From the Paper
The Neverending Story
Once a week since 2002, an all-weather digital camera affixed to the top floor of the 41-story 1 World Financial Center has taken a snapshot of the World Trade Center site, capturing its progress from pit to office park. In Chris Ward’s office, on the 15th floor of 225 Park Avenue South, hangs one such photo from May 2008, when Mr. Ward was appointed by Governor David Paterson to run the Port Authority, the sprawling bistate agency charged with overseeing the Hudson River crossings, the docks and airports and bus terminals on both sides, and the World Trade Center. In the photo, the site looks as it had for years—little more than dirt and ramps, with concrete and steel poking out of the earth here and there. Above it hangs another photo—swapped out each week by Mr. Ward—that shows how far the project has come.
This week, the photo is of a nearly completed memorial plaza, the ghostly square fountains lined with black granite and surrounded by saplings, with 1 World Trade Center rising 68 stories to the right, Tower Four beginning to blossom and the foundations of two larger siblings noticeably underway. Facing the two pictures in the corner is a black-and-white portrait of Austin Tobin, the unsung Robert Moses contemporary who likewise ruled the Port Authority for decades. He seems to be smiling on the work of Ward.
“There’s a real point of pride there, watching one of your projects get built,” Mr. Ward said in an hour-long interview on Monday afternoon. How much longer Mr. Ward will be rotating pictures remains unclear.
The Neverending Story
The knives came out yesterday when it was revealed the Port Authority had decided to forego a restaurant atop One World Trade Center, a la Windows on the World. “It’s world-class heartbreak for lovers of sky-high dining,” wrote the Post‘s Steve Cuozzo. But the agency appears to have made an appetizing decision.
Despite Read More
Last week, the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved yet another increase in the budget for Santiago Calatrava’s winged transit hub at the World Trade Center, bringing the price of the station up to a level once deemed untenable while also dipping into the Port’s ground zero Read More
A bitterly cold wind tore across the 50th floor of One World Trade Center on Dec. 5, yet the crews in hard hats kept their pace, driving the most important building in the city skyward a floor a week, putting to rest years of complaints about indecision and inaction at the world’s most famous construction Read More
One of the best buildings in New York has lain dormant for a decade, with no one really wanting anything to do with it. That would be the old TWA terminal designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen. The gull-in-flight concrete structure is an international icon, but it lost its purpose when the airline went bankrupt Read More
The Port Authority’s executive director swung back Thursday morning against attacks from Mayor Bloomberg, painting a picture of his agency as a cash-poor entity that already must scale back and scrap major projects including a major renovation at LaGuardia airport and a new midtown bus garage.
Earlier this week, the mayor went on the Read More
Here’s Port Authority executive director Chris Ward in the Wall Street Journal this morning, in a larger story about future construction funds, including for public works, from the Obama administration: "What we’ve been told is to be ready, it’s coming."
The story alluded to possible Obama funding for the ARC rail tunnel Read More
Port Authority executive director Chris Ward told the Wall Street Journal that the September 11 memorial and museum will be "available" by the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2011. What does that mean exactly?
"What the public sees most importantly in terms of the plaza, the reflecting pools and the waterfall Read More
Until the end of last month, Governor David Paterson had little connection in the public’s mind with the World Trade Center site. Unlike his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, he did not loudly spout off in a campaign about mismanagement downtown; and unlike former Governor George Pataki, he was not involved in the planning process that led Read More
On April 10, Christopher Ward was sitting in his midtown office when he got an unexpected phone call late in the afternoon. On the line was a mutual friend of Governor David Paterson’s top aide, Charles O’Byrne, calling with an unusual question.
“He just said, ‘Are you bored?’ And I said, ‘You’re not asking Read More