Today's special NY Times section, Broken Ground, which has an article, "The Hole in the City's Heart" and a timeline of the rebuilding at the World Trade Center. There are maps, a timeline, and photographs as well as interviews and looks at the relationships involved. There's a great quote from Nina Libeskind about Pataki ("Governor Pataki had great intentions, but if this is a great project, it will be despite and not because of him") and some interesting ones from her husband, Daniel, the World Trade Center's master planner, who original design for Freedom Tower was totally re-imagined by David Childs. At the end of the article, Libeskind discusses the current state of the overall project, at the heels of last week's unveiling of designs for Towers 2, 3 and 4:
Mr. Libeskind says he retains faith that the new World Trade Center will be “memorable’’ because of the combined talents — “It’s not some schlock architects’’ — joined together under the umbrella of his master plan.
Yet he worries that the city’s passion for the project has dissipated, that the urgency and idealism have faded.
“For many, Sept. 11 has become very abstract,’’ he said. “People forget already what this was all about. They think it’s about pretty facades and square-footage prices. They don’t remember anymore that it’s about people who perished, it’s about America, it’s about some pretty big ideas.”
Or could the urgency and idealism have faded because of what's generally agreed to be a glacially slow process at the World Trade Center? Yes, there's bureaucracy, but when we hear about the problems at Ground Zero, it just seems like disappointment after disappointment. Which might be why some architecture critics are saying we're welcoming the new designs for Towers 2, 3, and 4 because we're tired.
Just this morning, Mayor Bloomberg got huffy with NY1's Pat Kiernan, who said rebuilding was slow. However, in the NY Times Magazine feature on Bloomberg's lower Manhattan hopes, the Mayor says about Ground Zero development, “There will be continuing problems — yelling and screaming — but we’ll get it done." Of course there will be something built there. But there is also a reason why The Onion's piece about the 9/11 Memorial Hole was so darkly hilarious: "Pataki then cut a ceremonial ribbon to release a giant blue plastic tarpaulin, reportedly the largest of its kind, which fluttered and snapped while slowly settling into the detritus and mud at the bottom of the 70-foot Hole, drawing a long, tired sigh of resignation from the estimated crowd of 50,000 who had assembled to watch and shake their heads.
Photograph of Ground Zero by Mary Altaffer/AP