Initial rendering of new W.T.C. One of the first renderings of the World Trade Center site was unveiled in 2004, including architect David Child’s original design of One W.T.C. (then called “the Freedom Tower”), the W.T.C. Memorial and the Calatrava PATH terminal.
For Lower Manhattan, the year 2004 was all about design and demolition. The design of the Freedom Tower, as it was then named by Governor Pataki, was debated. Over 5000 different designs were released for the 9/11 Memorial and the Memorial Foundation was legitimately established. Plans were laid out to ensure that the future W.T.C. site would include dedicated space for cultural institutions; the arts groups selected were the Joyce Theater, The Drawing Center, Signature Theater and Freedom Center. The Santiago Calatrava-designed PATH train and subway station was unveiled to mostly rave reviews.
The announcement that the Deutsche Bank building would be demolished sparked concern in the community and raised questions about asbestos and the role of the E.P.A. After assuring residents the air was fine in the months after 9/11, the E.P.A. was taken to task by many, including the Sierra Club, which issued a report detailing the failures in air quality testing and claiming the agency had misinformed the public.
A major milestone did signal that life was slowly returning to the way it was pre-9/11. The makeshift PATH station at the W.T.C. once again became the busiest stop in the system at 33,500 riders a day. On the more mundane front of “return to normality,” Downtown rents started to escalate as 9/11 residential grants dried up and the real estate bubble gained momentum.
The Headlines of 2004 tell the story:
Cultural buildings to return to memorial design with 36,000 sq. ft. of proposed space • C.B. 1 gets Freedom Tower presentation • Masters in disaster are the latest degree, with Metropolitan College of New York’s new Emergency and Disaster Management program • Juror Julie Menin gave birth while nurturing a design • W.T.C. train station unveiled; described as a station with ‘life, lightness and hope’ • Great minds think alike? Stuyvesant high school students try their own at a W.T.C. memorial design • Albany close to passing law barring vendors at Ground Zero • 9/11 Residential Liberty Bonds close to being used up • Glowing reviews for Calatrava train station design at C.B. 1 • At Downtown speech, Gore says Bush exploited post-9/11 fears, ‘abused’ nation’s trust on Iraq • The second winter of Liberty St. and Vesey St. bridges discontent: pedestrians say not enough has been done to facilitate access across West St. • B.M.C.C. inks deal to move out of temporary classrooms, move in across from Fiterman • L.M.D.C. releases cultural organization short list of candidates for new W.T.C. arts center • Construction concerns at the W.T.C.: residents say slower, business community says faster • 5,201 memorial ideas released • A long way home: handicapped access across West Side Hwy is still deficient • 1993 W.T.C. bombing remembered; names of victims will be included in W.T.C. Memorial design • C.B.1 Landmarks committee approves Wall Street’s security design: security barriers will become more aesthetically pleasing • Downtown reacts to W.T.C. vendor law • E.P.A., Clinton announce panel to study W.T.C. response • Advocates tell L.M.D.C. to spend money on jobs and housing • Children’s asthma study suggests possible 9/11 effects: compared the number of clinic visits for asthma in Chinatown before and after Sept. 11, 2001 • Residents file suit against the E.P.A. • Poll: Downtown rebuilding is on the right track, but distrust of E.P.A. soars • Chinatown residents hear traffic plan changes for Park Row and Confucius Plaza • Getting ready to build — the reopened World Trade Center PATH station is once again the busiest stop in the system at 33,500 riders a day. • It is one of the reasons that many Lower Manhattan leaders say there is a renewed sense of optimism • Optimism as Downtown plans move to building stage • Transportation: an airport-commuter link is crucial for Downtown • Finding the right arts mix at the new W.T.C. • New York Chinese Cultural Center, reopened since 9/11, will build on Chinatown’s strengths • Looking forward to living across from the progress • Parks: Downtown park renovations making Lower Manhattan a lot greener • Design for the W.T.C. memorial; train center design; Freedom tower design • Downtown retailers say things are picking up • W.T.C. health bill “Remember 9/11 Health Act” will give health screenings and treatments to residents and rescue workers • With $100,000 from Bloomberg and $7million in other private donations, Liberty Statue’s pedestal to reopen this summer • Panel named, agreement proposed for W.T.C. artifacts • How to spend Downtown’s last billion? Debate over Lower Manhattan’s funds intensifies • E.P.A. watchdog panel looks to expand testing • Vesey elevators coming this summer to a bridge near you • 9/11 money battle continues at C.B. 1; Board recommends affordable housing, park space, community centers, a school • A police parking lot since 9/11, police forced off James Madison Plaza to neighbors’ delight • St. Paul’s Chapel near W.T.C. marks locale with formal exhibit • High School for Leadership and Public Services nears end of repairs, begins to emerge from 9/11 ashes • Kennedy Dancers spring concert: “9/11 in The Shadow of the World Trade Center” at Greenwich St. Theater • Pataki backs rail, car tunnels; West St. tunnel still part of W.T.C. plan • Environmental statement for W.T.C. still lacking, C.B. 1 committee says • Kerrey to welcome 9/11 Commission to home turf for hearings on emergency response • E.P.A. panel considers ways to connect remaining dust to 9/11; watchdog group wants to determine whether any asbestos, lead or other toxins that are in apartments now can be traced to the destruction of the World Trade Center • Anger & tears for 9/11 Commission at emergency response hearings • River fest returns to Lower Manhattan, flows between the East and the Hudson • 9/11 mental health assistance still available through the 