Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shuster and Gardner on the New Twin Towers

The new Twin Towers fold most of the space into two larger buildings instead of the four or five smaller ones of the Libescheme. Almost every floor in the Libescheme buildings would be different from almost every other floor in those buildings. In the new Twin Towers, in contrast, all floors will be more or less identical.

Thus, the new Twin Towers can be built from mass-produced parts, while the Libescheme buildings can't. It's obvious that building new Twin Towers is cheaper than sticking to the Libescheme.

And that's just the economics of it. From a more principled point of view, how can one replace a landmark known the world over, a Wonder of the Modern World, with a bunch of random buildings?

Look at it this way: even a town like Dresden, in the boondocks of (East) Germany, recently rebuilt its Frauen Kirche, sixty years after it was destroyed in World War II. And that was merely a local landmark. Plus, in a secular country like Germany, there isn't much use for it anymore.

What does it say if those people rebuild their useless, kitschy baroque church, which was deservedly destroyed in a just war against fascists, and New York fails to rebuild one of the Wonders of the Modern World, which provided profitable office space for productive people and was destroyed in an unjust attack by religious fanatics?

The Port Authority, the bi-state agency developing the WTC, says they intend to stick to the Libescheme as they already paid for the blueprints and what little foundation work they accomplished in all those years. But isn't it irresponsible to throw good money after bad?

The poll that came with yesterday's video is 93% in favor of new Twin Towers. Of course, this poll isn't necessarily representative, but shouldn't the PA poll the people of New York and New Jersey before they make a decision? If you involve a government agency in real estate development in the first place, should it build something inferior and unpopular just to carry out the will of well-connected urban planners, architects, and developers?

Renderings of the new Twin Towers.

Learn more about rebuilding the Twin Towers.

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