Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Winter Garden, Lower Manhattan

I went into lower Manhattan last week and the city was just beginning to put up decorations for Christmas, as you can see by this photo of Liberty Park near Ground Zero.
(all photos enlarge when clicked on)

In the photo foreground is Seward Johnson's 1982 metal sculpture of a businessman called "Double Check." This sculpture became a makeshift memorial after 9/11, and was eventually returned to the artist until the park could be rebuilt. He was reinstalled recently, along with some temporary Christmas trees and lights on the new honey locust trees that have been planted in the park.

I walked over to the Winter Garden on the opposite end of Ground Zero hoping it would have some decorations up too, but it wasn't as yet decorated. The Winter Garden is a 10-story glass-vaulted pavilion on Vesey Street in New York City's World Financial Center. It houses various trees and flowers, restaurants and shops. The rear of the building opens onto the World Financial Center Plaza and the North Cove Yacht Harbor on the Hudson River.
The Winter Garden also serve as a venue for art exhibits, music, and shows, as well as hosting movie screenings during the TriBeCa Film Festival.

The Winter Garden Atrium, along with the rest of World Financial Center, was designed by architect César Pelli in 1985. Completed in 1988 at a cost of $60 million, the Atrium was originally connected to the World Trade Center via a 400-foot pedestrian bridge that spanned the West Side Highway.

It was severely damaged in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade center and its pedestrian bridge was destroyed. The Winter Garden was the first major structure to be completely restored following the attacks, and reopened on September 17, 2002. The pedestrian bridge was replaced by windows facing the former site of the World Trade Center as you can see in the photo below. This area is the best view of the rebuilding going on in Ground Zero, and the windows usually attract many tourists and New Yorkers who look through them to the construction site.

This is the best view I could get for the beginnings of the "Freedom Tower" or the new One World Trade Center. Construction for the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower began on April 27, 2006. When completed the Freedom Tower will consist of 2.6 million square feet of office space, as well as an observation deck, world-class restaurants, parking, and broadcast and antennae facilities. Below-ground tenant parking and storage, shopping and access to the PATH and subway trains and the World Financial Center will also be provided. Hopefully the economic slowdown will not effect its completion.

Some of the views of Ground Zero from the Winter Garden's panoramic windows.

Another view of the base of The Freedom Tower under construction:

I zoomed my camera view across the Ground Zero construction site towards St. Paul's (photo below), nicknamed "The Little Chapel That Stood," which you can see nestled in the trees. This is the very historic chapel where President George Washington once worshiped, and which was miraculously saved from destruction when the World Trade Center collapsed. It also acted as a resting place for the brave rescue/recovery workers. I blogged about the chapel previously, here.

There was a really interesting exhibit going on in the Winter Garden when I was there called "Canstruction" which is an international charity competition where architects, engineers, contractors and students they mentor, competed to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food. At the close of the competition all of the food from the New York City competition will be donated to City Harvest.

I'll blog those photos next time -- the structures were so imaginative and not to be missed!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a wonderful post, Pat! I just logged on, and this was the first thing I saw. You never disappoint!

Your photographs made me feel as if I were I right there. I'm happy to see the construction on the Freedom Tower and look forward to seeing its completion, and I enjoyed hearing your account of the architectural competition with cans of food to be donated to the homeless. What a magnificent gesture! The Winter Garden and New York are so beautiful, and I never tire of seeing pictures of the City. Thanks for not only sharing your pictures, but your love of all things New York, NY!



Michele said...

You always have the most beautiful photos! I really should make it a point to go into the city more often. New Jersey is so close.

Tara said...


What a great trip, you always show the best things so I know what to do when I get in there to visit my son!


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I always enjoy your photos and information you provide on NYC.

I hope to get to see some of this stuff in the next few months!


guild-rez said...

