April 9th - April 15th, 2004
LMDC Selects Advisory Committee for Memorial Center
Friday, April 9: The LMDC announced the formation of a 24-member advisory committee charged with handling both the programming for the Memorial Center museum, as well as the collection of its artifacts. The Memorial Center, which will reside beneath Michael Arad and Peter Walker's "Reflecting Absence," is designed to offer visitors a narrative history of the WTC as well as the 1993 and 2001 attacks. For complete coverage, please click here.
Turkey on the Loose
Sunday, April 11: Battery Park's favorite wild turkey, Zelda, took a stroll around downtown last Sunday, creating minor traffic disruptions along the West Side Highway before being returned to her home, according to the Daily News.
Police and firefighters reported to Chambers Street at 10:45 a.m. to find the friendly fowl on a nearby rooftop. After corralling the bird into a P.S. 234 yard, officials were finally able to safely capture Zelda and return the bird to its home in Battery Park, the News reported.
According to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the city's wild turkey population has been on the rise since the 1950s. While the birds pose little threat to the public, he recommends that residents call 311 if they spot a turkey in a residential or commercial area, the News added.
City Council Chambers to Get Makeover
Monday, April 12: City Council Chambers will undergo a much needed renovation this summer, according to the New YorkPost.
Located on City Hall's second floor, the historic chambers' $6.7 million renovation project will include the restoration of its murals and chipping ceilings, as well as the addition of new lighting and sound systems, flooring, and balcony seating, the Post added.
New York, FEMA Settle 9/11 Claims
Monday, April 12: After months of negotiations, city and state officials reached an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that exempts New York from liability for up to $350 million in medical claims filed by workers and volunteers who were injured during the cleanup of Ground Zero.
According to the agreement, FEMA will consider medical claims related to work completed between September 11 and September 29, 2001, for coverage under a $1 billion liability insurance fund created by the U.S. Congress. Until last week, the agency refused to cover these claims on the grounds that work completed during that time period was not officially recognized as part of the cleanup effort.
LMDC Names Associate Architect for WTC Memorial
Tuesday, April 13: After months of deliberation, the LMDC named the firm David Brody Bond the official associate architect for the WTC memorial, the New York Times reported. The firm, which competed against several of the world's most renowned architects for the opportunity, will support memorial designers Michael Arad and Peter Walker as they develop their project, "Reflecting Absence."
Located at 315 Hudson Street, the 90-member firm has participated in several projects throughout the city, including the expansion of the Harvard Club at 27 West 44th Street and renovations on the New York Public Library's Humanities and Social Sciences building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
As part of the announcement, the LMDC also said that it will award the Gilbane Building Company, headquartered in Rhode Island, a $45 million contract to dismantle the 40-story structure at 130 Liberty Street as part of the Lower Manhattan redevelopment efforts, the Times added.
LMDC Issues Revised Environmental Impact Statement
Wednesday, April 14: The LMDC released the latest environmental impact statement for redevelopment of the World Trade Center.
While the report acknowledged that the construction will affect traffic and cause various disruptions to downtown residents and the environment, it also pointed out that the adverse impacts are "inevitable" given the size and scope of the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
The 2,000-page document -- revised from the original report that was released in January -- also provides plans to reduce the construction's impact on the environment by suggesting the implementation of cooling towers and a cogeneration facility to power the Freedom Tower and several other buildings throughout the site. It also noted that the WTC site will include a total of 5.6 acres of open space, significantly more than development officials originally planned.
The LMDC is expected to conduct public hearings on the final statement in the coming weeks and is scheduled to present its conclusion at a meeting in May.
LMDC Devotes Funding to Deutsche Bank Demolition
Wednesday, April 14: The LMDC announced that it will devote an additional $20 million in public funds to demolish the Deutsche Bank building near Ground Zero. The 40-story building, located at 130 Liberty Street, was severely damaged on September 11, 2001, by debris from the nearby WTC.
In February, the LMDC announced that it would purchase the property for $90 million and fund the building's demolition. Insurers have agreed to cover costs for the project once it exceeds its $45 million budget.