There's another new World Trade Center design being unveiled today. It's a bit better
than the soulless crystal shards of the previous version.
With one eye on terrorism and another on what has already been lost to terrorists, New York officials unveiled a redesigned Freedom Tower today whose height and proportion, centered antenna and cut-away corners, tall lobbies and pinstripe facade evoke - both deliberately and coincidentally - the sky-piercing twins it is meant to replace.
The new design for the 82-story signature building at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan calls for an almost impermeable and impregnable 200-foot concrete and steel pedestal, clad in ornamental metalwork and set at least 65 feet away from Route 9A, the heavily trafficked state highway that runs along the west edge of ground zero.
This enormous pedestal would overlook the Sept. 11 memorial. Above it would be a tapering tower of glass - some panes laminated and several layers thick - with 69 office floors topped by a restaurant, indoor and outdoor observation decks and an antenna within a trellis-like sculpture that would bring the structure's total height to 1,776 feet.
The whole thing is still a bit too much Fortress-of-Solitude for my taste, and to rebuild only a single tower to comparable height - and then, not really, in turning it into a tapering octagonal spike, rather than a massive, solid box - still sends the wrong message.
(Why didn't NYC take Donald Trump's plan
for replacing the Libeskind concept seriously? He gets it
, at least on the brash symbolic level. Build them up taller and stronger as before - and no lesser
, in number or mass, than before, either.)