Ever since one contractor estimated it would cost $1 billion to build the World Trade Center Memorial, it's been a downhill process at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Actually, it was probably downhill from earlier than that, but the $1 billion price tag helped prompt cover stories about the memorial mess, create more teams to figure out a solution, and lead to the resignation of the WTC Memorial Foundation president. Anyway, the WTC Memorial's builder, Frank Sciame, presented new memorial designs Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki. Note that it's the builder presenting cost-cutting options - not the deisgners, though Sciame did meet with them, including original WTC Memorial designer Michael Arad, to develop ideas. Some of Sciame's options for cost-cutting include eliminating the waterfalls, displaying the victims' names aboveground, not around the pools, and removing one of two underground entrance ramps. Bloomberg and Pataki do want to keep the waterfalls, but it sounds like the the names will go aboveground - which would quiet criticism from victims' families who have wanted them aboveground all along.

Sciame also suggested that if the Port Authority built the memorial, there would be savings as well. The mayor and governor issued this statement: "Frank Sciame has done an enormous amount of work and made an informative presentation to the governor and mayor this afternoon. The governor and mayor's offices are reviewing the analysis, and we expect a written report to be available next week."