Saturday, April 24, 2010
From the Rubble
After years of delays, the building that will be known as 1 World Trade Center is finally rising in Manhattan. It has been redesigned to make it harder to knock down and it has lost the "Freedom Tower" name that former Governor Pataki bestowed on it in a fit of 9-11 patriotism. The NY Times has a panoramic view of ongoing construction, which I think is a little weird, I mean, right now it just looks like 240 feet of girders. I kind of like the design of the building, and I think the compromise worked out for the site is a good one. At first it bugged me that so much valuable space had been set aside for a monument to the acts of terrorists, but I am getting over that. Most of the monument will be a sort of park, which Manhattan could certainly use more of, and I suspect that the monument will turn out to be a major tourist attraction and therefore an economic engine in its own right. I also find it fitting that this is going on in the midst of a severe recession that has idled so many construction workers; just as the Empire State Building provided jobs and hope in the Depression, so the two new towers of the World Trade Center are providing jobs and pointing toward the emergence of the city from the aftermath of financial collapse.