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  • Should These Stairs Be Saved

    I found this article in this past weekend's Parade magazine. Though a few folks would like to voice their vote.

    The staircase that led people to safety on 9/11 stirs a raging debate.

    357 Comments
    about this article.Jump to comments
    By Lyric Wallwork Winik
    Published: August 20, 2006
    Every day, from his office window, Tom Grassi catches a glimpse of the stairs. They come from nothing and lead to nothing. On top, their granite treads still gleam, but the bottom has been stripped bare. They are a relic of what once was the World Trade Center. Indeed, these plaza stairs are all that is left above ground from those buildings.

    Grassi worked on the 82nd floor of Tower One. On 9/11, he descended—at first in light and then in darkness, smoke and dust. He moved slowly so the injured could be carried down and later so the firefighters could walk up. He reached the plaza outside, all but destroyed from the rubble of Tower Two, and walked down those stairs. Within 10 minutes, Tower One thundered down.

    Five years later, a bitter fight is raging over the stairs, which have been dubbed the “Survivors’ Staircase” and recently were named one of America’s 11 most endangered landmarks by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. On one side are 9/11 survivors and historic preservationists; on the other are many of the 10,000 residents of Battery Park City, which abuts the site. At issue is whether the stairs deserve to be saved.

    Bill Love has lived in Battery Park City for 13 years. He boarded a subway under the Twin Towers minutes before the first plane hit. Today, he sits on a local community board and can see the area from his office. “People are very frustrated that we’re approaching the fifth anniversary and the site is only beginning to be rebuilt,” Love says. “They want the commercial and retail activity back.” Many residents see protecting the stairs as just another delay. “These stairs are of zero historic significance,” says John Dellaportas, head of the West Street Coalition, a local citizens group. He calls them “one last piece of debris.” As for the preservationists, he says, “If they want these stairs, they can put them in their own front yards.”

    To Tom Canavan, they’re more than “debris.” When Tower Two fell, he was buried in rubble. Canavan thought he was dead. Then he tasted dust and pictured his pregnant wife and his son. He began to dig on his belly through concrete, steel and bodies toward a shaft of light. When he reached the plaza, he says, “it was like being in a blizzard—smoke and papers were everywhere.” Then he saw two Port Authority workers atop those stairs. He was one of the last to descend safely to the street below.

    “Those stairs remind us that we made it,” says 9/11 survivor Kayla Bergeron. She had assumed they were destroyed with the Twin Towers. Then one day, passing the site, “I stopped in my tracks: I saw our stairs.”

    Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, calls the staircase “a permanent witness to the devastation of that day” and believes it should stand in place. But John Dellaportas says, “We are just trying to get on with our lives.” Adds Bill Love, “We’re not opposed to considering having the stairs moved elsewhere. Parts may be worth preserving, but we’re against putting the entire structure in any location that interferes with rebuilding the site and pedestrian traffic.”

    The final decision rests with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Right now, a tower is slated to be built where the stairs—which are 64 feet long and weigh 350,000 pounds—stand. Tom Grassi would like them to be incorporated into the new building. He likens the site to Pearl Harbor, where the U.S.S. Arizona can still be seen in its watery grave. Tom Canavan thinks of Gettysburg. “We saved thousands of acres of land from that epic battle,” he says. “What makes this place less significant?” Adds Kayla Bergeron: “We are building a monument to those who died on 9/11. This is the monument to the people who survived.”


    To vote go to: www.parade.com

  • #2
    Just voted.....

    Just voted, didn't see "Hell yeah" though. Even if just for the survivors that can tell their grandchildren some day about their stories associated with those stairs.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    • #3
      I voted. I agree that they should remain and somehow be incorporated into the site as new construction begins.


      Yes- 95%
      No - 5%
      Results based on a total of 8286 responses
      Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
      Stephen
      FF/Paramedic
      Instructor

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      • #4
        This shouldnt even be a question. Yes, they should be saved. Why someone would vote "no" seems silly to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Will have to Vote when I get home damn Govt. Computer Firewalls will not allow me to !
          ******=================
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          ------GOD BLESS AMERICA ! ------

          Comment


          • #6
            i voted yes. anyone who voted no should, sadly but truely, be dragged out into the street and shot.

            if anything it (the stairs, or even ground zero entirely) should be somehow made into a memorial, kind of like the flight 93 memorial.
            First in, Last out, nobody left behind.....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by res54cuecaptain
              i voted yes. anyone who voted no should, sadly but truely, be dragged out into the street and shot.
              So if someone disagrees with you, they should be dragged out into the street and shot? Wow.

