Silverstein Envisions Breaking Ground Within Months on New Skyscraper at Two World Trade Center
Above: Until developer Larry Silverstein breaks ground at the corner of Vesey and Church Street (as soon as next spring), the site hosts a “podium” that houses utility and ventilation infrastructure, as well as entrances to the concourse below—while also displaying public art murals.
Below: The original design, by architect Norman Foster simulated four, closely spaced, separate towers (in fact, a single building), topped by four slanted diamond-shaped rooftops. This plan is now being updated.
After two decades years of rebuilding, there remains one significant missing piece in the World Trade Center complex. It is marked by the placeholder “podium” of a building at the west side of Church Street, between Vesey and Fulton Streets, which houses entry points for the underground shopping and transit facilities beneath the plaza, along with some ventilation equipment.
Formally designated at 200 Greenwich Street, this site is slated to someday be the home of Two World Trade Center. But 20 years of false starts may soon give way to actual construction. In a development first reported by the Commercial Observer, builder Larry Silverstein says that his firm is close to securing a deal with a corporate anchor tenant, and may start construction soon, even if such a rent does not commit to the building.
In a separate, but related development Mr. Silverstein has also announced that he has abandoned a design by architect Bjarke Ingels, and has returned to the architect he originally hired for the site, Norman Foster.
More than ten years ago, Mr. Foster created a plan for Two World Trade Center that simulated four, closely spaced, separate towers (although they were, in fact, a single building), topped by four slanted diamond-shaped rooftops. This building was intended to house two arms of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire: 21st Century Fox and News Corp.
The most recent (but now shelved) design for Two World Trade Center, by architect Bjarke Ingels was a series of glass boxes, stacked unevenly atop one another.
When Mr. Murdoch decided, in 2016, to keep his businesses headquartered in Midtown, this design was shelved, and Mr. Silverstein turned to Mr. Ingels for a fresh vision of what should be built at the site. The new architect conceived of a series of glass boxes, stacked unevenly atop one another. This design, too, failed to lure a corporate anchor to the planned building.
So Mr. Silverstein cancelled the Ingels plan, and once again hired Mr. Foster, whose best-known work in New York is the Hearst Tower, at 57th Street and Eighth Avenue. The developer says that, this around, Mr. Foster will update his previous design, rather than starting from scratch.
Both designs call for a tower that is 80 stories, and more than 1,200 feet tall. At this height, the building’s roof will be only slightly lower than that of nearby One World Trade Center, and taller than the roof of the Empire State Building.
Mr. Silverstein says that he expects construction for the new building (with or without a nameplate tenant) to begin as early as next spring.
To the editor,
And just like that, Battery Park City Parks contain more wayfinding signs than an airport. This should solve the problems of all those confused visitors that accumulate at every decision point in the parks. But it may also attract crowds of wayfinding experts who believe that there is no such thing as too much wayfinding. We’ll survive this, of course. It’s just a bit over the top.
New Bike Path on Brooklyn Bridge Opens
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, kept a promise made in his January State of the City address, by opening a dedicated bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, separated from both the pedestrian deck above and vehicle traffic with which it shares the roadbed. “A lot of people worked a long time for this day, and everyone knows that the bike lanes that existed on the Brooklyn Bridge really weren’t working,” he said. “As it got more and more crowded, we had to do something different. Here it is.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, “finally, cyclists and tourists—and cyclists who are tourists—are getting the protected biking lane they deserve. Diverting bikes to this path will make the bridge’s pedestrian paths even more popular and make everyone, whether on two legs or two wheels, feel safer.” To read more…
Reclamation Trounces Preservation
Demolition of Historic Structure in Seaport Now Underway
Over the summer, the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) began the long-anticipated demolition of the New Market Building in the South Street Seaport. This development ignores a years-long campaign by preservationists to protect and rehabilitate the venerable structure.
The site has been a focus of controversy for nearly a decade. To read more…
September 16, 1920: Terror on Wall Street
On September 11 thousands gather at Ground Zero to honor those killed fifteen years earlier when commercial airliners were repurposed into deadly missiles, striking a blow at the very symbol of capitalism by targeting prominent buildings in New York’s Financial District.
On September 16 tens of thousands walk down Wall Street unaware that nearly a hundred years ago New York City’s deadliest terror attack until 2001 took place right there. Though no plaque marks the spot, the scars are still visible if you know where to look.
