing arts center for ground zero has been reduced by about 20 percent, say officials involved in drawing up the plans, making it harder to build an opera house there. It was this reduction of the available floor space, or footprint, to between 35,000 and 37,000 square feet from some 45,000 square feet in the original Daniel Libeskind plan that led the corporation in charge of the rebuilding effort last week to say there is no room for an opera house at the World Trade Center site. Officials of the New York City Opera, which wants to leave Lincoln Center for downtown, were troubled by the comments; the opera has been talked about as the lead contender for the site's cultural anchor. (New York Times)

Poll Backs Single 9/11 Memorial - Jul 29, 2003
Half of New Yorkers living downtown believe there should be a single memorial at Ground Zero - with no special distinction for slain firefighters and rescue workers, a new poll shows. About 25% favor a memorial that honors everyone who died and "especially identifies the firefighters and rescue workers," according to the survey tobe released today by Pace University. An even smaller group, 21%, says there should be two memorials at the disaster site - one for the rescue workers and one for everyone else who died. (New York Daily News)

Trade Center Is on Track, Downtown Residents Say - Jul 29, 2003
Residents of Lower Manhattan say the effort to rebuild downtown and the World Trade Center is moving in the right direction, and they are generally satisfied with the new design for the World Trade Center site, according to a poll by Pace University released yesterday. But many downtown residents say that some of the power to make decisions about the rebuilding should be in different hands. (New York Times)

Evidence Piles Up At Trial of September 11 Con Man - Jul 29, 2003
The prosecutorial pile-on continued yesterday against an accused Queens con man charged with inventing a son, then scamming $160,000 in charity loot by pretending the son died in the World Trade Center collapse. (New York Post)

Art Groups Want in on Ground Zero Center - Jul 27, 2003
More than 75 cultural institutions, ranging from established city museums to newcomers like the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, want to be part of the arts center being planned for the new World Trade Center site. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is not asking for formal proposals yet, but it invited responses from groups around the world to see what types of institutions are interested, said LMDC spokeswoman Joanna Rose. (Associated Press)

Small WTC Firms Face New Fund Delay - Jul 28, 2003
Small businesses near Ground Zero awarded federal aid to help them rebound from the Sept. 11 attacks won't get the sorely needed money this month as promised. The state Economic Development Corp., which controls the cash, has delayed the payouts again - threatening many of the companies' survival, Crain's New York Business reports. The state has told the 2,000 businesses awaiting grant money that the funds will arrive in August. The companies, most of which applied for the grants right before a Dec. 31, 2002, deadline, were initially told they'd get the cash several months ago. (New York Daily News)

On Terror, Doubts Anew After a Scathing Report - Jul 25, 2003
The report on intelligence failures may force the Bush administration to confront a vexing question that the White House thought it put to rest months ago: how best to prevent another terrorist attack. The findings, providing an even more damning indictment of the intelligence community than many had predicted, are already prompting fresh debate over whether the federal government should create a national intelligence czar or even strip the F.B.I. of its domestic intelligence duties in favor of a wholly new agency. (New York Times)

Plans for 2 Towers Near TriBeCa Raise Concern - Jul 25, 2003
A 35-story residential building is planned for a long-vacant lot two blocks north of the World Trade Center site, and an even taller apartment tower is being considered for the adjacent parcel, leaving residents of the low-lying 19th-century buildings in nearby TriBeCa concerned about crowding. The 35-story building is being designed by Norman Foster, the British architect who, among other projects, remodeled the Reichstag in Berlin and designed London City Hall. (New York Times)

Politicans Seek Recognition for Rescue Workers on 9/11 Memorial - Jul 24, 2003
Democrats in the City Council sought yesterday to increase pressure on Gov. George Pataki to create a separate memorial for emergency officers who died responding to the World Trade Center attack. A non-binding resolution calls on the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to recognize each uniformed rescue worker killed Sept. 11, 2001, with agency, rank, badge number and unit. (Newsday)

Preservation Group Offers Its Own Plan for the Fulton Street Transit Center - Jul 24, 2003
The Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund is acting pre-emptively to ensure that the 114-year-old Corbin Building is not eliminated by plans for the Fulton Street Transit Center, which may take over its site. Instead, the fund is offering a plan of its own, by the inventive firm SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli, that would preserve the Corbin Building's main facades on Broadway and John Streets, with tiers of bold arches, and link the old structure to the new center through a membranous, almost transparent, party wall. (New York Times)

