September 25, 2012

Untitled (NYPD)

It's UN Season in New York, and the streets are filled with people enjoying the sun, and squeezing through these flat-out gorgeous NYPD barriers. Seriously, I mean, Tony Smith, Donald Judd, Richard Serra, Beverly Pepper, Anselm Kiefer, Janine Antoni,...
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Posted by greg at 11:55 AM

July 17, 2012

Twin Towers

Add Damian & Cosmas' importance to Joseph Beuys and his renaming in 1974 of the then-new World Trade Center towers after the twin physician saints to the list of things I did not know about but probably should have. From...
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Posted by greg at 10:06 PM

September 19, 2011

Two Of These Things

As those who kindly email me about run-on italics--and those who don't--know, I don't actually visit this site site as often as I probably should. Which is part of the reason I didn't notice until just now this nice side-by-side...
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Posted by greg at 8:46 PM

September 11, 2011

Sforzian Frontdrops, Or Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Bathtub

An extraordinary Reuters photo from the World Trade Center Mem--wait, I guess now we'd better make that "ordinary." Maybe add an integrated teleprompter or heads up display? And Joe Biden complains that the Secret Service won't let him drive...
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Posted by greg at 10:15 PM

August 13, 2011

The World Trade Center Memorial Is A Series Of Tubes

Wow. Nearly camouflaged.While each pool has a pumping system powerful enough to recycle 52,000 gallons of water per minute, it is the surface of the nearly 1,600 lineal ft of parapets that had to be robust enough to withstand rain,...
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Posted by greg at 10:43 PM

April 17, 2011

Linked Hybrid: Steven Holl Rebuilds The World Trade Center In Beijing

So Dan Hill's posted another of his typically incisive analysis of an urban situation. This time it's his extended and engrossing account of visiting Linked Hybrid, the massive urban development in Beijing, designed by Steven Holl Architects, which was...
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Posted by greg at 9:43 AM

September 11, 2010

'We Who Change The World'

"My cover would go right here." [image via] Just like the Wallace Sayre quip about academic politics being so vicious because the stakes are so low, maybe the hubris and self-regard are so extraordinary because it's the Venice Architecture...
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Posted by greg at 11:05 AM

August 24, 2010

The Dictates Of Our Own Conscience

"11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." - Joseph Smith, The Articles of Faith,...
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Posted by greg at 11:42 AM

August 10, 2010

أنا ♥ نيويورك

John Emerson saw an "I [HEART] NY" flyer in Arabic posted in the East Village a few days after September 11, 2001. He posted a large, printable graphic version on his blog a year later. A few months after...
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Posted by greg at 1:32 PM

January 27, 2010

Temporary Waterfalls Return To Brooklyn

The BBC has nice footage of the mockup for Michael Arad's World Trade Center Memorial waterfalls, which was constructed in Brooklyn last week. My impression: unexpectedly Olafur-esque. Also, the [engineer?] guy saying it is to be an "Eternal Waterfall"...
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Posted by greg at 10:36 AM

January 18, 2010

Mind The Storr: On Gerhard Richter's September

Seriously, I could fall into Gerhard Richter's website and not surface for days. There's just so much stuff. And related stuff. And meta-stuff. Auction histories for specific works? Cross-referenced Atlas pages? It just goes on and on and on....
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Posted by greg at 11:06 PM

June 16, 2009

Daniel Libeskind The Least Surprising Prefab Architect In The World

Bwahaha, if ever there were an architect whose work looked like it was all churned out of an idea factory from weary bins full of identical parts, it's Daniel Libeskind. And sure enough, just in time for the prefab...
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Posted by greg at 3:42 PM

July 23, 2008

On The Last WTC Staircase Standing

The Tribeca Tribune has some rather incredible shots of the last above-ground element of the World Trade Center, now dubbed the "Survivor Staircase," being moved on the back of a flatbed truck for the second time this year. Though...
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Posted by greg at 12:40 AM

June 17, 2008

Alexey Titarenko's City of Shadows

Though I find Alexey Titarenko's City of Shadows long-exposure photos of crowds in St. Petersburg a little too melodramatic, Geoff's comment about them struck a chord:But I suppose this is what the world would look like if we could...
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Posted by greg at 8:01 AM

April 6, 2008

Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul. Herbert Muschamp Is What The World Trade Center Is All About!

