July 9th - July 15th, 2004
LMDC Gives $3.5 Million to Restore Tribute in Light Memorial
Friday, July 9th: The "Tribute in Light" memorial, first illuminated on March 11, 2002, will return to Manhattan skies every September 11 for the next five years thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the LMDC, the New York Times and Associated Press reported.
The LMDC board voted unanimously to fund the project through the Municipal Art Society, the organization that helps produce the memorial and will maintain the 88 searchlights needed to create the symbolic twin beams of light, the Times said. Last September 11, corporate sponsors donated the $700,000 needed to power the memorial for one night, the Times added.
While no long-term plans have been made for a specific downtown location for the "Tribute in Light," city officials intend to use a site in Battery Park City, at West and Vesey Streets, for this year's memorial, according to the Times.
Tribeca Film Festival Brings Downtown Festivities to Italy
Saturday, July 10th: Lower Manhattan's Tribeca Film Festival will visit Milan, Italy, this fall, showcasing highlights from last May's festival in New York City as well as several new additions, the Associated Press reported.
The free, five-day festival will run from October 12-16 and seeks to increase exposure for films featured in the festival as well as for a variety of new films, the AP added. "We are very pleased to be collaborating in this event in hopes that our films will be seen by as many people as possible," Robert DeNiro said in a statement reported by the AP.
Created by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the Fondazione Prada -- a Milan-based contemporary art foundation -- organizers hope that the Milan festival will be an annual event.
For more information about the Tribeca Film Festival, please click here.
PATH Ridership Soars
Monday, July 12th: The number of commuters using the World Trade Center PATH station and Jersey City's Exchange Place PATH station in New Jersey has soared, the New York Post reported.
According the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the WTC PATH station, which reopened last December after the original facility was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks, averages an overwhelming 33,000 weekday riders -- approximately 9,000 more passengers than officials estimated, said the Post.
"Restoration of our Exchange Place Station and the World Trade Center PATH stations was a critical first step in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site," Port Authority Executive Director Joseph Seymour told the Post.
The Port Authority is currently developing plans to build a $2 billion permanent WTC PATH station designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, scheduled for completion in 2009. The permanent WTC PATH hub would ultimately connect to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $750 million Fulton Transit Center to create an interconnected downtown transportation network expected to serve as many as 250,000 passengers by 2020, the Post added.
Four Downtown City Projects Receive Awards for Design Excellence
Monday, July 12th: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Art Commission President Joyce Frank Menschel, presented eight New York City projects with awards for design excellence at the 22nd Annual Art Commission Awards at the Brooklyn Museum.
Among those receiving top honors were four downtown projects: Redesign of the Gardens of Remembrance (Upper Promenade, Battery Park); Installation of an Entrance Canopy Light Sculpture and a Distinctive Sidewalk (The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, Battery Park City); Reconstruction of the Northern Portion of the Columbus Park Landscape (South of Bayard Street between Baxter and Mulberry Streets); and Construction of Shaft 21 Superstructure over Water Tunnel No. 1 (285 South Street at Clinton Street).
"Each year, by presenting these awards, our administration demonstrates its commitment to fostering good design in our city," stated Mayor Bloomberg.
The city also announced a "Design and Construction Excellence Initiative" at the event. The new program seeks to encourage all New York City agencies to strive for excellence in design. A panel discussion on the initiative will take place on Monday, July 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place).
Libeskind, Silverstein to Battle in Court over Freedom Tower Fees
Tuesday, July 13th: Master WTC site planner Daniel Libeskind filed a lawsuit in a New York State Supreme Court against WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein, claiming that he is owed $843,750 in design fees for his work on the $1.8 billion Freedom Tower, the New York Times reported.
Silverstein, who has spent much of the last year in court battling insurance claims, countered the architect's original estimate, arguing that Libeskind has failed to produce time sheets for the project that would justify the $843,750 payment, the Times noted.
While the dispute between the parties continues in court, rebuilding officials have stressed that the disagreement will not impact the rebuilding process. "This is a private dispute between the parties and will in no way hinder the progress of the rebuilding efforts," LMDC President Kevin Rampe told the Times.
Staten Island Ferry Probe Continues
Tuesday, July 13th: The federal investigation into last October's Staten Island Ferry accident may be extended an additional 30 days, the New York Post reported.
According to the paper, federal prosecutors at the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's office investigating the crash were given a 30-day extension to freeze any civil proceedings in the case in order to complete the federal investigation without interference.
Indictments in the case are expected to be administered over the next month, the Post added.
New Economic Index Shows a Rebounding Downtown
Thursday, July 15th: Pace University's Center for Downtown New York (CDNY), following up on its Tuesday announcement of a new economic indicator for Lower Manhattan, reported that the statistic, called the Pace Downtown Index (PDI), rose to 93.32 for the month of June, an increase of 0.22 percent from the May figure, reflecting a continued economic rebound in Lower Manhattan.
The PDI, developed by CDNY with assistance from the New York City Mayor's Office and the Alliance for Downtown New York, combines several variables to arrive at a single statistic measuring economic and business activity in Lower Manhattan. To learn more about the PDI, please click here.