June 4th - June 10th, 2004
Governors Island to Reopen to Public after Two Centuries
Friday, June 4: The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation announced the reopening of Governors Island for a second summer of public tours after nearly two centuries of restricted access.
The island, which was purchased by the federal government in 1800 for $1, has served as a strategic operations ground for the U.S. military, and later the Coast Guard, throughout history. In 2001, the 172-acre island became a registered national monument. The following year, the federal government returned the island to New York State for its original price tag of $1. Since then, the Governors Island corporation has been working with the city, state, and National Park Service on plans to open the historic spot to the public.
Tickets for the Ferry to Governors Island are available at South Street Seaport Museum ticket booth locations every Saturday, starting June 12 through September 25. For complete coverage of Governors Island on LowerManhattan.info, click here. For additional information, please visit the National Park Service's website.
Battery Bosque Reconstruction Is Underway
Monday, June 7: City officials broke ground on an $8.5 million project aimed to improve and renovate Battery Park. Funded by the LMDC, the endeavor will transform the Bosque Area of Battery Park -- a section of the park located along the waterfront -- into 57,000 square feet of gardens, including new seating, a fountain, and food kiosks, among other amenities. For complete coverage, click here.
New Airline to Land Business Headquarters Downtown
Tuesday, June 8: Taking advantage of city and state tax incentives, a new airline announced that it will establish its business headquarters downtown, Newsday reported.
The airline -- which has yet to be named -- is affiliated with the Virgin Branded U.S. Airlines and will receive an estimated $11 million in tax assistance from New York City and State for office renovations, marketing help, and employee training, according to Newsday.
While the downtown location for the airline's headquarters has yet to be established, the city's Economic Development Corporation predicted that the airline will generate $69 million in economic activity for the area over the next 15 years, adding nearly 700 jobs, noted Newsday.
The airline is currently undergoing federal approvals and plans to base its aircraft operations in San Francisco.
General Slocum Disaster Marks Hundred-Year Anniversary
Tuesday, June 8: On June 15, the city will mark the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the General Slocum after it departed Lower Manhattan's East River waterfront in 1904.
The steamboat, which was carrying more than one thousand passengers when it caught fire in 1904, quickly sank at North Brother Island between the Bronx and Queens. An estimated 1,021 passengers -- mostly German immigrant women and children -- perished in the tragedy, either from being caught in the ship's flames or drowning due to the Slocum's rotted life jackets and nonfunctioning lifeboats.
An excursion ferry, the General Slocum was launched in 1891 and experienced a series of accidents and mishaps throughout the 13 years it was in operation. The sinking of the ship in 1904 is considered one of the city's most deadly disasters. The remains of the General Slocum were recovered and converted into a barge, which eventually sank during a storm in 1911.
WTC Cultural Programs Announced
Thursday, June 10: Governor George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced the cultural programming to be included at the new World Trade Center site. The institutions that will be offered space on the site include the Joyce International Dance Center, the Freedom Center, the Signature Theatre, and the Drawing Center. For complete coverage, click here.