Alfred Doblin in NorthJersey.Com urges a reconsideration on whether anything tall should be built at Ground Zero anyway as the solemnity of the site is passing.
The tourists gape on the cement concourse of the temporary PATH World Trade Center PATH Station. They line up, look into Ground Zero and take their pictures. They giggle and clown. The solemnity of the site is fading with each passing day. So are hopes that a new symbol will rise from the ashes of Sept. 11.
Further he criticizes the carnival in the design process:
The first set of designs presented to the public had all the pizazz of an insurance statement. A new process began and Daniel Libeskindís Freedom Tower was selected. Except Libeskind was only picked to oversee the general site design. A different architect, David Childs, was hired to design the tower. The two menís ideas were married into one design. Now they are getting a divorce.
Ground Zero is sacred ground. Ground Zero is prime real estate. You donít need to watch a David Mamet play to figure out that the art of closing a deal usually trumps moral conscience.
I wonder if we all havenít gotten this wrong. Maybe a gaping hole in the skyline is the memorial. Could it be that simple?
The economy of lower Manhattan has changed. It was changing before the towers collapsed. Large financial firms were moving into midtown and Times Square long before 2001. If there is no market for commercial space at Ground Zero and there are too many realistic concerns about creating the tallest building in the world in lower Manhattan, perhaps now is not the time to rebuild the World Trade Center as it was.
There is an enormous need for affordable residential housing. Maybe the tribute to the dead is to create a haven for young families.
New Yorkís skyline will be remade with each new generation. Our generationís responsibility is to bury the dead of Sept. 11. That is legacy enough.
This couldnít have been said any better.
We donít oppose building tall at Ground Zero. We just donít think the governemnt should be doing it. Larry Silverstein has a lease and is paying $10 million/month for Ground Zero. If he thinks he can make it work then he should be allowed to take the risks (and reap the rewards). If a site plan had been properly designed a memorial space would have been set aside and Silverstein should have been allowed to basically do anything he wanted with the rest of site as long as it met certain guidelines.
The LMDC and Port Authority are micromanaging the site, and dictating the architects and designs. The Port Authority is supposed to build airports and bridges not office towers. The last time the Port Authority tried to build a big office tower it collapsed within an hour after a fire engulfed a few floors.
Businesses were deserting downtown for years before 911 Midtown is thriving. However there seems to be no end to the number of people who willing to live in high rises.
The sideshow over government building tall is diverting the proper attention to getting the memorial right (which is what the government should do).
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