Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 124

After years of delays, a deadly fire in which two FDNY firefighters were killed due to negligence on the part of multiple contractors and failures to properly oversee the demolition, the former Deutsche Bank building is nearly demolished.

It should be reduced to nothing more than a pile of rubble next week (sounds like I've been saying that for a while though). Currently, there are two stories above ground, and that site needs to be cleared so that the new Vehicle Security Center can be built.
The bank tower — first slated for deconstruction in 2005, when a government agency bought it to end an impasse over who would pay to take it down — is down to two stories above street level. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC), the agency that oversaw the $300 million dismantling, said it will be completely removed in a little over a week.

“You’re talking about the end of an era,” said Kirk Raymond of Windsor, Ontario, gazing at what’s left of the building on a visit to the trade center site. “You’re erasing the last signs of something pretty terrible.”

The delicate work of dismantling a skyscraper — referred to by its street address, 130 Liberty St. — is visible from surrounding buildings and from the street.

Tourists watched last week as a huge crane gently lowered a steel beam. Sparks flew as a welder removed the cables holding the beam.

“It was great,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, a downtown Manhattan community board officer who walked by the building last week. “It was nice to actually be able to see through the skeletal remains of 130 Liberty.”
The building's demolition had been delayed because of the discovery of hundreds of human remains fragments that prompted a more thorough search of the building and surrounding structures as well as contaminant cleanup (think asbestos and other hazards).

Tom Kaminski of WCBS 880 posted some overhead photos of the Ground Zero site, but several of the photos' captions are incorrect. The second and fourth photos show the site directly to the west of the former Deutsche Bank building - the area previously occupied by St. Nicholas Church (and where a 19th century boat was discovered last year).

The third photo is the best shot of the site as it looks south across Lower Manhattan and Ground Zero. Working clockwise from the left, you see the rising 4WTC, the former Deutsche bank building, the South and North Memorial Pool, Memorial Grove, and 9/11 Museum in the foreground with West Street and the World Financial Center on the right side of the photo. 1WTC is not visible in this photo but a sliver of 7WTC is on the right side.

Ground Zero Beyond the Fence reports that the first of more than 150 bronze panels listing those murdered at Ground Zero on 9/11 is being installed this week:
When the 9/11 Memorial opens later this year, over 150 bronze panels incised with the names of every one of the nearly 3,000 victims of the 2001 and 1993 WTC terror attacks will surround the two waterfalls that flow into the Memorial pools. This week we witnessed the very first of these panels being installed on site, coincidentally 7 years to the day since the Memorial design by Michael Arad was selected. This marked an important transitional moment — this massive construction project is now personal, as it bears the names of those who perished here.
(HT: Randall Gross)

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