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After no less than eleven years, major design shake-ups, and a halved budget, the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center has finally taken a resolute step forward.

The center's President/Director Maggie Boepple and Chairman John Zuccotti has announced via press release that Brooklyn-based firm REX has been named the center's leading architect. Additional support will come from Davis Brody Bond, Charcoalblue, and DBI Projects.

The center has suffered massive funding cutbacks since its first design was conceptualized by Frank Gehry in the years immediately following 2001. The most recent vision for the performing arts center included a $200 million facility with two combinable theaters with seating for 600 to 700, and two smaller adjoined venues that could be used as rehearsal space or theaters.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation released the first $10 million of its $99 million pledge to the center last week. The remainder of the project's cost will be funded through private resources, according to the press release. At this time, what exactly that cost will be is unknown, and will be determined after the design process. In late October, the Wall Street Journal reported that about $160 million in federal funding had already been allocated to the PACWTC. The project has garnered considerable concerns surrounding its ability to provoke private funding in a city jam-packed with cultural institutions.

REX counts amongst its achievements the recladding of 5 Manhattan West, the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater in Dallas, the Vakko Fashion Center and Power Media Center in Istanbul, and the Seattle Central Library.
· WTC Performing Arts Center Changes Vision To Match Budget [Curbed]
· The Status of the World Trade Center Complex, 14 Years Later [Curbed]
· All World Trade Center Performing Arts Center coverage [Curbed]