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December 21, 2010
by Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: World Trade Center: Update/Timetable/Issues
Location:
Center for Architecture, 12.09.10
Speakers:
Quentin Brathwaite, AIA, AICP — Assistant Director, Office of Program Logistics, WTC Construction, Port Authority of NY and NJ; Carla Bonacci, AIA, PP — Assistant Director, WTC Construction, Port Authority of NY and NJ
Respondents: Jordan Gruzen, FAIA — Co-chair, NYNV; Allen Swerdlowe, AIA — NYNV; William Schacht, AIA — NYNV
Moderator: Ernie Hutton, FAICP, Assoc. AIA — Co-chair, NYNV
Introduction: Ernie Hutton, FAICP, Assoc. AIA — Co-chair, New York New Visions (NYNV); Jack Nyman, AIA — Director, The Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute, Baruch College, CUNY
Organizer: New York New Visions; AIANY Planning & Urban Design Committee; APA New York Metro Chapter; Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute (Baruch College, CUNY)

More than nine years have passed since the 9/11 attacks and the rebuilding process has seemed slow. However, during the past 18-24 months, decisions were made, infrastructure installed, and construction has progressed both below and above grade. Panelists close to the action from New York New Visions (NYNV) and the Port Authority of NY and NJ (PANYNJ) recently convened to discuss what has been accomplished and what is to come.

Quentin Brathwaite, AIA, AICP, assistant director of the Office of Program Logistics at PANYNJ, communicated the complexity of the project. Nine programs must fit on 11 acres, which involves coordinating multiple construction schedules while remaining mindful of commuters and visitors. The Memorial plaza is slated to open on the 10th anniversary of 9/11; the Memorial Museum beneath its surface is well underway; and of the four tall towers, steel has been erected up to the 52nd floor of 1 World Trade Center (formerly Freedom Tower), and progress on Tower 4 is visible.

Meanwhile, planning on a smaller scale includes projects such as the Streetscape program, featuring sidewalk patterns and new bollard designs. It is intended to “create a unified vision for the site,” according to Carla Bonacci, AIA, PP, assistant director at PANYNJ, “integrating the Trade Center back into the fabric of the city.” Designers have currently completed several mock-ups.

Safety and security is an obvious concern, and Jordan Gruzen, FAIA, co-chair of NYNV and resident of neighboring Battery Park City, expressed the importance that measures being taken will not make experiencing the site feel oppressive. Although Brathwaite acknowledged that “there is an intense energy building” toward the opening of the site and the buildings, he believes the planners are well prepared for the momentous occasion. To follow the progress of the WTC, visit http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/index.html.

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