Thanksgiving at the W.T.C. construction site The Friday before Thanksgiving 2010, approximately 500 World Trade Center construction workers scarfed down turkey subs, angus hamburgers and hot dogs supplied by Big Daddies caterers. The workers took a well-deserved break to enjoy a pre-Thanksgiving dinner arranged by developer Larry Silverstein on the ground floor of 4 W.T.C. Interspersed throughout the male-dominated crowd were actual fathers, sons and cousins who all partake in the family construction business. The families felt proud to be a part of such a momentous project. “I had goose bumps, being on a site like this,” said Antonio Rodrigues Sr., sitting next to his nephew, Antonio Rodrigues, Jr. “There’s an amazing amount of people around every day… so you know you’re part of something big.”
As 2010 got underway the question on everyone’s mind was exactly where the terror trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be held. Lower Manhattan residents were adamant that it should not be held in their neighborhood. Julie Menin and Community Board 1 floated the idea of holding the trial on Governors Island, an idea Mayor Bloomberg called “dumb.” But United States Attorney General Eric Holder stopped short of promising that it would not be held in Manhattan.
After a new deal was struck between Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority, work at the W.T.C. site seemed to pick up pace and one of the biggest moments for many in the neighborhood was when Tower One became visible above the fence that had blocked it from view for so long. Another sign of life returning to the site was in early September when 14 trees were delivered and planted on the site of the memorial.
But what dominated much of the national news cycle as well as the local news around the 9th anniversary was the announcement of a proposed Islamic community center on Park Place. Branded the “Ground Zero Mosque,” Community Board 1 took a bold stance on the project and after holding a monthly meeting that required Chair Julie Menin to call in the NYPD to keep the peace, the board supported the project, now known as Park51.
The Zadroga bill received final Congressional approval on December 22, 2010, and was signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2011.
The Headlines of 2010 tell the story:
Deutsche Bank demolition gets another violation: Steel-cutting torches were near fuel tank • Survey finds Lower Manhattan Development Corporation small business program underpublicized • Silverstein claiming victory, too, in W.T.C. dispute with Port • Bloomberg: Move terror trials out of Lower Manhattan, but Gov. Island idea is ‘dumb’ • W.T.C. decision sends Silverstein and P.A. back to the table to negotiate a building schedule • Downtown 9/11 terror trial site dying, but not yet dead • Lower Manhattan Development Corp. demands staff changes at Deutsche Bank contractor after litany of safety violations • Rising steel at the W.T.C.: One W.T.C. to be finished in 2013 • Senate passes resolution opposing plan to hold the 9/11 terrorist trials in NYC; Squadron opposed resolution on tribunal issue • Sparks fly as Deutsche Bank work is stopped by an electrical fire • W.T.C. noise escalates again with PATH excavation • L.M.D.C. blasts Deutsche Bank demolition lawsuit; celebrates $100 million settlement • What Deutsche Bank insurers giveth, Bovis tries to taketh away • Port approves $542 million contract for PATH train hub • Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center likely to stay after 2010 • National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum holds speaker series: “9/11, Today and Tomorrow,” to examine continuing 9/11 impact on everything from security to culture • W.T.C. construction worker injured after 14-foot fall • Few W.T.C. tour bus ideas, even more problems • Contractor Bovis adds extra shift to 130 Liberty, hopes to finish Deutsche Bank demo by year’s end • 9/11 heath bill passes House of Representatives panel • More W.T.C. risk for Silverstein, but bigger potential payday as developer looks to pre-lease retail space in Tower 3 • How to spend the rest of the 9/11 funds: Infrastructure is needed to accommodate the growing population • Work at the W.T.C.: Some of the Memorial plaza will open on tenth anniversary of 9/11 • L.M.C.C.C. helping solve problems in the largest construction program in the city’s history • Long before it’s a done deal, a debate on Silverstein’s pre-leasing agreement • “Project Rebirth,” Jim Whitaker’s new documentary chronicling the lives of