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Otie Dec 30, 2011 5:57 AM

NEW YORK | Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center (WTC)
Arts Center at WTC Takes Step Forward
By JENNIFER MALONEY | December 30th, 2011


A board of directors was named Thursday for a Frank Gehry-designed performing-arts center planned for the World Trade Center site, two days shy of a deadline for the venue to remain eligible for $100 million in funding.

The all-star board includes World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, Brookfield Office Properties Co-Chairman John Zuccotti and First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, said Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation, which will support the arts center board in its infancy.

The Wall Street Journal earlier this month reported that the fate of the arts center was in limbo as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had lined up willing board members, waited for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to select an appointee.

Mr. Cuomo still hasn't named a representative, and he isn't required to. But the announcement of six board members clears the way for the arts center to receive $100 million in federal funds through the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., said David Emil, the corporation's president.

Supporters of the arts center Thursday said they are optimistic the governor will appoint a board member. "At some point, we expect the governor, when he feels it's the appropriate time, to lend his support by naming a designee," Mr. Daniels said.

Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for the governor, didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The other board members named Thursday are Vidicom founder and CEO Christy Ferer, whose husband died in the attacks; Community Board 1 chairwoman Julie Menin; and Zenia Mucha, executive vice president of Walt Disney Co.

The selection of Ms. Harris, Mr. Bloomberg's most trusted adviser, signals the mayor's strong support for the project. Mr. Bloomberg is chairman of the 9/11 memorial foundation.

The LMDC board in 2006 allocated $55 million for the project and last year approved an additional $100 million, on the condition that a board of directors form by the end of 2011. The arts center board became a source of tension between aides to the mayor and the governor. Their surrogates are also involved in a funding dispute over the 9/11 museum, which Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged Thursday wouldn't open on Sept. 11, 2012, as it had been scheduled to.

The arts center board members—with the exception of Ms. Harris, who was named an ex-officio member—have agreed to raise $5 million each for the arts center.

The arts center's 1,000-seat theater would fill a void in the city's cultural landscape, providing a venue for performing groups that can't take on the financial risk of trying to fill the city's larger theaters.

Because the city has no midsize theater designed for dance and other performing arts, many of the world's best dance companies have no place to perform here, said Kate Levin, the city's cultural-affairs commissioner. "This is a really important project for the city," she said.

The Joyce Theater, which presents modern dance, has been named as a future tenant. The space is also expected to host cultural and community events ranging from film screenings to college graduations.

Ms. Menin called the venue "a vital economic revitalization project for lower Manhattan and for the city of New York." She said, "It will create construction jobs and long-term jobs" and provide a cultural destination for tourists, residents and office workers in lower Manhattan.

Supporters said the arts center will play an important symbolic role as the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is rebuilt. "Life, and beautiful life, goes on in the wake of something that was so tragic," Mr. Daniels said.

The 9/11 memorial foundation's founding mission included the creation of a performing-arts center, Mr. Daniels said. The foundation applied Thursday for federal nonprofit tax status for the new organization, which ultimately will be a separate institution, he said.

The new board will meet in January to begin recruiting more board members and developing a fund-raising strategy, Mr. Daniels said. Mr. Emil said the new board members "have the potential to be a very powerful force for the project. I think it's an important step forward."

WTC Arts Board Members Named Averting Massive Funding Loss
December 29, 2011 9:14pm | By Julie Shapiro, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer


LOWER MANHATTAN — Mayor Bloomberg named five people to the Word Trade Center performing arts center board Thursday, a last-minute move that averted the loss of millions of dollars in funding for the long-delayed institution.
The board members are: Christy Ferer, founder of video content provider Vidicom; Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board 1; Zenia Mucha, executive vice president of the Walt Disney Company; Larry Silverstein, president of Silverstein Properties; and John Zuccotti, co-chairman of Brookfield Properties.
First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris will also serve on the board as Bloomberg's representative.
The mayor's down-to-the-wire appointments came just days before the year-end deadline for creating the arts center's board.
If the board wasn't in place by the end of 2011, the performing arts center could have lost most of the $155 million it has received.
"It's critical," Menin said of the timing of the appointments. "The PAC is a vital project for Lower Manhattan. It will create immediate construction jobs…and it will create economic revitalization for the area."
The board will be responsible for raising another several hundred million dollars and overseeing the center's programming, Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said in a letter announcing the appointments Thursday.
The memorial foundation, which Bloomberg chairs, was the group responsible for picking the arts center's board, the mayor's office said.
The performing arts center has been part of the overall plan for the World Trade Center for years. The Joyce Theater, a SoHo-based dance company, signed on to anchor the planned 1,000-seat theater, and famed architect Frank Gehry drafted a boxy terraced design for the building.
But fundraising for the center never began, and its construction kept getting pushed further into the future, because of delays to other projects at the World Trade Center site.
The arts center is slated to rise at Greenwich and Vesey streets, where the temporary PATH entrance currently stands. Construction on the PAC cannot begin until that entrance is demolished, which won't happen until Santiago Calatrava's winged transportation hub opens just to the east in another several years.
Menin and others in the community have pushed for the PAC to be moved to a different site south of the World Trade Center, where it could rise sooner.
In the past, the Port Authority has not been receptive to that idea, but Daniels' letter lists the PAC's location as one of the issues the new board will examine.

