Tribute In LightÂ will shine from Dusk to Dawn to honor all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and to serve as a symbol of hope for the city of New York. An iconic gesture of remembrance is officially deemed a public artwork installation supported byÂ Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Battery park City Authority, The Municipal Art Society, and all the public, corporate, and private sponsors.
According to the Tribute in Light website:
“Conceived in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedies, Tribute in Light is a temporary artistic gesture bringing together the vision and talent of numerous individuals who, shortly after the attacks, independently envisioned two beams of light rising from downtown New York. Finding support for their ideas, they joined forces in the spirit of the rescue and recovery effort downtown. The creative team consists of architects John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi of PROUN Space Studio, artists Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda, architect Richard Nash Gould, and lighting designer Paul Marantz. Production support was provided by two non-profit cultural institutions The Municipal Art Society and Creative Time, with the assistance of Battery Park City Authority.”
When not in use, the entire installation is stored within the Battery Park City Garage until their annual commemorative use.
The blue beams, which are reported to beÂ visibleÂ for 60 miles, are comprised of 88Â separate 7,000-wattÂ searchlights, which are powered by a gas-run generator housed in a tractor trailer just outside of the parking garage.
Hot on the heels of the killing of Osama bin Laden, who masterminded the World Trade Center attacks nearly a decade ago, President Barack Obama will be visiting Ground Zero today specifically for a wreath-laying ceremony.Â AM NY reports that Obama will not speak publicly, but will spend his time meeting with selected families of victims of the tragedy in private.
Obamaâ€™s NYCÂ itinerary is as follows: He will fly into JFK via Air Force on at 10:40 AM, meet with the NYPD and FDNY, as well as Port Authority Police. He will take part in the wreath-laying ceremony at 1:25 PM and have a private meeting at the September 11 Memorial Museum with 50 9/11 victims’ families selected by the White House. He is slated to leave the city at 3:10 PM.
Security will be on high alert throughout the city during his visit. Additional measures includeÂ plainclothes officers positioned amongst uniformed cops; sharpshooters stationed on rooftops;Â manholes welded shut; and mailboxes and garbage cans removed along the president’s travel route to prevent attacks from hidden bombs.
PATH train service to the WTC station will be suspended while Obama is there. Street closings in Lower Manhattan are also expected.
What do you think of Barack Obamaâ€™s visit to NYC today?
The New York Post reports that plans to include a Windows on the World-type restaurant in the new 1 World Trade Center building have been scrapped by the developers. The restaurant has been a part of the building’s blueprint since it was dubbed “The Freedom Tower.” The original WTC buildings boasted a top floor restaurant before they were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The initial plan called for a two-story eating establishment, but that was eventually downgraded to a single floor due to cost prohibitiveness.
The restaurant is being shelved entirely due to cost concerns. There is little efficiency in running such an operation and developers feared they would not be able to locate a restaurateur willing to handle the project, which looked likely to be a money-losing, in-the-red operation.
Port Authority executive director Chris Ward said, “These things are always money-losers. We think we can achieve a far better financial return given the [quality of the] space and avoid all the complexities.” Ward went on to remind us that the city is teeming with plenty of restaurants. However, plenty of New Yorkers would like the new World Trade Center buildings to be as similar to the originals as possible.
Do you think that the new World Trade Center should have a Windows on the World type restaurant just like the old Twin Towers had?
Millions of visitors are expected to flood into the September 11th Memorial at the World Trade Center site, many traveling from sizeable distances via a bus. The Tribeca Trib reports that the city has yet to figure out how to handle the influx and volume of bus traffic. The Community Board 1 is looking at a variety of possible plans pertaining to where the buses will drop off their tour groups, where they will park and how many buses the streets of Manhattan can physically handle, but no solutions have been provided nor have problems and concerns been resolved.
The only information provided was that officials said that they were considering several possible drop-off and layover locations. A concrete plan is expected to be hammered out by April, which is next month, so time is of the essence. One suggestion that was bandied about was to have the tour bus companies shuttle passengers between Long Island City or Liberty State Park, where memorial visitors can take the subway, PATH or ferry. Itâ€™s efficient, and those are typical touristy things that visitors like to do and experience while traipsing around the Big Apple.
City officials and Memorial staff are hoping that a timed reservation system, similar to the one used for the Statue of Liberty, will help lighten the load.
What are you planning to do to commemorate September 11th?
The new World Trade Center site is scheduled to open with a 9/11 memorial planned for September 11, 2011, which is the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks. The site will eventually have 673 officers assigned to patrol it and keep it safe.
The Washington PostÂ reports that New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly revealed the news on Tuesday when he spoke about the security needs for the 9/11 memorial and the new buildings that are slated to open after the fact. The full 673 officers wonâ€™t be in place until all the buildings on the site are completely erected. Kelly also acknowledged that the memorial and the site require special attention and even more security detail because they remain terrorist targets.
