Friday, December 19, 2003At first, I was a bit skeptical. Earlier this year when I first saw the winning design by Daniel Liebeskind Studios, my initial impression of the ethereal, angular silhouette was that it was just too "pie-in-the-sky," too memorial, and insufficiently robust to replace the hearty, square-shouldered Twin Towers. Granted, the first draft of the winning WTC2 design has been modified somewhat - and the new downtown skyscraper cluster will feature three smaller towers with slanted Smurfit-Stone®-like top surfaces.
Interestingly enough, I think the new New York skyline will bear a slight resemblance to Chicago's (a beautiful shot on community.webshots.com by keithesaan) - albeit with a uniquely Gothamesque flavour and imperial hauteur, as the recently-dubbed Freedom Tower will once again claim status as the World's Tallest Building. Come to think of it, Chicago will now look more like New York than New York will, if that makes any sense.
That makes me very happy, although undoubtedly some naysayers around the world will see it as renewed evidence of "American Excess." I am very glad the city's powers-that-be decided not to pursue a purely memorial-only usage of the WTC site: I really believe that would send the wrong message to everyone at home and abroad, and as a recent Time magazine editorial opined on the "woe is us - look at how we're suffering, World!" attitude of some post-9/11 folks, "to hell with sympathy."
Seriously, why should Malaysia, Taiwan and Dubai have all the glory? It's our turn to shine in the skyscraper stakes once again.
After all New York City's been through, it certainly deserves the bragging rights.