The downtown skyline will soon be illuminated with the somber Tribute in Lights. Two giant beams of light cutting through the realization that we are upon the 9th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
The Tribute in Light first came on six months after the attacks in 2002, and have been primarily funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) who have provided the financial support of the iconic tribute.
Contrary to popular belief, the Tribute in Lights is not beaming at the World Trade Center site but are located six blocks south of Ground Zero, set atop the Battery Garage on Morris Street. During the first two years of the tribute, the lights were located on West Street where the Goldman Sachs building now stands.
The tribute is comprised of 88 4-foot tall searchlights set in 50 x 50 foot identical squares.
Although primarily subsidized by the LMDC, the project is also in conjunction with Con Edison. It is speculated that after the LMDC re-allocated funding earmarked for Con Edison, meant to subsidize Con Edison’s costs at the World Trade Center Site may play a role in compromising the future of the Tribute. As of today, it is if the Tribute will exist beyond the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack in 2011.
This year, as the past few years, the tribute will begin at dusk on September 11th and end on dawn of September 12.
As we head into tomorrow’s 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the New York Post has published a morbid map which argues the boundaries of Ground Zero can be determined by where human remains were discovered.
TheÂ article was written in response to the proximity of the Park51 Islamic Community Center and whether or not the area is far enough from the site of the terror attacks in New York City.
According to the article, “The map was obtained by The Post from sources after the Fire Department did not respond to requests to review it. It shows that remains were found just 348 feet to the south of the mosque site at 45 Park Place, on top of the massive post-office building that stretches along Barclay Street, from Church Street to West Broadway.”
1,123 victims of the World Trade Center attacks have yet to be identified by remains. 21,812 remains have been found and catalogued at the Fresh Kills Landfill, yet a little more than half have been identified.
But the map is only a partial glimpse of the scope of the search for remains. The vast majority of the 21,812 remains were culled from debris sorted at the Fresh Kills Landfill. Of those remains, only 12,771 have been identified so far.
For more information on the statistics, read the original article here.
Counting only a single Manhattan location for over 20 years, Lower Manhattan’s crown shopping jewel Century 21, is set to expand to a second location on Manhattan island and it’s not in our area.
After Barnes and Noble has announced vacating their Lincoln Center location, Century 21 is moving into the 21,000 square foot space at 1972 Broadway.
Adding a second location of the tourist friendly department store might be able to ease foot traffic in our area. This translates into more shoes and clothes for Lower Manhattan residents!
Century 21 has 5 other locations in New Jersey, Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens.
According to a report in Crains New York Business, â€œWe have been searching for a tenant who has the ability to drive a large volume of shoppers to the area,â€ said Mario Palumbo, a partner at Millennium Partners, which owns the space, in a statement. â€œWe believe that having Century 21 as an anchor in Lincoln Square will help drive a level of pedestrian traffic that our other retail tenants will benefit from.â€
In an effort to beautify the multitude of cold construction sites in and around Lower Manhattan, the Downtown Alliance has announced three new art pieces as part of their Re:Construction initiative.
Re:Construction is a local construction site beautification project spearheaded by the Downtown Alliance.
“Now Lower Manhattans workers, residents and six million annual visitors can enjoy Richard Pasquarelli as part of our program to recast construction sites as canvases for innovative public art and architecture,” says Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance.
Re:Construction is a public art program which is funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The program has produced 16 pieces since 2007, seven of which are currently up for viewing.
“These additional installments by Richard Pasquarelli are worthy additions to the success of the Re:Construction program” said Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President David Emil. “We’re proud to fund these exhibitions and look forward to our continued partnership with the Downtown Alliance to ease the negative impacts of Downtown’s rebuilding projects.”
The three pieces unveiled this week, will be placed at three construction sites south of Chambers Street. The first piece “Restore the View” can be seen at the site of CUNY’s Fitterman Hall, a building which was destroyed on 9/11 at Barclay Street.
The two other works are: “Secret Gardens” will be installed at the Chambers Street road construction project which spans from West Street to West Broadway, and “Hours of the Day” which is set to be installed at Washington and Albany Streets.
Once construction is completed at these areas, the pieces will come down.
Richard Pasquarelli is a 41-year-old Bronxville born artist whose paintings have been seen nationwide, including at the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
“As a painter, my work has a psychological intimacy,” says Pasquarelli, “My work tends to have an element of mystery and ambiguity that leaves it open to many interpretations and I hope that passersby will each have their own individual response to these works.”
