Rebuilding Ground Zero

• Views: 1,626

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
Adam Savage: The Enemy of Science Is Bias Start at 1;40 in Video courtesy March for Science SF marchforsciencesf.com Adam Savage's full speech from the San Francisco March for Science on April 22, 2017. Find out more about the March for Science and what comes next at: ...
Tarkloon
19 hours, 15 minutes ago
Views: 223 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 15 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Don Ross - a Million Brazilian Civilians (Solo Guitar)From 'A Million Brazilian Civilians' CDs, Guitar Tabs, & Downloads available: candyrat.com Buy/Listenitunes: itunes.apple.comApple Music: itun.esAmazon: Link: a.coSpotify: open.spotify.comTidal: listen.tidal.comGoogle: play.google.com Visit Don Ross athttp://donrossonline.com and facebook.com Dons plays custom guitars made by luthier Marc Beneteau
Tarkloon
19 hours, 31 minutes ago
Views: 125 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
South Korea rebuffs Trump’s $1 billion use-charge for a US missile-defense system Trump said that he wanted South Korea to pay for the anti-missile defense system, which he estimates to cost $1 billion, and also intended to renegotiate or terminate a free-trade pact with the country because of a "deep trade ...
Tarkloon
20 hours, 48 minutes ago
Views: 414 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 32 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Grifter’s Real Game? Psychology - Science Friday The grifter, the con artist, the flimflammer—the confidence man (or woman) goes by many names. But what the best of them have in common, according to The Confidence Game author Maria Konnikova, is an uncanny knack for understanding human ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 193 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Perception Scientist Says Reality Is ‘What Proved Useful in the Past’ Later in his explanation, he cites language as a clear example of something that’s part of our reality but only exists in our collective imagination. “It doesn’t exist without us,” he writes. “But it is very much part of ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 20 hours ago
Views: 205 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
STEALTHING: the Growing Movement of Men Who Secretly Remove Condoms During Sex Two years ago, a 19-year-old Florida teen posted a call for advice in the subreddit askgaybros. In the post, he said he met a guy on Grindr and went back to his place to hook up. When the guy ...
Birth Control Works
4 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 643 • Comments: 6 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 0
Trump-Free Sunday Mornings-Daily Beast We think it’s time to go on a more balanced Donald Diet—call it a Sabbath for sanity. And that’s why we’re going to embark on a new experiment: Trump-free Sunday mornings. Barring major breaking news, for a few hours ...
Unshaken Defiance
4 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 284 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 0
Video: John Muir - The Last Oasis John Muir - The Last Oasis is a short film directed by Michael Coleman a Martinez, California native inspired by the writings of naturalist, author and early advocate of wilderness preservation John Muir. Many of the locations featured in ...
teleskiguy
5 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 532 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Woman Who Saved Lower Manhattan From Becoming a Highway What makes a city? It's not the buildings (skyscrapers) or the streets (traffic), or the banks and government offices and shopping districts sandwiched between them. It's the people. This is obvious nearly to the point of tautology, yet in ...
Birth Control Works
5 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 434 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Domestic Violence Shelters Make Plea for State Budget Resolution A group of domestic violence shelter representatives and other human services advocates gathered at Mutual Ground's headquarters in Aurora Wednesday morning to again make a plea for a resolution on the state's budget crisis and to call attention to ...
Birth Control Works
5 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 292 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0