August 12th - August 18th, 2005
City Releases Archive of 9/11 Records
Friday, August 12: For the first time, the City of New York has released to the public more than 900 minutes of radio transmissions from the September 11, 2001, attacks, as well as the oral histories given by 500 fire personnel in the days following the event, the New York Times and Newsday reported.
The oral histories were released in the form of written transcripts of interviews with firefighters, superior officers, medical workers, and other department employees. The actual radio transmissions during the attacks were released in the form of recordings of conversations between emergency dispatchers and emergency responders and supervisors, the papers explained.
While the records were assembled by the New York City Fire Department beginning in October 2001, city officials had not previously released them to the general public. Although the New York Times, along with a group of victims' families, sought access to them under the freedom of information law in 2002, it wasn't until earlier this year that the New York Court of Appeals ordered the city to release most of the records, the Times added.
Bovis Awarded 130 Liberty Street Deconstruction Contract
Friday, August 12: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) awarded construction company Bovis Lend Lease a $75 million contract to clean and dismantle the former Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street, the New York Times reported.
Bovis, which participated in the post-9/11 excavation and removal of debris from Ground Zero for more than 10 months, will be charged with safely deconstructing the damaged 41-story tower over a two-year period. According to the LMDC, the actual deconstruction of the building is expected to take 16 months once the final plan is approved, the paper said.
Last month, the corporation selected a team comprised of Regional Scaffolding and Hoisting Company and the Safeway Environmental Corporation to erect scaffolding over the tower in order to help safeguard the surrounding environment from contaminants, such as asbestos, contained in the building, the Times explained.
Severely damaged on September 11, 2001, by debris from the twin towers, 130 Liberty Street was acquired by the LMDC in August 2004. The corporation will oversee the building's safe removal, working closely with environmental and government officials.
LMDC Responds to WTC Cultural Complex Criticisms
Friday, August 12: Responding to recent controversy surrounding the cultural complex planned for the new World Trade Center site, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced that the Drawing Center will explore other downtown locations as alternatives to the WTC site, while the controversial International Freedom Center will have to present a proposal detailing its planned exhibits at Ground Zero for approval, Newsday and Crain's New York Business reported respectively.
Although the Drawing Center is working with a real estate adviser to develop a list of alternative locations, it has not formally canceled its plans to relocate to the WTC site -- despite criticisms that its exhibits detract from commemorating the events and victims of the 9/11 attacks, Newsday explained.
"I believe the Drawing Center board is finding it difficult to comply with the requirements that have been laid down that they must never present anything which might be offensive to families, and so they have chosen to look for other sites," LMDC Chairman John Whitehead told Newsday.
The International Freedom Center, which has also undergone criticisms for displaying controversial exhibits, will have until September 23 to submit a detailed plan of its exhibits to the LMDC. Should they elect not to submit a proposal, the LMDC has said that it will consider other uses for the site, Crain's reported.
"We will continue to feel that we must, as a first priority, remember and honor those whose lives were so tragically ended on September 11, 2001," Whitehead said in a statement, according to Crain's.
Both the Drawing Center and International Freedom Center were selected last year to occupy the cultural center building at the WTC site designed by architectural firm Snøhetta.
Cortlandt Street R/W/N Station Closing August 20
Friday, August 12: As part of the Fulton Street Transit Center construction, the Cortlandt Street subway station will close at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 20. The temporary closure allows the MTA to connect the new transit center to the future World Trade Center Transportation Hub via the new Dey Street pedestrian underpass. The station will reopen in February 2006. For complete coverage, click here.
State Approves $1.6 Million in Liberty Bonds for Goldman Sachs Headquarters
Monday, August 15: The state's Liberty Development Corporation approved the issuance of $1.6 billion in Liberty Bonds for a $2 billion, 40-story office building which will house the consolidated world headquarters of Goldman Sachs Group Incorporated, the New York Sun reported. T
he Empire State Development Corporation, which is the parent agency of the Liberty Development Corporation, said that additional approvals are necessary before the bonds will be issued, and there is a public hearing scheduled for early September to finalize the commitment, the Sun added.
Group Promotes Community Service on 9/11
Wednesday, August 17: One Day's Pay, a New York-based nonprofit organization, kicked off a $500,000 regional advertising campaign titled "NYC Remembers" to encourage volunteerism throughout the city on the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Daily News reported.
"We want to transform 9/11 into a national day of recognition," David Paine, founder and president of One Day's Pay, told the News. "Our ultimate goal is to help redefine the day so that future generations remember that 9/11 was about a lot more than the fear and destruction inflicted by terrorists."
The campaign, funded by corporations including AIG, Ambac, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, KPMG, and Time Warner Cable, will consist of three 30-second television advertisements and two radio ads that encourage listeners to visit the campaign's website, www.nycremembers.org, the paper explained.
Broadcasts began on August 16 and will air through the week of September 11 in prime-time slots on cable networks. Visitors can volunteer through several New York City-based nonprofits, including New York Cares, the Mayor's Volunteer Center, and the United Way of New York City, the News added.
9/11 Families File Suit Over Victims' Remains
Wednesday, August 17: A group of family members of those killed at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of New York over its plans to leave the remains of the victims at Fresh Kills -- the former Staten Island dump where wreckage from the Ground Zero site, including human remains, was taken during cleanup efforts, the New York Times reported.
According to the lawsuit, the city promised that the remains would be separated from the rest of the debris and that a memorial park would be erected where the remains were finally buried. While the city made efforts to locate and identify any remaining body parts -- some of which were too small to even identify -- only 292 full bodies were recovered, the paper explained.
Pataki Opens Second Green Building in Battery Park City
Wednesday, August 17: Gov. George Pataki joined area officials and businesses at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new "green" apartment building in the northern neighborhood of Battery Park City. The 24-story residential tower, know as Tribeca Green, is the second of eight planned environmentally-friendly residential buildings to be completed throughout Battery Park City.
"Tribeca Green is another critically important construction project for Lower Manhattan and a model for future residential development in New York City and across the nation," Pataki said in a statement. "The completion of this elegant, environmentally responsible tower is yet another signal that downtown's resurgence is well underway."
Designed by renowned architect Robert A. M. Stern, the 357,000 square foot tower -- located on Battery Park City's site 19B at 325 North End Avenue -- features 274 rental apartments, each equipped with a host of environmentally-friendly features. From energy-producing solar panels on the roof and high-efficiency Energy Star appliances, Tribeca Green has been designed to reduce energy use by as much as 25 percent more than is called for by the New York State Energy Code. The building also offers healthier indoor air quality and substantially more natural light than typical residential buildings.
Once approved, Tribeca Green will become the second Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified building in the country. The Solaire, located across the park, was the first.