The Broadsheet – Lower Manhattan’s Local Newspaper
Not a Penny for Tribute?
Community-Focused Cultural Center Faces Possible Closure
The 9/11 Tribute Center, at Rector and Greenwich Streets, may soon shutter, buffeted by pandemic-driven declines in attendance and the turbulent Lower Manhattan real estate market.
The 9/11 Tribute Museum, a highly regarded local cultural institution, is grappling with the prospect of imminent closure, according to chief executive officer and co-founder, Jennifer Adams-Webb, who told the Broadsheet, “without a donor or partner stepping forward, we are unable to sustain the 9/11 Tribute Museum with current visitation. The 9/11 Tribute Museum has served as a support for thousands of survivors, first responders, families and residents who were all directly affected by September 11. It will be a substantial loss to New York City and the community of support.”
Among visitors who neither live nor work in Lower Manhattan, the Tribute Museum (located at Rector and Greenwich Streets) has for years been largely eclipsed by the more prominent National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located nearby in the World Trade Center complex. But this is largely by design, because the Tribute Museum has always focused less on telling the story of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 than the saga of the community itself in the months and years that followed.
For this reason, the Tribute Museum has always struck a more deeply resonant chord among residents and survivors, in a way that the National Memorial & Museum has failed to achieve among the population of people who were driven from their homes in fear of their lives on the day of the attacks. In one indication of how the Tribute Museum has sought to personalize the story of the community and its recovery, it offers “Person to Person History” tours to visitors who want to understand the history, conducted by volunteers who lived through those events.
The Tribute Center has long resonated for Lower Manhattan residents because of its emphasis on personal accounts of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the recovery that followed — often shared by people who experienced the events first hand.
Indeed, the Tribute Museum has always had two goals: to help those traumatized by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to heal by sharing their stories, while at the same time helping visitors to the site of the attacks learn from (and be inspired by) these personal accounts. The organization’s motto is “stories of September 11th told by those who were there.” This face-to-face approach to history, which consists of linking visitors who want to understand the events that took place at the site with those who lived through them, has always made the Tribute Museum experience deeply moving.
Another reason for the divergent outlooks of the two museums is that National Memorial & Museum has benefited from lavish taxpayer subsidies, including hundreds of millions of dollars in capital grants during construction, and millions more in operating support during its early years. The Tribute Museum, by contrast, subsists almost entirely on private donations and revenue from admissions.
Before the pandemic, the National Memorial & Museum’s budget listed more than $100 million in annual expenses, including $560,000 in compensation for chief executive officer Alice Greenwald (who announced in December that she was leaving the organizations), along with more than a dozen other senior employees who earn six-figure salaries, according to tax documents reviewed by the Broadsheet. Before pandemic layoffs and closures, the National Memorial & Museum’s total payroll topped out at more than $24 million for an overall staff of 501 employees. This staff was supported by 901 volunteers, which amounts to a ratio of 1.7 volunteers to each paid employee.
At the Tribute Museum (also according to tax documents from the same period), chief executive officer Jennifer Webb-Adams was paid less than one-third of Ms. Greenwald salary (at just over $158,000), and was among only four employees earning six figures. The Tribute Museum had a total of 30 employees (20 of whom worked full time, and ten who were part-time) and a payroll of $1.9 million. This staff was augmented by 450 volunteers, which comes to a ratio of almost 15 volunteers to each salaried employee.
Both institutions have faced challenges when it comes to reconciling income with expenses. In 2017, the Tribute Museum had revenues of $2.74 million and expenses of $3.83 million, resulting in a deficit of $1.09 million, or 39 percent of revenue. During the same year, the National Memorial & Museum collected revenues of $87.1 million, but paid expenses of $108.73 million, yielding a shortfall of $21.63 million, or slightly less than 20 percent of revenue.
Perhaps the most dramatic point of contrast between the two museums, however, comes down to real estate. The National Memorial & Museum occupies publicly-owned property within the World Trade Center complex that is valued somewhere in excess of half a billion dollars. But its leasehold is secure, because the City, the State, and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey are unlikely ever to evict the institution, or demand that it pay rent approaching market rates.
For the Tribute Museum, the outlook is very different. Founded in a storefront facing Ground Zero in 2006, it moved to 88 Greenwich Street in 2017, to keep pace with skyrocketing attendance. The new facility offered 40,000 square feet of space on three levels, and was designed to host between 750,000 and one million visitors annually.
But the Tribute Museum’s lease is with a private landlord, rather than a government benefactor. In 2019, that landlord, Thor Equities, began exploring the possibility of selling the space the facility occupies, and reportedly believed that the $30 million asking price was more likely to be forthcoming if the property is delivered vacant. For this reason, the Tribute Museum’s future (even before the attendance falloff sparked by the pandemic) became unclear.
In a broader context, this uncertainty is a reflection of the turmoil wrought by Lower Manhattan’s turbulent real estate market. Another highly regarded cultural organization, the 3-Legged Dog theater group, was based on Greenwich Street (next door to the Tribute Museum) for more than a decade. In 2019, however, the group gave up on trying to negotiate a long-term lease that it could reconcile with its budget, and instead moved to Brooklyn.
