The skylight at the World Trade Center Oculus will reopen on September 11 at exactly 10:28 a.m., the same time the North Tower fell in 2001. The “Way of Light,” which happens every year on 9/11, will shine through the opening, bringing light to the bustling WTC transit center below. Santiago Calatrava designed the Oculus oriented in a way that allows sunlight to cross the floor, directly along the axis of the building.
World Trade Center
Rendering by REX
Construction of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center is officially moving forward, with the first pieces of the center’s structural steel now visible above street level, according to CityRealty. The idea for an arts center at the World Trade Center was included in the original vision for rebuilding the area after Sept. 11, a plan proposed nearly 15 years ago. Designed by REX, the flexible “Mystery Box” will be wrapped in translucent marble, the same material used on the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and laminated with insulated glass. Named for Ronald O. Perelman who gifted $75 million to the project, the center will include 200,000 square feet of space, three halls and a rehearsal space, a restaurant and a gift shop.
Photo courtesy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Construction company Skanska USA stopped work at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church this month after the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America failed to make payments on the project. The cost of rebuilding the church, which was destroyed in the terror attacks on 9/11 more than sixteen years ago, increased to an estimated $78 million from a 2013 estimate of $20 million. While the archdiocese raised $37 million in donations, it was still unable to pay its bills, prompting an independent investigation of the church’s financial mismanagement, as the New York Times reported. Since learning of its deficit, the archdiocese has cut 25 percent of its staff and 25 percent of its expenses. A new treasurer and a chief financial officer have also been hired.
This summer, the 9/11 Tribute Museum opened in a brand-new space at 92 Greenwich Street in the Financial District. The 36,000-square-foot gallery became the second iteration of the museum which originally occupied the former Liberty Deli from 2006 until earlier this year. While many are more likely to be familiar with the 9/11 Memorial Museum just a few blocks up the street, the Tribute Museum differs in that rather than focusing on the implications of the tragedy, documenting the events as they unfolded and examining its lasting impact, it assumes a more inspired take, dedicating its exhibits and installations to the stories of the survivors, first responders, relatives of victims, and others with close connections to the tragedy who found hope in the terror and stepped up to help their fellow New Yorkers.
Ahead, Lee Skolnick, principal of LHSA+DP and lead architect of the 9/11 Tribute Museum, speaks to 6sqft about the design and programming of this important institution, and how he hopes its message will inspire visitors to do good in their communities during these uncertain times.
Radio Row, looking east along Cortlandt Street towards Greenwich Street, by Berenice Abbott Image via NYPL.
Before the internet and before television, there was radio broadcasting. The advent of radio at the turn of the 20th century had major repercussions on the reporting of wars along with its impact on popular culture, so it’s not surprising that a business district emerged surrounding the sale and repair of radios in New York City. From 1921 to 1966, a roughly 13-block stretch going north-south from Barclay Street to Liberty Street, and east-west from Church Street to West Street, was a thriving small business stronghold known as Radio Row.
It’s been a long and arduous process rebuilding the St. Nicholas National Shrine, a Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed on 9/11 when the second trade tower toppled on it. Only last year was the foundation poured, and only two weeks ago were the steel ribs of the structure’s defining dome installed. But despite construction moving forward at a glacial pace, officials yesterday celebrated a major milestone with a “topping out ceremony” at the church’s new site at Greenwich and Liberty streets. The touchstone event was notably marked by the addition of a temporary 6-foot-3-inch Justinian cross, reports the Times.
After stalling for years, the $243 million World Trade Center Performing Arts Center started to make headway in recent months, first with a decision to go with REX as the designers and then with a $75 million gift from Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman (who is gaining naming rights). And finally, the official renderings have been revealed, and they showcase a nearly 90,000-square-foot, translucent veined marble cube that both stands out as an impressive piece of cultural architecture and co-exists with the other structures on the WTC complex such as the 9/11 Museum and transportation hub.
According to a press release from developer Silverstein Properties, “The Perelman Center is inspired by the Center’s mission to defy experiential expectations. Its design cues were taken from [an] aim to foster artistic risk, incubate original productions, provide unparalleled flexibility, and deliver the most technologically advanced and digitally connected spaces for creative performance.”
Photo: Thomas E. Franklin
The American flag seen in the iconic photo of the firefighters at ground zero on 9/11, which mysteriously went missing only hours after it was raised, has been found and will be displayed in a museum forevermore.
Thomas E. Franklin, the photojournalist who took the photo for The Record newspaper, had heard a few years ago that the flag had gone missing but did not know what to make of the mystery. “I thought that was odd and unfortunate,” Franklin told Metro on Wednesday. He said he is glad for the people for whom it has special meaning that it’s was found.
Image pointing to the site of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. Rendering by DBOX
Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman has made a $75 million gift towards the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (PACWTC) reports the New York Times. The donation will finally make one of the last unfinished projects at the site a reality, and the Center will therefore be named for Perelman. “I think that this is a project that must happen. It is more than just a pure artistic center to serve a community. It is that, but at the same time it’s much more than that,” he said.
This is not Perelman’s first time donating to the World Trade Center site. Under the Bloomberg administration he gave $5 million for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and said then that he was interested in making the lead gift for a performing arts center at the site.
The World Trade Center‘s Liberty Park, the new one-acre public park at 25 feet above ground level spanning Liberty Street between West and Greenwich Streets, opens today. NYYimby reports that the park is getting the last few finishing touches in preparation for its grand opening dedication ceremony. As part of the landscape design by Joseph E. Brown of architectural and engineering firm Aecom, a 300-foot-long “living wall” composed of 826 panels of varying plant types is a highlight of the new park, which also functions as a pleasant disguise for the entrance to the WTC’s security hub that sits beneath.