Nearly a decade after it was badly damaged by the falling south tower of the World Trade Center, a 41-story bank tower has finally been dismantled down to street level.
John DeLibero, a spokesman for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., said the above-ground portion of the structure was gone as of Monday. It will take a few days to remove the basement of the former Deutsche Bank building situated across the street from the trade center site, he said.
The property will then be turned over to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the main trade center site, for development. DeLibero said the transfer would take place by the end of the month.
The tower was contaminated with debris from the trade center and for years stood shrouded in black netting.
The cleanup was delayed multiple times by fights over how to remove the material without polluting the neighborhood. More than 700 body parts of Sept. 11 victims were recovered, mostly on the roof, along with parts of the hijacked plane.
The completion of the building's demolition will not end the legal fights over the project.
The LMDC, the city-state agency created to oversee the rebuilding of the trade center area, is preparing to sue contractor Bovis Lend Lease to recover $100 million it has spent to tear the building down.
Bovis filed its own lawsuit six months ago claiming that it had been shortchanged by $80 million.
Bovis spokeswoman Mary Costello had no comment Tuesday on the litigation.