9/11 Congressional Report Faults F.B.I.-C.I.A. Lapses - Jul 24, 2003
The Sept. 11 attacks were preventable, but the plot went undetected because of communications lapses between the F.B.I. and C.I.A., which failed to share intelligence related to two hijackers, a Congressional report to be released on Thursday says. The report, by a joint committee of the House and Senate intelligence panels, found that for nearly two years before the attacks, the Central Intelligence Agency knew about the terror connections between the two men, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhazmi, who in 2000 moved to San Diego, frequenting Muslim circles that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had infiltrated. (New York Times)

Public Hearings Held on WTC Plan - Jul 24, 2003
Plans for rebuilding at the World Trade Center site drew an array of concerns yesterday - from worries that too much was going to be packed onto the 16-acre site to questions about the memorial and even some distress that birds might collide with the proposed new skyscrapers. About 200 people from across the city spoke or listened at public hearings yesterday discussing the environmental impact of the proposed World Trade Center memorial and redevelopment plans in back-to-back public hearings. (Newsday)

Congress Calls for Probe of 9/11 Fund - Jul 24, 2003
Nearly two years after the Sept. 11 attack, a group of congressional leaders is demanding an inquiry into the state's Project Liberty mental health program, charging that officials have failed to distribute millions of dollars in federal funds for counseling and left thousands of traumatized people in need of treatment. (Newsday)

Bus Parking Garage Proposed Near Trade Center - Jul 23, 2003
Hoping to settle a dispute with the families of Sept. 11 victims, officials involved in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan said yesterday that they had found an alternative site to park the buses that will bring tourists to the World Trade Center memorial. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said they had begun discussions with the Battery Park City Authority about building an underground parking garage on an undeveloped parcel of land along West Street between Vesey and Murray Streets. Officials had originally suggested building the garage underneath the memorial, but many of the victims' families objected. (New York Times)

9/11 Payment Issues Are Argued in Appeal - Jul 23, 2003
A small army of lawyers took the long-running battle over insurance claims at the World Trade Center to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit yesterday as they argued over issues that will determine how much money is available for rebuilding the vast commercial complex. Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who controls the World Trade Center lease, has argued that he is entitled to a double payment of nearly $7 billion because two planes hit two towers in what he describes as two separate "occurrences" on Sept. 11. (New York Times)

Affordable Housing in Lower Manhattan Gets $50M Boost - Jul 22, 2003
About $50 million in federal aid will be set aside to add hundreds of new units of affordable housing in lower Manhattan, officials said yesterday. (Newsday)

Planned Tower Is Likely to Stay at Northwestern Corner of Site - Jul 22, 2003
Gov. George Pataki cast doubt yesterday on the possibility that the 1,776-foot tower proposed for the World Trade Center site by Daniel Libeskind will be moved to another location on the property, as has been proposed by Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who will build the tower. In response to a question from a reporter at a news conference in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Pataki said that while rebuilding officials will consider "any alternatives" for the location of the tower, "there's going to have to be a compelling reason" to move the tower or to otherwise disrupt the layout of buildings proposed by Mr. Libeskind. (New York Times)

Arts Groups Hurry Proposals for Ground Zero Cultural Center - Jul 22, 2003
More than 10 well-known New York arts and cultural institutions are working on plans to be part of the new center that will be built at Ground Zero. The proposals, from institutions ranging from off-Broadway theaters to museums, are in response to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.&squot;s recent request for formal expressions of interest from cultural groups that wish to be part of the site. (Crain's New York Business)

WTC Family Leader Leaves Coalition - Jul 22, 2003
The outspoken leader of a group of 9/11 families yesterday angrily pulled out of a powerful coalition of victims' relatives - saying its members had unfairly criticized Gov. Pataki over plans to build on the WTC's "footprints." Monica Iken, founder of September's Mission, ripped leaders of the larger Coalition of 9/11 Families for their "name-calling" of Pataki in a Post story Sunday. In the article, Coalition members said Pataki was "duplicitous" because he broke his promise of protecting the site. (New York Post)

At Helm of Trade Center Site, as He Always Planned to Be - Jul 21, 2003
Last week, Mr. Silverstein's high hopes of early 2001 seemed, if anything, too modest. He emerged victorious in the struggle for control of ground zero, elbowing aside Daniel Libeskind, the architect whose design for the trade center site was chosen by Gov. George E. Pataki. Suddenly he seems to have ascended to the lofty circles occupied by real estate giants with names like Durst, Resnick, Ross, Roth, Rudin and Zuckerman. (New York Times)

9/11 Counseling Still Available From Red Cross - Jul 20, 2003
The American Red Cross wants to make sure those still feeling the effects of September 11, 2001, attacks get the help they need. Volunteers took to the streets Saturday to make sure New York City residents know psychological counseling is still available. As part of a four-week outreach campaign, the volunteers will put up posters in businesses and in high-traffic areas. (NY1)

