2008, Reality Sets the Clock

A meeting of the Mayors In 2008 Mayor Michael Bloomberg exchanged words with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani at that year’s 9/11 commemoration event in Zuccotti Park.

In 2008 Chris Ward was appointed Executive Director of the Port Authority by Governor Paterson, analyzed the construction and development timelines, and set the Port’s W.T.C. construction schedule on a more realistic and solid path. J.P Morgan halted its plan for a W.T.C. trading floor in a future Tower 5, a victim of the fast approaching financial crisis. The last temporary PATH station opened at the W.T.C. and the demolition of Fiterman Hall finally started after seven years of paralysis; the City agreed to finance $139 million of the $325 million cost of the new facility. Deutsche demolition continued in fits and starts after the disastrous 2007 fire and Mayor Bloomberg talked again about closing the L.M.D.C. The presidential candidates were silent on the 9/11 health bill. The struggle between the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties over building delays and financing heated up.

The Headlines of 2008 tell the story:

Port misses eastern bathtub excavation deadline, says “worst” construction noise is almost over • Port hears the shouts over construction noise: Local residents are cautiously optimistic about Port’s new anti-noise plan • 9/11 Memorial Museum seeks residents’ artifacts • 9/11 Museum moves opening to 2011, will use the extra time to plan • W.T.C. construction pieces begin to take shape: New PATH Entrance, Survivors’ stairway, Tower Sites, Freedom Tower, Atmosphere • E.P.A. says it waited five months for Deutsche Bank demolition plan • 9/11 health cuts may keep coming, advocates warn • Bush cuts residents, others out of 9/11 health budget • Moody’s Corporation rebuilds damaged ‘Credit’ sculpture at 7 W.T.C. • Deutsche Bank decontamination approved, demolition plan still not ready • CUNY hopes Fiterman demolition will begin this year • L.M.D.C. hopes Deutsche  Bank demolition can resume late this year • $5 million in L.M.D.C. grants ready for stores hurt by Downtown construction • In Beth Murphy’s film, “Beyond Belief,” two 9/11 widows lend support to women in Kabul • In what turns out to be his last hurrah, Spitzer offers advice to Downtown businesses • 9/11 Survivors staircase endures a temporary move • Wrestling with Bear Stearns, JPMorgan halts plans for W.T.C. trading floor building • 9/11 search-and-rescue dogs seem healthy • Tribute W.T.C. Visitor Center asks, “What’s different since 9/11?,” seeks poetry submissions • New tricks for old commuters: Last temporary PATH entrance opens at W.T.C. • 9/11 Museum exhibits go online • Activists organize 9/11 health forum at B.M.C.C. • West St. work will temporarily close Rector bridge, again • P.A.C. is “forgotten stepchild,” critics charge • Port reports on W.T.C. progress • Pope Benedict blesses the W.T.C. • Residents eligible for 9/11 mental health payments from city Health Dept. • E.P.A. shrugs at contamination findings, saying it’s ‘no surprise’ • Feds block 9/11 health care money for residents, seek additional data first • Silver: City puts new Fiterman building in doubt, B.M.C.C. lacks funds to rebuild • Settling community lawsuit but not all issues on Park Row: City pledges to reduce impact of closure on area residents • Marines, F.D.N.Y. hold Memorial Day run to the W.T.C., to remember • Deutsche Bank demolition on hold, but contractor discusses cranes, safety and morale • At Bellevue Hospital’s W.T.C. Environmental Health Center, city treats children for possible 9/11 ailments • L.M.D.C. money promised to Downtown schools sits out another school year • B.M.C.C. fights for Fiterman funds at City Hall hearing • L.M.D.C. head Avi Schick blames C.B. 1 for some Deutsche Bank delays • Downtown reacts as Port throws out W.T.C. rebuilding deadlines • Chris Ward says he’s no Moses, but despite schedule delays, promised land is in sight
Work continues on most W.T.C. projects • Asbestos work outside Fiterman prompts surprise and explanation • Deutsche Bank fire one year later: Victims’ families still waiting for answers as they grieve • Push for better buildings safety at Deutsche Bank and beyond • Fire Department Report details Deutsche Bank firefighters’ last fatal hour • A PATH hub in 2016?: Wait for W.T.C. train station may be at least eight years • Residents file new suit on Park Row plans, spurred by emergency center proposition • Signing W.T.C. memorial beam, for this year’s 9/11 anniversary, Flags with victim’s names on display in Battery Park • Bloomberg takes new stab at closing L.M.D.C. • Port slows down W.T.C. work to accomodate nearby residents • City blasts CUNY for its threat to delay Fiterman demolition • 9/11 Memorial and Museum group pilots national educational program at Millennium High School  • Five-million-dollar city campaign publicizes free 9/11 health program • Reflecting with Downtown on 9/11•08 • As Wall St. shakes, it recalls the last business fallout: Tribute Center opens new exhibit on post-9/11 business recovery • Governor prioritizes Calatrava station above W.T.C. towers • Port: W.T.C. towers will weather shaky financial storm • L.M.D.C. announces schools grant program • Presidential candidates silent on 9/11 Health and Compensation Act bill • Palin expresses 9/11 health concerns • Six-story flag unfurled on every 9/11 anniversary • Port’s W.T.C. Office of Program Logistics to tackle neighbors’ noise concerns • Obama backs 9/11 health bill • Port expects W.T.C. Memorial plaza to open in 2012 • In “Performing Tribute,” personal 9/11 accounts shared by survivors • Port  looks to make W.T.C. site more community-friendly, give public tour to hear out concerns • Fiterman demolition in sight as city ends money fight, agreeing to pay a share • City to dress up the W.T.C. site with info on progress for the rest of construction • Looking to build green at the W.T.C., all office towers aim for LEED-Gold certification • Bloomberg, Silver have laugh as city pays up for Fiterman • Port: We’ll be “better neighbors” as we rebuild W.T.C. • Working to open 9/11 Memorial as soon as we can • Silverstein: Downtown will rise again, it always does • Downtown Alliance: Getting back to business with art and trains • Tribute Center: There IS something open at the W.T.C. • C.B. 1: two schools aren’t enough to match Downtown’s growth • Careful with the art: Louise Nevelson’s “Shadows and Flags” sculpture, covered with soot after 9/11, is removed for cleaning • Mother of United flight 175 victim reunited with son’s remains after seven-year bureaucratic snag • Silverstein exec is ‘frustrated’ with Port’s W.T.C. progress • Insurers chip in funds for Deutsche Bank demo • A new day for Dey St. as it reopens after PATH construction • City pushes Chatham Sq. plan for permanent Park Row closure, despite shouts from Chinatown • Bloomberg and Silverstein chummy as German bank, WestLB, inks Seven W.T.C. deal • C.B. 1: Deutsche Bank could learn demo lessons from Fiterman • C.B. 1 backs Chinatown’s opposition to Chatham Sq. plan • Arbitrator panel rules Port owes Silverstein millions for Tower Four misconduct • C.B. Board 3 opposes Chatham Sq. plan • South Ferry station almost ready to open • W.T.C. worker has minor injuries after falling four feet from crane

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