Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe, far left, thanked Seth Waugh, C.E.O. of Deutsche Bank Americas, for the firms $400,000 donation for a fountain park. A drawing of the proposed new park at the end of Wall St.,
Downtown politicians, residents and business leaders have been criticizing Deutsche Bank for the last two years for its damaged Liberty St. building many have called it a black shroud and a blight but last week, the firm was praised for a $400,000 donation to pay for a fountain in a new park to be built at the east end of Wall St.
The park will cover the middle of Wall St. from Water to South Sts. and will be near the F.D.R. Drive. It is one of the Downtown parks the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is paying to build or improve as part of a $25 million package announced earlier this year. It will be in the area where Wall St. widens, replacing the parking lot in the middle of the street.
Construction is expected to start soon on the park, which will take 12 months to build. It will include trees, benches, a clear view of the landmark Trinity Church at the west of Wall, and now a fountain. An earlier plan to plant rare metasequoia trees has been canceled, Parks Dept. officials said last week.
Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe, Madelyn Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1, and officials with the Downtown Alliance thanked Josef Ackermann, Deutsche chairperson, and Seth Waugh, Deutsche Bank Americas C.E.O., at a ceremony last Thursday. Nobody mentioned the Liberty St. building, which is across the street from the World Trade Center site and which was badly damaged on Sept. 11, 2001.
The L.M.D.C. and the Port Authority hope to buy the Deutsche building to demolish it and add a park to the W.T.C. plan. Deutsche must resolve its legal dispute with its insurers before it can sell the building.