A Waterfall at the WTC? - Jul 21, 2003
Far from some quixotic idea, a 150-foot waterfall facing the WTC memorial area is part of the approved site plan by architect DanielLibeskind. It is without a doubt the largest, least-talked-about aspect of the Libeskind scheme. (Downtown Express)

Where the WTC stands: Financing clouds original vision - Jul 19, 2003
Three months ago, Gov. Pataki stood before business leaders in lower Manhattan and set an aggressive timetable for rebuilding Ground Zero. He wanted architects to begin designing Daniel Libeskind's 1,776-foot spire by this month. The steel for the tower would be in place by Sept. 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the attacks. Pataki acknowledged the goals would be tough to meet. Here's a rundown of where things stand and what major decisions lie ahead: (New York Daily News)

9/11 Kin Rip PATH For 'Tainting' Holy Ground - Jul 20, 2003
A group representing 9/11 victims' families says Gov. Pataki has allowed construction on the footprints of the Twin Towers and wants Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton to sponsor a federal law to prevent further "desecration" of the World Trade Center site. (New York Post)

WTC Counseling Program Makes Push - Jul 18, 2003
Organizers of a program that provides counseling to people affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks said Friday they are boosting their efforts to publicize the program. (Newsday)

Libeskinds Get A Raise - Jul 18, 2003
Ground Zero architect Daniel Libeskind and his wife and partner, Nina, just got a hefty raise. Under a contract signed last week to refine his master plan for the World Trade Center site, Libeskind is charging the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. $300 an hour ‹ up $25 from his previous rate. (New York Post)

DA: Man Concocted Dead Son For 9/11 Scam - Jul 18, 2003
An employee of the American Red Cross testified yesterday that the charity gave a Queens man more than $132,000 for living expenses and counseling after his son went missing in the World Trade Center terrorist attack - a son who prosecutors allege never existed. (Newsday)

Compromise to Build On; Developer Gets His Say in Ground Zero Design - Jul 17, 2003
Larry A. Silverstein was not in the room as the two renowned architects, Daniel Libeskind and David M. Childs, worked out an agreement early yesterday morning to collaborate on the design of the 1,776-foot tower that will be the first office building to rise at the World Trade Center site. But Mr. Silverstein, the developer of the site, nevertheless secured the right to put his imprint on the Lower Manhattan skyline when rebuilding officials agreed to appoint Mr. Childs, his handpicked architect, as the lead designer and project manager on the tower. (New York Times)

5,200 Have Designs on WTC Memorial - Jul 17, 2003
The competition for the World Trade Center memorial attracted 5,200 submissions from 62 nations and every state except Alaska, making it the largest design competition in history, development officials said today. (Newsday)

Architects Will Now Have to Reconcile Clashing Visions - Jul 17, 2003
The two world-class architects who shook hands yesterday over plans to design the world's tallest building at Ground Zero now have to face the hard part - figuring out a way to reconcile their clashing visions for the site's iconic tower. (New York Post)

A Profile of Architect David Childs - Jul 17, 2003
At the height of his career, architect David Childs is a free spirit trapped in a corporate suit, friends say. On the one hand, the man who will design the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero would like to create buildings in his own style. On the other, he can't bring himself to leave Skidmore Owings & Merrill, one of the nation's most powerful architectural firms. (New York Post)

Developer Wants 9/11 Bonds for Times's Project in Midtown - Jul 17, 2003
The New York Times Company's development partner in building the newspaper's new headquarters on Eighth Avenue has asked city officials for $400 million in tax-exempt bonds that were designated for rebuilding New York after the attack on the World Trade Center. The developer, Forest City Ratner, has told city and state officials that it needs the special federal financing, known as Liberty Bonds, because it is nearly impossible in the current economic environment to obtain a conventional construction loan for its portion of the planned 52-story tower. (New York Times)

Why Top Architects Skipped 9/11 Memorial Contest - Jul 17, 2003
Many of the people most qualified to design a memorial at ground zero Ñ eminent architects Ñ didnÕt even bother to try out for the opportunity to commemorate the September 11 victims. Renowned architects from Frank Gehry, who created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, to Bernard Tschumi, who designed ParisÕ Parc de la Villette and Columbia UniversityÕs Alfred Lerner Hall, to Richard Meier, who designed the Getty Center, didnÕt submit plans in the Lower Manhattan Development CorporationÕs ongoing memorial contest. Architects say they avoided the biggest memorial design contest ever because Daniel LibeskindÕs master plan proved constraining to people used to leading creative efforts. (New York Sun)

