Last week, builder Frank Sciame met with Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to discuss possibilities for the downsizing/costcutting of the World Trade Central Memorial. Some ideas kicked around were to remove the waterfalls and move the victims' names aboveground, and today, a new plan was revealed. The waterfalls are still in, but the names will move aboveground. There will be space underground for contemplation, but there will only be one below-grade entrance, not two, to the museum and visitor's center.
With this new plan, the cost of the building is around $700 million (a savings of $285.1 million from the earlier $1 billion estimate from builder Bovis) and if the Port Authority assumes more responsibility, there could be more cost efficiencies. However, with the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation is some disarray, it's unclear if fundraising will meet its goals.
Buried in Sciame's actual proposal (PDF), there is the recommendation to start construction work early next month, in order for the memorial to open on September 11, 2009. And the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is accepting comments about the new plan at their website and through the mail.