Do you think 673 offices is enough to keep the site safe?
More drama abounds at Ground Zero. The Greek Archdiocese of New York is at odds with the Port Authority over its promise to rebuild St. Nicholas Church. The church, initially located at 155 Cedar Street, was destroyed by the World Trade Center debris; the new location would be 130 Liberty Street, which was once the location of the Deutsche Bank building. Despite the haggling over funds and deal points, more problems â€“this time of the engineering sort- have arisen. The New York Post reports that the steel that the Port Authority ordered for the Vehicle Screening Center that would be located beneath the church is unable to support the structure the Archdiocese wants to build, making it structurally unsound.
The VSC is a security-clearance facility for delivery trucks and will provide service to buildings at the WTC site. A lawyer for the Archdiocese argued that the PAâ€™s claims about the steel is another stalling tactic, but an engineering source said that a redesign and ordering replacement steel would costs millions and further delays.
The Port Authority and the church have been battling over the rebuilding process, with the PA accusing the church of making escalating and unreasonable demands, while the church has said the PA is misappropriating the land and interfering with their rights.
Will this church ever be rebuilt in a fashion that suits both sides?
Artisan and filmmaker Marcus Robinson, a native of Ireland, has been documenting the World Trade Center site rebuild through his â€œRebuilding the World Trade Centerâ€ installation, which is a series of artistic works, ranging from paintings to drawings to short films. Robinson purposely chose to create a body of work that could not be restrained by language and cultural barriers and therefore elected to demonstrate the events that took place on the site. Robinson has self-funded his project, with some financial help from Silverstein Properties.
DNAInfo reports that Robinson, 51, moved to TriBeCa to be closer to the site. “It’s about the passing of time and the whole idea of transformation,” he said. He began working on the project in 2006, when the first foundation at One World Trade Center was laid down.
To date, the project hosts 40 paintings and 70 drawings and is only scratching the surface of its potential. Robinson hopes to one day craft a film that combines video footage of the events along with his artwork, juxtaposing the physical world with the envisioned one. He wonâ€™t show his work or release a film until construction on the site is finished, which will take years. Robinson, however, is committed to seeing this project through to completion at all costs.
Robinson, who has a background in architectural photography and documentary filmmaking, works on his paintings at the World Trade Center site itself, as well as on the 48th floor of 7 World Trade Center, which has spectacular views of the harbor and Midtown. He captures the workers as they do their thing and placed time-lapse cameras around the site. His work is abstract, capturing shapes and colors as opposed to concrete imagery.
Are you interested in seeing the end result of Robinson’s work?
Governor David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg may direct tens of millions of dollars in unused incentives to World Trade Center site developer Larry Silverstein, who held the lease on the Twin Towers when they collapsed and who holds the rights to build three large office buildings on the site. The Wall Street Journal reports that the funds would be directed towards the office space being erected at the former site of the Towers.
Silverstein has already been the recipient of a string of financial incentives. Reports indicate that Silverstein has received public subsidies via low-cost financing and direct aid to the tune of $1.2 billion dollars.
What do you think about building office space at the former site of the Twin Towers?
The 9/11 health-care-for-aid-workers debate rages on. Â According toÂ NBC New York and The Associated Press, supporters of a bill that would offer health care aid to workers who came down with various illnesses after working in the wreckage of the World Trade Center are hoping to garner support by displaying the badges of 29 members of the NYPD who were immersed in rescue efforts and later died from 9/11-related sickness.
The badges were put on exhibit on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Monday.
The bill would provide free health care and compensation for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, who inhaled hazardous materials after the Twin Towers fell; workers subsequently suffered from ailments like asthma, sinuses and reduced lung capacity.
The bill passed the House during Congressâ€™ lame duck session, yet a cloud of scientific doubt hangs over the bill, though. Doctors arenâ€™t sure how many people are sick or how many of these illnesses are actually linked to the dust from Ground Zero.
Case in point: 34-year-old police detective James Zadroga, for whom the legislation is named. Some say he died from respiratory disease, which he contracted from working at Ground Zero; the NYC medical examiner posed a different theory, saying that Zadrogaâ€™s lung issues were the result of his abuse of prescription drugs.
Additionally, some Republicans oppose the bill, which would cost $7.4 billion over 10 years, deeming it a move that would increase taxes and eliminate jobs.
What is your opinion of this bill? Is it unfair to deny 9/11 rescue workers aid after they risked their lives to try and save others?
It’s been one week since water leaked into a section of the Ground Zero construction pit which is owned by Brookfield Properties. While the leak is under control, the water has yet to be drained.
As reported by DNAinfo, a Brookfield Properties spokesperson said, “the situation remains well under control.” There is no timeframe for when the water might be removed from the Ground ZeroÂ contractionÂ pit.
The section that flooded with water from the Hudson River was part of pedestrian tunnel, currently being built under West Street.
Do setbacks like this dampen your hopes for progress at Ground Zero?