Governor George E. Pataki today announced major new milestones in the rebuilding effort of the World Trade Center site and Lower Manhattan. By the end of the year, schematic design on the memorial will be complete, work on three new transportation projects will commence, and the environmental review for the Long Island/JFK rail link will be underway. In the spring, concrete and steel for the Freedom Tower will arrive, and in the summer, the groundbreaking on the World Trade Center Transportation hub will take place, and a new celebration will be launched featuring the future World Trade Center cultural institutions.
Speaking at an Association for a Better New York luncheon at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City, the Governor also detailed priorities for the remaining funds of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and called on the LMDC to work with the City and State and create a comprehensive overall allocation plan for funding by March of 2005.
"We are well on the way to not only rebuilding this region, but to making it shine like never before. When our work is done, Lower Manhattan will be a showcase of freedom and a tribute to human dignity, a national treasure and a gift to the world," Governor Pataki said. "The memorial will be the centerpiece and our first priority in the rebuilding effort."
Creation of the World Trade Center Memorial, Memorial Center and Memorial Foundation
The Governor announced that the schematic design for the memorial, "Reflecting Absence," will be complete by the end of the year. The schematic design will specify the experience a visitor will have at the memorial when it opens in 2009. He also announced the selection of Davis Brody Bond LLP as the design architect for the below ground Memorial Center that will tell the stories of September 11th and Snohetta as the architect for the above ground portions of the Memorial Center.
Howard/Revis Design has also been selected as the curator for the Memorial Center and will help develop the museum’s content. Howard/Revis Design has designed exhibits for leading institutions such as the United States Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. The Memorial Center’s design will be complete in May of next year.
The Governor detailed aspects of the memorial including the ability for families to descend to bedrock and touch the bedrock as they have every anniversary of the horrific attacks of September 11th. The Governor also announced that next week, he and the Mayor, and John C. Whitehead will name the members of the Board of Directors for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all pledged their support for the Foundation and will serve as Honorary Members.
Creation of Cultural Complex on Track, New Celebration Coming to Lower Manhattan
"One of the most important aspects of the rebuilding is the construction of a new cultural complex at the World Trade Center site. In June, we selected four exciting cultural institutions to occupy two grand buildings at the site. These buildings will stand as a symbol of the enduring grace and goodness of humanity—even in the face of terror and tragedy," said Governor Pataki.
The Joyce International Dance Center and the Signature Theatre will occupy the Performing Arts Center that Gehry Partners LLP has been selected to design and the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center will occupy the Museum Complex which Snohetta has been selected to design. Already the institutions are making significant strides in planning their new facilities and activities. The Joyce has assembled some of the nation’s finest choreographers to aid in the creation of the theater. Similarly the Signature Theatre Company has begun holding design workshops with esteemed theater practitioners. The Drawing Center has traveled to Norway to view the works of Snohetta and the International Freedom Center has extracted lessons from a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Museum and formed a committee of leaders, journalists and scholars to assist them in their efforts.
The Governor also unveiled plans for the creation of a new annual cultural celebration featuring the four cultural institutions. This celebration will be a new addition to the "River to River Festival" and begin next summer.
"This new celebration—which we’ll inaugurate this summer in such forums as Battery Park and Federal Hall—will give us a taste of what we have to look forward to once the cultural complex is complete," said Governor Pataki.
LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe said, "The Signature Theatre, Joyce, International Freedom Center and Drawing Center have already made tremendous progress throughout the planning phase. We are excited to introduce these institutions to the Lower Manhattan community through the new annual addition to the River to River Festival and we look forward to revealing the plans for their new buildings that Frank Gehry and Snohetta are hard at work designing."
Sets Funding Priorities – Calls for Funds to Restore Fiterman Hall and Complete Hudson River Park
"As we continue to rebuild and revitalize, we’ll face difficult choices from diverging interests, but today, I will lay out a plan that shows we don’t have to compete with each other in Lower Manhattan – or with any other part of Manhattan," the Governor said.
The Governor laid out priorities for the remaining LMDC funds including ensuring that we have all the resources to necessary to build the memorial, funds to rebuild the World Trade Center site – in particular the cultural spaces and public infrastructure. He also prioritized funding to fulfill our transportation needs, restore and revitalize damaged facilities including Fiterman Hall, as well as complete Hudson River Park. The Governor also directed the LMDC to work with the City and the State to create a final plan for how its remaining funds will be spent by March of 2005.
Update on Construction of the Freedom Tower and World Trade Center 7 Progress
"On July 4th we laid the cornerstone as promised. The original stone was placed deep inside the trade center and I am pleased to announce a replica of this stone will be created. The replica will be on display at ground level – for the public to see – and has also been incorporated into the final plans for the Freedom Tower, so that for years to come, it can serve as a visible reminder of our resolve to build a new symbol of American strength and confidence," said Governor Pataki.
The replica stone will be on display at ground level of the World Trade Center site for the public to see and will be incorporated into the final plans for the Freedom Tower. The Governor also laid out new milestones in the creation of the tallest tower in the world, the 1776 foot Freedom Tower. In February of 2005, excavation reaching depths of 25 feet into solid bedrock will begin and by April, steel and concrete will arrive on the site for construction, and in 2005,the below grade slabs and tower columns will begin to rise off the foundation level and climb into the air.
Transportation Transformation on Schedule
"A successful rebuilding plan demands that we revamp our transportation system, not only to repair the damage sustained by the attacks, but to help benefit Lower Manhattan economically," said Governor Pataki. "By bringing this antiquated system into the 21st century, we will help tie this community to the rest of the city, to the metropolitan area, and indeed, to business people, tourists, and travelers across the globe."
The Governor announced major