ardecila Dec 30, 2011 6:50 AM

Any chance they can dump Gehry?

His New World Symphony in Miami is actually pretty decent, but the models of the New York project were just atrocious.

Rizzo Dec 30, 2011 3:36 PM

Oh wow, I'm happy to hear progress is being made on this, at least from an organizational standpoint.

Don098 Dec 30, 2011 4:52 PM


Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5532213)
Any chance they can dump Gehry?

His New World Symphony in Miami is actually pretty decent, but the models of the New York project were just atrocious.

Agreed...a re-design is needed BADLY. It was one of the worst designs I've ever seen in my life just by itself, but in the context of the surrounding buildings, it was horrifying.

NYC GUY Dec 31, 2011 7:44 AM

The original Gehry design looked like it belonged in the jungle.

ardecila Dec 31, 2011 10:14 AM

Well, check out the Miami project I mentioned... Gehry still plays around with crazy forms, but they are inside of a beautiful, simple glass and steel box. It's like Frank Gehry and Richard Meier teamed up.

Something like that could be beautiful at the WTC, where the boxy modernist enclosure acts as a go-between that transitions between Gehry's funkiness and the strait-laced office towers of Lower Manhattan.

The park in the Miami project is probably not feasible in NY, but it's also a really cool element... just like at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Gehry tries to democratize the performances so that even people without expensive tickets can enjoy the performance. In Miami, the building has a huge blank white wall facing the park where performances are projected and the audio is re-broadcast through a series of sound sculptures placed in the park. AFAIK the park is open to the public, so anybody can come enjoy.
flickr/Brule Laker

NYguy Jan 3, 2012 1:02 PM

Gehry's earlier working model...
A preliminary design of the performing arts center slated to be built at the World Trade Center site.

Hed Kandi Jan 5, 2012 2:13 AM


Originally Posted by nyc guy (Post 5533247)
the original gehry design looked like it belonged in the jungle.


animatedmartian Jan 5, 2012 3:13 AM

You notice there's a car turned sideways on the road next to the model. I assume the driver was amazed, but not in a good way. :P

I would think that was something he didn't spend a whole lot of time on, but then again...REDESIGN! :yuck:

Otie Jan 5, 2012 4:10 PM

From Downtown Express


Founding board set for W.T.C. Performing Arts Center
January 4, 2012 BY ALINE REYNOLDS

The World Trade Center Performing Arts Center is one step closer to becoming a reality. Last week, National Sept. 11 Memorial President Joe Daniels announced the nomination of five founding board members for the P.A.C. — a necessary action taken to avoid potentially losing $100 million in funds that were previously earmarked for the creation of the center.

For the P.A.C.’s board of directors, National 9/11 Memorial Board Chair, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the other memorial board members, chose Christy Ferer, chief executive officer and founder of Vidicom; Community Board 1 Chairperson Julie Menin; Silverstein Properties chief executive officer and president, Larry Silverstein; John Zuccotti, co-chairperson of Brookfield Office Properties; and Zenia Mucha, vice president of the Walt Disney Company. First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris will also join the board, representing Bloomberg as an ex-officio board member, according to the Mayor’s press office.

The P.A.C. board, which will begin meeting in the coming weeks, is tasked with fundraising for the center as well as making collective decisions with respect to programming and expenses for the facility, according to the National 9/11 Memorial. The board will also finalize the P.A.C.’s location, the subject of heated discussion in recent years.

