It had to happen before midnight December 31. And it did, although quietly. Downtown Express reports that five founding board members for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center (PAC) were announced by National September 11 Memorial President Joe Daniels in the nick of time, in order not to forfeit access to $100 million in LMDC funds set aside in fall 2010 for the lone surviving cultural venue–apart from the September 11 museum–at the site, where once many were envisioned as the most sure-fire way to lift ground zero out of the psychological depths of mourning for the lost.
The first board members of PAC to be designed by Frank Gehry will be, in addition to Mayor Bloomberg, who is chair of the National September 11 Memorial board but will be represented ex-officio by First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris: Vidicom founder Christy Ferer; CB1 Chairwoman Julie Menin; developer Larry Silverstein; Brookfield’s John Zuccotti; and Zenia Mucha, a vice president at Walt Disney Company.
In addition to fundraising, the board will make the decision about the performing arts center’s location, currently thought to be directly east of One World Trade Center, although the site for Tower 5 is also in play and is the choice of board member Menin. The $100 million will support construction and administrative costs. An additional $60 million will finance Gehry’s design, “one-sixth of which has already been spent,” according to Downtown Express.