An exhibit displaying the six concept plans for the World Trade Center Site, as well as the various design elements common to each plan, will open Wednesday, July 24 in Federal Hall, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Port Authority announced today. The exhibit, specifically designed to solicit input from the public, will be open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week. While Federal Hall is normally open to the public only on weekdays, a $100,000 grant appropriated by the LMDC Board will help cover weekend operating costs.
The concept plans and design elements will be arrayed in a "Ring of Remembrance" in the historic Federal Hall rotunda. On the outside of the Ring, visitors will view photographs of the World Trade Center site from various points in history, beginning on June 8, 1949 and ending on September 23, 2001. On the inside of the Ring, visitors will be able to examine the six concept plans and six design elements, which include the memorial; commercial and retail space; parks and open space; street grid; transportation; and West Street. At one end of the Ring, a large screen will continuously show 3-D animations of the six concept plans. A contextual model of Lower Manhattan will occupy the center of the exhibit. Most importantly, comment stations will be located throughout the exhibit, inviting the public to evaluate how each plan incorporates the design elements.
LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "This new public exhibit will play an important role in reaching out to the many thousands of Americans and visitors from around the world who will come to this historic site and share their comments with our planners."
LMDC President and Executive Director Louis R. Tomson said, "I can think of no better place to contemplate our nation’s future than the site where the Bill of Rights was adopted and where George Washington pledged to uphold it as the first president. The exhibit continues this tradition by embodying our nation’s most important guiding principle: democracy. By expressing their opinions and suggestions at the exhibit, the public will play an integral role in the rebuilding and redevelopment process."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, "Before it became the first home of the Continental Congress, Federal Hall was the site of New York City’s first City Hall. New York and the United States of America really started here. How fitting that Federal Hall should once again be the site where New Yorkers, and people from all over the region, can come to let their voices be heard, as we try to build a consensus on the plans for Lower Manhattan’s rebirth."
Joseph T. Avery, Superintendent of the National Park Service Manhattan Sites, said "The National Park Service is pleased to provide an opportunity for everyone to examine these proposals closely, and to make comments if they wish. Federal Hall National Memorial, which was directly affected by the events of 9/11, stands on the site of three hundred years of some of the most significant historical events in the city and the nation. It was the site of the inauguration of President George Washington, the First U. S. Congress, the passage of the Bill of Rights, and many other events which shaped the United States. It is our mission to continue to inform visitors of our history as it unfolds."
The exhibit, which was designed by David Lackey of Whirlwind & Company, will run from July 24 to August 30 at Federal Hall, located at 26 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. The public can use either the Pine Street or Wall Street entrance to access the exhibit, which will be open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free.
About the LMDC
The LMDC is a joint State-City corporation formed by the Governor and Mayor to oversee the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The LMDC is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors -- eight appointed by the Governor, eight appointed by the Mayor -- and is chaired by John C. Whitehead. To assist in its mission, the Corporation has formed several Advisory Councils and a general Advisory Committee comprised of federal, state and city elected officials, business and civic leaders to represent the interests of various constituencies affected by the September 11th attacks.
About the Port Authority
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey built the World Trade Center and operated it from 1970 until July 2001, when it was leased to private operators. It continues to own the 16-acre site. The Port Authority was formed by the states of New York and New Jersey in 1921 to promote and strengthen the commerce of the port region. In addition to the area’s major ports and terminals, the bistate agency operates the region’s three major airports, bridge and tunnel connections between the two states, and the PATH commuter transit line.
About Federal Hall (from National Park Service)
26 Wall Street was the site of New York City's 18th century City Hall. Here John Peter Zenger was jailed, tried, and acquitted of libel for exposing government corruption in his newspaper, an early victory for freedom of the press. City Hall hosted the Stamp Act Congress, which assembled in October 1765, to protest "taxation without representation." After the American Revolution, the Continental Congress met at City Hall, and in 1787 adopted the Northwest Ordinance establishing procedures for creating new states.
When the Constitution was ratified in 1788, New York remained the national capital. Pierre L'Enfant was commissioned to remodel City Hall for the new federal government. The First Congress met in the new Federal Hall, and wrote the Bill of Rights, and George Washington was inaugurated here as President on April 30, 1789. When the capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the building again housed city government until 1812, at which time Federal Hall was demolished.
The current structure on the site was built as the Customs House, opening in 1842. In 1862, Customs moved to 55 Wall Street and the building became the U. S. Sub-Treasury. Millions of dollars of gold and silver were kept in the basement vaults until the Federal Reserve Bank replaced the Sub-Treasury system in 1920.