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how about gallows at the 200th floor observation deck and let 'em hang all the way up there?
but i did like the garden and the promenade (mostly b/c of the restored streets...but i don't know what i think of the quadrangle style footbrints of the WTC...look like targets)...but nothing was really too striking
the plaza design (and triangle somewhat less) reminds me of the empire state plaza in albany.
I can't vote for any of the six. They are way too generic and boring... no creativity at all! I recognize these are only concepts and will be amended with the solicitation of public comment. I await for revisions... and for color renderings displaying humans and the scale of the project.
Of the six, I guess my choice would be the square, but I really have to agree with Beaner. None of them are all that appealing. Perhaps they should empanel a special committee of Cyburbanites to come up with designs.
I voted for #6 although I too was not that taken by any of the plans. I believe it is a real problem that the Port Authority insists on the same volume of office space as before 9-11. I'm just not sure that there will be a market for that much space. Even if there is, a greater diversity of building uses, including residential, inside the development site would do wonders for creating a 24/7 community.
Some specifics I like about #6:
*Shorter office towers than the other plans (63 stories)
*Doesn't overdo the memorial park size (If we decide not to build on every site where a heroic/memorable death occurred there are a lot more places we need to add to the list...)
*West street tunnel
Perhaps Dan has pointed to why I do not like any of the plans. The WTC towers were a strikingly prominant feature on NYC's skyline. The new plans all seem to want to have a bunker mentality - hunker down, blend in, don't draw any attention. It is an admission of fear and a victory for the terrorists. We need something proud and significant to replace what was taken away.
Michael, I couldn't agree more - well put! I thought this piece in the New York Press summed it up nicely:
The six proposals for rebuilding Ground Zero all have one thing in common: they are duller than downtown Duluth.
Maybe it was the fear of offending the grieving or maybe it was the rush to get something on the drawing board right away. No matter why. The six versions (Newsday's got images here) delivered to the public as "starting points" are tame concoctions that do nothing to solve a bigger problem than replacing lost office space. Not one of these designs gives New York back a landmark. (One of the designs even unimaginatively samples the distinctive design of San Francisco's Transamerica Bldg.)
In the earnest effort to replace rentable real estate and, fittingly, create a memorial, the architects ignored the most important design goal: The new complex must become a new symbol of New York. The Twin Towers, much maligned at their birth, became signature buildings with time, as utterly New Yorkish as the Eiffel Tower is Parisian or the Colosseum is Roman. After 9/11, all New Yorkers were startled to see how ordinary the skyline looked without the WTC. The towers were always the first things you'd see coming back to the city from the airport or from a road trip, signifying home. Without the towers, it is hard, from a distance, to distinguish downtown Manhattan from any other middling prosperous American city.
The very first order of architectural business should have been to make a memorable addition to the skyline. It needs to be something dazzling. These lukewarm proposals miss the mark. They don't improve the skyline, they clutter it. These blueprints plod along. The models look the headquarters for a credit card company in Wilmington, DE, instead of the grand renaissance they should suggest. This project must be a classic of urban design, as memorable and unique as the Empire State Bldg., the Brooklyn Bridge, Chrysler or Rockefeller Center. New York deserves it.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was plenty of talk of New York "coming back" and showing the world that as a city we would not be kept down. What we need more than umpteen square feet of office space is a symbol of a defiant and unstoppable New York. Stirring sentiments, certainly, and now it's literally put-up time. However horrific the circumstances were that created the opportunity to remake downtown, we have a chance to make a bold and brilliant statement, and for architects to reach for an audacious and exhilarating expression of New York soul. What we don't need is realty. What we really need is poetry. "
I don't think that "memorable" is what is needed. I believe livable and usable are better goals. Let he who proclaims a memorable building is what is needed be the first to sign a lease for the top ten floors of the structure...
Any other site, rendered, er, "vacant" by any other means, Runner, and I might agree. But in this case, I believe that memorable is much more important than livable, and as for usable, well I think memorability is utility.
We'll just have to respectfully disagree on this one, I suppose - or perhaps I've misunderstood your meaning?
I was at the "listening to the city"session in the ugly JJ center.There were basically 3 major interests a)a fitting memorial to loved ones including footprints b)something amazing to restore the skyline and c]create a vibrant 24-7 neighborhood with mixed uses and mixed incomes restoring the grid.Most people who live in Manhattan(and will do more than just look at the skyline or just visit the site)are most intersested in c].Even of those who wish the towers to come back,no one except the planners and developers,want the malls to come back.They were over 25%vacant before 9/11.Although the planners were not bold enough to write "mall"on the proposals that's what the 'enclosed pedestrian walkways' are.In the memorial square plan the park is surrounded by them.it drew the worst response from participants"looks like a tomb".There were also complaints about "buildings are too large","a wall of buildings" the people do not want to have to go through a shopping mall to get to the memorial site.
There are 3 tower in the park luxury housing developments to go up south of the site.Gov Pataki had to alter the affordable housing rules in order to use gov money to build housing containing no affordable housing.All of lower Manhattan,especially past Fulton streets suffers from zoning monoculture.The domination of office uses has pushed business out of the financial district for over 50 years.There is a huge demand for housing in the area ,yet it is zoned mostly for Battery Park City on the edge.It is hard to have a 24 hr district without residents and street retail.
Another problem,is that in the designs the restored roads are 4x as large as the neighboring streets,wider than Broadway!It's pretty hard to integrate a neighborhood and make it pedestrian friendly when you go from midievel streets to suburban widths.Officials explained that the streets needed to be wide to accomodate pedestrians better and emergency vehicles.The people at my table groaned and had a 'oh,there's nothing we can do "look on their faces.Why can't we build emergency vehicles to fit the city ,and not rebuild the city for the vehicle.I read the LMDC brochure which suggested widening lower Manhattan's streets and straightening them so they wouldn't be confusing to tourists.Don't let these guys get near London!
The plans were so bad that they are thinking of wasting the land with a park and some cultural institutions,and building they're suburban edge city elsewhere in Manhattan.Unfortunately the wtc site is a node of transportation activity[many subway lines]. The other sites are all at the edge of Manhattan=more cars less subway traffic.
My solution,build street retail like in the rest of Manhattan.You could even have it go 2 or 3 stories up linked by stairs and escalators to the sidewalk.YOu could also build stores down by the subway passage ways,but not concentrate all of the pedestrian activity underground and out of sight like the first WTC.Let the streets be restored to rejoin the site with lower Man.It can not be integrated to the waterfront because some genius built a huge building blocking all of the waterfront .Make at least one of the towers [some mixed income]housing.Lower Manhattan needs residents bad.