April 2nd - April 6th, 2012
1 World Trade Reaches 100 Stories -- Sort Of
March 31 - One World Trade Center now soars 100 stories into the sky -- based on creative counting. The Port Authority said the skyscraper is now about 1,240 feet above the ground, the Wall Street Journal reported. That makes it the tallest building in Lower Manhattan. Last week, it reached 93 stories. Now after a story was added, it's 100. What gives? Fuzzy architectural math. The Journal reported that floors 94 through 99 don't exist. That is because developers often number floors in strange ways based on varying floor heights and usability of the stories themselves. For example, the second actual inhabitable floor of 1 WTC after the ground floor is the 20th. And floors 91 through 93 are for mechanical equipment and thus are each much higher than an office floor. When complete, 1 WTC (or the Freedom Tower, as it was formerly known) will be 104 stories. It will feature observation decks on the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors.
Downtown Handyman Convicted
April 2 - A handyman was convicted this week of suffocating a cleaning woman and stuffing her body in an air-conditioning duct in a Lower Manhattan office tower where they were working in 2009, reports the Associated Press. He faces the possibility of a life sentence in prison. The 27-year-old handyman, Joseph Pabon, was found guilty of kidnapping and murder in the death of Eridania Rodriguez. Ms. Rodriguez, 46, disappeared while cleaning a skyscraper in, prompting a four-day search that summer before her body was found.
Urban Archaeologists Uncover History Beneath Streets
April 3 - The streets of lower Manhattan are traveled by hundreds of thousands of people each day. Beneath the sidewalks they walk on, a treasure trove of buried historic artifacts waits to be discovered, according to a CNN report. As construction crews tear into the streets on the southern tip of the island of Manhattan, Alyssa Loorya is often by their side. The urban archaeologist with Chrysalis Archaeology is looking for items that were once considered garbage. The city often has to hire archaeologists to work alongside construction crews when they open the streets in lower Manhattan.
The Lower Manhattan Titanic Trail
April 4 - It will be 100 years come April 15 since the opulent ocean liner Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and sank at 2:20 a.m., killing more than 1,500 people. But not all vestiges of that tragedy are at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Some are in Lower Manhattan, reports the Downtown Express.
Charges Dropped Against Manhattan Councilman In OWS Sweep
April 4 - Charges have been dropped against a Manhattan councilman arrested during the eviction of Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park, according to NY1. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was among dozens of people arrested in the early morning hours of November 15 when police cleared the park in Lower Manhattan. The lawmaker claims he was physically attacked by several police officers with night sticks. He had been charged with obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest. Prosecutors say they dropped the charges because they were never able to locate a female officer who Rodriguez was accused of physically interfering with. His attorney claims the officer never existed. Authorities with knowledge of the investigation say while the policewoman does exist, she could not provide information that would support prosecution of the case. While this case is over, Rodriguez's attorney isn't ruling out the possibility of further legal action.
Architects Criticize WTC Security Plan
April 4 - Jordan Gruzen, partner in the award-winning firm of Gruzen Samton Architects, doesn't often make an appearance at Community Board 1 meetings, but he felt strongly enough about the NYPD proposed security plan to show up at the CB1 full board meeting on March 27 to speak against the plan, reported Downtown Express. Gruzen is co-chair of New York New Visions, a coalition of 21 architecture, planning, and design organizations that first met a week after 9/11 in a pro-bono effort to address the issues surrounding the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. At the Community Board meeting, Gruzen said he was speaking on behalf of New York New Visions.
Water Main Break In Lower Manhattan Impacts Traffic, Transit
April 5 - A water main break in Lower Manhattan had a major impact on traffic and transit early Thursday morning, CBS New York reported. A12-inch water main dating back to 1898 burst at the corner of West Broadway and Murray streets around 3 a.m. The water main flooded the street and the Chambers Street subway station. For several hours Thursday morning, the Metropolitan Transit Authority said there was no service on the 1, 2 and 3 trains between 14th Street and both South Ferry and Atlantic Avenue as crews pumped water out of the subway station and inspected the tracks. By about 8:30 a.m., service had resumed on the 1, 2, 3 with residual delays.
Council Member Chin Organizes Rally to Save the LMCCC
April 6 - City Council member Margaret Chin and Community Board 1 are calling on all Lower Manhattan residents to rally with them on Monday, April 9th at 9:30 a.m., at the intersection of John and Nassau Streets, the Battery Park Broadsheet reports. At issue is the survival of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), the only agency coordinating construction projects across Manhattan below Canal Street. Governor Cuomo has already begun phasing out the joint City-State agency. In January, he announced plans to let go all but three full-time staff members. It is unlikely that LMCCC will be able to maintain its current level of service with reduced staff and resources. At its peak in 2006, the LMCCC employed 22 people. By last year, the staff had shrunk to just seven people. Lower Manhattan is entering its peak construction year, which will last from now until the first quarter of 2013, with 60 major projects in progress through at least 2015.