ADD-ONS CAN'T SALVAGE THIS AWFUL DESIGN
By STEVE CUOZZO
January 15, 2004 -- It still stinks.
New York, it's worth reminding the political appointees who cast up this disgraceful result, was not defeated on 9/11 - we were ambushed by terrorist thugs, an atrocity to which we responded nobly and heroically. The distinction seems lost on the governor, the judges, and on the designers.
Maybe "Reflecting Absence" is what some victims' families want. But the memorial will outlive us all, and no consideration seems to have been given to the message it will hold for future generations.
Its surface vocabulary is that of two big, open storm drains.
Don't blame young designer Michael Arad, who obviously possesses great talent. Blame the politically driven design process, which began with Gov. Pataki's rule against building on the footprints and was calcified by judges devoid of visual imagination.
The best thing to say about "Reflecting Absence" is that in the long run it won't matter. David Childs' Freedom Tower, life-affirming even on paper, is already Ground Zero's best memorial.