April 29th - May 5th, 2005
Design Selected for African Burial Ground Memorial
Saturday, April 30: After a year-long final selection process, the U.S. General Services Administration, in partnership with the National Park Service, unveiled the permanent design for a memorial at the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, a sacred site discovered in 1991 containing the remains of more than 400 Africans buried in 17th and 18th centuries.
Developed by architect Rodney Léon of Aarris Architects -- one of five finalists selected out of 61 respondents to an initial call for proposals in 1998 -- the chosen memorial design features a spiraling sunken court, called the "Ancestral Libation Court," with a 24-foot-high "Ancestral Chamber" intended to offer visitors a space for reflection.
Léon, who traveled to Africa while planning his design, remarked in a statement, "My design tells the story and speaks to the greatness of a people who never ceased to push for freedom."
The much anticipated memorial will also feature a granite "Wall of Remembrance" facing Duane Street, inscribed with text arranged chronologically to describe major historical events that contributed to the creation of the African Burial Ground. Four pillars will mark the location of the sarcophagi containing the human remains, the Daily News reported.
Organizers expect to break ground on the $3 million project this summer and complete the memorial by the end of the year, the News said. For more about the African Burial Ground, please click here.
Medical Screenings for 9/11 Rescue Workers to Resume
Sunday, May 1: The World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening program, an initiative launched in 2002 to track the health of those who helped during the rescue and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero after the September 11 attacks, will begin accepting new patients again, the New York Times reported.
Funded by a federal grant, the program was re-launched in response to continued demand for exams from workers experiencing medical problems potentially linked to the recovery efforts. "There was a continued demand for exams by the exposed responders," Dr. Robin Herbert, the program's director, told the Times. "That clearly demonstrates the need for this clinical program."
Though the program -- which was set up in 2002 and ran through April 2004 -- covered examinations of more than 12,000 workers, it is estimated that some 40,000 rescue workers were exposed to potentially harmful debris after the terrorist attack, the paper noted.
The World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening program will accept new patients, as well as provide follow-up exams, for the next five years, the Times added.
Family Festivities Abound as Tribeca Film Festival Finishes Its Fourth Year
Sunday, May 1: Wrapping up its fourth successful year, the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival concluded on May 1. The festival showcased more than 250 features, documentaries, and short films, and hosted a range of interactive speaking panels and free community events, including the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair, held on April 30. For complete coverage of the street fair, please click here.
Rampe Resigns as LMDC President
Monday, May 2: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) President Kevin Rampe, who helped establish the downtown rebuilding agency and led it through the largest memorial competition in history, will resign as president effective late-May, the LMDC announced. He will continue to serve as director and executive committee member of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. For complete coverage, please click here.
Freedom Tower Will Be Redesigned
Thursday, May 5: Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki met with rebuilding officials, including representatives from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), the New York City Police Department, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and developer Larry Silverstein, announcing at the conclusion of the meeting that an agreement had been reached to redesign the World Trade Center's Freedom Tower to meet NYPD security standards. For complete coverage, please click here.