Officials Reach Agreement on Rebuilding Downtown - Jul 16, 2003
The architect with the winning design for the World Trade Center site and the developer who will rebuild the office space there agreed early this morning to collaborate on the design and construction of the 1,776-foot tower that will anchor the redeveloped site both on the ground and in the Lower Manhattan skyline. The agreement between the architect, Daniel Libeskind, and the developer, Larry A. Silverstein, came during an eight-hour negotiating session that stretched from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. (New York Times)

Low-key Tribute Likely for 9/11 Anniversary - Jul 16, 2003
The second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will be commemorated in New York - but the tribute likely will be more subdued than last year's. State and city officials are beginning to prepare for Sept. 11, and will meet privately today with victims' families to gather ideas. Officials have held a handful of meetings in the last few weeks to discuss how to observe the solemn day. Several sources acknowledged that this year's tribute probably will be less ambitious than last year's. The first anniversary of the attacks were marked with a morning ceremony at Ground Zero attended by thousands and with coordinated evening activities in all five boroughs. (New York Daily News)

Libeskind Secures Architect's Licence - Jul 16, 2003
Daniel Libeskind has already secured what has been called "the commission of the century." He has the plans, the contracts to carry them out and the backing of important patrons, from Gov. George E. Pataki on down. And now, Mr. Libeskind has one more thing that could help him make his vision for the World Trade Center site a reality: an architect's license. (New York Times)

Architect and Developer Clash Over Plans for Trade Center Site - Jul 15, 2003
With pressure increasing to begin the rebuilding at ground zero, the architect with the winning design for the World Trade Center site plans to meet today with representatives of the developer to try to resolve clashing visions of what will be built. The meeting between the architect, Daniel Libeskind, and senior aides to the developer, Larry A. Silverstein, is the latest attempt by rebuilding officials to force an agreement over the future of the site and the degree of Mr. Libeskind's influence in the design and placement of the commercial office buildings there. (New York Times)

Officials Favor Larger Site for Trade Center Complex - Jul 15, 2003
ruggling to solve an urban-planning Rubik's Cube, the Port Authority is now inclined to expand the World Trade Center redevelopment site to the south by acquiring the property on which the doomed Deutsche Bank tower stands. Since planning began last year, it has never been clear how the trade center superblock alone could comfortably accommodate 10 million square feet of commercial space Ă‘ roughly what used to be there Ă‘ and also provide room for a memorial, transportation and cultural centers, new streets, shops and the space and infrastructure below ground needed to make it work. (New York Times)

At Ground Zero, Greenwich Street Will Be Restored, but Looking Thinner - Jul 13, 2003
After the destruction of the World Trade Center, the opportunity arose Ă‘ and was embraced by many community leaders and city planners Ă‘ to reopen Greenwich Street for the missing five-block length. The result was described as a planning victory. But it turns out that the new Greenwich Street will actually be 60 feet wide between Vesey and Barclay Streets. And 7 World Trade Center will be 171 feet wide, 11 feet wider than the buildings that occupied the block until the 60's. (New York Times)

Rebuilding Officials Consider Cutting Amount of Office Space at Ground Zero - Jul 11, 2003
Development officials are considering slashing the amount of office space to be built at Ground Zero Ă‘ reopening a potentially rancorous debate over one of the key issues at the World Trade Center site, sources told The Post. The Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. are weighing a 20 percent reduction Ă‘ placing some 8 million square feet of office space at the trade center site instead of the 10 million square feet destroyed on 9/11. Sources said even some top officials at the PA who had fought against scaling back the office space now realize the site can't hold 10 million square feet. (New York Post)

Bill Extends Deadline For 9/11 Suits - Jul 8, 2003
Relatives of those killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center will have an extra six months to file wrongful death suits under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. George Pataki. The measure extends the two-year statute of limitations for filing suits, previously set to expire Sept. 11, 2003, to March 11, 2004. The bill was approved by the Legislature before it completed its regular 2003 session last month. (Newsday)

Judge Says Police Are ÔHeavy HandedÕ On Park Row - Jul 10, 2003
A state judge said the city appears to have closed down more streets than necessary to secure the area around police headquarters and has taken Òa very, very heavy-handed approachÓ with people living nearby. The judge however also said he doesnÕt think there is much he can do about it under the law. Ò[The] city has [secured] aÉgreater area than apparently is necessary to provide security for One Police Plaza,Ó said State Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub at a court hearing June 27. (Downtown Express)