              Since I didn't know anyone at the WTC on 9-11. And since I don't live or work in NYC. I don't see how I can have an opinion on this. Memorials will be built. I would imagine the decision to keep or destroy these stairs is a local matter.
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by res54cuecaptain
                i voted yes. anyone who voted no should, sadly but truely, be dragged out into the street and shot.

                if anything it (the stairs, or even ground zero entirely) should be somehow made into a memorial, kind of like the flight 93 memorial.
                A tad extreme, aren't we?
                ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cozmosis
                  Since I didn't know anyone at the WTC on 9-11. And since I don't live or work in NYC. I don't see how I can have an opinion on this. Memorials will be built. I would imagine the decision to keep or destroy these stairs is a local matter.[/FONT]
                  I agree. No one who is not from the city can have an opinion on this. That's what's great about boundaries. They can do whatever stuff they want and it doesn't bother me at all.

                  Birken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BirkenVogt
                    I agree. No one who is not from the city can have an opinion on this.

                    Birken

                    Sorry. I'm going to have to disagree with you on this. Last time I checked, they attacked OUR country. Yes, NYC was one of the targets, but they were attacking America and the Red, White, and Blue. My star is on Old Glory and if it's all the same to you, my voice should be heard to let the stairs remain as well. Just my opinion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cozmosis
                      So if someone disagrees with you, they should be dragged out into the street and shot? Wow.
                      no, anyone who doesnt think that those stairs are important should be shot. they saved hundreds of people from dying the horiffic death of the many people who tragically died on september 11, 2001.

                      this is what i think of the stairs: (it might be a little cheesy, but bear with me)
                      the stairs are the only part of the towers that survived. they 'represent' our great countries ability to stand strong, even though the world (the towers) is comming down around us. it represents the americans who came together to help one another (it helping hundreds of people escape from the tower) on that tragic day. even though we were attacked on our own soil, we got through it and stood strong (the stairs still standing)

                      saying that you want the stairs to be torn down is saying that you dont care about the fact that hundreds of people were saved because of those stairs. it is saying that they dont care that if those stairs werent there, there would have been a HELL of a lot more deaths in the towers.

                      that being said, i still stand behind my first statement
                      First in, Last out, nobody left behind.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by res54cuecaptain
                        no, anyone who doesnt think that those stairs are important should be shot.
                        That's still a little extreme. Actually, it's a lot extreme.

                        Originally posted by res54cuecaptain
                        saying that you want the stairs to be torn down is saying that you dont care about the fact that hundreds of people were saved because of those stairs.
                        No it's not. Mind you... I don't have an opinion for or against these stairs. But I don't think those advocating their removal are folks who don't care about the people in the towers that day. There is emotional thinking -- what you're doing -- and there is practicall thinking -- what the developers are doing. Life is about balacing those two.

                        Originally posted by res54cuecaptain
                        it is saying that they dont care that if those stairs werent there, there would have been a HELL of a lot more deaths in the towers.
                        Your argument doesn't make sense. This is about removing a piece of the building today -- not before the attacks. Saying that you want the stairs gone now does not mean that you didn't want them there on 9/11 to allow people to use them.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          They want them torn down so they can forget 911 ever happened, just like most of America has done. Rebuild so we can make money and forget that your building on a grave. Tear it down so we dont have to look at it anymore--IT's too painfull, they say...........WHAT A LOAD OF HORSECRAP.... PLACE IT AT THE MEMORIAL NO MATTER WHAT THE COST SO PEOPLE CAN LOOK AT IT EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER NO MATTER WHAT THAT THESE WORDS SHOULD BE ON OUR MINDS EVERYDAY-----NEVER FORGET-NEVER FORGIVE-NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!
                          Never trust a smiling dog.
                          The uniform you're given is free, but it comes with a history. Do the right thing when you're in it.
                          PTB, EGH, FTM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh, and if your a radical Muslim and I somehow offended you with my last post, well, ........ this ones for you....
                            Never trust a smiling dog.
                            The uniform you're given is free, but it comes with a history. Do the right thing when you're in it.
                            PTB, EGH, FTM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BirkenVogt
                              I agree. No one who is not from the city can have an opinion on this. That's what's great about boundaries. They can do whatever stuff they want and it doesn't bother me at all.

                              Birken
                              Many of the people who died lived outside the city. Should their families have a say?

                              So if we get attacked again, youre not gonna step up to help, "because its not within your boundaries" I'd say thats just as extreme as dragging someone through the streets. Real Patriotic bunch we got here.
                              Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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