Governor George E. Pataki today announced major new milestones in the aggressive timeline for revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The Governor announced that the plans for the rebirth of the World Trade Center site will move from "paper to steel" on July 4, 2004 - when ground will be broken on the Freedom Tower.
Speaking at an Association for a Better New York luncheon at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City, the Governor also announced that plans for the Fulton Street Transit Center will be unveiled later this month and that the Con Ed substation in Seven World Trade Center will begin service by the end of the month.
"On July 4, as we celebrate the birth of our democracy, we also celebrate the rebirth of our City," Governor Pataki said. "On July 4, as we commemorate the founding of our nation, we lay the foundation for our resurgence. On July 4, as fireworks burst in the sky - ephemeral reminders of our liberty - we will begin to reclaim our skyline with a permanent symbol of our freedom. On July 4, 2004 we will break ground on the Freedom Tower - I hope you will join me that day - as together, with unstoppable resolve, we rise to reaffirm our freedom."
Freedom Tower Groundbreaking July 4th; Deutsche Bank Deconstruction to Begin in Fall
The official groundbreaking on the 1,776 ft. Freedom Tower office building will be July 4, 2004 - months ahead of schedule. As the Freedom Tower is built, deconstruction will begin on 130 Liberty Street, the Deutsche Bank building. The dismantling of the building will begin in the fall and is expected to be completed by 2005 - removing a blight on the downtown skyscape.
Timeline for Memorial Construction and Creation of New Interim Space Near WTC Site for Families
The Governor also announced today that a full schematic design executed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker with associate architect Max Bond will be complete by the end of 2004. Construction drawings will be finished by 2005 and construction on the memorial will begin in 2006.
The Governor called upon the LMDC to offer funding and assistance to family groups for the creation of a space near the World Trade Center site to serve as a welcoming center where family members, survivors, residents, and visitors can preserve their memories through audio recordings, writings, and archives.
"For family members, the memorial process itself has been a sometimes cathartic and sometimes painful experience," the Governor said. "It has been filled with honest differences of opinion and powerful streams of emotion. Even while Arad's memorial is in development, we will offer family members a place to remember their loved ones in peace - and a place to come together in unity."
Major Contribution to the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation
The Governor also announced that Major League Baseball, the Baseball Players Association, and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund are jointly contributing the first $1 million donation to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Center.
Fulton Transit Center Design Unveiling and Transportation Connections
The Governor announced that on May 26, 2004, at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Meeting, the design for the Fulton Transit Center will be unveiled. The new hub will link 12 subway lines serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. When the permanent PATH terminal and the Fulton Transit Center are completed and connected through an underground concourse, Lower Manhattan will become one of the most accessible business districts in the world.
In addition, the Governor also provided an update on transportation projects that are under way and on schedule.
- The Port Authority ferry services between Lower Manhattan and both LaGuardia Airport and JFK International Airport are on schedule. Service to LaGuardia Airport will begin this year and JFK Airport service will start in 2005.
- Construction on a new and expanded Battery Park City Ferry Terminal has begun. This new terminal will replace the temporary terminal and is expected to open for business in the Spring of 2006. The terminal, funded by the Port Authority, will provide passengers with enhanced amenities.
- Construction on the southern portion of the West Street promenade will begin this September, transforming this highway into a tree-lined promenade. The first section, Washington Street to West Thames Street, will be complete by the end of 2005.
- The South Ferry terminal is on track to open in 2007, allowing for convenient transfers to the N and W lines and the Staten Island Ferry.
The Con Ed substation in Seven World Trade Center will begin service by the end of the month. The substation supplies electrical service to Lower Manhattan and replaces equipment destroyed by the attacks on the World Trade Center.
New Construction Command Center Executive Orders to Ensure Coordination on both State and City Levels
By the time construction commences on the site, a single framework will be in place to coordinate all of the various construction projects taking place downtown. The Construction Command Center will serve as a one-stop shop for information and advisories on construction activities, traffic rerouting, and other important topics.
"State and City agencies have already begun meeting to put the pieces in place on this initiative and next month, Mayor Bloomberg and I will sign parallel Executive Orders that will vest the Command Center with unprecedented authority from both the State and the City - enabling the Command Center to cut across bureaucratic lines to coordinate continuously and seamlessly among the myriad agencies at work," the Governor said.
An updated timeline of projects involved in the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan is available on the LMDC's website (www.renewnyc.org).