Governor George E. Pataki today joined Lower Manhattan Development Corporation officials to announce the start of cleaning and deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after extensive review and coordination with other federal, state and city regulatory agencies, have approved the deconstruction plan for the building. The removal of the shrouded building is critical for full redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. Deconstruction will be carried out in two phases, with the first phase beginning today.
“Today we begin to take down a grim reminder of the horrible events of September 11, 2001,” Governor Pataki said. “Removing this blight from a population that lives and works closest to the World Trade Center site fulfills our promise and our obligation to a scarred community. By taking down the shrouded former Deutsche Bank building, we will replace the crippling symbol with new open spaces for Lower Manhattan’s visitors, workers and residents.”
“Over the last four years, we have worked together with our partners at the State to create and implement a blueprint for Lower Manhattan’s future, and it is fitting that we should begin to tear down one of the most visible symbols of the destruction that took place at the World Trade Center site the day after our commemoration event at the World Trade Center site,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. “Not only because we find comfort and solace in action but also to mark another important step forward in the area’s ongoing and successful revitalization. We are actively engaged in an effort to create a 24/7 community that honors the memories of our loved ones and establishes Lower Manhattan’s fixed place as the financial capital of the world. Together, the City and State – the Mayor and the Governor – are cutting through complex issues and seemingly insurmountable barriers to ensure that the rebuilding moves forward even faster. Under their leadership, we will ensure that what emerges on this site is deserving of a place called Liberty Street.”
LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, “130 Liberty Street is a constant and painful reminder of September 11th. The rebuilding efforts of Lower Manhattan and our collective recovery from the attacks will be greatly enhanced by the removal of this damaged and shrouded building. The LMDC has worked diligently to make certain that the deconstruction is safely carried out and that we are cognizant of the needs and concerns of our neighbors.”
On September 11, 2001, the former Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street was heavily damaged, suffering a 15-story gash after the south tower collapsed. The unoccupied shrouded building adjacent to the World Trade Center site has served as a constant reminder of the events of September 11th and was the subject of litigation between Deutsche Bank as its owner and the insurers for the Building, for over two years.
In Late 2003, Governor Pataki appointed Senator George Mitchell to mediate the dispute. As a result of Senator Mitchell’s involvement, an accord was reached in early 2004. On August 31, 2004, the LMDC acquired the property at 130 Liberty Street and engaged the services of environmental consultants to conduct environmental testing and characterization of the building. The testing and characterization results have been made available to the public throughout the process.
Governor Pataki’s Chief of Staff John P. Cahill said, “The deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building will be done safely and in a manner that protects the health of people who live and work in the area. This is yet another important step forward in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. Last week we broke ground on the Fulton Street Transit Hub and this week we launched construction on the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and selected trees for inclusion in the memorial to our heroes. The deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street will allow Daniel Libeskind’s vision for the site plan to be fully realized.”
Phase I of the deconstruction will consist of preparation of the building, which includes the erection of scaffolding and hoists on the exterior, construction of interior hoist vestibules, erection of sidewalk sheds and perimeter fencing, exterior negative pressure tent enclosures, localized roof, façade and general exterior area clean-up and the removal of existing netting on the exterior of the building. Following building preparation, Phase I will include the cleaning and removal of all interior surfaces and non-structural elements within the building, which will allow 130 Liberty Street to be safely deconstructed. Phase I will begin this week.
Phase II will be the actual floor-by-floor structural deconstruction of the building and removal of the remaining building components, once cleaned, including the exterior curtain wall, roof, CMU shafts, concrete deck, large scale mechanical equipment components and structural steel components. Phase II is scheduled to begin in early 2006.
“LMDC is committed to working with the public in an open and inclusive process as we conduct the deconstruction,” LMDC President Stefan Pryor said. “We’ve worked closely with the community, the EPA, and other regulatory agencies to ensure that this process is carried out with the utmost care. As a resident of Lower Manhattan, I look forward to the day when the shrouded eyesore at 130 Liberty Street has been removed from our cityscape, so that our attention drawn to the positive symbols of rebirth throughout the neighborhood.”
"The commencement of the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street is an important step forward in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan," said William Bernstein, Acting President of Downtown Alliance. "The safe and careful removal of this eyesore will be provide an important boost to the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site."
In addition to the air monitoring program planned for 130 Liberty Street, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) will implement a neighborhood air monitoring program to monitor not only 130 Liberty Street activity, but other construction activities throughout Lower Manhattan. The principal objectives of the program are to monitor dust levels for fugitive dusts, and to immediately notify deconstruction management personnel so that all necessary corrective action can be taken should levels exceed predetermined action levels.
LMCCC Executive Director Charles Maikish said, “The demolition of 130 Liberty Street is a critical milestone in our progress for rebuilding Lower Manhattan. The structure is both a physical and psychological scar in this neighborhood and its demolition will hopefully provide both hope and healing for those who live and work in its shadow. LMCCC will monitor the air in the surrounding areas to ensure that the work will be accomplished in a controlled and environmentally responsible manner.”
The acquisition and deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street reduces density on the site allowing for the creation of the fifth office tower and approximately 30,000 square feet of additional open space in front of the tower. The acquisition and razing also allows vehicle security and bus parking to be located below ground and away from the area dedicated to the memorial. Deconstruction is scheduled to take one year from the start of the floor-by-floor deconstruction in early 2006.
All information about the proposed cleaning and deconstruction has been - and will continue to be - shared with the public. This public engagement and coordination with the applicable regulatory agencies will continue until the deconstruction is completed. Among the elements of LMDC’s multi-faceted outreach campaign are the creation of an advisory committee to initiate public involvement, provision of a community liaison on the LMDC staff, and a commitment to regular meetings with the community board, adjacent property owners, schools and residents. In addition, the LMDC has conducted public outreach sessions at local venues, creation of a 24-hour hotline, posted all relevant information on LMDC’s website, www.RenewNYC.com, and consistently sent e-updates on the project. Information on the project is also available at www.LowerManhattan.info/construction.