Rebuilding Ground Zero

• Views: 1,508

With the current effort mired in politics and bureaucracy, is it time to step back and rethink the Ground Zero rebuilding strategy?

Since al-Qaida demolished the World Trade Center nearly seven years ago, New York’s naked emperors—Governors George Pataki and Eliot Spitzer and architect Daniel Libeskind—have viewed an historic rebuilding challenge as an opportunity to invent a square wheel and then deny for years that it can’t roll. This week, the Port Authority, which runs the site, released a report admitting that little progress had been made there—still more evidence that the government has responded to an external attack with a self-inflicted disaster. But all the dillydallying may provide an unlikely opportunity for Governor David Paterson and World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, who should examine an entirely different approach: building new twin towers at Ground Zero.

It may sound crazy to say that we should consider throwing away years’ worth of planning. But we’ve barely moved toward completion since 2002; in fact, last week’s report threw out cost estimates or timetables for rebuilding. “The schedule and cost for each of the public projects on the site face significant delays and cost overruns,” wrote Chris Ward, the new director of the Port Authority, to Paterson last Monday. Further, “at least 15 fundamental issues critical to the overall project” are “not yet … resolved.”

Indeed: all New York has to show for its hoping and waiting is a partial support structure for the Freedom Tower—which, when it’s built, will be a sad white elephant. And all that the state promises today is more waiting: waiting for officials to figure out how a poorly designed, half-billion-dollar memorial can withstand the weight of the trees that are supposed to go on top of it; waiting for them to figure out a workable plan for the fancy, multibillion-dollar, Calatrava-designed transit hub, where inevitable changes will mean more changes and delays to everything else on the site. Can anyone be confident that the eventual results won’t be physical evidence of unimaginable folly?

On 9/11, al-Qaida murdered 2,974 people and destroyed two iconic office towers that dominated New York’s skyline, another lone office tower nearby, and some smaller support buildings. We can’t recover stolen lives. But what would it take to make New York physically whole again, while paying tribute to 9/11’s history and victims? One obvious answer is to build two iconic office towers that dominate New York’s skyline once again, surrounded by some smaller buildings. Notice that the one project that has achieved completion after 9/11—Silverstein’s Seven World Trade Center, the lone office tower near the main site—did so partly because Silverstein realized that al-Qaida’s attack wasn’t a mandate to reinvent the obvious. He simply built a more elegant tower to succeed what al-Qaida had destroyed, modernized for the twenty-first century in terms of safety and aesthetics and placed in a superior setting.

New York could take a similar approach with the rest of the site.

Also see

UPDATE at 7/7/08 11:11:22 am:

Lawhawk has been covering the politics of the Ground Zero mess for some time. If you want the down and dirty details, start at the top and read downwards.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Americans Are Paying Apple Millions to Shelter Overseas Profits So you could rebel - but all the other major outlets for content also shelter their taxes overseas, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. All of these companies enjoy the network in this country of public transport, communications rights of ...
Thanos
1 hour, 45 minutes ago
Views: 44 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
What Healthcare Professionals Need to Know Before Moving Into TelemedicineTelemedicine, or the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by utilizing online communications technologies, is a growing field that is designed to bring professional medical treatment to people who live in remote areas or are otherwise unable to obtain healthcare. ...
Holly Whitman
2 hours, 50 minutes ago
Views: 64 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Pistachio-Lemon Bars Recipe - NYT Cooking Ingredients The crust: 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup confectioners' sugar ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces ¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped The filling: 2 eggs 1 cup sugar ½ ...
The Vicious Babushka
9 hours, 11 minutes ago
Views: 131 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
OneRepublic - Let’s Hurt Tonight (Collateral Beauty Version)Music video by OneRepublic performing Let's Hurt Tonight. (C) 2016 Mosley Music/Interscope Records vevo.ly
Thanos
17 hours, 4 minutes ago
Views: 91 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Robert Fripp String Quintet Taken from the RFSQ Video release "Live in Japan", Trey Gunn treats us to a performance of Chromatic Fantasy in D Minor 00:00:00 and the California Guitar Trio perform Blockhead with a solo from Robert Fripp 00:01:52 On the ...
Thanos
17 hours, 13 minutes ago
Views: 104 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
SHAED - Name on It (Live) Get SHAED’s debut EP “Just Wanna See” featuring "Name On It" here: flyt.it Follow SHAED online:shaedband.comtwitter.comfacebook.cominstagram.com "Name On It" (Audio Video) Lyrics:Standing over thereRipping out my hairWant it from across the roomTake me down to your tombGet your name ...
Thanos
17 hours, 16 minutes ago
Views: 85 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Life in Obamacare’s Dead Zone “She was always the steady one,” her sister, Karen Smith Walker, says. “The one who could solve any problem. Always with a book. Always studying.” But now, after years of living with this desperation, Foy didn’t know how to ...
Thanos
1 day ago
Views: 166 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear - Neuroscience News Summary: A new study reports the rhythm of your breathing can influence neural activity that enhances memory recall and emotional judgement. Source: Northwestern University. Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behavior. Northwestern ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 214 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Chocolate Peppermint Bars Recipe - NYT Cooking Ingredients For the chocolate shortbread: 1 cup/125 grams all-purpose flour ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar 2 tablespoons/15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 8 tablespoons/113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick) For the peppermint filling and chocolate top: ...
The Vicious Babushka
1 day, 3 hours ago
Views: 224 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Originalist -Justice Antonin Scalia - Jan 2011 Last October marked the 24th anniversary of Justice Antonin Scalia's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Well known for his sharp wit as well as his originalist approach to the Constitution, Justice Scalia consistently asks more questions during oral ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 3 hours ago
Views: 318 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1