The board member appointments had to be made prior to Dec. 31, Daniels explained, in order to meet one of the requirements set out by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency handling the allocation and distribution of the federal funds. The $100 million grant, which was originally intended for utility companies that suffered economically from 9/11, was ultimately allocated to the P.A.C. in fall 2010.

“As you know, a performing arts center has been part of the W.T.C. Master Plan since its inception in 2003 as a key element in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan,” said Daniels in a Dec. 29 letter to L.M.D.C. President David Emil. “Over the past several years, the L.M.D.C., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the City of New York have worked in collaboration to develop a plan for making the P.A.C. a reality.”

The majority of the funds will finance the P.A.C.’s construction, while $1 million will go toward administrative operations, according to Emil. An additional $60 million previously designated for the P.A.C. will finance the design of the facility by architect Frank Gehry — one-sixth of which has already been spent.

Emil said of the P.A.C. board’s formation, “I believe the 9/11 attacks were in the broadest sense an attack on American culture, and that therefore it is important that American art and culture be represented on the site.”

Emil wouldn’t say whether the $100 million in funds would have been immediately reallocated to another project had the founding board of directors not been formed by the end of the year, though an L.M.D.C. spokesperson said that, historically, the agency has granted deadline extensions to certain funding recipients.

Menin, who helped secure the $100 million for the P.A.C., nevertheless applauded Bloomberg and the National 9/11 Memorial for selecting the P.A.C. board members by the Dec. 31 deadline.

“It shows the project is indeed a priority and has come from the backburner to the front burner,” said Menin. “Now that we have the founding member board in place, we need to [take] all the steps required to make this project happen.”

Menin continued, “I think it’s a very strong board, and I look forward to working with all of them. I think each board member brings particular expertise and vision to the board, and I’m very pleased and honored to be a part of it.”

The other board members could not be reached for comment by press time.

Menin, a strong proponent of the less costly Tower 5 site, the former Deutsche Bank building, said she wasn’t privy to recent discussions about the siting of the center, nor was she told exactly when the board would convene for the first time.

“It’s my understanding that the board will be charged with looking at the site location, but we have not been given any indication as to whether or not other options would indeed be considered or not,” said Menin. “If [the Tower 5 site] is not an option, then we will need to move forward with a current location.”

In a written statement, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he was “enormously pleased” about the board’s formation and, particularly, that the board includes a local community representative.

“This is a crucial step in our efforts to build the world-class cultural center that our Lower Manhattan community was promised,” said Silver. “I look forward to the board beginning the important work of raising the necessary funds to build this Performing Arts Center, which I know will be a crown jewel in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.”

The Joyce Theater, a dance company based in SoHo, is the center’s only current tenant slated to operate the 1,000-seat theater. A spokesperson for the theater couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

NYguy Jan 5, 2012 10:45 PM

WTC Performing Arts Center Makes Its Debut with John Zuccotti

Jan 5, 2012
By Matt Chaban


While Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo fight over the fate of the 9/11 museum, which almost certainly won’t open as planned on September 11, 2012, the 9/11 Memorial Foundation quietly announced some good news at the end of December. The foundation has selected a five-member board for the still very much up in the air ground zero cultural center.

The move is largely logistical, according to Downtown Express, which first reported the arrangement. If a board had not been selected, the project would have forfeited $100 million in funds from the essentially defunct LMDC.
The board is made up of many of the people one might expect: the mayor, who also chairs the foundation, World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, CB1 chair and downtown dogooder Julie Menin, now-very-famous Brookfield co-chairman John Zuccotti and Zenia Mucha, vice president of the Walt Disney Company. Maybe The Lion King is thinking of joining the Joyce as an anchor at the new theater.

The funds would not necessarily have been reallocated if the deadline had not been met, according to Downtown Express, but the foundation did not wish to run that risk.

Dac150 Jan 8, 2012 5:30 PM

I have faith in Bloomberg that he'll get the museum and this cultural center where they need to be. It's amazing, yet not all that surprising, how something like the 9/11 museum is caught up in a financial cross-fire . . . I guess somebody has to eat the cost though . . .

asharmaearth411 Jan 13, 2012 7:25 PM

Recent Progress at the World Trade Center Site (2012)
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NYguy Feb 9, 2012 5:08 PM

Ground zero money sump

February 8, 2012


If nothing else, Tuesday’s Port Authority audit focused a fresh spotlight on the enormous construction costs attending preparation work for some of the elaborate projects intended for the World Trade Center site. Most of those projects are defensible (even if their price tags are not).

