Partial Demolition Planned for a Reminder of Sept. 11

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The only architectural vestige of the World Trade Center complex still standing aboveground, the “survivors’ stairway,” would be largely demolished under a proposal by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Six to nine granite stair treads would be left in their original location near Vesey Street. Other elements of the staircase might be embedded in the trade center memorial plaza and displayed in the memorial museum.

The 21-foot-high staircase, which led to the elevated plaza around the twin towers, offered an escape route for an untold number of people on Sept. 11, 2001. It is seen by some, including the W.T.C. Survivors’ Network, as a symbolic and authentic remnant of survival in the face of a devastating attack.

But it is in the way of the future Tower 2, whose lobby would cover much of the 17-by-64-foot site now occupied by the badly battered staircase. The staircase will have to be moved to permit excavation and construction on the Tower 2 site.

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