The intersection of Greenwich and Fulton streets in the Financial District has been closed since the construction of the original World Trade Center first swallowed it up in 1967. It's remained shut offfirst because of the giant WTC superblock; and then, since Sept. 11, for reasons related to both construction and security. But the Times' David Dunlap is on the scene, reporting that it is preparing to open up to pedestrians for the first time in 48 years. The intersection is a major crossroads of the redeveloped area, with the 2 World Trade Center site to the northeast, the performing arts center site to the northwest, the memorial plaza and museum to the southwest, and the Santiago Calatrava-designed winged transportation hub to the southeast. Starting tomorrow, June 25, it will be open to those on foot coming from the north, west, and south.
Said the Port Authority's executive director, "We feel great about opening it to public access. ... today people want transit-oriented development, access to public transportation, the restoration of streets and the ability of pedestrians to walk up and down." Sorry, cars, but you're not allowed.
Dunlap elaborates that for a neighborhood long beset by bollards, road closures, and other security measures, further opening up that corner to pedestrians can only help the flow of movement as well as allow for a greater appreciation of the architecture in the area. Especially for camera-wielding tourists.
Here is a prediction: the crossroads will instantly provide a popular photo-op foreground for Mr. Calatrava's zoomorphic Oculus, whether you think the pavilion looks like a stegosaurus lumbering through the swamp white oaks or like a bird taking flight from the treetops—or simply like a Calatrava sculpture on a monumental scale. In the photo below, the intersection that will be open as of tomorrow is the one just to the right and below the rows of trees on the memorial plazaright in front of the transportation hub's pointy rafters.