December 17th - December 23rd, 2004
Complete Memorial Design Released
Thursday, December 16: Expanding on the conceptual renderings unveiled last year, the detailed designs of the 9/11 memorial, "Reflecting Absence," were unveiled Thursday. The overall design calls for three levels descending below ground, offering access to the original foundation of the twin towers, and creates a powerful experience intended to remove visitors, physically and emotionally, from the city and everyday life. For complete coverage, please click here.
Chinatown Visitor Kiosk Opens
Friday, December 17: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), in collaboration with the September 11th Fund and NYC & Company, celebrated the official opening of the Chinatown kiosk. Located at the divider between Canal, Baxter, and Walker Streets, the kiosk is part of the Explore Chinatown campaign and will provide, in several languages, useful information about making the most of exploring Chinatown. For complete coverage, please click here.
Sculptor Puts Downtown Landmark on Auction Block
Monday, December 20: The sculptor and owner of the 7,000-pound "Charging Bull" sculpture announced that he will auction off the Financial District landmark to the highest bidder, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Sculptor Arturo Di Modica set the minimum bid on his bronze bull at $5 million and is willing to sell it to the highest bidder, provided that they agree to keep the bull in its Bowling Green home and donate it to the City of New York, the Journal explained.
The buyer of the 16-foot-long bull will have his or her named placed on a plaque that will be displayed next to the bull and designed by Di Modica. Additionally, the owner will receive a tax break for the contribution, as well as branding rights, the paper added.
Di Modica, who funded the sculpture with $360,000 of his own money, will donate at least 10 percent of the proceeds to charity and devote the rest toward a set of eight marble structures that he is creating. The Fine Art Collection, LLC -- an organization founded to find new talent and display their work -- is handling the sale, the Journal said.
The "Charging Bull" first appeared outside the New York Stock Exchange when Di Modica transported it there in the middle of the night on December 15, 1989. The bull, a tribute to Wall Street's rebound from the stock market crash of 1987, was immediately removed from the site because it lacked proper city permits and was later relocated to its current home in Bowling Green, the paper noted.
Plans to Save New York Waterway Still Unclear
Tuesday, December 21: According to sources involved in recent negotiations, a Manhattan lawyer is in talks with New York Waterway to take over several of the financially troubled ferry operator's routes, the New York Times reported.
William B. Wachtel, a partner in the law firm Wachtel & Masyr, has reportedly proposed a tentative plan that would grant him control of half of the ferry service, including operation of ferries to Lower Manhattan from the main ferry dock in Hoboken and the docks in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Imperatore family, which owns New York Waterway, would continue to operate ferries between West 38th Street and Weehawken and the north end of Hoboken, the Times explained.
The deal, which is still under review, would require both approval and assistance from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the federal Maritime Administration, and New York Waterway's bank, the paper added.
Since the ferry operator announced its fiscal crisis, several groups have been called upon to rescue it, including the Port Authority, New Jersey's Hudson County Improvement Authority, and New Jersey Transit. To date, none of these groups has committed to assuming control of the company.
Report Shows Rail Links as Crucial to Lower Manhattan's Economic Prosperity
Monday, December 20: According to a report released by New York University (NYU), New York City will require additional commuter rail and subway service to midtown and Lower Manhattan over the next 20 years in order to sustain the area's future economic growth, the New York Times reported.
The study, prepared by NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy, cites that the implementation of four rail projects would relieve congestion on current subway and commuter lines, as well as provide opportunity for future growth. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has already pledged support for two of the projects: the development of a Second Avenue subway and a Long Island Rail Road connection to Grand Central Terminal, the paper said.
The study specifically recommends that new rail tunnels be dug under the East River to Lower Manhattan and under the Hudson River to Pennsylvania Station. Together, the projects would total an estimated $32.6 billion to complete, the Times noted.
According to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council -- a government-sponsored planning forum comprised of city and state agencies and officials from five area counties -- average employment rates below Manhattan's 60th Street are expected to swell to an average 0.8 percent per year. The new transportation plan is designed to accommodate the additional growth, the paper concluded.