Take a walk on the W.T.C. side — Reed & Vega to play # 7

By Josh Rogers

Suzanne Vega and Lou Reed will be the headline acts Tuesday for a free concert to mark the opening of 7 World Trade Center — the only destroyed tower to be rebuilt since the 2001 terrorist attack.

Silverstein Properties, the building’s owner and developer, will be the first tenant to move into the building Friday, followed by the architects for the three buildings being designed for the Church St. side of the W.T.C. site. Three other tenants have signed leases for 7 W.T.C., and are expected to move in the fall when they customize their spaces.

The building’s plaza, opened this week and it has already become a popular walkway to the subway and a sitting space for some, such as Manuel Perez, who sat on a bench Tuesday after bringing lunch to a friend working nearby at the Bank of New York.

“It brings enlightenment to the area,” said Perez, 26. He said he often travels to Lower Manhattan from his home in Long Island City to look across from 7 W.T.C. and monitor the progress where the Twin Towers stood. There has been a lot of neighborhood frustration because the site still looks like a hole in the ground, but Perez said he is now pleased to see construction work.

“It’s so devastating, but it’s good to see things coming together,” he said.

Despite its address, 7 W.T.C. is not part of the Trade Center complex, which is owned by the Port Authority. Developer Larry Silverstein and the Port agreed to the framework of a deal at the end of last month, allowing Silverstein’s contractors to begin building the Freedom Tower at the site. The Church St. buildings will be designed by Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and Richard Rogers, who will be working on their plans on the 25th floor of 7 W.T.C. The Port will not have Tower Sites 3 and 4 ready for construction until the middle of next year and Tower 2 until 2008.

The concert on May 23 will start about noon at Vesey and Greenwich Sts. immediately after an 11:30 a.m. dedication ceremony, in which Silverstein will unveil the plaza’s statue and fountain. (The plaza, designed by Tribeca landscape architect Ken Smith, is likely to be closed during the concert.)

In addition to folk rockers Reed and Vega, the other performers all have Downtown roots and range from opera to rock, to reggae and jazz. Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will sing with fifth grade students from P.S. 89 and P.S. 234 during the ceremony. Citizen Cope, Brazilian Girls, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Ollabelle and Bill Ware’s Vibes will also perform rain or shine.


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