Chris Ward Shares the Ground Zero Spotlight
Matt Chaban Aug. 10, 2011, 11:26 a.m.
With all his success at rebuilding the World Trade Center, Chris Ward has sometimes been criticized for not sharing the spotlight. But in Jim Dwyer’s About New York column today—the first in months—Mr. Ward gives credit to at least three of the guys who helped solve one of the biggest challenges at the site: How to get the memorial plaza built by the 10th anniversary, instead of some time in 2013.
“Three engineers from the Port Authority — Mark Pagliettini, Tom O’Connor, and Dave Puza — were working on this,” he said. “Then Pagliettini said, ‘Maybe we can just build it from the top down.’ These three great engineers made it happen.”
That is why there is a plaza to stand on today.
A roof was put over a vast underground construction site. The plaza went on top of the roof. “All that stuff that is down underneath us is being built horizontally — it’s coming in from the sides,” Mr. Ward said.
Mr. Ward also shares some of his unsentimental thoughts on the site:
“We were free before 9/11, we were free after 9/11,” he said. “New Yorkers don’t need a tower named ‘freedom.’ New Yorkers need to know that we built it, that there’s a place to go and work.”
“What will it be?” Mr. Ward said. “It will be your conversation with New York City. Whether you lost someone, or whether you work here. Or you’re meeting someone for a date. We can finally shed all of that rhetoric that was so caught up in deciding the larger meaning. The larger meaning is going to be found in everybody’s day-to-day experience here.”
Larry Silverstein shared his own message on this last week with The Journal, namely that it is time to stop calling the World Trade Center “ground zero.”
Now what do you think?