December 22nd - December 28th, 2012
Verizon Works to Restore Phone Service to Lower Manhattan Buildings
December 21 - Nearly two months after Hurricane Sandy, many office buildings in Lower Manhattan are still without telephone service, and Verizon says it is working day and night to replace infrastructure, NY1 reported. "There are two things that companies need ultimately, and that's power and that's telecommunications," said John Gilbert of Rudin Management. For some buildings downtown, the latter may be the bigger challenge, as Hurricane Sandy destroyed 95 percent of Verizon's telephone network in Lower Manhattan. "There is over 100 million square feet of commercial space south of Canal Street that Verizon is focused on in the restoral of service," said Chris Levendos of Verizon. One-third of the approximately 200 buildings south of Canal Street are completely back, according to Levendos. But they have a long way to go. A cable vault at the company's Broad Street control center was full of copper wires, transmitting thousands of telephone conversations for Verizon customers. Now, it is empty. All of those wires were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. New fiber optic cables are now strung overhead, up to the street, eventually into buildings like 80 Pine Street, where the water line may still be visible in the lobby, but the phone can start ringing.
Contributions Throw a Lifeline to South Street Seaport Museum
December 24 - The South Street Seaport Museum, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, has raised more than $750,000 in donations since the storm, including half a million dollars from a single, anonymous donor. According to The Broadsheet, a check for $500,000 arrived unexpectedly in Museum mail during the week before Christmas. Another $100,000 was donated as a grant by the Andrew Mellon Foundation to support relief efforts to restore Museum operations. Another 500 or so donors -- individuals, corporations, and foundations -- have contributed the remaining $150,000-plus. The South Street Seaport Museum suffered extensive damage to its telecommunications, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems during the storm (although its collections were mostly untouched), but reopened in mid-December. Donations can be made on the South Street Seaport Museums website, at www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org.
Firefighters Upset No Flag Rises on 9-11 Memorial Plaza
December 24 - The artist's sketch shows a large American flag rising from the 9-11 Memorial plaza, above the canopy of white oak trees. The rendering was meant to offer a preview of the World Trade Center memorial before its opening last year. But more than a year after the unveiling of the memorial, which has been visited by millions, no flag rises from the plaza, reported The Record. The foundation that oversees the memorial says the flag in the rendering is planned for the only area of the 8-acre plaza still under construction, the northeast corner. A firefighters association based inBergen Countyhas seized on the omission, saying it illustrates that the site where nearly 3,000 people died over 11 years ago is becoming a city park geared toward tourists rather than being preserved as sacred ground. The flag dispute is the latest flash point in a lingering conflict over how the site of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil should be reincorporated into Lower Manhattan: as a somber tribute, as an unrestricted open space, or some hybrid. In response to the characterization of the site as irreverent, a spokesman for the foundation that runs the memorial pointed out that hundreds of first responders names are inscribed on bronze parapets that surround the large pools. For now, a less conspicuous flag sits atop a mechanical building on the western side of the site, and there is one near the entrance to the site. Beyond the flag issue, the firefighters bristle at the notion of office employees eating their lunch on the plaza as they would in any neighborhood park.
Verizon Issues Lower Manhattan Restoration Schedule
December 24 - Verizon has prepared a preliminary construction-completion schedule for the copper to fiber restoration effort in Lower Manhattan, as posted on the company website. It posted a list of all of the major buildings in Lower Manhattan that have either been restored or will be restored, including the anticipated first service turn-up date at www.verizonbusiness.com/resources/building-restoration-list_en_xg.xlsx. The to-be-restored listing represents a comprehensive project plan for each location. In preparing this plan, Verizon used a variety of information, including input from building landlords, equipment availability and knowledge of the local plant. If crews encounter unexpected roadblocks during construction such as equipment delays or inability to obtain building access, power or space, these dates may change. Verizon continues to work with landlords and building management to develop plans for all buildings. The building list and dates will change as information is gathered.
Fire Hits World Trade Center Construction Trailers
December 26 - A fire at the World Trade Center construction site damaged three construction trailers on Wednesday but did not affect any buildings and injured no one, the authorities said. The New York Times and other sources reported that the fire broke out around 11:30 a.m. in a trailer used by master mechanics that is stored north of the entry pavilion of the National September 11 Memorial Museum and just west of 3 World Trade Center, according to the Fire Department and the Port Authority. The fire spread to two other trailers, and there may have been some oil or grease in the trailer, the Port Authority said. It was declared under control at 12:19 p.m., the Fire Department said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The9/11 Memorialwas evacuated briefly.