April 2nd - April 8th, 2004
New Battery Park Ferry Terminal Approved
Friday, April 2: The Port Authority approved a $35.7 million contract to fund the replacement of Battery Park City's temporary ferry terminal with a state-of-the-art five-slip permanent terminal, the New York Times reported.
Port Authority officials selected Staten Island-based marine construction group Spearin, Preston & Burrows to build the new floating terminal, which will be anchored near the New York Mercantile Exchange and World Financial Center. The design features concession stands, bathrooms, and a large waiting area, added the Times.
The current terminal opened in 1989 and serves approximately 7,800 commuters on New York Waterway, New York Water Taxi, and Liberty Park Water Taxi out of its two operating slips. Officials expect that the new larger terminal, which is scheduled to open in 2006, will accommodate increased services to destinations such as La Guardia and Kennedy Airports, among others.
Skyscraper Museum Opens Downtown
Friday, April 2: The Skyscraper Museum opened its doors to the public on April 2, making it the first new museum to open downtown since 9/11. Located at 39 Battery Place, the museum offers an abundance of information on skyscrapers throughout New York City, as well as around the world. To learn more, click here.
Carpenter Named Collaborating Artist for Fulton Street Transit Center
Monday, April 5: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded artist James Carpenter a $340,000 contract to contribute to the design of the Fulton Street Transit Center, according to the New York Times.
Carpenter, whose 11-member studio team -- James Carpenter Design Associates -- is based in Tribeca, also designed the reflective, stainless steel wall and concrete base for the 7 World Trade Center's Con Ed substation, the Times reported. Other examples of his work can be found at Columbus Circle's new Time Warner Center, where Carpenter's 149-foot-high cable-net glass wall allows visitors to view the outdoors while shopping.
The $750 million Fulton Street Transit Center will house nine subway lines -- A, C, L, M, Z, 2, 3, 4, and 5 -- as well as a concourse below Dey Street that will provide access to the WTC PATH train. Although the center isn't scheduled to be completed until 2007, officials expect to unveil its final design in the next month, noted the Times.
Senate Committee Probes Statue of Liberty Foundation Records
Monday, April 5: Due to allegations that the Statue of Liberty's reopening has been delayed by lack of federal cooperation and funding, the Senate Finance Committee called for an investigation into the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's records, the New York Times reported.
The committee, which oversees charities' compliance with the nation's tax laws, will examine the foundation's policies and practices over the past several years -- including contracts and staff salaries -- to determine the cause of the delay. It will also investigate records from the U.S. Department of the Interior -- which oversees the statue's caretaker, the National Park Service -- regarding its activities with the foundation, said the Times. The Park Service granted the responsibility of reopening the statue to the foundation last year.
Over the past two years, the federal government has invested $19.6 million in safety and security improvements necessary for the statue to reopen. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation will contribute an additional $7 million in private donations, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg's personal contribution of $100,000, for the remaining renovations, the Times added.
$81 Million Health Grant for 9/11 Workers Approved
Tuesday, April 6: Federal officials approved an $81 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund a long-term health screening program for firefighters and volunteer rescue workers, Newsday reported.
Of the newly approved grant money, $25 million will be allocated to the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY) to fund health screening programs for both current and retired firefighters and EMS workers. The remaining funds will be distributed to area hospitals to screen and monitor workers and volunteers who were exposed to debris at Ground Zero during the 9/11 cleanup efforts, Newsday added.
LMDC to Select Associate Architect of WTC Memorial
Wednesday, April 7: The LMDC is expected in the next week to begin the process of selecting an associate architect to work on the WTC Memorial, according to the New York Times. The winning architectural firm will support memorial designers Michael Arad and Peter Walker as they develop their project, "Reflecting Absence."
"The involvement of a world-class architectural firm in the process will bring a depth of resources and understanding that will be essential in ensuring that the vision selected is ultimately realized," commented LMDC President Kevin Rampe.
Among those competing for the opportunity are renowned architectural firms Davis Brody Bond; Fox & Fowle Architects; Gensler; Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects; Hillier Group; Polshek Partnership Architects; and Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, the Times added.
Tribeca Film Festival Announces Panel Members
Wednesday, April 7: The 2004 Tribeca Film Festival will feature famous celebrities such as Martin Scorsese, Sharon Stone, and Peter Jennings on its panel discussions. The television and film icons will lead discussion on the use of music in film, the evolution of sex in cinema, and the notion of "Jesus as Celebrity," the Associated Press reported.
The festival, now in its third year, was created by Tribeca Film Institute founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in response to the 9/11 attacks and seeks to foster the economic and cultural growth of Lower Manhattan.
The 2004 Tribeca Film Festival will run from Saturday, May 1, through Sunday, May 9. For more information go to www.tribecafilmfestival.org.