September 10th - September 16th, 2004
LMDC Extends Support for Interim Ground Zero Visitor Center
Friday, September 10: Gov. George Pataki and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced their support of the Tribute Visitors Center being planned across from Ground Zero at 120 Liberty Street, the New York Times reported.
The idea for the center, which is being organized by the September 11th Families Association, is to provide visitors to Ground Zero, area residents, survivors, and victims families with an interim place to mourn, share, and learn while the WTC Memorial and museum are constructed, the Times explained.
In addition to providing information about the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the WTC, LMDC President Kevin Rampe noted that the Tribute Visitors Center could also provide visitor guides and materials, as well as serve as a central meeting point, the paper said.
The LMDC will consider offering financing for the project, pending the submission of a more detailed plan for the center. According to the Times, the LMDC could provide up to $3 million, to match funding obtained from other sources.
Victims' Parents Lead Anniversary of September 11
Saturday, September 11: Hundreds of families gathered at the World Trade Center site to commemorate the losses of September 11, 2001. Their lost loved ones, 2,749 firefighters, police officers, and Trade Center employees, each were called out by name by 99 parents and grandparents in a solemn ceremony commemorating the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. For complete coverage, please click here.
Deutsche Bank Building on Brink of Deconstruction
Tuesday, September 14: LMDC representatives presented an eagerly awaited study about the cleaning and deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street, previously owned by Deutsche Bank. The study was the first in a series of "characterizations" to determine how to best bring down the building without compromising local air quality.
Ground Zero Workers File Lawsuit
Wednesday, September 15: Nearly 800 workers who participated in the clean-up efforts at Ground Zero have filed a class-action lawsuit against WTC leaseholder Silverstein Properties and the four construction companies hired to oversee the removal of rubble, asserting that organizations did not sufficiently protect workers from harmful debris remaining in the air, the Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit seeks not only billions of dollars in compensation for victims, but also funding for medical testing and screening programs to track the health of those exposed over the next 20 years. Although the federal government is currently funding six health screening programs to monitor those who worked at Ground Zero, none of the current programs operate past 2009, AP said.
Although some of the 800 plaintiffs in the case have reported adverse health effects, many do not exhibit any symptoms and have joined the lawsuit in order to safeguard themselves in the event that they develop related ailments in the future. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released last week, one such disease that may not develop until later in life is cancer, AP noted.
The four companies that led the Ground Zero cleanup were Turner Construction, AMEC Construction, Tully Construction, and Bovis Lend Lease, AP added.
Progress Exceeds Expectations as New 7 WTC Climbs Higher
Thursday, September 16: Construction workers installed 27-foot columns on 7 WTC, framing the 45th and 46th floors of what soon will be the first WTC building to be completely rebuilt since September 11, 2001, the New York Times reported.
The speed of progress on the 741-foot-tall, 52-story tower exceeded rebuilding officials expectations, the paper noted. According to a remark made to the Times by Larry A. Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, the developer of the project, reconstruction on 7 WTC "just went remarkably fast."
Located across Vesey Street from the WTC complex, 7 WTC became the first building at Ground Zero to undergo construction when ground was broken in late 2002. In May, Con Edison began operating its $100 million electrical substation on the facility's lower 10 floors, providing 200 to 250 megawatts of power -- though only a fraction of that power is currently needed in the area with the absence of the twin towers.
The construction of the new 7 WTC is expected to be finished in October. Once built, the tower will stand 99 feet taller than the original, which was built in 1984 and stood 642 feet -- or 47 stories -- tall, the Times added.
Pace Downtown Index Reveals Stronger Downtown Economy
Thursday, September 16: The Pace Downtown Index (PDI) -- the first comprehensive economic indicator for Lower Manhattan -- shows a continuing upward trend for the downtown economy for a 12th consecutive month, reaching its highest level since May 2002.
The PDI is determined by tracking economic progress as a weighted average of four variables, two representing activities in the financial markets and two representing the commercial real estate market and the city's overall economy. The selected variables are the S&P 500 Index, the Federal Funds Rate, the total commercial real estate inventory in Lower Manhattan, and the Gross Lower Manhattan Product.
The latest PDI released registers at 97.36 for August, an increase of 0.08 percent from last month and 1.7 percent from August 2003.
Pace University's Center for Downtown New York (CDNY), with assistance from the Mayor's Office and the Alliance for Downtown New York, developed the PDI.