Rachel Uchitel’s visit to Ground Zero is too suspicious for me for two reasons:
Was it before or after she found out Tiger Woods had moved to our area that she decided it would be a good idea to exploit Ground Zero for her own fame and fortune?
…and right before the 9th anniversary of 9/11? Why not show support and go with the family of your almost in-laws on the day of?
In an effort to defend her actions, Rachel Uchitel, the now infamous Tiger Woods mistress and former paramour who broke up probably the cutest family I’ve ever seen released a statement:
“Who the f— are people to be talking about me?” Uchitel told theÂ New York Post. “Until they go through what I went through, living with a guy and being engaged to him and having that person dead an hour after waking up next to him. “If people think I’m milking something for the benefit of getting on TV or getting more well-known, I’m already well-known.”
Except that dear Rachel, your 15 minutes were up long ago.
Is this an attempt at public relations triage for us to forget your What is with your timing? Visiting the site right before 9/11? Your almost father-in-law had said during the Tiger Woods debacle that he had not even heard from you since your fiance was buried.
Actions speak louder than words, and your actions sound like nails on a chalkboard.
Exposing yourself to a national audience in your healing process is tantamount to placing shards of glass on an open wound.
Dr. Drew is also to blame.
According to reports, this idea came to them during a pre-taping interview with the Oprah Winfrey show. Thank goodness Harpo Productions had the right mind frame to leave that segment on the cutting room floor.
Just doesn’t feel right. The whole thing. Maybe my sensitivities are up because it is September.
Although freedom of religion has been an important point in the debate surrounding the Park51 development, a new Quinnipiac Poll has been released confirming that New York voters defer to the sensitivities of 9/11 families.
According to the poll:
“By a 54 – 40 percent majority, voters agree “that because of American freedom of religion, Muslims have the right to build the mosque near Ground Zero,” the independent poll finds. Another 7 percent are undecided.
But these same voters agree 53 – 39 percent, with 8 percent undecided, “that because of the sensitivities of 9/11 relatives, Muslims should not be allowed to build the mosque near Ground Zero.
And by a 71 – 21 percent majority, voters agree “that because of the opposition of Ground Zero relatives, the Muslim group should voluntarily build the mosque somewhere else.
By a 45 – 31 percent margin, New York State voters say they have a “generally favorable” opinion of Islam, with 24 percent undecided.
The heated, sometimes angry, debate over the proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero has New York State voters twisted in knots, with some of them taking contradictory positions depending on how the question is asked,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
A majority agrees that American freedom of religion gives Muslims the right to build the mosque near the site of the terrorist attack. Republicans disagree 54 – 39 percent.
Because of the sensitivities of relatives of the terrorist victims, an almost identical majority, including many of the same voters, believes Muslims should not be allowed to open the mosque.Overwhelmingly, across all party and regional lines, New Yorkers say the sponsors ought to voluntarily move the proposed mosque to another location,” Carroll added.
New York City voters say 63 – 28 percent that mosque proponents should voluntarily choose another site, compared to 76 – 17 percent among upstate voters and the same 76 – 17 percent among suburban voters.”
The renaissance of the World Trade Center is coming into its own. As the new buildings carve out their space in the new skyline, there is one building we are happy to see come down.
The former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street has been an unfortunate eyesore in the neighborhood for far too long. As fast as things are going up around here, it’s hard to ignore how slowly the building has come down — until recently. After a tough road for the demolition, including allegations of mismanagement, safety issues and the unfortunate deaths of two firefighters, the building is finally on-schedule for complete disassembling.
In June the New York City Department of Buildings approved a new method of demolition for the building that allows for the disassembling of large steel pieces. This new method has improved the process: nearly 20 stories have been deconstructed since last November.
The approval of an “around the clock” schedule has also helped, as construction crews have worked daily on the site from 7am until midnight. The new methods and accelerated schedule have brought about show swift progress in tearing down the last vestige of the 9/11 terror attacks.
As of the end of this month, only 8 stories of the building remain. Demolition is expected to be completed by December 2010/January 2011.
New life has been planted giving way to the birth of the 9/11 Memorial Center at the Ground Zero site over the weekend.
A welcomed change and a stark contrast to the hulking metallic structures we have grown accustomed to in our area.
