downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 45 | March 23 - 29, 2007

Deutsche Building Timeline — 2,015 days

Downtown Express File Photo by Elisabeth Robert

The Deutsche Bank building; August, 2006

Sept. 11, 2001 Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St. is badly damaged by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. A search for human remains subsequently begins.

Sept. 2002 The Downtown Alliance releases a report warning that the fate of Deutsche and eight other “shrouded” buildings remained in limbo because of insurance disputes.

Oct. 2002 Community Board 1 chairperson Madelyn Wils issues a dire assessment to her fellow members: If the Deutsche insurance dispute is resolved now, it will still take two years to clean and then repair or demolish the building.

April 2003 In Gov. George Pataki’s first semi-annual Lower Manhattan progress report, he promises a large mural over the Deutsche depicting Daniel Libeskind’s original rendering of the Freedom Tower. (The tower design subsequently had two major design changes).

Oct. 2003 In his second Lower Manhattan speech, Pataki says the mural, which officials estimate will cost $500,000 - $1 million, will not be made. He appoints former Sen. George Mitchell, who mediated long-standing religious conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, to resolve the Deutsche dispute pro bono by Dec. 31, 2003.

Feb. 2004 The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. buys the building from Deutsche for $90 million and estimates it will cost $45 million to clean and demolish, under the agreement mediated by Mitchell. Officials say the insurers would cover any additional demolition costs. The L.M.D.C. begins searching for remains while it cleans the building. It finds asbestos, lead, mold and other toxins.

April 2004 L.M.D.C. staffers tell the corporation’s board the cost estimates for the purchase have risen to $164 million, citing the need to have more environmental protections and do more community outreach.

Nov. 2004 In his fourth speech, Pataki says the deconstruction will begin in December.

Feb. 2005 L.M.D.C. submits cleanup/deconstruction plans to the Environmental Protection Agency.

032307de.indd Sept. 2005 A 12-month period when about 750 pieces of human remains are discovered begins. The E.P.A. gives preliminary approval to the L.M.D.C. cleanup/deconstruction plan. Pataki visits the building Sept. 8 for a ceremony marking the beginning of installation of the building’s scaffolding.

March 2006 The E.P.A. sends a letter to the L.M.D.C. saying it does not approve of the corporation’s plan, citing significant changes to it. The L.M.D.C. says the letter will not alter the project’s timeline, which will begin in June.

June 2006 The L.M.D.C. says the demolition has been delayed and it expects E.P.A. approval soon.

Sept. 2006 The E.P.A. approves the L.M.D.C. cleanup and demolition with the intervention of Charles Maikish, executive director of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, which will oversee the contractors. Work begins preparing the building for demolition, and the construction center says the building’s takedown will begin in October. The L.M.D.C. reveals that Deutsche cost estimates have risen to $207 million, without explaining the reason.

Oct. 2006 Discovery of human remains at the W.T.C. site prompts the city to institute a more exhaustive remains search at all places near the site, including Deutsche.

Dec. 2006 A workers dispute between contractors halts some work on the building.

Feb. 2007 The city negotiates a new agreement to pay an additional $40 million to contractors, while reserving the right to sue for the money later. The cost of the project reaches $247 million, almost double the $135 million estimate in 2004. The city and L.M.D.C. say they will fight to recover as much money as possible from contractors and insurers.

March 19, 2007 Work removing the top of the 41-story building begins.





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