The World Trade Center Memorial and Redevelopment Plan Programmatic Agreement, dated April 22, 2004, among the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (“LMDC”), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the New York State Historic Preservation Office (“Programmatic Agreement”) governs the mitigation of any adverse effects of the World Trade Center Memorial and Redevelopment Plan on historic resources. Pursuant to the Programmatic Agreement, on August 22, 2007, LMDC distributed to the consulting parties to the Programmatic Agreement (“Consulting Parties”) a proposed final mitigation plan (“Proposed Final Mitigation Plan”) to minimize adverse effects on the remaining portions of the former stairway and escalator support at Greenwich and Vesey Streets (“Vesey Street Stair Remnant”) identified on Exhibit F of the Programmatic Agreement. At the same time, LMDC provided written notice of a meeting of the Consulting Parties on September 5, 2007 to review oral comments on the Proposed Final Mitigation Plan and a further opportunity for written comments on that Plan to conclude on September 21, 2007. The Proposed Final Mitigation Plan provided for permanent display of the full run of stairs from the Vesey Street Stair Remnant in a prominent location within the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center (formerly, World Trade Center Memorial Foundation) (the “Museum”).
After consideration of all comments made at the September 5, 2007 meeting and submitted during the comment period, LMDC made minor changes to the Proposed Final Mitigation Plan and developed this Final Mitigation Plan for Adverse Effects on the Vesey Street Stair Remnant (“Final Mitigation Plan”). As planning for the timing of the extraction and installation of the resource has progressed, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (“Port Authority”) has identified a potential temporary storage location on the World Trade Center site (“WTC Site”). Accordingly, the Final Mitigation Plan states that the run of stairs and “connector plate” at the top of the stairs will be stored on or in the immediate vicinity of the WTC Site during the construction period if such storage is feasible. In addition, the Final Mitigation Plan now indicates that portions of the “connector plate” will be installed on the Memorial Plaza in an area dedicated to survivors in proximity to the “Surviving Tree,” if such installation is feasible. Other revisions also clarify the roles of the Port Authority and Museum in carrying out the mitigation plan.
This Final Mitigation Plan will be posted on LMDC’s web site (www.renewnyc.com), distributed to the Consulting Parties, and transmitted to the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Final Mitigation Plan
LMDC shall facilitate and ensure that Port Authority and Museum will cooperate and engage appropriate consultants to: (1) extract intact and move the entire run of stairs and the “connector plate” at the top of the stairs; (2) store these elements on or in the immediate vicinity of the WTC Site until such time as they can be installed in their permanent locations, if such storage is feasible, and if such storage of any of these elements is not feasible, store those elements at Hangar 17; (3) return and install intact the run of stairs and a portion of the “connector plate” in the Museum in a central location between the grand staircase and escalator system leading down to bedrock, in a manner that ensures that visitors will be able to view the staircase as they descend down the grand staircase or escalator; (4) provide for meaningful incorporation of the story and significance of the staircase, and, if feasible, including part of the “connector plate,” within the “primary narrative” of the Museum; (5) return a portion of the “connector plate” to the at-grade Memorial Plaza along with interpretive signage in an area dedicated to survivors in proximity to the “Surviving Tree,” if feasible; and (6) maintain archival black and white photographic documentation of the staircase and additional photographic and video documentation of the staircase.
LMDC believes that this Final Mitigation Plan will allow for permanent display of the character-defining elements of the Vesey Street Stair Remnant in a setting that will acknowledge and convey the importance of the resource. The Plan ensures that the remnant will form an integral part of the entire Memorial and Museum experience. LMDC also believes, based on its extensive review and its consultation with the Consulting Parties, that this Final Mitigation Plan constitutes reasonable and practicable steps to minimize or mitigate adverse effects to the degree consistent with the World Trade Center Memorial and Redevelopment Plan, sound engineering practice and relevant construction considerations, and is in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Programmatic Agreement.