Rebuilding the 16 acres of land where the
World Trade Center once stood won't be easy. The Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation, set up by New York Governor George Pataki,
will officially oversee rebuilding of the site. But any plan the
agency approves will have to meet the needs of many different groups
The victims' families want to build a memorial on the site. Real-estate
developers, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which
owns the site, want to make sure that the new World Trade Center
has plenty of space for stores and offices. Others want the site
to become a major transportation hub.
In July, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation unveiled six
plans for rebuilding Ground Zero. Each called for a memorial, office
and store space, and a new transportation complex, but they varied
widely in detail. One called for a sweeping promenade
walkway. Some plans would build on the footprints of the former
towers, and others would not.
The public's reaction to the plans, however, was hardly enthusiastic.
Many said they lacked imagination and vision.
"All the plans should be abandoned," said Beverly Willis, an architect
and co-founder of Rebuild Downtown Our Town. "There's no heart in
Willis said she and others who live in downtown Manhattan think
any plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center should revitalize
the entire neighborhood, not just the original 16 acres. Many nearby
businesses are struggling, she said, because fewer people live and
work downtown now. "We need schools, markets, clothing stores,"
said Willis. "We need more than a memorial."
Others said the plans did not consider the environment.
"The site should use energy like solar, water, and wind more efficiently,"
said Eileen Morales of the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New
York, a coalition of business, environmental, and community groups.
"That's the best memorial this site could be. It could be something
to give us all more life and enjoyment."
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has agreed to call for
new proposals from other designers. Even if the agency does approve
a plan in the near future, it may take years for actual construction
to begin. A lot of repair work still needs to be done underground.
"People will have to be patient," said John Whitehead, chairman of
the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.