Fundraising for the World Trade Center memorial has been halted. Memorial Foundation board member Tom Johnson says "It's only fair to donors to be able to expressly say how their money will be used and how much the project will cost." WNYC's Dan Blumberg reports.
The non-profit's fundraising has already been hamstrung by the controversies that have dogged nearly every aspect of rebuilding. Still, the foundation has raised $130 million from private donors and another $300 million has been committed by government. That's far short of the $972 million a contractor estimated Michael Arad "Reflecting Absence" design would cost.
His plan calls for two pools shaped like the fallen twin towers and surrounded by oak trees. The pools would extend 30 feet underground, where visitors could read names of those killed. But the design has drawn fire from some victims families who say it's disrespectful to put the names underground.
The decision to halt fundraising comes after Mayor Bloomberg and Governors Pataki and Corzine said the total cost should not exceed $500 million.