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Controversy surrounding the rebuilding of the World Trade Center

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Author Topic: Controversy surrounding the rebuilding of the World Trade Center  (Read 38 times)
Ground Zero
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« on: February 24, 2009, 04:39:42 pm »

One proposal for rebuilt Twin Towers

The controversy surrounding the reconstruction of the World Trade Center stems from the plans to rebuild the former twin towers of the original World Trade Center in New York City, United States. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) was formed after the September 11 attacks to plan the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan and distribute nearly $10 billion in federal funds aimed at rescuing downtown Manhattan. Currently under construction at the site is the 1,776 ft (541 m) Freedom Tower and several smaller buildings. Nevertheless, some make a distinction between constructing a new complex on the site of the former World Trade Center and "rebuilding" the Twin Towers with the Twin Towers II design.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 04:42:24 pm by Ground Zero » Report Spam   Logged

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Ground Zero
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 04:40:10 pm »

Rebuilding guidelines were formulated by the LMDC that required the replacement of all commercial space and the street grid before the construction of the original complex. Six plans published in July 2002 were met with mixed results. The option of reconstructing the Twin Towers was not considered. Silverstein representatives subscribed to the theory that new office buildings with more than 70 floors would create short- to medium-term vacancies while rebuilding the towers. There was also the call by a number of civic planners to restore the pre-World Trade Center street grid. Chief architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill publicly denounced the original plan and described the towers and the "superblock" as out of place, not conducive to public-space activity and lacking in aesthetics.

During the planning process newspaper polls, letters to the editor, as well as the feedback forms on the LMDC "Listening to the People" initiative and on its website suggested that there was a bloc of people who advocated restoration of the former towers, arguing it was a moral imperative and an indispensable act of counter-terrorism. After an initial competition was met with unfavorable reaction the LMDC was forced to restart the design process almost from scratch leaving in place essentially the same guidelines that had been repudiated the first time. Seven new designs were published and narrowed down to two candidates: one from Studio Daniel Libeskind and one from THINK Design which was the closest of the seven to evoke the fallen towers.

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Ground Zero
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 04:40:36 pm »

Question of public interaction

Despite claims of an "unprecedented democratic process" the LMDC never allowed victims' family members as a group to vote on memorial proposals nor allowed the victims' families to select the "family representatives" to the LMDC.

When offered a choice between the Libeskind or THINK plans, the official LMDC poll showed that the public preferred "Neither". Nevertheless, Mayor Bloomberg and New York Governor George Pataki preferred Daniel Libeskind's design plan and its approach to the specified guidelines. It has since undergone multiple revisions into the current plan for the site.

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Ground Zero
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 04:41:27 pm »

Criticism of progress

Following the six-year anniversary of the attacks, Bill Maher said:[1]

“ We may never know what the World Trade Center meant to our enemies, but our inability to build anything on the site in six years symbolizes our national head-up-the-ass. You know, it took two years to build the Eiffel Tower. In the 1880s. By hand. By French guys, while screwing their mistresses. Of course we can't rebuild Iraq. We can't get **** done in SoHo! ”

In the "Ground Zero" episode of the Showtime television series Penn & Teller: bulls**t!, Penn & Teller criticize the bureaucracy of the LMDC officials involved and list the multiple architectural setbacks in the initial design plans for the site.[2]

The base of the "Freedom Tower" (fortified because of security concerns) has also been a source of controversy. A number of critics (notably Derek Murdoch in the National Review) have suggested that it is alienating and dull, and reflects a sense of fear rather than freedom, leading them to dub the project "the Fear Tower".[3][4] Nicolai Ouroussoff, the architecture critic for the New York Times, calls the tower base decorations a "grotesque attempt to disguise its underlying paranoia."[5]
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Ground Zero
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 04:41:42 pm »

^ [ [ Bill Maher ] » Episode 518 - September 14th 2007
^ [ ["Penn & Teller: bulls**t!" (2003)]
^ Taking the Measure of the New Freedom Tower (9 letters to the New York Times)
^ What Are We Afraid Of?, National Review Online
^ Article, the New York Times (requires registration)
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Ground Zero
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 04:43:05 pm »


