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Embattled World Trade Center Arts Center's Budget Halved

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The Performing Arts Center planned for the World Trade Center has been the subject of a few crippling blows, the most recent of which is a capsizing budget dealt by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The committee that's in charge of overseeing the theater's development announced on Thursday that the project should cost no more than $200 million, which is about half of the funds originally allotted for the cultural attraction, the Times says. In September, officials for the project scrapped plans for Frank Gehry's tiered-box design in favor of instituting a design competition between 50 different firms. While the board of PAC WTC (as it's now known) says they've chosen a design for the project, the winning bid has not yet been announced to the public.

Former plans for the theater included three auditoriums seating 550, 350, and 150 people each. Under the reduced budget, the scale of the space may be brought down. "We can do a great building for $200 million—it has to be built," the PAC's president, Maggie Boepple, told the Times, "It will be smaller; there may be things that you might have liked to see, but that's how it is." Boepple says the center will likely still have three stages, but will not be as tall. Fundraising will also help lasso capital for the project.

The Performing Arts Center is one of the last sites to be developed on the World Trade Center campus. Daniel Liebskind's master plan, released in 2003, positioned the theater where the temporary PATH station has been situated for over a decade. With this year's opening of the permanent station, the site is finally becoming available for the use allotted to it.
· Ground Zero Arts Center to Shrink Further [NYT]
· Design-less WTC Arts Center Still Searching For an Architect [Curbed]
· WTC Arts Center Execs Officially Scrap Frank Gehry's Design [Curbed]
· All World Trade Center Performing Arts Center coverage [Curbed]