There’s apparently some disagreement over Brookfield Properties’ plans to redo its Winter Garden in the World Financial Center—the large light- and palm-tree filled indoor space just west of the World Trade Center site.
DNAinfo has a story today about a back-and-forth between City Planning Commission chairwoman Amanda Burden and Brookfield co-chairman John Zuccotti (a former planning commission chair himself and a deputy mayor under Abe Beame), and it seems Ms. Burden isn’t in love with Mr. Zuccotti’s plans for the Garden, which involve removing the central staircase.
The story notes that in a letter from Ms. Burden to Community Board 1, Ms. Burden said she “objects strongly” to part of the plans (the story says that Ms. Burden “may” officially review the plans). From the story:
Burden, who will review the proposed changes because they affect public space, said in a June 2 letter to Zuccotti that removing the stairs would “create a substantial void” unless Brookfield replaces the staircase with something similar.
Zuccotti replied on June 23 that Brookfield would reconfigure the walls and escalators of the Winter Garden to create a clear corridor lined with seating, with a temporary stage in the middle. In light of that plan, Zuccotti asked Burden to “reconsider” her objections.
But Burden was not satisfied and wrote in a July 9 letter to Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin that City Planning “objects strongly to the removal of the Grand Stairs.” Burden called Brookfield’s response “tepid” and said it “does not suggest an alternative with a permanent architectural solution.”