From your and PAZ pictures I learn more about New York. My husband often said, let me take you to New York, you'll love the City.
But I always hesitatet, thought the City is too big, too many people and ...
Thank you for letting me see New York through your eyes.
I am sure next year I'll come for a week long visit.
- Cheers Gisela.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this.

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Pat, LOVE your new blog header. Very cool! You're right. :) I'm going to think positive about our upcoming move. I'm finally going to see two of the most amazing cities in the US. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and history. ~Melissa :)

Camille said...

Beautiful music choice for this post. Thank you for sharing the photos and the music.

Rhonda said...

I'm going to be in New York in February and I am so excited. Thanks for your pictures of Ground Zero and your information on the area. I especially love the little church nestled in the trees.


nanatrish said...

Pat, you have the greatest pictures. I love that Atrium. It looks like the most beautiful place. Thanks for always sharing your tours of New York. I love it!

Willow said...

Thank you for posting this. The Winter Garden looks like an amazing place to visit and I am so glad you were able to post photos of the construction that is going on at Ground Zero. I may never get to New York, but I can 'see' it through your photos.

Yolanda said...

Thanks for letting me tour NYC with you.

steviewren said...

Very interesting post as usual. Your pictures of the Winter Garden are fantastic.

I've been thinking of you and your upcoming happy event. It won't be long now! Best Wishes to everyone.

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

Dear Pat, thanks for stopping by our blog. I just had a quick look at yours - great posts and great photos too! It brings back great memories of New York at Christmas; in my opinion the best city in the world at this time of year.
Good luck with the run-up to the 25th, sounds like you've got an exciting December ahead with that handsome Grandson of yours!
all the best

Bo said...

Hi Pat...Thanks for the tour and info, especially for those of us who live so far from NYC...BTW, my computer is sooo sick...I've got to try to find somebody to fix if I'm missing in action, you'll know why...I'm using my DH's acc't. to post this...Oh the misery! ;-) Bo

Tracy said...

Very exciting pictoral post, Pat! I'm loving that Winter Garden...And it is great seeing what's taking shape at Ground Zero. Thanks for taking us there! ((HUGS))

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Wonderful new header! Just love it!

I'm calling John in here and we're going to read this one together. I know that he will enjoy this post as much as I have.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Yup, he did. I knew it. He took particular note of the pile drivers, the unprotected rebar, and the toilets being raised into position. :D He was properly amazed at the story of St. Paul's. As an added bonus, he enjoyed seeing the caramel cake, too.

Cori G. said...

Good morning Pat,
I always love reading your posts about Manhattan. There are so many wonderful things to see and do. If I lived there I think I would just spend my time wondering around all day.
xo Cori

Catherine said...

Thank you so much for this post and the wonderful documentation your pictures create. The Wintergarden is beautiful and I am as touched by the story of "The Little Chapel" as I was on Sept.11.


Donna said...

The Winter Garden looks like a fabulous place! I would love to visit there.

And thanks for sharing the photos of the Freedom Tower. Always interesting.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Isn't it just wonderful when the Christmas decorations start to appear in December! Magic!

Judy said...

Thanks for taking us along to the Winter Garden...and your wonderful commentary!

I love your new header! It's time to decorate my blog for the of these days!

CatHerder said...

Can you believe im around 20 minutes from there, and NEVER seen the tree????

Lisa B. said...

The Winter Garden building is beautiful! I feel better not having my Christmas decorations up that I know they don't either. lol.

aliceinparis said...

Winter Garden Atrium looks like a wonderful place to visit and reflect. Those pics of ground zero are encouraging. Nice to see something rising from the destruction! xoxox
Cheers, Shelagh

dana said...

Thank you, Pat, for that terrific post. I enjoyed the information you shared and the great photos. I did not know the Atrium had been attached to the World Trade Center. What a bittersweet view of the building activing going on in the area where those buildings once stood. It was great to see the little Church that I've seen so many times on TV since the attack.
You always share the most informative things, Pat. Thank you! Dana