Lower Manhattan Students Mobilize to Demand Return of Park Space Beneath Brooklyn Bridge
On March 15, a team of student leaders from the Urban Assembly Maker Academy, a charter school located in Lower Manhattan, presented to the Waterfront, Parks, and Cultural Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) a plan for reopening the Brooklyn Bridge Banks Park, located in the shadow of the iconic span that stretches across the East River from City Hall.
Amy Piller, the principal of the Urban Assembly Maker Academy (headquartered alongside the Brooklyn Bridge, within the Murry Bergtraum Campus, on Pearl Street) began by noting, “most of our students go out to eat at lunchtime. Particularly now, in light of the pandemic, there are really limited places where they can go.”
Thank you Matthew Fenton for being the only reporter to give a complete account of the protests against the jail about to go up in Chinatown unless we are able to stop it.
I went to the last protest in February, and plan on going tomorrow. I encourage all, who care about the budget of over a billion dollars of our taxes, going toward building a jail, to come out and make your voices heard.
Eyes to the Sky
March 21 – April 3, 2022
Equinox Sun, Spring Star Arcturus rising, Solar Orbiter’s closest approach
We are two days past the Vernal Equinox (aequus = equal and nox = night), the astronomical first day of spring in the northern hemisphere when the rising Sun (due east on the horizon) and the setting Sun (due west) trace an arc in the sky that brings about equal day and night. Our star’s equinox trajectory is halfway between the winter and summer solstices, the shortest and longest days of the year, respectively.
Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Come prepared for enthusiastic instruction, a little strength training and a lot of fun. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel etc.
Chicago and New York offered a handful of very different preconditions that influenced the way skyscrapers were designed and built in the two cities.
Chicago’s murky soil forced engineers to carefully parse their structures into point supports and broad, snowshoe-like pads, which suggested structures above could be thought of as more skeletal frames than continuous walls. The city’s large, regular lot sizes also allowed a regularity in structural grids, and its laissez-faire politics permitted thinner walls than other, eastern cities—at least through 1893, after which unions and builders began a pitched battle over the city’s building code.
The first session of the Construction History series focuses on Foundations to consider a “ground up” understanding about how buildings were constructed in each city, given the local conditions. Although Manhattan had abundant bedrock, even some of the tallest 19th-century skyscrapers did not rely on it. Small lots and slender towers were common conditions in the dense financial district, whereas Chicago’s big blocks and soft soil posed different problems. Free
Led by Ben Wang, CI’s Senior Lecturer in Language and Humanities, this free virtual workshop is designed for K-12 educators (though we welcome all to attend) to help advance a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of Chinese classical poetry. In addition, by sharing his personal collection of the rare original couplet in calligraphy, Mr. Wang will showcase how the calligraphic art form expresses meaning and personal style, while capturing the moments of a feeling.Free
Round up your friends and test your knowledge of the American Revolution! Brush up on your revolutionary history and complete to win some great prizes! Free
Jazz at the Poster Museum
Grammy Award-winning drummer Robby Ameen has lived in Tribeca since the early 90s and has established a recording and touring career stretching from Dizzy Gillespie to Paul Simon to Ruben Blades. See Robby and his band at Philip Williams Posters, 52 Warren Street. $20, $10 students; with complimentary wine. For reservations, 212-513-0313 or firstname.lastname@example.org
‘A Decade of Dust’
Rally Planned for Sunday to Oppose City Plan to Build World’s Tallest Jail in Lower Manhattan
Opponents of the City’s plan to build the world’s tallest jail in Chinatown plan to rally Sunday (March 20) in Columbus Park (near Worth and Baxter Streets) at 1:00 pm to voice their concerns about the risk that the project poses to the surrounding Chinatown community.
“The community has been protesting the detrimental environmental, economic, and human impact of this plan since 2019,” explains Jan Lee, a co-founder of Neighbors United Below Canal (NUBC), an advocacy group formed to oppose the jail plan. “And this is our last chance to change the Mayor’s mind,” he adds, in a reference to City’s announcement that demolition of the Manhattan Detention Complex, at 125 White Street, is imminent. (The current structure, which dates from 1983, is slated to be torn down in order to make way for a new facility at the same site, the design for which calls for a 400-foot edifice.) This plan envisions five to seven years of demolition and construction work, at a cost of $2.3 billion.
Historic, Publicly Owned Battery Maritime Building Has Reopened, But Only for Paying Customers
Community Board 1 (CB1) is raising questions about the use of what was supposed to be public space at the Battery Maritime Building, located at Ten South Street.
The publicly owned structure, located next to the Staten Island Ferry, is a landmarked Beaux Art ferry terminal built in 1909. It served for three decades as the gateway for boats taking passengers across the East River, but after commuters and vehicles gained direct access to Manhattan with the advent of bridges, tunnels, and subways, ferry usage declined and the building fell into disrepair.
Providing Companion and Home Health Aide Care to clients with dementia.Help with grooming, dressing and wheelchair assistance. Able to escort client to parks and engage in conversations of desired topics and interests of client. Reliable & Honest
Ethical and respectable gentleman, an IT Wizard, seeks a living/work space in BPC. Can be a Computer help to you and your business, or will guarantee $1,500 for rental. Reciprocal would be great!
