April 28th - May 4th, 2006
Deconstruction of Deutsche Building Halted
Friday, April 28th: The search for human remains on the roof of the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street was halted when a sampling by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) confirmed the presence of asbestos, the Associated Press reported.
Together with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the LMDC is developing a recleaning plan that will ensure that workers have proper respiratory protection, EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears told the AP. According to LMDC spokesman John Gallagher, work on the building will continue, as will the search for human remains. The search so far has yielded more than 600 bone fragments, the AP added.
NIOSH Director Addresses Lower Manhattan Health Concerns
Saturday, April 29th: Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), told local media that anecdotal evidence suggests that breathing the smoke and ash that enveloped Lower Manhattan on September 11th and for weeks afterwards could lead to illness, the New York Times reported. Howard went on to say that rigorous scientific study is still required to make a firm conclusion, the paper added. "Sometimes it takes us in science years in terms of making absolutely definitive connections of a causal nature between exposure and health effect," he was quoted as saying.
According to Newsday, Howard's priorities going forward include coordinating 9/11 federal programs related to health concerns, identifying those who may have been exposed to toxins at or near the site, and making sure that all related illnesses are reported in a scientific manner. He intends to distribute medical protocols to doctors nationwide who may be treating people with 9/11-related health problems, the paper continued.
Aon Corporation to Move Back Downtown
Monday, May 1st: The financial powerhouse Aon Corporation is returning to Lower Manhattan after disbursing its operations to midtown and the suburbs following September 11th, when the company lost 176 employees from their World Trade Center office, the Daily News reported. The new offices are located at 199 Water Street, where Aon will lease 400,000 square feet of office space. The building will be renamed for the company, the paper continued. Eric Deutsch, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, told Crain's, "Aon's decision to consolidate its workforce in Lower Manhattan is a testament to the vitality of downtown."
Post-9/11 Smoking Cessation Program a Success
Tuesday, May 2nd: The New York City Fire Department has recently reported the success of a smoking cessation program implemented in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the New York Times reported. Implementation of the program immediately following 9/11 provided "a reachable, teachable moment" when the message about the dangers of smoking would make a lasting impression, Dr. David J. Prezant, the Fire Department's chief medical officer, told the Times continued. According to Prezant, "Tobacco calms your nerves, increases awareness, allows you to stay up…all things that people want in the middle of a disaster," making the timing of the cessation program especially valuable.
According to the Times, the program offered was free and voluntary, and 164 rescue workers enrolled -- roughly 9 percent of those who reported they smoked. In addition, 56 family members enrolled, and at the end of a year, 33 percent of the participants had quit entirely, compared to an average of 20 to 27 percent in other programs, the Times continued.
Participants were offered a variety of aids to help them quit according to their level of dependency, including nicotine patches, inhalers and nasal sprays, and the antidepressant Wellbutrin, the paper continued. Participants also received support from tobacco treatment specialists and from one another.
Architects Selected for Towers 2, 3, and 4
Wednesday, May 3rd: Developer Larry Silverstein has chosen world-renowned architects Lord Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki to design Towers 3 and 4 at the World Trade Center site, the New York Post reported. Rogers, best known for the Pompidou Center in Paris, will design the 2-million-square-foot office building known as Tower 3 at 175 Greenwich Street, and Maki, the Pritzker Prize winner who was commissioned to design the temporary United Nations headquarters, will design the 1.8-million-square-foot office building known as Tower 4 at 150 Greenwich Street, according to the New York Times.
According to the Associated Press, during the renegotiation of Larry Silverstein's lease, officials agreed that Roger's design will be the first built, followed by Maki's Tower 4, and then Tower 2, designed by Lord Norman Foster. Towers 3 and 4 will each include five floors of retail space at and above street level in addition to retail space in the underground concourse that will link each building to the transit hub, the AP continued.