A conspicuous exception is the planned performing arts center — an unaffordable, redundant impediment to timely completion of the overall project. And when you fully digest the numbers — and consider how wholly unnecessary the center is — you come to one inevitable conclusion: It needs to be scrapped, pronto.

Start with the PA report: It cited some $200 million in costs for work being done to facilitate construction of the center. Two things:

* That money would be better spent on pressing PA needs — fixing crumbling bridges and tunnels, for instance.

* History suggests the center will never pay its own way — becoming, rather, a black hole for city and other public funds.

The PA hopes to be repaid for that work . . . one day, presumably by the arts center — though who knows if it will even be built, let alone fork over any funds. Keep in mind, this is a project that — more than 10 years after 9/11 — still exists mainly in the minds of its proponents. It was only six weeks ago that a board for the center was formed — and its backers have yet to create a nonprofit entity to run it.

What will the center consist of? That’s anyone’s guess; there’s no final design in place. Which is also why no one knows its final price tag — which likely means even more upward pressure on tolls, given that the cost for the nearby National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum is now pushing a breath-taking $1 billion.

aquablue Feb 9, 2012 5:24 PM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 5583906)

Ground zero money sump

February 8, 2012

The Post sucks!

NYguy Feb 9, 2012 5:46 PM


Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5583933)
The Post sucks!

Call it what you will, but if you've been paying attention to the news with the Port Authority lately, none of it has been great, and lot of it revolves around money issues, mostly the PA running out of it.

I believe that Downtown should get the new PAC, but it doesn't have to be at the WTC site, particularly when you look at the risk of us not getting what should be built there (office tower, memorial, etc.). I've always looked at the site between towers 1 and 2 as a good location for the hotel that was originally supposed to be part of tower 2. Hotel space could even be built above the PAC, if it were part of the plan. But it's all about the costs.

THE BIG APPLE Feb 16, 2012 4:55 AM

When did downtown have an OLD Performing Arts Center, that a new one should be built (not that I'm complaining).

NYguy Feb 16, 2012 1:15 PM


Originally Posted by THE BIG APPLE (Post 5592653)
When did downtown have an OLD Performing Arts Center, that a new one should be built (not that I'm complaining).

The Performing Arts Center that is being planned will be new. There's a PAC at Manhattan Community College, but a dedicated PAC in a city of cultural institutions is lacking Downtown.

THE BIG APPLE Feb 16, 2012 9:33 PM

I know Downtown NEVER had a Performing Arts center, before I was just stating it that way, to express the point of 'Is there a need for a Performing Arts Center?'.

Roadcruiser1 Feb 16, 2012 10:41 PM

I believe this building should be called WTC Building 6 to complete the number of buildings at the WTC. They have One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Seven, but no Six.

NYguy Feb 17, 2012 6:32 AM

^ The memorial pavilion or the museum itself could also be building number 6.


Originally Posted by THE BIG APPLE (Post 5593573)
I know Downtown NEVER had a Performing Arts center, before I was just stating it that way, to express the point of 'Is there a need for a Performing Arts Center?'.

To say that there is no need for something simply because there was never one before is contradictory in itself. Think it through.

NYguy Mar 9, 2012 4:53 AM

WTC Arts Center Advances

March 8, 2012


Roughly two months after a board was named to create a performing-arts center at the World Trade Center, the institution has passed two important milestones: It has been granted nonprofit status and hired its first staffer to help bring the institution into being. The new hire is Maggie Boepple, a former president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and government affairs consultant for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other agencies.

Ms. Boepple's most urgent task is helping the board give shape to the institution's mission so it can move forward on a design for the building. A conceptual design had been done by Frank Gehry.

The focal point of the arts center is to be a 1,000-seat theater designed for dance, which would provide a venue for performing groups that can't take on the financial risk of trying to fill the city's larger theaters. Other elements of the building, including performance spaces such as a black box or outdoor amphitheater, haven't been finalized and will depend on the type of programming the board decides to offer. Theater, dance, and music require different design parameters.

Time is running short. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is currently building the foundation of a PATH station that will be beneath the arts center, Mr. Daniels said.

Ms. Boepple represents Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the board of the American Museum of Natural History and is a trustee of the South Street Seaport Museum. Before her tenure at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, she advised London's transport commissioner on the hand-over of control of the London Tube from the British government to the city of London.

The design should include a cafe that draws the public in, and should be beautiful to look down on from the office towers above, she said.

