May 4th - May 10th, 2013
9-11 Museum at WTC Will Charge Admission, Officials Say
May 4 - Faced with hefty operating costs, the foundation building the 9/11 museum at the World Trade Center has decided to charge a mandatory admission fee of $20 to $25 when the site opens next year, reported NBC News and other sources. Entry to the memorial plaza with its twin reflecting pools will still be free, but the decision to charge for the underground museum housing relics of the terror attacks has been greeted with dismay by some relatives of trade center victims. Memorial foundation head Joseph Daniels said Saturday that the museum has little choice. It is expected to cost nearly $60 million a year to operate the site. Daniels said the museum will be free during certain hours every week. The exact price of admission has not yet been determined. Earlier this week, the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum received a low-interest $15 million loan from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is the foundation's chairman, to help the nonprofit with a budget shortfall. The museum is estimated to cost around $700 million. The foundation has received more than $425 million from state and federal government and the Port Authority. It's also raised over $450 million in private donations.
Cyclists Hit City Streets for Five Boro Bike Tour
May 5 - They rolled through Manhattan, to the Bronx, over to Queens and Brooklyn, and finally made it to Staten Island to complete the 36th annual Five Boro Bike Tour, reported NY1. A crisp, clear Sunday morning provided a perfect opportunity for riders to explore a city that has increasingly become more bike-friendly over the years. "We have 700 miles of bike lanes, bike shares coming this month," said Ken Podziba, CEO of Bike New York. When the event started in 1977, there were only 250 riders. It's grown considerably. Organizers expected up to 32,000 riders at this year's event, many of them riding for special causes, including one we've become quite familiar with since the tragedy in Boston. With that tragedy in mind, New York City stepped up security along the 40-mile course. The police department used mobile cameras and helicopters, and deployed a significant number of police officers. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said when it comes to security, each event in the city has to be judged individually. Riders weren't allowed to carry backpacks or hydration packs, and the finish line festival was closed to the public. But no one seemed to let the precautions deter them. Bike New York is counting this year's Five Boro Bike Tour as another success and is already looking forward to the 37th annual event.
Paperless Post Plans Move to Lower Manhattan
May 5 - Paperless Post, a startup founded by two 20-something siblings in 2009, plans to move to Lower Manhattan and add 76 new jobs, making it one of the larger startups to relocate to the area that the city and landlords are trying to make more enticing to growing companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. The city and state devoted significant resources to the move, giving Paperless Post $455,000 as part of a program for companies that relocate to Lower Manhattan and create at least 75 new jobs. In March, Paperless Post was also selected as one of the winners of the city Economic Development Corp.'s competition to provide $250,000 to creative and technology companies that relocate to the area.
NY Federal Courthouse Near WTC to Get $10 Million Security Boost
May 6 - A federal courthouse blocks from the World Trade Center site in Manhattan is getting a $10.4 million security boost, more than a decade after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks proved the need for it, reported the Washington Post. Chief Judge Loretta Preska announced the plans Monday, saying a 4,500-square-foot glass and steel structure where court officers can screen people for weapons and explosives outside the building was a commonsense solution to a problem that seemed obvious after terrorists hijacked two planes and demolished the 110-story twin towers. She said New York Congressional representatives drew attention to the issue before the General Services Administration "scoured the country" for money left from completed or cancelled projects that could be spent on the pavilion. Construction is scheduled to start this fall and be completed in April 2015. The courthouse opened in the mid-1990s. It's next to a federal courthouse that was built in the 1930s and was recently refurbished. Several terrorism trials in the courthouses have resulted in more than two dozen convictions.
WTC Transit Hub Begins to Spread Architectural Wings
May 7 - Workers have placed the first piece of steel above ground at the new World Trade Center transportation hub, reported the Associated Press. The 10-ton piece of steel swung above a deep rectangular pit at the construction site Monday before workers secured it to the ground. It is the first of more than 600 pieces of steel that will comprise the hub. When completed in 2015, the hub will be shaped like enormous white wings about to take flight. It will connect 13 subway lines and PATH trains to New Jersey and serve more than 100,000 daily commuters. The hub will replace the temporary PATH station that was built after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Ribbon Cut on New Downtown Movie Theater
May 7 - Filmmakers Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock Tuesday welcomed the arrival of an all-documentary theater in downtown Manhattan, reported amNY. The 73-seat documentary theater, expected to open in early 2015 and be the first of its kind in the U.S., will be housed in a landmark firehouse on Lafayette Street where the Downtown Community Television Center operates. Moore and Spurlock, who directed "Super Size Me," will also be on an advisory council for DCTV, an education and production center for filmmakers and students started by husband-and-wife documentarians Jon Alpert and Keiko Tsuno in 1972. The necessary renovations to DCTV's headquarters will cost about $3 million. Financing came from private foundations and public funding, including money from the New York City Council and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. The luminaries of the documentary world were joined by public officials who backed the project, including Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin and Councilwoman Margaret Chin.
Verizon to Lease or Sell Space in Its Manhattan Headquarters
May 7 - Verizon Communications Inc., the second-largest U.S. phone company, will sell or lease out about half the space in its Manhattan headquarters, part of a move to cut costs and raise cash in a rebounding real estate market, according to Bloomberg News. The company is inviting investors to assess the property this week and submit plans for potential use, Verizon said today in a statement. It expects to keep the first 10 floors of the 31-story structure, a 1920s-era building whose lobby and exterior are designated as New York City landmarks. By offering the space, located at 140 West St., Verizon aims to capitalize on a renaissance of the area following the Sept. 11 attacks more than a decade ago. The building is across the street from One World Trade Center, now the tallest tower in the U.S., which will open next year. The real estate could be used as retail, restaurant, hotel or residential space for the burgeoning neighborhood, Verizon said.
Spire Permanently Installed on WTC Tower
May 10 - To cheers from spectators and workers alike, construction crews set a silver spire atop New York City's One World Trade Center on Friday to bring the structure to its full 1,776 height and cap an emotional 12-year effort to restore a key part of the city skyline shattered by the 9/11 terror attacks. USA Today and other sources reported that the 408-foot spire, which weighs 758 tons, includes a broadcast antenna and a light that will be visible from miles away to serve as a both a beacon for aircraft and a permanent signal of triumph over extremists who jolted the city and the country. The needle will be held in place by a temporary structure until iron workers finish off the permanent base in the coming weeks. The tower is scheduled to open for business in 2014.