Thursday, September 18, 2008

In My Humble Opinion ...

I am not an expert on architecture or urban planning in any way. However, I appreciate the beauty of buildings, dwellings, and memorials. So as the 7th anniversary of 9/11 recently passed, I was curious to see what has been going on at Ground Zero and what they are planning for that space.

If you go to you can see artist renderings and models of the new Freedom Tower that is to be built near where the towers once stood. I have never been to New York City. I have only seen images of the World Trade Center in photographs and videos, before and after it was destroyed; so I don't feel that I have much say in the matter, but I really dislike this design! I don't know how the citizens of New York feel about it or even if they were considered in the final decision - but it is disappointing.

The Freedom Tower and the newly designed World Trade Center. Construction has already begun.

Here is what the new courtyard will look like. It is intended to have a more "park-like" setting.

When I think of New York I think of old fashioned buildings. Iconic structures like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Art Deco, traditional, symmetrical. The Freedom Tower and it's neighboring buildings look really out of place with their futuristic design. The footprints of the towers will be made into reflecting pools and the memorials will be underground and expensive to maintain.
There are people who want the towers rebuilt (with major infrastructural changes of course) and they have built an interesting model. If you go to you can see more. I think the memorials are more poignant and it would be neat to see the towers rise again. However I admit I would be very reluctant to go up into them - and I feel the same for the Freedom Tower.

This model shows the new Twin Towers. They look very much like the originals but with thicker exterior beams.

The memorials here use some of the facade that has been saved from the original buildings. The curved wall is a memorial designed by a family member of a victim.

I guess the question I have to ask myself is: Is it better to recapture what has been, or move on with something entirely different? I personally lean toward rebuilding the Twin Towers - but it isn't my city and I don't know if it would just be a painful reminder.

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