A breathtaking, 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 World Trade Center’s newest and final public element, 22 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams joined former Mayor Mike Bloomberg — one of the project’s key financial backers — for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.
The 138-foot-tall complex, otherwise known as PAC NYC, is encased in nearly 5,000 marble panel tiles that are backlit by chandeliers, allowing for light to radiate in throughout the day and become a glowing beacon at night.
With moveable walls, seats, floor sections and balconies, the 1,000-seat venue can be easily transformed into three principal venues — complete with a total of 62 different stage-and-audience configurations.
Sitting above 13 different MTA subway lines, Bloomberg — who injected $130 million cash into the project — called it an “engineering marvel.”
The opening season’s programming gets underway Tuesday with a five-night concert series focused on the theme of “refuge.”
PAC NYC’s long-awaited opening comes two decades after the theater complex was first envisioned in a bid to draw people back to the site long-plagued by devastation and mourning.
“The memorial is here for people to come and grieve and pay their respects. The museum is for people to learn, be aware and never forget,” Khady Kamara, PAC NYC’s executive director, said in the lead-up to the unveiling.
“And the Performing Arts Center is here for people to celebrate life and really celebrate the resilience of New Yorkers and of the country.”
The glamorous structure is windowless by design in order to keep the buzz of theatergoers at a respectful distance from those paying tribute at the nearby 9/11 Memorial, architect Joshua Ramus said.
“I didn’t want to treat the memorial like a spectacle,” he said.
The center was built primarily with private donations, including Bloomberg and $75 million investor Ronald Perelman, whom the building is named for.
“There’s never been anything like it in the area, and it’s going to continue fueling the city’s comeback from the pandemic — just as the arts helped fuel our comeback after 9/11,” Bloomberg said in a statement ahead of the opening.
With Post wires
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