The final Twin Towers II facade treatment pays homage to the original design, while still allowing for 40-inch wide, floor-to-ceiling windows. The new design reflects the contribution of an eminent design professional. We believe that the transcendent spirit of the original WTC now has been captured throughout the project, while the advanced technology of today has resulted in breathtakingly new Twin Towers.
The Twin Towers II Plan can fix all that is currently broken at Ground Zero. The current meltdown that has been taking place in the Financial Services industry - and the buoyancy that is being drained from our city and nation - can only be successfully answered with an historically confident move. Just as the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center bucked the temptation to give in to forces beyond our control, new Twin Towers would be proof-positive that we are in charge of our destiny and have the character it takes to bend the most trying circumstances to our advantage.
Two towers with a uniform floorplate can be built with much greater speed and economy than four unique towers involving scores of different floorplates - putting us ahead of schedule, not behind. The groundwork that has been done, including the foundation of the "Freedom Tower," is just as suitable for The Twin Towers II Plan. And even the materials already procured can be incorporated into the overall plan to keep waste to a minimum. Finally, the benefit of allowing construction workers to build what they have always longed to build can't be overestimated.
What's more, this project could be realized in less time than the existing plan. It would be a good deal less costly to both build and maintain, saving hundreds of millions and, perhaps, billions in construction costs and ultimately, in the cost of operation. Contracts could be renegotiated to accommodate the change of course and converting the plan would not prove difficult or wasteful overall. Furthermore, it would result in a far more appealing commercial venture, making a much greater return on the investment likely.
The well-conceived plan paid careful attention to the diverse needs of the population and the markets. Incorporated at the plan's inception, the mega-sized trading floors that Wall Street firms are now demanding are a prime example. Another instance is the mixed-use option with the possible inclusion of stunning residential units, which would add immeasurably to Lower Manhattan's luster as a premier 24/7 financial capital.
The full plan incorporates twin memorials that were designed in close cooperation with many 9/11 families. A fragment of the original facade is incorporated into the image below. But the plan as presented to the Port Authority sought to keep the focus on restoring the skyline, by stipulating that if the current 9/11 Memorial design is built, new Twin Towers rising beside it would bring powerful resonance to the message and transform it from one of abject loss into one of ultimate renewal.
In the end, resurrected Twin Towers would be the most stirring and profound memorial of all, a testament that we will always triumph over the worst adversity.
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Ground Zero
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 04:43:22 pm »

