If you want to be thoroughly depressed by the rebuilding process at Ground Zero in a matter of pages, versus a matter of years, Gothamist highly recommends reading New York magazine's cover story about the WTC Memorial and its architect, Michael Arad. It's an exclusive interview where Arad spill his guts about the process, but also gets worked over as one of the many egos in cast of a million egos and billion interests. Arad seems to have clashed with all the important players - original WTC redesign architect Daniel Libeskind, the firm Davis Brody Bond which is the associate architect, the LMDC, "partner" Peter Walker (who designed the landscaping elements for the memorial), you name it. For instance:
Arad immediately started behaving as if he had a powerful public mandate, which didn’t exactly put him in the right frame of mind to negotiate with Libeskind about fitting the memorial into the master plan. Libeskind, for his part, was enraged that Arad’s design had won. It effectively obliterated his original design for the memorial, which called for the area to remain a sunken pit with an open lawn at the bottom. “I will fight this!” he yelled during his first meeting about it with the LMDC. “I am the people’s architect!”
Libeskind and Arad are friendly now, but the process just seems nutty and horrible. Arad also says he'd be willing to give up the waterfalls, which seemed to be a beautiful, dreamy component of the memorial (if potentially dangerous during the winter), since costs have been escalating. Waterfalls are only the tip of the iceberg for what's wrong with the memorial situation. Let this cover story be yet another reason why Governor Pataki cannot run for higher office.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on the memorial. Remember when Arad (and Walker) were selected as the winning design? And the Maya Lin connection to the design is still intriguing.