What's Happening - And Not Happening - At Ground Zero

Eight years after terrorists felled the World Trade Center towers in New York City, progress on rebuilding the site has been slow and mired in controversy.

"A glance at the World Trade Center site from Greenwich Street tells a lot about progress there: Eight years after the Twin Towers fell, a 10-foot-tall, barbed-wire fence still surrounds the 16-acre void in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

Squabbles over designs and funding have caused severe construction delays. With the exception of the SOM-designed 7 WTC, a 52-story tower completed in 2006, the only discernible progress has happened below street level, on a museum and memorial planned for the site."

The memorial -- two pools -- are farthest along. The museum is also progressing, but above-ground work on the site of the former towers has not made much headway.

Full Story: A Tale of Two Rebuilding Efforts at Ground Zero

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world trade center New York

What's Happening - And Not Happening - At Ground Zero

Eight years after terrorists felled the World Trade Center towers in New York City, progress on rebuilding the site is minimal and mired in controversy. Just a 10-feet-tall, barbed-wire fence surrounds the 16-acre void in the heart of Lower Manhattan. Squabbles over designs and funding have caused severe construction delays. Work above-ground work on the site of the former towers has made little headway.
After having read about the controversy about the design for the new towers, a few years back I wrote,

“The diabolic destruction of the Twin Towers in New York was an act as despicable as brazen. It was meant to be as much an affront as abuse. It sought to humiliate a great people and a great democracy into permanent shame.
Retaining the footprints of the towers as a ‘memorial’ and building a new Tower as a replacement would be more of a tacit and ‘permanent’ admission of the victory of the ‘evil’ over the ‘good’ than displaying a spirit of rejuvenation.
Architectural merits apart, the only definitive and forceful statement that a nation can make is to rebuild the Twin Towers exactly as they were and ensure that the cityscape and skyline of the great city is regenerated as if there was no aberration. A great people and a great democracy must demonstrate its undying character in ‘immortality’ of the symbols of its national ethos and not appear to be morally weaker than the forces of terrorism by grasping the opportunity for a new commercial exploitation of land and an Architectural commission.”

Since then the scene has'nt yet changed any. The photographs of the still standing ruins of the two towers so much resemble (in spirit) the ruins of the 'Collosium' in Rome (Italy) that one wonders if it would not be a low cost and highly profitable option for the country to develop the ruins as a tourist site! In these days of dire economic distress it could be an option worth serious consideration!

Prakash M Apte
Urban Development Consultant

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