A rendering of the memorial plaza park
After weeks of speculation, a revised plan for the World Trade Center Memorial was released on Tuesday, June 20th. The new arrangement keeps the memorial in line with the original "Reflecting Absence" design while bringing the cost down to within the established $500 million budget. In addition, the new design is not expected to delay the memorial's scheduled September 11, 2009, opening.
Frank Sciame, a developer appointed by Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month, was assigned the task of reconciling the memorial budget, which had ballooned to a projected $1 billion. Sciame delivered several alternative designs last week, and Pataki and Bloomberg signed off on the simplest, most cost-efficient proposal.
"Frank Sciame has conducted a thoughtful and thorough process that brings the 'Reflecting Absence' vision in line with the $500 million budget and will ensure that the memorial to our nearly 3,000 lost heroes remains on schedule," Pataki said in a statement.
The revised design allows for preservation of signature elements of the site plan, including a landscaped memorial plaza; the waterfalls, the sound of which will help to drown out city noise; twin reflecting pools; a descent below-grade; and a contemplative underground space for families and visitors to gather. The names of the 2,979 victims will now be displayed above ground around the pools, which is expected to result in decreased security expenses. The size of the museum will also be reduced, and some of the underground galleries in the original plan will be cut.
"His [Sciame] work allows us to retain the essential design of the memorial and memorial museum while identifying significant cost savings," Bloomberg said in a statement. "While we need to be mindful moving forward that resources are limited, Frank's work puts us on the path toward the successful completion of a memorial that will honor the memories of those we lost that terrible day in September 2001."
The agreed upon revisions to the original design will result in significant capital and operating cost savings. Approximately $285.1 million in construction and infrastructure costs will be cut, as well $11.6 million in annual operating cost due to reduced facility and administrative expenses.
Sciame, CEO of FJ Sciame Construction Company and Sciame Development, stated, "I am pleased that the month-long process brought us to a point where we have identified a viable option and are in a position to move forward on schedule and on budget."
The announcement marks the beginning of a seven-day public comment period. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), which oversees the rebuilding of the site, will consider the public comments and adopt a final design by the end of the month, officials said.
The construction timeline remains on schedule, with the memorial slated to open by the eighth anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2009.
To view a copy of the report or submit comments, please visit the LMDC website.