During the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, we strongly believed in the importance of including a performing arts center that would bring new life and energy to Lower Manhattan – and now it’s ready to play a starring role in New York City’s next chapter.
Michael R. Bloomberg, Chair of PAC NYC
108th Mayor of New York City
From the beginning, the master plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site included a performing arts center. Such a destination would serve the whole city and help the neighborhood attract new residents, new visitors, and new energy. And the project benefitted from a number of determined champions.
John Whitehead, the first chair of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, was a strong supporter. Early leadership was provided by president and director Maggie Boepple (2012-2019) and the founding board, constituted in 2012 and chaired by John Zuccotti with members Christy Ferer, Patti Harris, Julie Menin, Zenia Mucha, and Larry Silverstein. Artistic guidance came from Jenny Gersten, David Lan, and Lucy Sexton.
Mike Bloomberg was a big believer in the project, too. Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, and at the time, many people expected residents and businesses would flee Lower Manhattan for the suburbs or other cities. To prevent that from happening, the Bloomberg administration looked ahead. They envisioned a thriving, 24-hour community – one with new housing, schools, parks, businesses, and the arts, all alongside a memorial and museum in the heart of the neighborhood. Then, together with partners at the Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, they set out to make that vision a reality.
A dozen years later, there were more businesses in Lower Manhattan than on September 10th, 2001 – and twice as many residents. To date, nearly 70 million people have visited the 9/11 Memorial. Chaired by Mike Bloomberg since 2006, the Memorial & Museum is a place where visitors can mourn, pay respects, and learn about the personal stories and continuing impacts of 9/11. And the number of visitors to Lower Manhattan continues to rise as the neighborhood offers more and more to attract them.
Now comes the final major piece in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation made the first major pledge, and Ronald Perelman jumpstarted construction with a generous financial commitment that encouraged others to contribute as well. The finished product represents a dream fulfilled, the culmination of years of hard work, and an exciting new chapter for the downtown community and New York City’s creative sector.
The dream of bringing a new home for the performing arts to Lower Manhattan has been a long time coming. PAC NYC stands as a testament to the power of the arts to inspire and unite us all. We are so excited to finally invite the world in.
Khady Kamara, Executive Director
Bill Rauch, Artistic Director