After substantial delays and doubts about the project's realization, plans to construct Frank Gehry's Performing Arts Center on the site of Ground Zero were given a huge push forward this week.
On Wednesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced the allocation of $100 million for the project. The money will come out of post-9/11 federal funds reserved for the rebuilding of Manhattan infrastructure. In an e-mailed statement, Mayor Bloomberg said the funding "makes clear that the cultural venue is a critical part of the ongoing revitalization of Lower Manhattan."
The $100 million will add to the $50 million secured earlier this year. The Performing Arts Center is estimated to cost nearly $500 million in total.
The Center's primary tenant will be the Joyce Theater, a 1000-seat venue for dance. Plans also include space for a secondary theater, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, administrative offices, public café and outdoor plazas.
Although the creation of the foundation has already begun, the principal construction will be delayed a few years as the site is currently occupied by the temporary World Trade Center PATH station. Architect Santiago Calatrava's permanent station is being built nearby and until that project is finished, plans for the Performing Arts Center will be on hold. Once (and if) construction of the Performing Arts Center is underway, it is estimated to take 3 years to complete.