Gehry's Ground Zero performing arts center gets funding

October 14, 2010 |

Governor David A. Paterson, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced an agreement to create a $100 million fund for the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center site with federal funds directed to Lower Manhattan. The performing arts center is part of the Master Plan for the Redevelopment of the World Trade Center and is expected to serve as a cultural anchor for Lower Manhattan. This is part of a process for defining priority uses for the remaining Federal money. Federal funds will also be used for Lower Manhattan utility infrastructure upgrades and economic development, transportation, cultural and community projects, including the East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers Project, upgrades to Water Street, small business development, the completion and maintenance of parks and transportation improvements. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the entity responsible for signing off on the federal allocation, will work to develop detailed proposals for these priority projects, and will solicit public input. The Board is expected to vote on these proposals at its next meeting in November.

“I am pleased that $100 million has been appropriated for a Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan, and that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board is working to award all of the remaining federal funds that were allocated to revitalize this community,” Governor Paterson said. “These funds will help to transform Lower Manhattan, while attracting small and big business, improving the conditions of our streets and parks, and welcoming visitors from other parts of the City and from all corners of the world. I commend the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Silver and all of our partners for guaranteeing that Lower Manhattan will come back stronger than ever before.”

“Our collective desire to put $100 million towards the development of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center site makes clear that the cultural venue is a critical part of the ongoing revitalization of Lower Manhattan,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will work to finalize the details regarding this and other allocations for key infrastructure, development, transportation and open-space projects that will be made possible because of these federal funds. In the meantime, I want to thank Governor Paterson and Speaker Silver for working with us on a unified vision for Lower Manhattan’s continued growth, and the LMDC board, Chris Ward and the Port Authority and Lower Manhattan’s elected officials and advocates for their efforts to help us achieve it.”

Assembly Speaker Silver said: “I am tremendously pleased that this $100 million commitment clearly paves the way for this long-promised performing arts center, which will be a cultural jewel for Lower Manhattan. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his strong support and for realizing how important this is to the rebuilding of my Lower Manhattan community following the tragedy of 9/11. We are creating a world-class venue for music, dance and the performing arts that will be a celebration of the vital cultural life of our Downtown neighborhood. I thank Governor Paterson for his support and I commend Chairman Schick, President Emil and the LMDC Board for moving ahead with this project. I also salute Community Board One for its unflinching commitment to this important and wonderful performing arts center.”

In 2004, the internationally-recognized Joyce Theater was selected to be a prime tenant in the Performing Arts Center. Since that time, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has worked closely with the Joyce Theater, the City of New York, the Port Authority, and other stakeholders to develop a design for a Performing Arts Center (PAC) that will be capable of hosting a broad range of performing arts and will fit seamlessly into the complicated confines of the WTC site. In 2006, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board allocated up to $55 million in funding for the Performing Arts Center. Gehry Partners – working in collaboration with HOK Architects and Faithful + Gould – has developed a design for the building containing a 1,000-seat theater, a secondary theater, rehearsal spaces, classrooms, a public cafe, outdoor plazas and administrative space. Below-grade coordination work was begun in 2007, and engineering drawings for the foundations were completed in 2009. Earlier this year, the Port Authority began construction of the Performing Arts Center foundations and associated utilities as a part of its ongoing work at the PATH Station.


The following statements were provided in support of the $100 million fund for the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center site:

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: “The designation of this $100 million fund to support the development of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center site is tremendous progress toward making this cultural and community resource a reality. This important step brings us closer to a more fully realized and revitalized Lower Manhattan. The collective work of the LMDC, the Port Authority, State and city elected officials, and community representatives has been essential for reprogramming these federal funds. I look forward to the further allocation of federal funding for the area, helping to usher in a new era for Lower Manhattan, in which it will serve as a major cultural, economic and tourist hub for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”

Senator Daniel Squadron said: “This vital down payment on the Performing Arts Center is great news for Lower Manhattan and for generations of New Yorkers who will one day enjoy performances at the World Trade Center site. Coordinated progress on the PAC is exactly what Speaker Silver and I were pushing for when we formed a working group this summer; many thanks to all the efforts of Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Schumer, Congressman Nadler, Councilmember Chin, Community Board One, LMDC, the Port Authority and the LMCCC. Moving forward, we must ensure that the remaining LMDC funds are distributed equitably across Lower Manhattan to ensure continued growth and recovery for the entire Lower Manhattan community.”

Council Member Margaret Chin said: “Today’s announcement that $100 million in federal funds will be directed towards development of the Performing Arts Center is a great step forward for lower Manhattan. Now that real progress is being made at the World Trade Center site, the PAC remains one of the few outstanding development projects at Ground Zero. Today’s announcement moves us closer to making the PAC a reality, and I want to congratulate Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, LMDC Chair Avi Shick and the LMDC Board, and all those involved in development at the site for their efforts in moving this forward.”

Empire State Development Executive Director and LMDC Board Member Peter Davidson said: “By reallocating a portion of the utility fund to other projects in Lower Manhattan, the board, with input from the community, will have $200 million to reprogram to revitalize this community. The utilities have worked tirelessly to revitalize Lower Manhattan after the 9-11 attacks. I commend the leadership of both Con Edison and Verizon for being able to balance the needs of their consumers and the long-term needs of Lower Manhattan. The funds that remain from this settlement will continue to transform Lower Manhattan for years to come.”

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