The World Trade Center site, September 2009
The National 9/11 Memorial and 1 and 4 World Trade Center (WTC) towers are three of the multiple components helping transform the WTC site’s 16 acres. But rebuilding work -- from parks and infrastructure, to transit upgrades and building rehabilitations -- also is thriving throughout Lower Manhattan. Over the past year, public and private projects and initiatives have brought steady improvements to the local landscape and strengthened the downtown community.
To highlight some of the work that’s been done over the past year, LowerManhattan.info has compiled the following rebuilding milestones. For a full timeline of the progress made downtown over the past few years, click here.
- With LMDC funding, ground was broken on the $3.3 million triangular CaVaLa Park -- bringing a half acre of lawns, ornamental plantings, benches, decorative pavements, trees, and a large sculptural water feature to north Tribeca.
- Building on a 2007 report of September 11th–related health recommendations, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to expand medical- and mental-health treatment options for those suffering from the effects of 9/11. The “9/11 health agenda” is the city’s response to Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11, a report issued last year by the researchers and physicians of the WTC Medical Working group.
- Construction of the new kindergarten through eighth-grade school began at 55 Battery Place in Battery Park City, built under the New York City School Construction Authority’s Green Schools Guide. The future PS/IS 276 will be an eight-story “high-rise” school with space for 950 students. It is planned to open for the 2010 school year.
- Final funding was secured to demolish Fiterman Hall. Mayor Bloomberg, along with several other local officials, announced that the city committed $139 million to the deconstruction project, which has a total cost of $325 million; the difference comes from the state, federal government, and insurance claims.
- City crews began removing the large sculptures at Louise Nevelson Plaza, located at William and Liberty, as part of the Liberty Street Reconstruction project. The city Design Commission approved the plan for the steel sculptures’ removal and preservation, including use of a crane to lift them out, while the plaza and underground utilities are rebuilt.
- On November 25th, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly sat with Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Falkenrath to outline the department’s “Lower Manhattan Security Initiative,” a $100 million anti-terrorism plan, for Community Board 1.
- Speaking at the Center for Architecture on December 8th, planners from Silverstein Properties, Maki and Associates, and Peter Walker Partners gathered for “Ground Floor at the World Trade Center.” The discussion explained the effort to create a respectful, non-commercial space along the restored Greenwich Street, which borders the National 9/11 Memorial, and a welcoming urban streetscape with a retail frontage along Church Street.
- Speaking to Community Board 1, LMCCC Executive Director Robert Harvey said that his agency has helped save the state and city $257 million in logistics and utility work since 2004 -- including everything from permit procurement, contractor coordination, and easing trucking and delivery delays. He presented two new 2009 outlook maps, one that charts downtown street-reconstruction projects, and one noting which projects will begin, continue, or end in the new year, and touched on some of the new downtown project timelines, such as the Port Authority’s WTC rebuilding “Road Map.”
- Since spring 2008, the LMDC has begun distributing $5 million in grants to small businesses adversely affected by public construction downtown. The “Small Firm Assistance Program” grants compensate small firms for revenues lost during street closures related to publicly-funded projects south of Canal Street.
- The MTA begins rehabilitating the R/W Cortlandt Street station as part of the Fulton Street Transit Center construction. Crews are working to stabilize train tracks, rebuild the platforms, and complete the new entrances, to open the northbound platform by the end of 2009 (the southbound platform’s reopening depends on adjacent World Trade Center construction).
- The new, full-length South Ferry subway terminal opened on March 16, 2009. The $535-million terminal and reconstruction of Peter Minuit Plaza was financed through a $420 million grant from the FTA and $107 million in local funds. The station's opening marks the completion of the first major public-works project since September 11, 2001.
- The new, $50 million west-side ferry terminal begins serving commuters on the Hudson River. Opened on March 18th, the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, located outside just north of North Cove at the World Financial Center, now accommodates about 6,100 weekday passenger trips.
- The city’s five-year reconstruction of Fulton Street is on pace for a 2012 completion. As part of Phase I, crews have installed more than 3,900 linear feet of water main between Fulton and Gold Streets, coordinating work with local utilities and the Fulton Street Transit Center project. Phase II is underway utility work westward to South Street.
- The long-awaited completion of Fiterman Hall’s abatement officially concluded in May. With abatement done, this week crews turned their attention to safely deconstructing the 15-story building according to regulator-approved plans. Construction of the new, 14-story Fiterman Hall will begin immediately following deconstruction, through approximately 2012.
- The $200 million new New York Law School building at 185 West Broadway ended. The five-story, 235,000-square-foot building’s official opening took place in May, doubling the size of the school’s campus.
- The former boat slip and parking lot at Burling Slip began a year-long transformation into one of the city’s most innovative public playgrounds. Located on John Street between South and Front Streets, the $4 million Burling Slip “Imagination Playground” was designed by architect David Rockwell as, reads the website, “a rich environment of diverse materials encouraging unstructured, child-directed ‘free play.’”
- To help coordinate over $20 billion of public and private works now underway south of Canal Street, the LMCCC issues a revised “Logistics Report.” The report helps plan for the supply and demand of construction-related issues downtown to maintain rebuilding momentum.
- The Alliance for Downtown New York’s latest round of public art was installed in August. The Re:Construction program installations use color, style, and multimedia materials to recast construction sites as public-art venues. Looks for the latest works at Louise Nevelson Plaza, Hudson River Park and 99 Washington Street.
- The first of 24 jumbo steel columns have been installed at 1 World Trade Center (Freedom Tower), forming the framework of the tower’s base perimeter. The columns weigh about 70 tons each, are 60 feet tall, and have a dedicated crane to lift them into place -- which itself is more than 10 stories tall. Manufactured in Luxembourg and fabricated in New Jersey and Quebec, the columns create the base from which the 1,776-foot tower will rise.
- The major stakeholders rebuilding the WTC site met with City Council officials yesterday, giving the Port Authority and developer Silverstein Properties a forum to report on their plans and progress at the site.
- WTC visitors now have a place to glimpse the future National 9/11 Memorial and Museum and contribute their own memories. The 9/11 Memorial Preview Site opened at 20 Vesey Street, just off Church Street in August. It is open seven days a week, providing visitors with the latest images and construction-progress details.
- Preparatory work is now underway for 130 Liberty Street deconstruction. In August the LMDC notified the community of the scope of those preparations, which includes removing the old netting around the building and replacing it with a new (blue) fire-retardant netting, among other project elements. The building’s actual deconstruction is expected to resume by the end of 2009.