Survivor's Stairs to Remain Intact
From the New York Times:
August 6, 2007
Stairs to Remain Intact in Ground Zero Plan
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
The Spitzer administration says it has taken steps to finally solve the quandary of the “survivors’ stairway” at ground zero.
By that, it means every step — all 38 of them. Together.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s chief of downtown redevelopment, Avi Schick, proposes to keep the stairway whole and intact — but just the seven-foot-wide stairway proper, not the hulking concrete structure around it.
Held together and supported by a specially designed truss, the stairs would be moved out of the way of the planned 2 World Trade Center office tower. Eventually, they would be set into a long flight of steps leading from the visitors’ center at ground zero to the underground World Trade Center memorial museum, which is to open in 2009.
The stairway served as an escape route on 9/11 and is the only aboveground remnant of the original trade center complex still in place. It stands near Vesey Street, on part of the site where Tower 2 is to rise.
For months, preservationists, survivors of the attack, neighbors, officials and development executives have fought over how much of this ragged but evocative structure ought to be saved and where it ought to end up.
Advocates have portrayed the stairway as a haunting symbol of the resilience, heroism and sheer good luck of those who found a tortuous way to safety on Sept. 11, 2001. Some expressed the hope that the entire structure would be preserved in place. Critics have dismissed the stairway as an obstruction and an eyesore that lost much of its meaning when it was badly damaged — not by the attack, but during the recovery and cleanup. Some just wanted it torn down.