NEW YORK — The contaminated bank tower stood shrouded in black netting for years over ground zero, filled with toxic dust and the remains of Sept. 11 victims. It stayed where it was, not coming down even as the towers at the World Trade Center site slowly began to rise.
Nearly a decade after the trade center's south tower fell into it, the building with a sad history of legal and regulatory fights, multiple accidents and a blaze that killed two firefighters will finally be gone. The demise of the 41-story former Deutsche Bank building, just south of ground zero, is at least as welcome to its neighbors as the construction of new trade center towers.
"I love having the light," said Mary Perillo, whose eighth-floor kitchen window overlooks the busy work site where the steel framework of the Deutsche Bank building is being disassembled. "I love having that black monolith out of my face."
The bank tower — first slated for deconstruction in 2005, when a government agency bought it to end an impasse over who would pay to take it down — is down to two stories above street level. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency that oversaw the $300 million dismantling, said it will be completely removed in a little over a week.