Developing the Downtown Imagining a New Skyline

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the agencies charged with overseeing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, have narrowed the field from nine design concepts to two, both of which contain varying residential components.

Following a much-scrutinized planning process, the LMDC and Port Authority went back to the drawing board last summer after six original designs were abandoned after intense public criticism. In August 2002, LMDC launched a worldwide search for architects, planners and artists and 406 proposals were submitted from around the world. The designs had to incorporate a memorial setting that preserved the skyline and feature a wide range of commercial and retail space.

In December, nine new designs were released and planners have reached a consensus on two - World Cultural Center, a design developed by a THINK team of architects; and Memory Foundations, a design by Berlin architect Daniel Libeskind.

"The design teams have made a major civic contribution above and beyond what was asked of them," stated LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead. "Every one of these architects and designers is a winner for helping to shape the public debate over the future of Lower Manhattan.

"After holding numerous public hearings in the boroughs and in New Jersey and listening to many constituencies and organizations, it was a difficult task to choose which design approaches offer the greatest potential - not only for today, but for generations to come."

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