Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Iconic tower nixed from WTC plan

From the Daily News:

An iconic 79-story skyscraper long planned for Ground Zero that would have been taller than the Empire State Building appears to be dead.

Developer Larry Silverstein has proposed a new financing scheme for the troubled site that discards the 1,270-foot Tower 2, sources familiar with the project say. In the past two weeks, he has come under intense pressure from Gov. Paterson to resolve his bitter war with the Port Authority.

Acting after Silverstein was slapped down last month in his bid to snag $3.5 billion in penalties from the PA because of building delays, Paterson urged him to throw more cash into the project and scale back his demands.

Silverstein agreed and is offering to put as much as $250 million into his two remaining Church St. buildings - $175 million more than his last offer - and add $560 million from insurance and Liberty Bonds as well. To further reduce costs, he said he would push ahead with the 71story, 1,137-foot Tower 3 - but dump Tower 2, a projected 2.3 million-square-foot building designed by star architect Lord Norman Foster.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like progress. Too bad this took ten years.

Joe said...

Nope, most of will never see it finished in our lifetimes.
As my grandfather always said as we watched if go up from out rooftop in Bushwick
"racketeers, bastardo's, bidonista's ! "
"Its cursed and will have no luck and something very bad will happen !--- you remember this" (1973)

This stemming back to 1961, the dirty politics, stealing, greed, lies, and night of hell during the land grabs forced radio row evictions.
2 elderly radio shop owners from Russia (brothers) got so upset and ruffed up by Gov Deweys and Mayor Lindsay's eviction gestapo's they both had heart attacks. ---Died right in the street.

Snakes can only be trusted to behave like snakes.

Anonymous said...

Good. Now build a second Freedom Tower identical to the one currently being built.

LIno said...

Joe, I rarely agree with your views but on this=100%.

I saw the waning days of Radio Row in 1965, I was 8 and went there either with my Father (an art dealer w/no electronics skills) or a neighbor who worked at NBC in Brooklyn.

What a place those two blocks was, every type of tube out on barrels on the sidewalk (some cracked), several old 1950's era TV for sale and operating out on the street and loudspeakers playing a mis-mosh of music at each store to get your attention.

Those crusty old Jews that ran the stores were brusk to adults but seemed nice to me and they were not adverse or above a little snake oil. Remember the "color tv converters"-they consisted of a sheet of plastic with blue at the to flesh tones/reds in middle and brown or green at bottom. Laughingly it was supposed to "color" you picture tube. OK i guess if you looked at a still shot of a western scene. And all the "super hi-fi" AM radios and $10 phonos.


Last Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes did a segment on the current debacle at ground zero.

While it is easy to blame Silverstein (ol' Shylock) for endless legal maneuvers try for his pound of flesh, the real blame goes to the Potaki/Whitman era.

It took nearly 30 years for the WTC to be fully occupied, much of that were Federal (ATF) and City-State agencies but the two governors couldn't help but have their republican "values" f-up a good thing.

Why did WTC have to be effectively "sold" to silverstein? Typical of these sorts of pol's they could not stand to see a high profile piece of real estate remain publicly owned..no..it HAD to go to some sleazebag landlord.

Well, now you see the results. It's worth pointing out that several other publicly owned projects there are underway, I see the progress each weekend from Chelsea. The rest must wait 'till Shylock gets his pound of flesh.

Anonymous said...

It will be changed 10 times more. Quite frankly I'm amazed Silverstein is still around and kicking.

Georges said...

I don't understand a thing about the World Trade Center site except for the fact there is little of anything or progress to show after all of these years. I couldn't care less about new building but that would be nice to show we rebuilt ( we have not) but to memorialize the victims of 9/11 is more important to everyone and the victim's families.

Klink Cannoli said...

Thanks for the personal stories about Radio Row, Joe and Lino. Now I understand where some of the Canal St. electronic shops came.

Lino said...

"Now I understand where some of the Canal St. electronic shops came."

Actually, the Canal st stores were at their peak in the 50's-60's, back when people had to actually -learn- something about how things worked if they wanted good sound and HAM radio was the "internet".

Most of the Radio row guys moved either to Haupauge (sp?) or 45th st. I believe Blan Electronics lasted here in the city well into the 1990s then moved to Flushing.

What you see of Canal st's electronics is zero to-do with what existed even 20 years ago. The last holdout was Sylvan/Wellington and they left in the late 90's. That place was the classic parts store with long micarta counter and shelves of parts all over. The old guys who served you even wore blue shirts and suspenders.

I bought a -lot- of parts there when I worked in theater and later-on while installing sound and com systems in our restaurants. The store building is still there at 229 Canal. I still have some old receipts from back then.

After they left it became an Asian market with no front, just a corridor and tiny shops at either side. Oddly, the S/W sign was still out front.

Anonymous said...

Every time it goes through another round, the concept gets dumbed down even further.

What will eventually get built there will make the stretch of 6th Ave in the upper 40's look like a dream scape.

Joe said...

I remember it all Lino. The speakers, barrels and shelves of tubes, radios, TVs, Dumont 304s, Tek 535s
My Grandfather was an old Italian Navy radio engineer I was there as early as 6 years old. Repairing TVs and radios was the familys only source of income

I remember every store on Canal st. Barry Electronics, Liberty Electronics. I knew Barry, Kit and Jack well as a kid we even went on his boat. (sadly that boat exploaded from gas vapors and killed Barry)

Jack was a waiter and my grandfather was chief in Lundys when he drew up the "million megacycle tranceiver" for the back of Barrys catalog.
It was nothing more than a modulated infered light but it did work from the Empire State Building observation deck to Bushwick
That was the connection.
I still have Barrys R-390 and the original meters still glow

Joe said...

What will eventually get built there will make the stretch of 6th Ave in the upper 40's look like a dream scape.
Yep, with a little dog show for the public.
No money ?
Where did that 25 Billion Bush sent to rebuild go ?
Hell...Donald Trumps plan would have had this done already

Klink Cannoli said...

I was very young at the time of the Canal St. in the '70s. Prepubescent. I was a delivery boy for my father's restaurant further downtown and how I was introduced to the area. When a delivery took me north to the Canal area, I'd roam about the electronic shops. They were my inspiration for the technical and shaped my destiny for a later apprenticeship.

Great stories. You can't get this from books or the interwebs.

Anonymous said...

Good story about Radio Row here:

I remember, as a new ham operator in 1970, visiting "Barry" on Broadway and meeting Barry Gensler, himself. The store was filled with
all kinds of great surplus - some dating back to WW2.
The place was packed "to the gills" and Barry had to
crawl through layers and floors of stuff just to find what I
wanted. Along with him were Kitty, his wife and her
father, an old navy codger who liked to tell tall
tales about everything.
In 1974,
Barry was killed in a boating accident. Kitty moved the store up a couple of blocks and got rid of the
surplus that Barry seemed to treasure. After that, the
store was strictly new amateur and commercial radio

The electronics centers of Radio Row, Canal
Street and 45th Street are all gone

rexlic said...

Gee, what a shame an "iconic" tower won't be built.
I realize that everything is "cutting edge" and "legendary" and "world class" in the brave new world of cyber-snake oil, but can a structure that never got beyond being the wet dream of an architect truly be considered "iconic?" It is precisely the unchallenged, endlessly repeated language of hypesters which lets people still believe NYC is in some golden age under Mayor McChee$e.

Anonymous said...

I have different words in my vocabulary: "boondoggle", "white elephant", and a couple of neologisms: "growthism" and "bloomblight".