LMDC Plans To Dismantle "Survivor's Stairway" To Make Way for Tower
Parts of the “Survivor’s Stairway,” the last remaining architectural remnant of the Twin Towers, will remain at Ground Zero but be divided up and moved according to a plan released by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation this week. The LMDC argues that the stairway must be moved to make way for the planned WTC 2 building, designed by Lord Norman Foster. Advocates led by WTC survivors and historical preservationists have waged a long campaign to keep the 21-foot stairway whole and in its current location on Vesey Street. For more information on the history of the Survivor’s Stairway, the path to freedom for hundreds of WTC survivors, please read our article in the December 1, 2006 VOICES e-Newsletter and visit the website of the “Save the Stairway” campaign.
The LMDC’s new plan would salvage only the granite faces of the two flights of stairs that make up the stairway. Six to nine of the stair faces would be installed in the steps leading up to the lobby of Tower 2, in the same location they occupy now, but reoriented. Both in and outside the Tower 2 lobby, the outline of the whole staircase would be marked with metal channels. Other stair faces could be incorporated into stairs at the WTC memorial visitor’s center or become an exhibit along with other artifacts and remnants salvaged from the site during clean-up. “It would be our honor to include this material,” Alice M. Greenwald, an executive vice president of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the director of the memorial museum is quoted in New York Times coverage.
Preservationists have urged for months that the whole staircase be kept at its original location, and will continue to press for full preservation "We are vehemently opposed to either proposal because you would be cannibalizing the ruin, whose significance lies in its structural integrity," Frank Sanchis, Senior Vice President of the Municipal Art Society and a longstanding advocate for stairway preservation, is quoted in NY Daily News coverage.
A public comment period on the plan will be open until February 12th. Though the LMDC’s website has not yet set up a specific comment form for this issues, VOICES was assured that any comments posted in the planning comments section will be considered. A comment form specifically for the Survivor’s Stairway will likely be posted next week, according to the LMDC. Check their website (http://www.renewnyc.com/) for updates. But we want to hear what you have to say. Please post your comment in our question of the week section on our forum, and contact our office if you have any questions.
Question: Do you think the "Survivor's Stairway" should be preserved in its original location, with the plans for WTC 2 altered to accommodate it?
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Community Board 1 Votes to Call in JPAC for Remains Search
This week, after months of lobbying from 9/11 family members and advocates, Manhattan's Community Board 1 (CB1) issued a resolution calling for an elite military unit to intervene in the ongoing search for human remains in and around the WTC site. CB1 is the local governing body in Lower Manhattan. Though their resolution on JPAC is not binding, the action was hailed by family members and advocates who criticize the city's recovery efforts as ineffective and haphazard. "It means right now, we now have the Community Board 1 representing the residents of Lower Manhattan added to the list of people who want JPAC to come in and assist with this because we still don't believe the city is doing an appropriate job with the search," Dennis McKeon, an advocate for the 9/11 families, is quoted in Staten Island Advance coverage.
CB1 voted as as the City sent a memo yesterday to Sept. 11 families informing them of the discovery of two potential human remains at 11 Water Street, the facility where inspections of debris from the WTC site are being inspected. About 20 9/11 family members showed their support for the resolution at Tuesday's meeting. Deputy Mayor Ed Skylar, the city's point person on the recovery of remains, defended the effort and said the city would hire 11 more anthropologists to assist with its $30 million, yearlong search plan. The city's forensic anthropologist, Dr. Bradley Adams, said calling in JPAC is unnecessary. "On these missions that J-PAC goes on there's one anthropologist, so if J-PAC sent out an anthropologist like they do on normal missions like this that's not going to speed up our process. We've got a lot of people already on site. We've got the expertise, the expertise that you all think needs to come here from J-PAC, is already here and working on this project," Dr. Adams is quoted in New York 1 coverage.
For more information, visit the Recovering Remains page on VOICES website.