Ken Gardner, a structural engineer, and his mentor, the late Herbert Belton, an architect on the original Emory Roth WTC team, were convinced from the start of the necessity that there be a viable alternative to the official plan. The design was keyed to restoring the memorable skyline of Lower Manhattan. The new facade (which it is important to note has not been integrated into the images of the Twin Towers pictured throughout this site) only adds to the elegance of the overall effect by echoing the verticality of the original design.
The Belton-Gardner collaboration, which structural engineer Ken Gardner has worked so hard to complete in the years since the death of architect Herbert Belton, parallels the work that original WTC Architect Minoru Yamasaki and his team contributed to the original – the creative concept and design work. Just as the Yamasaki design required the technical proficiency of the Emory Roth architects, engineers and draftsmen to produce the construction drawings, this wondrously complete plan could be in construction by early in 2009, if the commitment were made.
For Mr. Belton, being able to tap into his early experiences and channel them into upgraded Twin Towers was the stirring culmination of an honorable career. For Ken Gardner, the intricate re-engineering of the plan required all of his energy and a monumental commitment that was only possible because of an unshakable belief in how much it mattered. With that work completed, he was finally able to turn his attention to the facade, resulting in this final, improved version.
This plan is gaining a lot of support behind the scenes, because it clearly outperforms the official plan across the board. We believe that official due diligence will finally establish that its adoption would be less radical and more responsible than staying on the current course.
Click on the headers to browse the interactive grid below, which provides highlights of the Twin Towers II Plan.
The Twin Towers
The new facade has an angelic elegance that pays tribute to Mr. Yamasaki's emphasis on the flow of movement upward to "give the man on the street an experience of aspiration like the towers of the great Gothic cathedrals did in medieval days." The trident shape has been conformed precisely to the original curvature, though the overall proportion is significantly larger to accommodate the 40" windows – resulting in a greater expanse of glass and therefore even more light into the lobbies.
The plan introduces grade-level plazas for the commercial space, while the memorial is situated on an elevated super-block. The positioning of the North Memorial along West Street creates the secure environment that allows for spectacular six-story lobbies that are drenched in sunlight.
The grand space invites visitors into an awe-inspiring 21st Century urban cathedral to the human spirit. The six-story space bathed in light features a glowing onyx-clad elevator core and western views of the adjoining garden.
Two 60-story office buildings form the base of the towers. These floors offer column-free floorplates without compromising the enhanced structural resilience.
Two towers, with an atrium rising through each edifice, will sit atop the commercial base, successfully addressing the density concerns inherent in the upper floors.
In each tower, the 67th floor skylobby will open onto a spectacular skypark and some of the most extraordinary interior space ever built. The soaring atrium will be encompassed by either the most extraordinary residences ever built, or the most exclusive corporate suites anywhere, boasting some of the most amazing views in the world.
In the South Tower, the atrium is crowned by a faceted skylight, now in design and development. In the North Tower, dual spiral staircases within the ornamental mast will echo the ascent to the top of the Statue of Liberty, taking those who make that climb over 1700 feet into the sky.
At the top of the North Tower will be a splendid new Windows on the World, with interior seating overlooking the skypark, as well as the vista beyond. The restaurant will be topped by a duplex of superb banquet facilities.
Advances in communications now allow for twin observation decks. At the top of the South Tower, the carefully designed original observation deck would be recreated. Atop the North Tower, surrounding the entrance to the commemorative mast would be an observation deck and tribute to the vision of America enshrined in the Statue of Liberty.   
The Twin Memorials
The design is rich in relevance and would be the first part of the project to be constructed. It could be built at a considerable savings over the current design and would be free of the onerous operating costs and difficulties inherent in the proposed memorial, which would require an admission charge to maintain the mechanical features. It could be completed well in advance of the tenth anniversary.
The memorials, designed in close collaboration with 9/11 families, are built on the respective footprints and connected by a Garden of Inspiration, with its First Responders' Memorial respectfully honoring those who gave their lives on that fateful day. The granite clad facades will be engraved with the names of those lost in the respective towers.
The South Tower Memorial is located in the Austin Tobin Plaza alongside the Koenig Sphere. It incorporates remnants of the ruined Towers into the facade as a visible symbol of overcoming.
The North Tower Memorial is surrounded by a recreated Yamasaki façade and both footprints are encircled with the flags of the 88 nations that lost citizens on September 11th. The memorial complex includes a museum at grade level.   
The Lower Buildings
WTC 3 includes five 96,000 square-foot trading floors where it connects to the South Tower. Included in the base of this building is the transportation center. A permanent home for the World Trade Institute, with its dedication to furthering the peaceful vision at the heart of the World Trade Center, would be housed within. And located at the top would be the Opera House and Cultural Exchange Center, where a universal spirit of cooperation can flourish.
WTC 3, 4 and 5 comprise over 1 million square feet of retail space. The underground mall will be accessible through all buildings on the complex. A marvelous tree-covered streetscape, including restaurants, mom-and-pop stores, as well as major retail establishments, will create a vibrant 24/7 neighborhood setting for Lower Manhattan and a wonderful pedestrian environment.
WTC 6/Hotel will feature a full 12-story atrium and balconies with river views.      
Safety and Environmental Considerations
The retrograde insistence on restoring the pre-WTC street grid is the principal justification for the official plan. According to reports, the WTC site would be placed in a secure zone into which only vehicles with special trusted access could enter, with the boundaries of this zone extending beyond the site. Critics have expressed concern that these restrictions would make conducting business in lower Manhattan very difficult.
The Twin Towers II Plan resolves the security issues without resorting to the onerous requirements set forth for the current plan. The location and design of the Twin Towers makes them secure from truck bomb attacks. The proposed lower buildings row of outer columns act as inconspicuous bollards. Vehicles can be directed to a screening center off the streets so that neighborhood traffic flow is not harmed.
The integration into the neighborhood that was the ostensible reason for introducing the streets is addressed and enhanced by the delightful pedestrian thoroughfares at grade level.
The latest green technology will be employed in the generation and consumption of energy, in the most advanced fresh-air circulation, and in fostering a spirit of innovation and sustainability.   
Safety Upgrades
The latest advances in escape technology – such as fire-relief floors and escape elevators will pioneer advances in skyscraper safety in the United States.    

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