Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bloomberg Confused Over Responsibly Of 9/11 Sphere Relocation Project

“It’s up to the Port Authority," he said. "I’ll support whatever they decide to do." - Mayor Bloomberg

The sphere was surrounded by construction fencing Friday. The Mayor had another Bloomberg Moment today as he apparently forgot who was responsible for the controversial plan to move the iconic Sphere. The Sphere, along with Eternal Flame are being moved as part of a controversial $18 million Battery Park & Perimeter Bikeway - Parks Department/DOT/EDC/ Battery Park Conservancy-redesign project.

The Mayor said the Sphere should remain in Battery Park but supported "whatever" the Port Authority decided to do. The Port Authority however is not involved with the redesign project other than it has to find another location for it's sphere now that it is being being kicked out of the park.

After news broke in April 2011 of the Battery Park bicycle path project administration officials have refused to comment on it. The plan also calls for relocating twelve monuments to along the perimeter of the park.

The .3 mile portion of the Manhattan Greenway will connect with the Hudson River Park bikeway to the west and the bikeway built as part of Peter Minuit Plaza to the east. The $18 million project was funded through State and Federal grants and over $10 million in MTA mitigation funding, and $300,000 in design fees contributed by the LMDC.

The Sphere, the Fritz Koenig bronze sculpture had stood between the two Twin Tower buildings as a symbol of world peace. The sphere and the Eternal Flame were installed in Battery Park shortly after the horrific World Trade Center tragedy and became symbols of hope and resilience for visitors and 9/11 families.

Despite being in the works for years a new location for the sphere has yet to be found. (Photos: Julie Shapiro/DNAinfo) - Geoffrey Croft


Despite Port Authority opposition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks the iconic 9/11 sphere should remain in Battery Park, he said Monday, according to DNAinfo.

Bloomberg lent his voice to the wave of critics who have decried the Port Authority's plan to move the Fritz Koenig Sphere — the dented, bronze sculpture that was pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and became a symbol of hope and resilience following the 9/11 attacks — out of Battery Park.

"I think it’s beautiful where it is,” Bloomberg told reporters at an unrelated press conference in West Chelsea, explaining that leaving the sphere in its current location helps visitors understand the scope of the impact of the attacks.

"You have people going elsewhere to understand this is something that affected the whole city, not just on the World Trade Center Site," he said.

Still, Bloomberg said that, once a new location is chosen, he won't interfere.

1 World Trade

World Trade Center Sphere Leaving Battery Park By End of April. Rosemary Cain, whose firefighter son George Cain was killed on 9/11, is shown after a 2011 meeting where she advocated for the sphere to return to the rebuilt World Trade Center.

“It’s up to the Port Authority," he said. "I’ll support whatever they decide to do."

The agency had originally said it would haul the 25-foot sphere to a storage hangar at JFK Airport's Hangar where it stores other large 9/11 artifacts by the end of April — but reversed course following a public outcry from many 9/11 families, who feel the sculpture should be returned to its original home, between the Twin Towers, inside what is now the 9/11 Memorial.

The Port Authority released a statement on May 11 saying that it would announce a new, temporary home for the sculpture last week — but has yet to make an announcement about its fate.

“We believe this sculpture should continue to reside in a location where New Yorkers and people from around the region, nation and the world can view this important reminder of survival and resilience,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said in a statement at the time.

The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but spokesman Steve Coleman has said that the park was never meant to be a permanent home for the sphere, which was moved to Battery Park in 2002 after being pulled from the rubble at Ground Zero.

On Friday, the sculpture was surrounded by construction fencing, suggesting the move will be happening soon.

One possibility the Port Authority privately floated last year was to put the sphere in the future Liberty Park, just south of the 9/11 Memorial, but that won't be open for another couple of years.

Koenig's bronze sphere was originally installed in Battery Park during an emotional ceremony on the six-month anniversary of the attacks, and became a symbol of hope and resilience for many visitors and 9/11 families.

9/11 Family Members Start Petition to Save World Trade Center Sphere

The sphere in Battery Park in the spring of 2010. It has to move for the $ 18 million dollar Battery Park & Perimeter Bikeway construction. (Photos: Julie Shapiro/DNAinfo)

Read More:

Mayor Bloomberg Says 9/11 Sphere Should Remain in Battery Park
DNAinfo - May 21, 2012 - By Jill Colvin

A Walk In The Park - May 14, 2012

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