Volume 20, Number 44 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | MARCH 14 - 20, 2008

Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel

The 65-ton stairway was moved off the Tower 2 site and will be housed on a site that is proposed to house a World Trade Center Performance Art Center, end of article, until the steps are incorpoated in the memorial museum. A model of what the steps will look like is at left.

Steps survive a temporary move

The Survivors Staircase, which some office workers used to get safely to Vesey St. on 9/11, was the last part of the original World Trade Center complex to remain exactly where it stood seven years ago. Last Sunday, a crane moved the staircase to temporary storage, where it will remain until it is lowered into the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum.

“The millions of visitors that are going to visit the museum and memorial will be able to descend right next to these amazing stairs that served as a walkway to safety and salvation on that horrific day,” said Avi Schick, chairperson of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, in a statement.

The L.M.D.C. brokered a compromise between those who wanted to preserve only a small piece of the staircase and those who wanted it to stay in the same spot forever.

The staircase stood 22 feet tall and, after some whittling, weighed 65 tons. To prepare the delicate, crumbling structure for the move, workers spent three months reinforcing it with steel bracing. For additional protection, the stairs were covered with plywood and Styrofoam. The move clears the way for excavation and foundation work on Tower 2.



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