"It has to be respectful of the site and it has to be so…exciting that we get everyone wanting to come," she said.

chris123678 Jun 21, 2012 8:57 PM

Honestly, I could see the performing arts center being the new 6 world trade center, but here's a question, where will it be located? From renderings, it seemed to be next to 1wtc, but it looks as if now, there is no room.
Can Anybody clarify:shrug:

Roadcruiser1 Jun 21, 2012 9:59 PM


Originally Posted by chris123678 (Post 5742215)
Honestly, I could see the performing arts center being the new 6 world trade center, but here's a question, where will it be located? From renderings, it seemed to be next to 1wtc, but it looks as if now, there is no room.
Can Anybody clarify:shrug:

There is room. Those buildings are temporarily. When One World Trade Center is completed by 2013 they will be dismantled for the Performing Arts Center. Once that is done then it will rise. It is being designed by Frank Gehry.

NYC GUY Jun 21, 2012 10:05 PM


Originally Posted by chris123678 (Post 5742215)
Honestly, I could see the performing arts center being the new 6 world trade center, but here's a question, where will it be located? From renderings, it seemed to be next to 1wtc, but it looks as if now, there is no room.
Can Anybody clarify:shrug:

Well where the PAC would be is where the temporary path station is. So i'm going to assume that when the hub is completed in 2014 they will start getting rid of the Path station.
Not an official rendering.

This is Frank Gehry's design.

IMBY Dec 21, 2012 12:33 PM

Is there still time for someone like Calatrava to design it and it become a major tourist attraction in itself?

aquablue Dec 22, 2012 8:41 PM


Originally Posted by IMBY (Post 5946590)
Is there still time for someone like Calatrava to design it and it become a major tourist attraction in itself?

Nah, Ghery is doing it. We don't want this to look like the complex in Valencia with too many Calatrava buildings :yuck:

Let's hope we get a better design than that.

NYguy Jan 31, 2013 5:40 PM

Planned WTC arts center gets boost

January 31, 2013


A performing arts center planned for the World Trade Center site has received a financial boost that improves chances of the languishing project to open in four years.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. on Thursday approved $1 million to hire staff and develop building plans.

With the approval, the center could open as planned in 2017.

The LMDC had withheld the seed money in September, citing concerns over the project's cost and fundraising ability.

A board of directors was named to the center last year.

The Frank Gehry-designed center would include a theater for contemporary dance.

The LMDC already has committed $155 million for construction. The total cost is estimated at $450 million.

Crawford Jan 31, 2013 5:42 PM

Finally. It's nice to see this moving forward with some real progress.

Can't wait for construction to start.

NYguy Mar 27, 2013 8:25 PM

Plans for Ground Zero Arts Hub Shift Again

March 26, 2013


When a performing arts center was first planned for the former World Trade Center site, four cultural organizations were chosen after a high-profile competition to anchor a complex that would make ground zero a new and vibrant cultural destination.

But over the years each of the organizations has fallen away. The International Freedom Center — which was to explore human rights — was scuttled by Gov. George E. Pataki for attracting “too much controversy.” The Drawing Center, stung by criticism that some of its exhibitions had been “anti-American,” stayed in SoHo and renovated. And New York City decided that the Signature Theater would be too expensive, so that company built a new home on Theater Row instead.

That left only the Joyce Theater, which was to make the proposed center a home for dance as the reigning tenant and to call it the International Dance Center. Now, quietly, the plans have changed yet again. The performing arts center will instead be a multidisciplinary space that includes theater, music and film, as well as dance, said Maggie Boepple, its president. While the Joyce will retain a role at the site, dance will just be one part of many different kinds of programming.

City officials say the adjustment was necessary if the arts center were to be a viable enterprise in Lower Manhattan. “The Joyce can only use it so many weeks of the year,” said Julie Menin, the former chairwoman of Community Board 1, who serves on the arts center board. “It always made sense to have more than one cultural tenant.”

To lower the construction costs the board has eliminated some features from the center, like classrooms. More critically the number of stages has been reduced from the four that were originally called for — three for the Signature and one for the Joyce — to a main stage and a 200-seat flexible space.

But even those plans remain in flux. The main stage had originally been touted as a 1,000-seat house that would fill a niche in a city that lacks theaters of that size. But now that plan is no longer definite because the board must determine whether it can afford to fit an auditorium that large on a site with limited square footage. “There will be a whole new redesign because we really changed the building,” Ms. Boepple said. “One of the things we’re looking at is whether a 1,000-seat theater is possible.”

