November 29th - December 5th, 2003
LMDC President: Ultimate Memorial Could Vary from Finalists' Designs
Tuesday, Dec. 2: A key rebuilding official told an audience of business leaders that the final design for a memorial at the World Trade Center could differ considerably from those of eight finalists currently on display at the Winter Garden.
Referring to the 13-member jury charged with selecting the final design, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Kevin Rampe said, "I'm sure they'll suggest refinements and changes, and there's probably a high chance that the ultimately selected memorial will be different from any of the eight'' current finalists, according to the Daily News, New York Post, and other outlets.
In other rebuilding news, the New York Times and others reported that New York New Visions, a coalition of architects and design professionals, will help the LMDC prepare design guidelines for commercial development of the overall site.
Federal Government Delivers $2.85B for Downtown Transit Projects
Wednesday, Dec. 3: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta visited the new PATH station at the WTC site to announce that $2.85 billion in transit funding for Lower Manhattan has been delivered to city and state officials.
The funds will go toward a permanent PATH terminal at the WTC site ($1.7 billion), a new transit hub on Fulton Street ($750 million), and improvements to the South Ferry subway station ($400 million). The payment is the first part of the $4.55 billion pledged by federal officials to help rebuild Lower Manhattan's transportation network in the wake of 9/11.
Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were on hand for the announcement.
Tribeca Cinemas Will Replace Screening Room
Wednesday, Dec. 3: Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff announced they will acquire The Screening Room (54 Varick Street), an independent neighborhood cinema that recently closed. The new owners have signed a 20-year lease for the 14,000-square-foot space, which they plan to rename Tribeca Cinemas.
The three-screen complex will serve as an extension of the nearby Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street), offering expanded seating for festival panels and screenings. A restaurant and lounge attached to the cinema will close to the public and instead serve as a hospitality and catering space to support screenings.
New Blood Center Opens Downtown
Thursday, Dec. 4: The New York Blood Center (NYBC) opened a new donation center at One New York Plaza (Whitehall Street between South and Water). The 1,800-square-foot space, located on the building's concourse level, was donated by Trizec Properties.
According to NYBC, area hospitals need more than 2,000 pints of blood every day. To make an appointment to donate blood at the new downtown center, call NYBC at (800) 933-BLOOD or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
New York Cares Kicks Off Winter Coat Drive
Monday, Dec. 1: Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand at the Bowery Mission (227 Bowery) to help launch the 15th annual New York Cares Coat Drive, donating a coat of his own and 11 others collected at City Hall. New York Cares aims to collect 70,000 "gently used" coats by December 31 for distribution to the region's needy.
"The New York Cares Coat Drive helps keep those who are less fortunate warm during the severe winter weather," Bloomberg said. "I encourage all New Yorkers who are able to support the New York Cares Coat Drive by looking in their closets and dropping off a coat."
There are more than 400 drop-off sites throughout the metropolitan area, many in Lower Manhattan; for details visit www.nycares.org or call (212) 402-1173.