June 11th - June 17th, 2004
New Memorial Designs Unveiled for African Burial Ground
Saturday, June 12: Five designs for a permanent memorial at the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan were unveiled in Harlem.
As part of the ongoing initiative to create a memorial at the historic site, the African Burial Ground -- located at 290 Broadway -- announced a memorial design competition in 1998. Since then, the African Burial Ground Office of Public Education & Interpretation, working in collaboration with the National Park Service and General Service Administration, has received more than sixty proposals from design teams.
Before selecting a final design, five public forums on the memorial will be hosted throughout the city later this month. For information about the forums, please visit the African Burial Ground website. To learn more about the history of the African Burial Ground on LowerManhattan.info, click here.
Renovation of Bowling Green Complete
Monday, June 14: Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, joined by Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) President Kevin M. Rampe and Community Board 1 Vice-Chair Richard Kennedy, announced the completion of the Bowling Green renovation initiative.
The project, which was sponsored by an $854,000 grant from the LMDC, included the restoration of the park's original iron fence -- a historical landmark -- installed in 1771. The city also replaced the park's perimeter sidewalk, re-sodded the lawn, and updated its landscape with a variety of plantings and lighting.
"Bowling Green is New York City's first park and the site of many historical moments," Commissioner Benepe said in a statement. "We applaud the LMDC for making it a priority to fund renovation projects to green spaces in Lower Manhattan, ensuring that Bowling Green will continue to play an important role in New York City."
The renovation of Bowling Green is just one component of the LMDC's plan to rehabilitate and create 13 downtown green spaces. For more information click here.
Ellis Island Readies for Reopening as Workers Complete Emergency Safety Drill
Monday, June 14: As part of the ongoing safety and security improvements being implemented at Ellis Island, employees of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island participated in an emergency safety drill on Monday, the Daily News reported.
The drill, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Department of Homeland Security, included dozens of workers putting out small fires and removing fallen beams from simulated victims, the News said. Over the past year, 60 employees on the island have participated in emergency safety classes, the paper added.
The Statue of Liberty, which has been closed to the public since 9/11 for security concerns, has undergone a series of renovations, including the addition of new stairs, exits, and lighting. According to city officials, the statue is expected to reopen in late July or early August.
Downtown Businesses Boom as Wall Street Profits Get Boost
Monday, June 14: Thanks to a surge in profits on Wall Street, downtown businesses are witnessing a surge in revenue, the New York Post reported.
According to figures from the New York State comptroller's office reported in the Post, Wall Street bonuses were up 25 percent in 2003 and area firms doled out a total of $10.7 billion in bonuses last year. The increased income to downtown residents and workers has provided steep profits for area business.
Among those businesses reporting significant revenue increases are restaurants and gyms, noted the Post.
Greenmarket Returns to World Trade Center Site
Tuesday, June 15: After reaching an agreement with the Port Authority, which owns the WTC site, Governor George Pataki announced the anticipated return of the Greenmarket to the World Trade Center site. As of June 17, the market will be open along the north side of the entrance to the temporary WTC PATH Terminal each Thursday for the rest of June, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering a wide selection of fresh produce and baked goods. For complete coverage, click here.
Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund Closes
Wednesday, June 16: The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund officially closed on June 16 after nearly three years of operation. As the program comes to its conclusion, the federal fund will have paid more than 5,000 families of 9/11 victims almost $7 billion, the New York Times reported.
Sept. 11 Fund Administrator Kenneth R. Feinberg met with President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday, after which Feinberg announced that the U.S. government would spend $6.9 billion through the fund, $1 billion of which would be designated to injured victims, the Times noted.
Applications to the Sept. 11 Fund surged in the month preceding the June deadline, with 97 percent of the 2,973 eligible families whose relatives died on 9/11 applying for aid, said the Times. According to statistics from Feinberg's office reported in the Times, 2,878 families had already received, or will soon receive, financial compensation packages on behalf of the dead that averaged $2.1 million per family. The paper went on to report that another 2,675 of the 4,430 who filed injury claims would also be compensated.
The U.S. Congress established the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund on September 22, 2001, and extended its initial close date, set for December 22, 2003, to June 15, 2004.