By KAREN MATTHEWS
.c The Associated Press
NEW YORK (July 16) - Plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center include memorials, office space and cultural centers, but none of the six potential designs would include buildings as high as the fallen twin towers, officials familiar with the proposals said.
Proposals to be released Tuesday call for replacing the 11 million square feet of office and retail space lost on Sept. 11 with a cluster of buildings much shorter than the 110-story towers, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
They said each of the six plans includes a substantial memorial to the victims of the attacks. The officials said four of the plans would keep clear the ground once occupied by the towers.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that all of the plans include a central memorial park that could take up as much as a third to two-thirds of the 16-acre trade center site.
Groups representing victims' families have demanded that the ground where the towers stood not be used for anything but a memorial.
''Where Tower 1 and Tower 2 stood is sacred ground,'' said Joseph Maurer, a retired firefighter whose daughter, Jill Campbell, died in the trade center. ''It's the same as Gettysburg or Pearl Harbor.''
The six plans are rough drafts - not detailed architectural renderings - and represent the first in a series of steps to redevelop the 16-acre site. Only a few developers, planners and government officials have seen the plans.
''This is the starting point for dialogue,'' said Matthew Higgins, spokesman for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the city-state agency charged with redeveloping the site. ''The next step is to actively engage the public through as many different forums as possible.''
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the proposals ''a start.''
''I've got my own ideas, which I will certainly write to them,'' said Bloomberg. He encouraged others to do the same.
While some victims' relatives initially called for the entire site to be set aside as a memorial, many now say they will be satisfied with a memorial that includes the ground covered by the towers.
The preliminary plans do not name particular tenants, but there has been speculation that the Museum of the City of New York and the New York City Opera could be located at the site.
While none of the plans call for housing on the tract itself, they do suggest that damaged office buildings along the periphery could be razed for housing or converted to apartments.
The proposals are being released by the development corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land. They will be on display for several weeks at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan and on the development corporation's Web site.
An expected 5,000 people will discuss the plans at a town hall meeting Saturday at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
The development corporation and the Port Authority will narrow the six land-use proposals down to three by September and then down to one by December.
Allen Morrison, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said the final plan could include elements of all six of the early drafts.
The plans were prepared by the architectural firm of Beyer Blinder Belle. Among the firm's better-known projects was the renovation of the city's Grand Central Terminal.