ten people affected by 9/11 • Push to use $150 million in leftover money for W.T.C. Performing Arts Center • W.T.C. work less than liberating for many walkers: Liberty St. bridge moved to accommodate construction • L.M.D.C. says city is sitting on millions for Downtown recovery and doing nothing • Cordoba Initiative, a possible new neighbor to W.T.C., hopes to build on good faith • Squadron supports Cordoba House move; C.B. need not approve • City is passing the L.M.D.C. bucks, yet again • C.B. 1 supports Cordoba move Downtown amidst zoo of a meeting • Local pols push 9/11 health care bill through committee to House of Rep. floor • Downtown Alliance survey says Downtown population is swelling • Local pols push for Park Row re-opening • First responders officially honored after nine years with W.T.C. responder day • Cordoba House protest draws crowd, opposition says it is only the beginning • Hotel’s view in the eye of the beholder: World Center hotel on Washington St. has bird’s eye view of Ground Zero • Contrary to popular opinion, Muslims and mosques okay in Downtown • For C.B. 1, Cordoba issue in the past, wants to move on • Deutsche Bank building is almost down, but trouble is only beginning • NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Cordoba site takes angry turn; decision will come at summer’s end • Ground Zero construction is moving along as planned • New Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Pres. Sam Miller has a passion for the arts • Uncovering the past — a 30-foot ship — while building for the future • Ferries may provide solution to tour bus dilemma when 9/11 memorial opens • 9/11 health bill flops; Zadroga fails to pass House • C.B. 1 asks L.M.D.C. for more transparency on 130 Liberty Deutsche Bank demolition • Tribute W.T.C. Visitor center begins recruiting volunteers for tenth anniversary commemoration • Park51 debate continues with lawsuit, Con Ed and M.T.A. • Durst Org. wins bid to develop One W.T.C. • Imam Rauf has had no talks with Gov. Paterson about moving Cordoba • Paterson and POTUS create media firestorm after Park51 comments; local pols react • Week of protests, media appearances stir Park51 debate • W.T.C. site has new life; first trees are planted at 9/11 Memorial • Port, Silverstein seal deal on towers Two, Three and Four • A conversation with Larry Silverstein on W.T.C. progress, his relationship with the P.A., the future of Lower Manhattan’s real estate market • One press release better than 50: More than 50 citywide and national organizations form an umbrella coalition supporting Park51 • Muslim Cabbie stabbed • Personalities emerge in front of Park51 site, some to oppose and some to support • Rally around the country for Zadroga legislation • Unique exhibit of Aggie Kenny’s drawings sheds new light on 9/11 first responders • A peaceful vigil on the eve of 9/11 by Park51 supporters • 9/11 9th anniversary: Sacred day for many is marred by “Ground Zero mosque” protests • Annual 9/11 Manhattan Youth event invites adults, families, children to share feelings, offers perspective for all • C.B. 1 asks L.M.D.C. to hone in on W.T.C. Performing Arts Center • Glassbead collective provided inspirational light show on Park51 façade: “unity” and “equality” projected in a dozen languages • Protester and Reverend debate Park51 on Lower Manhattan streets Saturday • Park51 Imam Rauf returns home, addresses controversy • Holland Tunnel traffic to swell; D.O.T. readying for 9/11•11 • Zadroga bill one step closer to law, moves to Senate • “Society for Truth and Justice” group emerges to denounce Park51• Park51 releases new architectural design • Greening Ground Zero: 50 of 400 trees have been planted • Park51 or not, there will be a mosque on Park Place • Ten-month countdown until 9/11 Memorial opens • Deutsche Bank demolition delayed due to crane issues • Intense lobbying for Zadroga: it’s now or never • G.O.P. Senators block debate on 9/11 health bill • Summer’s protests positive for Cordoba and Imam Rauf • On a mission to make room for everyone: Homeless men at NYC Rescue Mission became 9/11 first responders; nine years later, mission calls on community • G.O.P.’s move to block 9/11 bill angers NY pols • Attack on Imam Rauf sparks interfaith events • Local pols praise Zadroga’s passage • How the Zadroga miracle happened • FealGood Foundation goes to Washington to lobby Zadroga on heroes’ behalf • One survivor from 9/11 returns home, for good: 9/11 “survivor tree” is planted on memorial plaza • Mayor’s office had behind-the-scenes role in Park51