A stunning, giant marble cube now shines brightly near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan as the curtain finally rose on the Big Apple’s newest theater complex this week.
The exquisite $560 million Perelman Performing Arts Center was officially unveiled Wednesday, setting the stage for the newest and final public element of the World Trade Center, 22 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams attended the official opening ceremony Wednesday along with former Mayor Mike Bloomberg — one of the project’s top donors.
The 138-foot-tall complex, also known as PAC NYC, is surrounded by nearly 5,000 marble slabs that are backlit by chandeliers, allowing light to shine in during the day and becoming a glowing beacon at night.
With movable walls, seats, floor sections and balconies, the 1,000-seat venue easily transforms into three main venues – complete with a total of 62 different stage and audience configurations.
Bloomberg, who oversees 13 different MTA subway lines and has invested $130 million in the project, called it an “engineering marvel.”
The opening season program begins on Tuesday with a five-day concert series on the theme of “Refuge.”
The long-awaited opening of PAC NYC comes two decades after the theater complex was first planned to bring people back to a place long plagued by devastation and grief.
“The memorial is there for people to come, mourn and pay their respects. “The museum is for people to learn, pay attention and never forget,” Khady Kamara, executive director of PAC NYC, said ahead of the unveiling.
“And the Performing Arts Center is for people to celebrate life and truly celebrate the resilience of New Yorkers and the country.”
The glamorous structure is inherently windowless to keep the hustle and bustle of theatergoers at a respectful distance from those paying tribute at the nearby 9/11 Memorial, said architect Joshua Ramus.
“I didn’t want to treat the monument like a spectacle,” he said.
The center was built primarily with private donations, including Bloomberg and $75 million investor Ronald Perelman, for whom the building is named.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in the area, and it will continue to drive the city’s recovery from the pandemic – just as the arts helped drive our return after 9/11,” Bloomberg said in a statement the opening.
With post wires