Mr. Gehry, in a telephone interview, said he continued to roll with the punches. “The other program was grand and big, and it seemed in scale with the place,” he said. “We’ve got a smaller program now because of finances. I don’t take time to look backwards. We’ll make something out of it that works.”

phoenixboi08 Mar 28, 2013 12:03 PM

might have been better, in hindsight, to have combined the Museum and the theater into one [vertically] large complex.

Hypothalamus Feb 5, 2014 10:06 PM

Tribeca Trib:

New Team Said to Establish Vision for WTC Performance Center
Posted Jan. 07, 2014
Maggie Boepple, president of the planned performing arts center at the World Trade Center, speaks to Community Board 1's Planning Committee. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib


It will be years before the curtain rises on a performing arts center at the World Trade Center. But the real planning has finally begun.

Clouded in financial and political uncertainty for nearly a decade, the center now has an “A-team” assembled to make it happen, said its president, Maggie Boepple.

The performing arts center would be located 60 feet from 1 World Trade Center and in the approximate location of today's temporary PATH station.

Speaking to a Community Board 1 com­mittee in early January, Boepple said an artistic director has been hired along with other theater consultants. And “one of the world’s most brilliant artistic directors and filmmakers” is now on its board of directors.

Boepple declined to identify them.

In early 2013, following months of uncertainty over the Cuomo administration’s support for the center, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. released the $1 million Boepple needed to hire consultants to determine the project’s costs and begin a planning process.

David Langford, former chief financial officer of the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, will be the general manager, in charge of the center’s business side.

Boepple also revealed the proposed name for the institution: The World Center for the Performing Arts.

She said the center would be technologically “smart” and referred to the possibility of simulcasting performances from its stage.

“Since it’s going to be a smart theater, that means very connected,” she said.

“We take the use of the word ‘world’ very seriously.”

While performances may be seen by audiences far from New York City, the number of seats inside the theater will be more modest than expected.

“We’ve gotten away from having one big 1,000-seat theater,” Boepple said. “We’re now very convinced that what we’ve come up with will be good for the work that goes on there.”

While declining to say how many seats are being contemplated for the theater (originally there was to be a smaller venue in addition to the 1,000-seat auditorium), Boepple acknowledged that Frank Gehry’s showy design concept for the center was introduced prematurely.

“The more I thought about this, the more I realized we were getting it backwards,” she said. “The architect was in place. Great. We didn’t know what was going to go inside the building. You can’t design a performing arts center without having a real notion of what’s going to happen inside.”

Boepple spoke of a café that would be a kind of cultural hubas well as other a­t­tractions beyond performances. “There are things going on all day, rehearsals, noontime events the community can come to. So the design is going to reflect that.”

Over the past few months, Boepple said, people in the performing arts community were “polled” about what should go in the center.

“We have put together a vision that the board has accepted,” she said, “and it will allow us to work initially with the theater designers to design a space that works for everybody.”

That vision, Boepple noted, is ex­pected to be revealed in the next three months. She said there is too much work left to be done on the site to predict when it will be completed. The new PATH station must open and the temporary station­—where the performance center will be built—must be demolished.

Boepple also would not say how much the center is expected to cost, only that it will be less than previous estimates, which ranged from $300 million to $700 million.

“The numbers you heard before were unmanageable in terms of raising money,” she said, “because we want a lot of the money to go into the program and make this a very exciting place to be.”

“You can have grand architecture, people will go, ‘Ooh, aah’ and come once,” she added. “You have to have great stuff going on to get them back.”
The performing arts center would be located 60 feet from 1 World Trade Center and in the approximate location of today's temporary PATH station.

De Minimis NY Feb 6, 2014 7:19 PM

Once the WTC site is complete, the buildings are filled with tenants, the museam is open and the memorial has become one of the premier tourist destinations in the city, this space is going to become much more attractive to performing arts groups and likely more capable of attracting the funding it needs to be built out to its full potential. It'll be a shame if they put up a compromised design in order to get it built now and we end up stuck with something bland and uninspiring in such a prominent location.

I'd rather see them keep it a hole in the ground for an extra five years and wait until they can build something on par with everything else going up around the memorial.

