Press Release Article


Date: Feb 04, 2003
Press Release Number: 11-2003

Concepts Developed by Team THINK and Studio Daniel Libeskind to be Further Analyzed and Modified Over the Next Several Weeks

Winter Garden Exhibit to Reopen on Friday, February 7 Featuring Two Designs

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced today that the field of World Trade Center site design concepts under consideration has been narrowed to two – a design by Studio Daniel Libeskind and a design called World Cultural Center, developed by THINK. Representatives of the LMDC, Port Authority, State and City reached a consensus on the two design concepts after reviewing extensive analysis and public comment.

On December 18, 2002, nine designs for the site were released. Each design was subjected to rigorous analysis based on a combination of factors, including feasibility, context for the memorial, phasing and public comment collected during an unprecedented outreach campaign, \"Plans in Progress.\" Although all of the designs had many positive elements, the THINK and Libeskind design concepts best satisfied the criteria. These design concepts will now undergo further review and modification over the next several weeks to address issues raised by the analysis. By the end of February, a single design concept and its underlying transportation, infrastructure and land use plan will be selected, providing a core vision for the future of the World Trade Center site. The design concept will be further refined and modified in response to further analysis and public comment.

The LMDC and Port Authority thanked the many firms and individuals who participated in this historic effort. The LMDC also announced today that an exhibit of the plans at the Winter Garden, which closed on Sunday, February 2, will reopen on Friday, February 7, featuring the two design concepts under consideration. The exhibit, hosted by the World Financial Center Arts and Events Program, will be open seven days a week, from 7 am to 11 pm.

LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, \"The design teams have made a major civic contribution above and beyond what was asked of them. Every one of these architects and designers is a winner for helping to shape the public debate over the future of Lower Manhattan. After holding numerous public hearings in the boroughs and in New Jersey and listening to many constituencies and organizations, it was a difficult task to choose which design approaches offer the greatest potential - not only for today, but for generations to come.\"

LMDC President Louis R. Tomson said, \"Looking back upon the last year, it’s remarkable how much progress we’ve made. Through this unprecedented process of consultation and cooperation, a consensus will soon emerge around a single vision for the site. I want to thank all of our partners in this effort, particularly the Port Authority, for their commitment to doing what’s best for the future of our City. And I want to thank the teams. New York City, and the nation, is forever indebted to the men and women who offered the nine designs, each born of hope and forged in democracy.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"Today’s announcement is a testament to the historic levels of public input that the Port Authority and LMDC have received throughout this process. We are now in a position to move forward on some of the most significant decisions for the site – identifying space for an appropriate memorial to the heroes of September 11, and identifying a transportation, infrastructure and land use plan that will commit us to the construction of a world-class transportation hub, as well as site development, to spark the rebirth of Lower Manhattan.\"

LMDC Board Member and Site Planning Working Group Chair Roland Betts said, \"The architectural teams have served this City, this country and their profession with extraordinary distinction. They have elevated the dialogue to unprecedented heights and to each we owe a heartfelt debt of gratitude.\"

In August 2002, LMDC launched a worldwide search for architects, planners and artists to propose new ideas for the World Trade Center site. In September 2002, seven teams were selected from among 406 submissions from around the world. The teams were charged with incorporating elements in their designs that were derived from public comment, including a respectful memorial setting preserving the footprints; a bold new skyline; and a range of commercial space. The seven teams produced nine designs, which were released to the public on December 18th, 2002.

Plans in Progress

Immediately after the release of the plans, the LMDC launched a comprehensive outreach campaign, Plans in Progress. This campaign featured an exhibit of the plans at the Winter Garden, which attracted over 100,000 visitors and generated more than 7,000 comments; two public hearings, simulcast to locations in all five boroughs and Long Island, the first one carried live on NY1; a public meeting in New Jersey; a video of each team describing their plans, distributed to libraries throughout the City; and the posting of the plans on LMDC’s website,, which attracted 8 million visits and 4,000 comments.

By the conclusion of the campaign, the LMDC had received 12,000 comments, the majority of them (approximately 65 percent) relating directly to the site plans and/or specific elements of site plans. Of the 65%, approximately 90% were favorable comments regarding the site plans. The remainder of the public comment relates to individual site proposals and other general comments unrelated to the site plans.

All of the public comment received was read, categorized and is subject to ongoing analysis. A comprehensive final report of all public comment will be released along with the single site design concept. In general, the public comments reaffirmed the need for an appropriate and fitting memorial to those killed on September 11th, a tall symbol or symbols to restore the Lower Manhattan skyline, more civic and cultural amenities and open space and the integration of the World Trade Center site with the surrounding community.

Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

LMDC and Port Authority planning staff and consultants evaluated the eight designs1 based on the following 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, including public comment, and numerous subcategories:

• Memorial Setting: How well does it provide an appropriate memorial setting?
• Program: Does the design meet the program requirements?
• Parcels/Street Pattern: How well does the design establish practical street, block and development parcels.
• Public Response: What is the public response to the design?
• Vision: How well does it support the Mayor’s Vision Plan for Lower Manhattan?
• Connectivity: How well does the design connect with its surroundings?
• Phasing: Does the design allow for phased development over time?
• Public Realm: How effective is the addition to the public realm?
• Private Development: Is the design an attractive environment for private development?
• Unresolvable Issues: Are there components that are unresolvable?
• Resolvable Issues: How significant are the issues that can be resolved?
• Cost What is the estimated cost of publicly funded elements of the plan?

Each design was also analyzed for its compatibility with necessary transportation and infrastructure improvements. The following experts participated in the analysis:

• Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects.- overall design concept evaluation and transportation and infrastructure analysis
• Hamilton Rabinowitz & Alschuler (HR&A) – marketability of commercial office space and retail space; constructibility of commercial and retail components within market conditions
• Sam Schwartz Company – Vehicular and pedestrian movement on and around the site
• Allee King Rosen & Fleming (A

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