Annual Run Through Battery Tunnel Honors Memory of Fallen Hero
The Tunnel to Towers run, which memorializes fire fighter Stephen Siller (who perished during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) draws more participants than any race other than the New York City Marathon, and raises money to help disabled veterans.
The annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk will bring more than 30,000 joggers through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel on Sunday, guiding the multitude into Battery Park City and toward the finish line on West Street, between Warren and Murray Streets. There will also be a street fair and celebration on Vesey Street, between West Street and North End Avenue, immediately following the race.
The Tunnel to Towers run honors the memory of Stephen Siller, a New York City fire fighter who was assigned to Squad 1 in Park Slope, Brooklyn. On the morning of September 11, 2001, he was just going off duty and driving home to Staten Island when he heard news reports about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. Turning his car around, he drove to the closest point he could reach, the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Once he could drive no farther, the 34-year-old Mr. Siller abandoned his car, grabbed the equipment he had with him, and sprinted through the tunnel into Lower Manhattan, where he joined rescue efforts. Mr. Siller was killed when the towers fell (no trace of his remains have ever been found), leaving behind a wife and five children. His family went on to found the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which now hosts not only the annual run through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (which attracts more participants than any race other than the New York City Marathon), but dozens of similar events around the nation.
Proceeds from the Tunnel to Towers Run go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which receives a perfect score of 100 for accountability and transparency from the Charity Navigator rating service. Among the Tunnel to Towers’ programs is its Building for America’s Bravest project, which builds high-tech “smart homes” for military veterans who have been disabled in combat. (The Foundation has also helped to build or rebuild more than 200 homes in New York for Hurricane Sandy relief, while providing building materials for another 800. In 2015, the Foundation additionally paid the mortgages on homes owned by two slain New York City police officers.)
At the July 18 meeting of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee, Susan Starr, who oversees the event for the Foundation, noted, “at the time of last year’s race, we were positioned to deliver 450 mortgage-free homes to disabled veterans by the end of the year. This year, we will give more than 1,000 homes, also mortgage-free, to veterans before the end of 2022.”
“We are also launching a homeless veterans program,” she continued, “to eradicate homelessness in the veterans’ community. We will be providing comprehensive care. In addition to housing, this will include mental health services, skills training, and addiction support.”
Ms. Starr concluded by noting that, “in 2021, more than 92 cents out of every dollar we raised went to the programs we support. This year, we are on track to boost that total to more than 94 cents of each dollar.”
Anyone wishing to participate in Sunday’s event can register online for the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk, by browsing T2T.org. Participation is priced at $75 for adults, and is free to children aged 14 or younger. The race begins on the far side of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel at 9:30am. The street fair and after-party on Vesey Street, which starts at 10:30am, will offer food, drinks, and live music, plus activities for children. The event will conclude by 1pm.
Local street closures, including West Street south of Chambers, Liberty Street, and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will begin before 6am. Most streets will reopen by 2pm, although the cleanup on Vesey Street will likely not conclude before 5pm.
Say It Taint So
Multiple Contaminants Identified at FiDi Development Site
Community Board 1 is urging the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation and the City’s Department of Environmental Protection to be maximally transparent in disclosing data about possible environmental hazards at a vacant lot in the Greenwich South area of the Financial District, which is slated for development into a residential tower. Read more…
Whose Park Is It, Anyway?
City Agency Plans to Fence Off Five Thousand Square Feet of Battery for Storage
The City’s Department of Parks and Recreation plans to commandeer more than 5,000 square feet of formerly public space in the Battery, the historic park at the southern tip of Manhattan, for vehicle parking and equipment storage. The space was previously used as an outdoor beer garden, adjacent to the View at the Battery restaurant. Read more…
William Procejus, a longtime Battery Park City resident, died peacefully in his sleep on September 11, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 73.
He was an accomplished blues harmonica player and singer, and was a member of James Cotton’s blues band for several years. He was a pilot and flew in airshows, and for wealthy families. During the Vietnam war, he enlisted in the Air Force. Later, he obtained a boat captain’s license and ran the Moondance from North Cove Marina.
He worked at Windows on the World from the day it opened until September 11, 2001. A union representative there, he assisted coworkers with paperwork after that horrific event where many fellow employees were killed. He was deeply affected by their deaths.
He was a bright spirit in the neighborhood and was known for his sparkling personality, his wit, and his rock star good looks. He also had killer dance moves.
Lunchtime talk hosted by the Museum of American Finance. A climate catastrophe can be avoided, but only with a rapid and sustained investment in companies and projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To the surprise of many, this has already begun. In this talk, Bruce Usher offers an indispensable guide to the risks and opportunities for investors as the world faces climate change. Free.
A wonderful opportunity for little gardeners and their accompanying adults to get a bug’s-eye-view of the world at the Children’s Garden. Water, dig, and admire the plants and flowers. Observe the changing seasons and learn about the pollinators and other insects who help our plants thrive. Free.
Seaport Coastal Resilience – Update by the Economic Development Corporation
250 Water Street Brownfield Cleanup Program – Report by Lawra Dodge, Independent Community Monitor
South Battery Park City Design Changes for Lawn, Pavilion, Elevations, & WEDG
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
Today in History
On this day in 2019, Greta Thunberg led a huge rally in Manhattan to call attention to climate change. Days earlier, she had arrived by boat to the United States, and she came ashore at North Cove.
1737 – The Walking Purchase treaty between the Penn family and leaders of the Lenape tribe forces 1.2 million acres of tribal land to be turned over to the Pennsylvania Colony. Penn agents drew up incorrect maps, swindled the Native Americans, claimed the land, and forced the Lenape to move.
1906 – Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania is launched.
1910 – The ocean liner SS France, later known as the “Versailles of the Atlantic,” is launched.
1911 – White Star Line’s RMS Olympic collides with the British warship HMS Hawke.
1967 – RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched Clydebank, Scotland.
1973 – Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match.
2017 – Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, resulting in a major humanitarian crisis.
2019 – Students from 185 countries stage the world’s largest-ever protest on climate change culminating in Manhattan rally led by Greta Thunberg
1842 – James Dewar, Scottish-English chemist and physicist (d. 1923)
1878 – Upton Sinclair, novelist, critic, and essayist (d. 1968)
1934 – Sophia Loren, actress
1941 – Dale Chihuly, sculptor
1954 – Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs
1328 – Ibn Taymiyyah, Syrian theologian and scholar (b. 1263)
1863 – Jacob Grimm, German philologist and mythologist (b. 1785)
1957 – Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer (Valse Triste; Finlandia), dies at 91
2005 – Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian-Polish Nazi hunter (b. 1908)
2010 – Leonard Skinner, American high school gym teacher; namesake of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies at 77