Critic's Review: 1 World Trade Center 'A Cautionary Tale'
The paper of record has released its architectural review of one of the most eagerly anticipated buildings in American history. To put it mildly, Michael Kimmelman is not a fan of the tallest building in North America. A sampling of his critiques:
- "Like the corporate campus and plaza it shares, 1 World Trade speaks volumes about political opportunism, outmoded thinking and upside-down urban priorities. It’s what happens when a commercial developer is pretty much handed the keys to the castle. Tourists will soon flock to the top of the building, and tenants will fill it up. But a skyscraper doesn’t just occupy its own plot of land. Even a tower with an outsize claim on the civic soul needs to be more than tall and shiny."
- "Replacing the twin towers with another giant office building was somehow supposed to show New York’s indomitable spirit: the defiant city transfigured from the ashes. To the contrary, 1 World Trade implies (wrongly) a metropolis bereft of fresh ideas. It looks as if it could be anywhere, which New York isn’t."
- "Stripped of prospective cultural institutions, as well as of street life and housing, the plan soon turned into something akin to an old-school office park, destined to die at night — the last thing a young generation of New Yorkers wanted."
Chicago Tribune Architecture Critic Blair Kamin produced a less-than-stellar review of 1 World Trade Center back in October.