Downtown Divided Over West St. - Jul 1, 2003
The State Dept. of Transportation last week released new details about the proposal to build an $860 million tunnel under West St. while downtowners remained divided over whether it is the best option for the six-lane roadway. A recent poll of lower Manhattan residents showed that people living in Battery Park City were the most likely to say they were against building the tunnel, 42 percent, but a third of the residents either said building the vehicular tunnel between Vesey and Liberty Sts. is very important or should be a top priority. (Downtown Express)

9/11 Commission Says U.S. Agencies Slow Its Inquiry - Jul 9, 2003
The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks said today that its work was being hampered by the failure of executive branch agencies, especially the Pentagon and the Justice Department, to respond quickly to requests for documents and testimony. (New York Times)

Relatives Say Plans Infringe on Twin Towers' Footprints - Jul 9, 2003
Several structures now being built within the excavated World Trade Center site encroach on the footprints of the former twin towers, a development that has drawn the ire of a group of relatives of people killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Many victims' relatives view those areas as sacred representations of where their loved ones died and want it free from any new development Ă‘ a position that has been embraced, at least in part, by Gov. George E. Pataki and other rebuilding officials. (New York Times)

Chinatown Struggles To Overcome Triple Blow - Jul 9, 2003
In Chinatown, a series of random blows has struck in recent months. First came the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, which led to a lockdown for rescue efforts that sealed off the neighborhood's narrow and usually crowded streets. Then, the economic downturn and war in Iraq took their toll on businesses. The neighborhood took another hit this spring when the SARS virus began spreading to other parts of the world from the Far East and visitors to Chinatown started staying away yet again. (Newsday)

Coalition Urges Memorial Panel to Ignore the Rules - Jul 9, 2003
Some relatives of World Trade Center victims want the panel choosing plans for a permanent Ground Zero memorial to think a little outside the boxes. The Coalition of 9/11 Families mailed letters to all 13 jurors on the committee, asking them to allow for a tribute that exceeds the guidelines set out for judging ideas submitted for the tribute. (New York Daily News)

Former Windows on the World Workers Hope to Open New Restaurant - Jul 9, 2003
Former workers at the World Trade Center establishment Windows on the World hope to open their own restaurant, tentatively titled Windows on TriBeCa, within sight of ground zero. (New York Times)

Outdoor Cafe Plans For Former Cab Area - Jul 8, 2003
A former Grand Central Terminal taxi pickup area - shut down after 9/11 because of security concerns - will be converted to an outdoor cafe area in mid-July, following a sprucing-up, MTA officials said yesterday. (Newsday)

A Signal of Rebirth Downtown - Jul 8, 2003
The fanfare will come another day. So, too, the speeches and ribbon cuttings. For now, let it be noted that the horizon at ground zero has been broken for the first time since the ruins of the World Trade Center were hauled away. Two slender 60-foot-tall structures Ă‘ twins, really Ă‘ stand today like sentinels at the foot of Fulton Street, forming a new gateway to the site. (New York Times)

9/11 party gets raided - Jul 8, 2003
Dozens of cops descended on Rockaway Beach on the Fourth of July and broke up a fund-raiser for memorials to 9/11 victims, angry partygoers charged yesterday. (New York Daily News)

FEMA Closes Temporary Office In Lower Manhattan - Jul 7, 2003
The Federal Emergency Management Agency office in Lower Manhattan that administered aid following the World Trade Center attack is closing Monday. (NY1)

Bikers On Their Way Upstate In Ground Zero Independence Ride - Jul 5, 2003
Bikers were off to an early start for the "Second Annual Ground Zero Independence Ride." The ride reunites construction workers and union members who worked side by side for 10-months during rescue and recovery operations at the site. (NY1)

WTC Family Members Debate Where To Put Bus Depot - Jul 3, 2003
A memorial at the World Trade Center site is expected to attract millions of visitors from all over the world each year, and the question of where to house tourist buses they'll use to get there has some family members offering alternatives. (NY1)

Graffitied WTC Panels Removed - Jul 3, 2003
Panels detailing the history of the World Trade Center site, defaced by graffiti, were removed from the fence surrounding Ground Zero Friday. Replacement panels should be in place before Labor Day, in a higher position on the fence than before, according to Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman. (Newsday)

WTC Graffiti Fix Still On Hold - Jul 3, 2003
Weeks after the Port Authority vowed to replace vandalized panels describing the twin towers' history, the tribute is still marred with graffiti messages - some well-meaning, some crude - from Ground Zero visitors. (New York Daily News)

Trade center beam begins journey to North Carolina - Jul 3, 2003
Firefighters dedicated a 3,000-pound beam from the World Trade Center on Thursday and sent it by convoy to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where it will become the centerpiece of a Sept. 11 memorial in a July Fourth ceremony. (Newsday)

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