The first trees have been planted after being transported from a New Jersey nursery. At least a dozen oak trees had been slated to be planted before the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Nearly 400 trees will be planted when the entire Memorial Plaza is completed. The trees are expected to be fully grown at 80 feet and will tower over a planned rooftop garden. The trees will be planted around the perimeters of the original footprints of the Twin Towers.
Publishing a public statement this morning, Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board #1 in Manhattan, made a public statement about the Park51 development.
CB#1 has been one of the earliest proponents for the development, but in today’s statement — shows that in light of national discord, the community board may be changing their tune. Julie Menin suggests an interfaith project should replace the original intent of the Park51 development.
The statement published in the NY Daily News reads as follows:
“The lowerÂ Manhattan community board 1 chair, Community Board 1, voted overwhelmingly to support the Islamic cultural center to be built two blocks away from Ground Zero when the project was presented to our board in May.
I stand by my vote.
That said, the project has now become a symbol of discord and dissidence, the white hot emotional center of a volcanic shouting match. Raw nerves have been exposed on both sides of an ugly religious and ethnic divide – and the gulf between supporters and opponents has only grown with each protest, each argument, each accusation.
Both sides claim the moral high ground – sustained on the one side by religious freedom and the other by preserving the sanctity of hallowed ground.
What started out as largely a local issue has now been overtaken by national partisan politics, with national politicians, many with their own agendas, weighing in on what is best for this community.
Now it is very clear that something must be done to address this dissension and to move to heal, not divide. I believe it is still possible to bridge the gap without compromising the core principles of what this project is about – not by moving the mosque further away from the site of the attacks, but by bringing other faiths in.
The mosque and community center near Ground Zero should not be enshrined as a battleground of discord, but rather be transformed into an inter-faith center for reconciliation and peace-containing nondenominational houses of worship to be shared by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Its purpose – to bring us closer together, not split us further apart – could be reaffirmed in modified plans.
Under this idea, there could be, as currently planned, two floors for the mosque – but there could also be a floor dedicated to an inter-faith, nondenominational space. In addition, a major national or local organization dedicated to spreading religious tolerance could establish a meaningful presence there. There are many such reputable groups that would surely welcome the opportunity to help heal.
The project, open to all, would celebrate all faiths and inter-faith understanding.
Government, of course, has no role, and should have no role, in determining the use of an as-of-right project (meaning, a project such as this that requires no city zoning approvals to be built.) This is particularly true when a religious use is involved. Only the developer of the project can and should decide what the use of the project will be.
With that said, the dissension surrounding this issue is simply not productive. We need to try to overcome the divide on this issue and teach the next generation howÂ New York andÂ America unified after 9/11 and how this country was founded on respect for all religions, freedom of religion and the right and ability for religions to peacefully co-exist in the melting pot that characterizes New York and America.
It may be hard for many to imagine in the wake of 9/11 that we can rise above gut feelings of pain and retribution. But we can take the harrowing horrors of 9/11 and bridge our differences, without erasing them.
There actually already is such a facility dedicated to bringing us all together. It exists on the grounds ofÂ the Pentagon, which was also attacked on 9/11. As part of an effort to heal and recover, an interfaith chapel was built on that hallowed ground. Its construction stirred no controversy. It is a place where Christians, Muslims and Jews can and do worship.
It is a small interfaith chapel, but it shines as a bright beacon.
How inspiring it would be for a similar beacon of hope to shine in lower Manhattan. We are the survivors of two attacks by terrorists. We need to reach out once again to our better selves, find common ground that reasserts our commonality of purpose and that unifies our community, our city and our nation.
The proposedÂ Park51 cultural center offers many benefits, including recreational, cultural, educational and meeting facilities that our growing lower Manhattan community needs. And a floor or two devoted to celebrate Jewish, Christian and Muslim worship in a nondenominational setting would not simply help to overcome divisions, but serve as a model to the world of the resourcefulness, harmony and strength of this city, and this nation of immigrants we call America.
Menin is chairperson of Community Board 1 in lower Manhattan.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owners of the World Trade Center Site will be holding a special meeting today to vote on the funding required for two towers being developed by Larry Silverstein.
The vote that takes place today will solidify tentative deals announced between the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein in recent weeks.
The financing terms call for $1 billion dollars help from the Port Authority to develop a 64-story tower at the World Trade Center site. The Port Authority will also provide $600 million in backup funds for another 71-story tower, contingent on Silverstein being able to raise $200 million in cash as well as tenants for the building.
These two buildings are being constructed in tandem with 1 World Trade Center which was previously known as the Freedom Tower.