Folk dance group seeks empty space of 400+ sq feet for 2 hours of weekly evening dance practice.
Average attendance is 10 women. This is our hobby; can pay for use of the space.
Call 646 872-0863 or find us on Facebook. Ring O’Bells Morris.
Kind loving and honest Nurse’s aide seeking FT/PT job. Experience with Alzheimer’s patients
Excellent references available please call Dian at 718-496-6232
HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
Call Tenzin 347-803-9523
News Analysis & Opinion: Stop Driving Us Out of Our Homes
Why Parity Is a Parody of Affordability
If you live in Battery Park City, you likely received a letter in the mail recently from the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), spreading a false narrative about how the Authority is “keeping Battery Park City affordable.” The truth is that the BPCA appears to be doing everything in its power to create and preserve luxury housing, along with a token number of low-income rental apartments. This is forcing out moderate- and middle-income homeowners and renters—who have built Battery Park City into the vibrant, thriving community it is today. And it is worth noting that 40 percent of owner-occupied homes in Battery Park City fall into the moderate- and middle-income categories. To read more…
Esplanade or Espla-Nada?
City Says Planned Improvements to East River Waterfront Are On Hold
The February 22 meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1) included an update about long-planned improvements to the East River Esplanade, some of which are being cancelled.
Paul Goldstein, the chair of CB1’s Waterfront, Parks & Cultural Committee, said, “we got a report from Economic Development Corporation [EDC] regarding some of their waterfront assets and projects that are ongoing—or not.” (The EDC is a not-profit corporation controlled by City government, which oversees development of assets, such as publicly owned property.)
“Unfortunately, a lot this project is not moving ahead for a variety of reasons,” Mr. Goldstein explained, “the biggest one being that the City is focusing much more on resiliency, and they don’t want to go ahead with improvements that may interfere with that.” To read more…
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Open Saturdays and Wednesdays year round
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
Today in History
Adam Sedgwick was a British geologist and Anglican priest and one of the founders of modern geology.
238 – Gordian I and his son Gordian II are proclaimed Roman emperors.
1622 – Jamestown massacre: Algonquians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population, during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War.
1630 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony outlaws the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables.
1638 – Anne Hutchinson is expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.
1713 – The Tuscarora War comes to an end with the fall of Fort Neoheroka, effectively opening up the interior of North Carolina to European colonization.
When Europeans arrived in the area known today as North Carolina in 1653, the Tuscarora, the native Americans generally co-existed in peace with them
However this lasted only about 50 years before the Europeans increasingly encroached upon their lands, raided their villages to take slaves and introduced epidemic diseases that brought about their defeat. After this, a large majority of the Tusarora migrated north to join the Iroquois and they became accepted as the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
1765 – The British Parliament passes the Stamp Act that introduces a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.
1829 – In the London Protocol, the three protecting powers (United Kingdom, France and Russia) establish the borders of Greece.
1945 – The Arab League is founded when a charter is adopted in Cairo, Egypt.
1960 – Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser
1978 – Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1982 – NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia is launched from the Kennedy Space Center on its third mission, STS-3.
1992 – USAir Flight 405 crashes shortly after takeoff from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, leading to a number of studies into the effect that ice has on aircraft.
1993 – The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.
2017 – A terrorist attack in London near the Houses of Parliament leaves four people dead and at least 20 injured.
1394 – Ulugh Beg, Persian astronomer and mathematician (d. 1449)
1459 – Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1519)
1785 – Adam Sedgwick, English scientist (d. 1873)
Adam Sedgwick was a British geologist and Anglican priest and one of the founders of modern geology. He proposed the Cambrian and Devonian period of the geological timescale. Based on work which he did on Welsh rock strata, he proposed the Cambrian period in 1835, in a joint publication in which Roderick Murchison also proposed the Silurian period. Later in 1840, to resolve what later became known as the Great Devonian Controversy about rocks near the boundary between the Silurian and Carboniferous periods, he and Murchison proposed the Devonian period. Though he had guided the young Charles Darwin in his early study of geology and continued to be on friendly terms, Sedgwick was an opponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection, (wikipedia)
1923 – Marcel Marceau, French mime and actor (d. 2007)
1924 – Al Neuharth, journalist and author, founded USA Today (d. 2013)
1924 – Yevgeny Ostashev, the test pilot of rocket, participant in the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Lenin prize winner, Candidate of Technical Sciences (d. 1960)
1930 – Stephen Sondheim, American composer and songwriter (d. 2021)
1948 – Wolf Blitzer, American journalist
1948 – Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer and director
1454 – John Kemp, Archbishop of Canterbury
1687 – Jean-Baptiste Lully, Italian-French composer and conductor (b. 1632)
1974 – Peter Revson, American race car driver (b. 1939)
2001 – William Hanna, American animator, director, producer, and voice actor, co-founded Hanna-Barbera (b. 1910)
Credit: Wikipedia and other internet and non-internet sources