May 7th - May 13th, 2004
WTC Transportation Hub Design on Display
Sunday, May 9: While construction of the WTC transportation hub isn't scheduled to be complete until 2009, visitors to the Museum of Modern Art Queens can view two scale models of its elaborate design from now through September 27, Newsday reported.
Created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the new hub will feature a glass-and-steel pavilion and two retractable, interlocking canopies resembling an image of a bird in flight -- a symbol of hope, according to the architect.
The $2 billion hub will sit at the northeast corner of the site at Church and Vesey Streets and is expected to form an underground connection between the World Financial Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposed Fulton Street Transit Center. Through it, pedestrians will have access to Hudson River ferry terminals, PATH trains, 14 subway lines, and, potentially, a direct rail link to JFK International Airport.
First Lady Dedicates Garden of Remembrance
Monday, May 10: First Lady Laura Bush joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a dedication ceremony for Battery Park's Garden of Remembrance, a 100,000-square-foot flower garden created in honor of 9/11 victims.
"The gardens provide a peaceful place in Lower Manhattan where New Yorkers and visitors can remember and reflect on those who lost their lives on September 11th," Bloomberg stated.
Planted last spring by renowned Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf with the help of the Battery Conservancy, the Garden of Remembrance contains 113 species of perennials and flowers that line Battery Park's waterfront esplanade.
Mrs. Bush visited New York as part of a White House initiative called "Preserve America," which aims to preserve the country's cultural and natural heritage.
Chinatown Tourism Campaign Launched
Monday, May 10: NYC & Company, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and the September 11th Fund, in collaboration with local community and business leaders, formally launched "Explore Chinatown" -- a new marketing campaign intended to increase the number of tourists visiting Chinatown and to rebuild and improve the neighborhood's economy. For complete coverage, please click here.
City Selects Firms for East River Development
Tuesday, May 11: The city named British architectural firm Richard Rogers Partnership and downtown-based SHoP/Sharples Holden and Pasquarelli Architects as lead consultants on a project to redevelop Lower Manhattan's East River waterfront.
The firms, which have been tasked with creating a new riverfront landscape stretching from Battery Park to the Lower East Side, will develop plans for new uses of the waterfront -- including aesthetic and ecological improvements. The groups are currently evaluating the positive and negative impacts of the proposed demolition of FDR Drive, a frequently used roadway that separates parts of downtown from the riverfront, the New York Times reported.
The city's Economic Development Corporation and Department of City Planning also announced that they will host a series of public meetings in June to present preliminary concepts for the waterfront area.
A comprehensive plan for downtown's East River Waterfront is expected to be completed in early 2005, the Times added.
9/11 Panel to Hold Hearings in New York
Wednesday, May 12: The independent commission tasked with investigating 9/11 will hold hearings in New York City next week to further evaluate the emergency response efforts during the WTC attacks.
Over the past five months, the commission has questioned both federal and municipal officials, as well as family, friends, and coworkers of the victims. Next week, it will hear testimony from 13 witnesses, including former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Bloomberg Administration, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The hearings, scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, will be held in the New School University's Tishman Auditorium and are expected to last a total of 11 hours.
PA Requests Silverstein's WTC Financing Plan
Thursday, May 13: After World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein's recent loss in a legal battle, preventing him from collecting two insurance payouts for the WTC attacks, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) requested that he provide a detailed financial plan for how he will afford the rebuilding of the WTC, the Post reported.
While the insurance payouts are significantly less than he anticipated, Silverstein maintains that he will be able to afford the cost of the Freedom Tower, despite having to pay the $120 million annual lease payments for the site as well as costs associated with its construction, the Post said.