Hypothalamus Feb 14, 2014 5:09 AM

London Director to Draft Arts Vision for Ground Zero
One concept for an arts center, with theaters on the second floor. Charcoalblue


Executives developing a performing arts center at ground zero have hired a temporary artistic director from the Young Vic theater in London, one of a series of steps to be announced Thursday to advance a project that has long faced political and logistical hurdles.

The new director, David Lan, who will continue as artistic director at the Young Vic, is part of a team recently brought in by the center as it refines its plans, which now include developing its own productions and revising the design for the building, by the architect Frank Gehry. Officials said that it had been a mistake to design the theater before the programming was determined and that they were essentially starting over.

Officials are also still grappling with what is perhaps the most critical issue for the project — how to raise the construction money, several hundred million dollars, by most estimates — although they said they were optimistic about the prospects.

“Realistically, we couldn’t start raising money until the programming was set,” said Julie Menin, a member of the institution’s board. “I believe very strongly we will be able to go out and raise funds for this in the private sector.”

Arts center officials said it was too early to say what construction might cost; original estimates put the price tag at $300 million to $700 million. Reached by phone, Mr. Gehry said he had not been in touch with the arts center for some time. “Radio silence,” he said. “I don’t know what their priorities are. They haven’t talked to me, so I don’t know.”

Ms. Boepple said the center does not need a full-time artistic director for now because it is not expected to open until 2018 or 2019. Its site is occupied by a temporary PATH station pending completion of a new transportation hub in Lower Manhattan.

sparkling Jan 13, 2015 7:48 PM

WTC Arts Center Still Searching for an Architect

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Evan Bindelglass


The World Trade Center Performing Arts Center officially scrapped Frank Gehry's design for the venue, stalling the already stalled project. Little has happened since then, but on Monday, officials from the center told Community Board 1's Planning Committee that they are close to being able to move forward again, having narrowed the search for a new architect to three firms.

Maggie Boepple, president of the WTC Performing Arts Center, made clear that the split from Gehry and his controversial design was "amicable." She only said that no contract could be reached. In terms of a new design team, they have narrowed the prospective firms from 50 to three, and the board will make a decision "soon" and choose an executive architect to oversee the project.

Boepple also said that project is now known as "PAC WTC," with PAC pronounced like "pack." This is less wordy (and less stuff) than "The World Center for the Performing Arts," but it's still kind of terrible. However, they are open to offers to buy the naming rights, so it will probably just get worse from here.

While a building can't be built without a design, below grade design work has been completed, and construction will actually begin soon. The temporary PATH station currently occupies the site of the arts center, so significant work can't being until that's out of the way. Currently, Boepple projects a 2018 or 2019 opening for the center, though productions would be staged elsewhere prior to that to "whet whistles."

Lucy Sexton, the associate artistic director, gave details about the theater space, which she said she hoped would be a "theater of the world." She wants it to be a "producing house" because New York City can make its own great works, but also collaborate with world artists. There will be three theaters which she envisions being used for theater, musical theater, dance, and new opera. They will have 550, 350, and 150 seats each, but will be combinable for any number of experiences. Sexton wants it to be an "immersive theater."

David Lan, artistic director at the Young Vic in London (where he sells 96 percent of his tickets), will run things at PAC WTC, where Sexton said programming will be "artistically adventurous" and open to co-producing with other theaters, such as the Apollo. Lan has already done work across the East River at BAM.

Sexton wants it to be the "most digitally advances space in the countries" so it can connect with and display new work from the best artists.

Sexton sees the theater as a "connecting node" in the World Trade Center campus, and wants PAC WTC to be a "building that's alive all day." It will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and have breakfast, lunch, and coffee options. Sexton sees it as a "place to land" and have a drink at the bar after the show or after work next door at One World Trade Center.

Boepple wants an audience that represents the community and said they will be sensitive to the nearby 9/11 Memorial, but she said, "The memorial is about what happened. We're about the future."

Busy Bee Jan 13, 2015 11:26 PM


Bullet. Dodged.

Vertical_Gotham Jun 13, 2015 4:07 AM

I find this post interesting as it was posted 10 weeks ago. How did the guy who made this know what the new look of 3 WTC w/ parapet would be then? Hmm.. Just wondering.

70 Story tower w/ perhaps the performing arts center at the base?

Hemeroscopium Jun 13, 2015 10:47 AM

[QUOTE=Vertical_Gotham;7061372]I find this post interesting as it was posted 10 weeks ago. How did the guy who made this know what the new look of 3 WTC w/ parapet would be then? Hmm.. Just wondering.