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program, funded by Red Cross and the September 11th Fund • Lower Manhattan emergency drill: The city’s Office of Emergency Management simulated a subway explosion in Lower Manhattan at Bowling Green station early Sunday morning to test the response time of Police, Fire, Transit and Emergency Medical personnel • 9/11 Commission’s Kerrey: On 9/11, Kerry and V.P. run (‘definitely no’) • A quilt sewn by Kentucky grandmother Mary M. Henderson is ready for the W.T.C. firehouse • E.P.A. panel considers its next step: broader testing in areas exposed to W.T.C. dust cloud? • Memorial barrier removed as W.T.C. plans proceed • 9/11 memories to be preserved at W.T.C. “Story Corps” sound booth • New York Disaster Interfaith Services opens across from the W.T.C. • Arts groups selected for the W.T.C.: L.M.D.C. has chosen Joyce dance theater, the Drawing Center, Signature Theater and Freedom Center • Some Chinatown residents charge N.Y.P.D. racism — New Park Row suit filed on environmental grounds • 9/11 business groups looking for money three years later; Some planning and business groups formed as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks are wrapping up their work, while others search for money to continue • E.P.A. panel continues to debate what to do • Cornerstone of Freedom Tower to be laid on Independance Day: building’s critics ready for a fight • New Jersey’s 9/11 memorial, designed by Frederic Schwartz, will be visible Downtown • L.M.C.C. artist’s group gets new home for W.T.C. tower 1 art studio • Downtown’s $3 billion pot is shrinking, official warns • Construction begins on the Freedom Tower • Final push to sign up for W.T.C. registry health study • Lesbian partner wins in 9/11 fund suit • Deutsche demo raises asbestos concerns • Vets protest war at the W.T.C. • E.P.A. panel plans to expand test program to residences and workplaces north of Canal • Downtown reacts to terror threats against Citigroup buildings and the New York Stock Exchange • With 50,000 enrollees so far, city looks to make biggest W.T.C. Health Registry bigger • W.T.C. culture groups talk to C.B. 1 • After almost three years closed, Church St. post office reopens, gets stamp of approval • Coordinated Construction Act for Lower Manhattan encourages faster rebuilding, minority hiring, cleaner emissions • Watchdog group Good Jobs New York criticizes L.M.D.C’s allocations, says it favored big business • Sierra Club releases report on environmental response to 9/11, claims E.P.A. misinformed residents about air dangers • Pennsylvania artist Steve Tobin is sculpting a memorial for St. Paul’s Chapel from a 9/11-damaged tree • W.T.C. lawsuit filed by 9/11 families, to halt W.T.C. construction until satisfying historic preservation requirements • Seniors plan G.O.P. protest in B.P.C., concerns include civil liberties in the post-9/11 world • Anti-war signs overlook the W.T.C. site • “RingOut” Protesters to ring bells and form ring around W.T.C., to commemorate victims of 9/11 while protesting Republican National Convention in NYC • Subdued remembranceSilver;s away from the W.T.C. • A homecoming at long last: Greenspan-Abramson family is first to move back into 114 Liberty St., the last residential building to reopen • Public process to dismantle Deutsche building begins • Committee looks for W.T.C. memorial entrance-exit ramp location • W.T.C. health studies discussed at forum: NYU conference reviews previous health studies • New index developed to measure Downtown economy indicates it’s slowly healing • Downtowners call for more say over L.M.D.C. money: Gerson leads protest calling for community say in use of remaining $860 million • Last 7 W.T.C. beam raised as Port’s new leader is approved • C.B. 2 looks to make Village’s tile park at Greenwich Ave. and 7th Ave. S an official 9/11 memorial • Tribecan playwright Jon Robin Baitz’s, troubled about 9/11, presidential campaign, returns to ‘fight it out’: “My Beautiful Goddamn City” is part of First Annual Tribeca Theater Fest • Silverstein shows off 7 W.T.C.’s mettle to Silver; occupancy will begin early next year • Ferry commuters react to Waterway’s money woes caused by PATH station reopening • E.P.A.’s 9/11 leader Paul Gilman to leave • 80 War Resisters League members marched from W.T.C. to Stock Exchange in protest of Iraq War, 7 were arrested • Show me the money, Silver says at L.M.D.C. meeting, calling on agency to support schools, libraries, Chinatown projects, Hudson River Park with remaining funds • E.P.A. waits for permission to test its own offices • Planning group discusses retail future of W.T.C. • The British Memorial Garden garden is coming, but some wonder about statue • Green light for Hudson Park green • Pataki announces L.M.D.C. will fund park’s Tribeca section • Israeli trauma specialist Dr. Tuvia Peri advises Downtown school guidance counselors • 9/11 families rally for intelligence bill on W.T.C. progress • W.T.C. victim name debate resurfaces with Memorial Foundation creation • New York Disaster Interfaith Services operates grant program for W.T.C. workers’ health • E.P.A. extends period for public on the Draft Proposed Sampling Program • L.M.C.C. announces: over $6 million grants for Downtown’s small arts groups • Baseball to pinups, post-9/11; Downtown baseball artist Andy Jurinko switches subjects • Majestic’ oaks for memorial: Architects unveil design adjustments • L.M.D.C. presents Deutsche takedown plan, asks the E.P.A. for monitoring help as some, but not all, praise the plan to dismantle the contaminated building • E.P.A. attempts to clarify role in Deutsche Bank demo
Another tightrope walk; this time in honor of 9/11
Philippe Petit, who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers in 1972, paid homage to the towers and its victims with a performance in Washington Sq. Park on Sat. September 12, 2004. He stretched a tightrope between a tree and lamppost.
Before getting on the wire, Petit — who performed in mime — led the crowd in a moment of silence; he took off his hat, put it over his heart and pointed Downtown.