As the noon hour approached on a fall Thursday morning in 1920 a horse-drawn wagon slowly made its way west down Wall Street toward “the Corner,” the high-powered intersection of Wall and Broad. Its driver came to a gentle stop in front of the Assay Office, where stockpiles of gold and silver were stored and tested for purity. But theft was not his motive. To read more…
Sufficient Unto the Dey
Lottery Opens for New Affordable Apartments in Financial District Building
Lower Manhattan’s meager inventory of affordable rental apartments will soon swell by 63 units, thanks to a new development nearing completion at 185 Broadway, at the corner of Dey Street. The building, which will be known by its branding address of 7 Dey, will contain a total of 206 apartments (the remaining 143 units will be market-rate rentals), along with several floors of retail and office space. In exchange for committing to affordability protections on the 63 units, developer S.L. Green received tax incentives worth many millions of dollars, which helped to build the $300 million project.
New Governor Plans to Get BPC Opinions Regarding Essential Workers Monument
While many residents and community activists may have hoped that plans for an Essential Workers Monument in Battery Park City had perished in tandem with the political demise of former Governor Andrew Cuomo (who resigned in disgrace, in August), his successor may have other ideas.
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Wondering Whether You Have Been Worth the Windfall
You recall the frenetic chaos—people wandering blithely into traffic, while cars with flashing lights and bleating sirens tried to make lurching progress by driving on sidewalks. And everyone staring upward, transfixed.
Even amid the bedlam, one anomalously serene (even festive) detail stood out. Confetti—a jumble of office paperwork and shredded aluminum—drifting lazily toward the ground. Reminiscent of nothing so much as a ticker tape parade, but in reverse. The honorees didn’t know the parade was for them, because they had not yet become heroes and martyrs. Although in just a few moments, they would.
A few minutes later, you stood at the foot of a tower, looking up at an airplane-shaped hole in its side and thinking, “there is no way that building is going to fall down.” To read more…
Exercise in disguise! 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 expected to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel, etc. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance.
With its amazing gardens and views of the Hudson River and New York Bay, Wagner Park is the perfect setting to practice your art. Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance.
Namaste! Unwind from the day with outdoor yoga. Immerse yourself in this meditative practice- surrounded by the Hudson’s peaceful aura. Strengthen the body and cultivate awareness in a relaxed environment as your instructor guides you through alignments and poses. All levels are welcome. Participants are expected to bring their own equipment: yoga mat, yoga blocks, water, etc. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance.
China Institute is honored to welcome Chen Kaige, one of China’s greatest directors, in conversation with filmmaker Janet Yang and film expert Richard Pena, to discuss Yellow Earth, which revolutionized the way films were watched and created in China, and its enduring legacy nearly 40 years after its release. Free
Will China achieve its tech dreams? It all depends on whether it can produce advanced semiconductor chips, the tiny piece of metal that are crucial to the functionality of smartphones, modern cars, and even hearing aids. It’s the access to those tiny chips that Beijing’s tech ambitions ultimately will pivot on. Join us as two tech policy experts share insights into the global chip competition. Until now, China lacks the ability to produce advanced chips; the US, Europe, and Taiwan control the supply. Barred from buying cutting edge European equipment needed to fabricate high-end chips, China relies on importing chip imports. Last year, China imported $350 billion worth of chips, one third of them coming from Taiwan. Now, Xi Jinping is driving a self-reliance campaign, investing heavily in chip manufacturing across the country. Will he succeed? Free
The tall ship Wavertree, the schooner Pioneer, and the tug W.O. Decker are open to the public. Explore Wavertree while she is docked; cruise New York Harbor on W.O. Decker and Pioneer! Wavertree visits are free; Pioneer and Decker prices vary. Check website for times, prices and other details.
Art leaders Kamau Ware and Risë Wilson will discuss public art as an avenue for discovering and revealing untold histories. Multidimensional artist and historian Kamau Ware is Founder of Black Gotham Experience (BGX), an immersive multimedia project that reimagines the spaces directly impacted by the African Diaspora as human stories, Ware has become a voice to fill the visual abyss of Black New York history with research and illuminating creativity. Risë Wilson founded The Laundromat Project in 1999, an award-winning organization that connects artists and communities of color to their capacity to envision the world in which we all want to live, and the skills sets to make it so. Her twenty-year tenure in arts and culture has spanned philanthropic practice, strategic planning, artist development, and public engagement. Risë’s work in all its forms is preoccupied with dislodging herself from the bear-traps of oppression to help her kinfolk do the same.
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Report
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.