He just did what a good taste suggests:he removed these tacky spires!
Strangely he also added the radom on One...

Streamliner Jul 24, 2015 4:17 PM

Embattled World Trade Center Arts Center's Budget Halved
Zoe Rosenberg
Curbed NY
July 24, 2015


The Performing Arts Center planned for the World Trade Center has been the subject of a few crippling blows, the most recent of which is a capsizing budget dealt by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The committee that's in charge of overseeing the theater's development announced on Thursday that the project should cost no more than $200 million, which is about half of the funds originally allotted for the cultural attraction, the Times says. In September, officials for the project scrapped plans for Frank Gehry's tiered-box design in favor of instituting a design competition between 50 different firms. While the board of PAC WTC (as it's now known) says they've chosen a design for the project, the winning bid has not yet been announced to the public.

Former plans for the theater included three auditoriums seating 550, 350, and 150 people each. Under the reduced budget, the scale of the space may be brought down. "We can do a great building for $200 million—it has to be built," the PAC's president, Maggie Boepple, told the Times, "It will be smaller; there may be things that you might have liked to see, but that's how it is." Boepple says the center will likely still have three stages, but will not be as tall. Fundraising will also help lasso capital for the project.

sparkling Oct 23, 2015 2:49 PM

New Plan, Again, for WTC Performing-Arts Center
Latest iteration expected to be submitted at next board meeting of Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

Oct. 21, 2015


The performing-arts center planned for the World Trade Center complex is shifting shape yet again, as its leaders work to deliver a slimmed-down project that can be built for roughly half the cost.

The newest iteration is expected to be presented later this fall, at the next board meeting of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the entity created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to oversee planning and rebuilding efforts there.

Continue Reading

CityGuy87 Oct 23, 2015 4:38 PM


Originally Posted by Vertical_Gotham (Post 7061372)
I find this post interesting as it was posted 10 weeks ago. How did the guy who made this know what the new look of 3 WTC w/ parapet would be then? Hmm.. Just wondering.

70 Story tower w/ perhaps the performing arts center at the base?

Foster's 2 WTC isn't happening so this seems very sketchy,,,

Submariner Oct 23, 2015 5:20 PM

^ Not to mention, the WTC has the non-cheap spire.

tateyb Nov 20, 2015 7:53 PM

REX Named Lead Architect for the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center


The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced today that they have selected the design team for the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (PACWTC). Local Brooklyn-based firm REX — which was founded by principal Joshua Prince-Ramus as the New York office of OMA — beat out Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects and Dutch firm UNStudio for the lead role on the project. In order to tackle the specific needs of a mixed-use performing arts space, REX will be partnering with Davis Brody Bond as executive architect and Charcoalblue as theater consultant.


While REX's design for PACWTC has not yet been revealed, some of their earlier conceptual work may provide insight into their plans for the World Trade Center site. In 2002, The New York Times Magazine organized the Downtown Study Group to imagine alternatives to LMDC's plans at the time.

woodrow Sep 8, 2016 5:51 PM

Design is announced -

I like it.

Rizzo Sep 8, 2016 6:45 PM

^ Very cool. Kind of like a lantern backdrop to the memorial.

JSsocal Sep 8, 2016 7:16 PM

Definitely like it, but wow this complex has become so rectangular. Thank the oculus for being the one exception

drumz0rz Sep 8, 2016 8:23 PM

Hmm... I like the inside idea. The configurable performances spaces seem like a good idea. The outside though.... kinda like a glowing borg cube... I'm sure the actual façade will look a lot better in person, because that render looks pretty ugly. Also, I feel like putting a giant glowing cube next to the already glowing cube base of 1 WTC and across the street from the equally bright at night blue glow from the lobby of 1 WTC is a bad idea...
That open plaza between this building at 1 WTC is just screaming to house Koening's Sphere... I can't think of a more perfect location for it.

weidncol Sep 9, 2016 2:23 AM

Actually, it's been confirmed that the Sphere will be located directly to the east of the church.

mrnyc Sep 9, 2016 4:22 PM

i read they are using marble from the quarry for the lincoln memorial. then its supposed to be sheathed in some kind of transparent casing that should protect the marble and allow it to be lit up different ways.

pico44 Sep 10, 2016 3:27 AM

Looks really good. A more than worthy addition.

I love all the different ways in which the theaters can be organized.

With the memorial, the PATH station, and all the towering skyscrapers, this is going to be pretty spectacular square when finished.

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