Renderings by Luxigon
Lower Manhattan will soon be home to a new, world-class performing arts center. After a multi-month period of delay in the construction process, Governor Cuomo announced last week that an agreement has been reached by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, Inc. to resume the development of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, which will be located on the World Trade Center site and feature three theaters, rehearsal space and other amenities.
The center is one of the final pieces of the original World Trade Center Master Plan to be built. Other parts of this plan have already been completed, including the twin reflecting pools at The 9/11 Memorial Plaza and The 9/11 Memorial Museum. “We are pleased to see the culmination of more than a decade of planning to bring this cultural facility to life at the World Trade Center,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton in a press release. “(The) agreement will continue our efforts to bring closure to years of work to transform this site into a fitting memorial for the victims of 9/11, as well as an unparalleled transportation, business and tourist destination.”
“New York is home to some of the most renowned cultural and creative institutions in the world and with this new performing arts center, Manhattan will cement its reputation as an international hub for the arts,” Governor Cuomo also stated. “This new facility will secure New York City’s status as a premier cultural destination while supporting tourism, jobs and economic growth for the entire Empire State.”
The agreement calls for the bi-state agency to enter into a 99-year lease with World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, Inc. at $1 per year for the facility. This includes an option to extend the lease another 99 years within the same terms, as well as the option to allow the Port Authority to transfer the site to the performing arts center at some point in the future for $1.
To be designed by Brooklyn-based firm REX, the 200,000-square-foot performing arts center will be located on the World Trade Center’s public plaza (next to 1 WTC). Most notably, its exterior will be clad in marble taken from the same quarry that the Supreme Court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial utilized. Inside, the center will include three halls, rehearsal space, a restaurant, and a gift shop. Serving as a cultural space to present works of theater, dance, music, and film, it will also host educational and community fundraising events presented by emerging and renowned artists, companies and institutions.
The Port Authority is currently working on creating a below-grade structure on the future center site, which is bounded by Vesey, Greenwich and Fulton streets and by the newly created Washington Place Plaza to the west. Funding for the below-ground construction will come from the World Trade Center performing Arts Center Inc., which will receive $48 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Construction work is due to finish by the end of this year, with the project to be ultimately completed by 2020.
“The original vision for rebuilding the World Trade Center included a performing arts center to help bring new creative life and energy to the Lower Manhattan community.” said Michael Bloomberg, Chairman of the 9-11 Memorial and Museum in a press release. “It’s the final major piece of the puzzle in redeveloping the World Trade Center, and thanks to the support of Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority, it’s coming together.”