Choire's interview with Elizabeth Berkley reminded me of some unfinished Showgirls business here on Back in 2002, right after Beyer Blinder Belle released the first, banal master plans for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, a...
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Posted by greg at 8:31 PM

October 3, 2007

Tape Art And The Eleventh Of September

tape portrait of FDNY B.C. Dennis Devlin 23rd St, north side, between Park & Lex Wow. Before he became known as Apartment In The Mall Guy, artist Michael Townsend was Tape Art Guy. Over the course of five years,...
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Posted by greg at 3:13 PM

May 19, 2007

Bombardment Periphery, Rotterdam

As part of Rotterdam 2007 - City of Architecture, the city commemorated the 15-minute-long German bombing on May 14, 1940 that destroyed the city center, precipitated the Dutch surrender in WWII--and ultimately provided the occasion for all that new...
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Posted by greg at 11:11 AM

May 8, 2007

So September 10th

I have no idea what to make of this. Dresden painter Eberhard Havekost's Kontakt is coming up for auction at Phillips de Pury on May 17th. Its oblique, cropped composition depicts the flat, linear patterns of the facades of the...
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Posted by greg at 12:05 AM

October 23, 2006

Nice Maya Lin Takedown, But More Are Needed

Philip Kennicott took the occasion of a blown off question about memorials at a public lecture for an excellent takedown of Maya Lin. She's been intimately involved in memorials for the two most politically divisive and controversial wars in 140...
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Posted by greg at 4:48 PM

October 4, 2006

Alberto Burri's Cretto

Like Pompeii in reverse, Gibellina has been remembered by its ghost-like burial instead of an unearthing. In 1968, an earthquake devastated villages throughout the Belice Valley of western Sicily. The Italian government's incompetent response to the disaster and the...
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Posted by greg at 12:38 AM

September 29, 2006

The Highest And Best Use Of A Pen

When I grow up--scratch that, IF I were to ever grow up enough, I wish I could write with half the force of Ada Louise Huxtable.Given the notoriety of the site, a passionately observant and deeply involved public, and the...
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Posted by greg at 12:03 AM

September 13, 2006

For Once, Nora, It's Not Only You

Gawker Media: always pushing the envelope of integration of content and advertising. "Does it smell like smoked mozzarella out here, or is it just me?" [gawker]...
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Posted by greg at 3:05 PM

September 9, 2006

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Or in Larry Silverstein's case, Fumihiko Maki. [ap/yahoo via gawker]...
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Posted by greg at 3:11 PM

September 3, 2006

9/17 Conflux: Taking Urbanist Icons To The Woodshed

At Adam Greenfield of and elsewhere will be giving a talk I'd go to just for the title alone, even if it weren't about rethinking the superheroes of 20th century urbanism: "Killing The Fathers, or: If You See Jane...
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Posted by greg at 8:51 PM

June 22, 2006

Same As It Ever Was

Interesting. The Gutter does a quick handicap of the "winners" and "losers" in the new Frank Sciame-redesign of the WTC Memorial. There's one overlooked/surprise winner: Santiago Calatrava, who, the gutter points out, got the Snohetta Freedom Center-turned-Information Center removed...
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Posted by greg at 12:07 PM

June 8, 2006

Tyranny Of The Beam Counters At WTC Memorial

What kind of tool do you use for value engineering a half billion dollars out of your terrorist attack memorial project? Well, if you're Kevin Rampe, you use a Sciame. [rimshot] The way Miss Representation sees it, Frank Sciame's busy...
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Posted by greg at 8:08 PM

May 16, 2006

Throwing Good Money After Arad

There's very interesting reporting, but nothing too surprising or too comforting, in Joe Hagan's NY Mag feature on the complete disaster that is Michael Arad and his WTC Memorial design. Within two weeks of the jury choosing Arad's design,...
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Posted by greg at 2:07 AM

December 16, 2005

Yin Xiuzhen's Portable Cities

Beijing-based artist Yin Xiuzhen's Portable Cities series are models of cities inside suitcases, made using the old clothes that city's residents. In her practice, she explores issues of globalization and homogenization, but also memory and transience. In a way,...
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Posted by greg at 10:14 AM

December 14, 2005

Not That You'd Look To The WTC Site For Holiday Cheer,

And it's true that things have been worse down there... but seriously, is there nothing that can be done to stop the slide into disgusting travesty that the George Pataki is permitting the Port Authority to perpetuate? People who cared...
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Posted by greg at 4:49 AM

November 29, 2005

The Number I Want To Know: Libeskind's Net From The 9/11 Memorial Racket

Grr. Sometimes I don't know which is worse: the cloying, dishonest schmaltzfest of a master plan put forward for the WTC site by Pataki's democracy organ grinder monkey Danny Libeskind, or the de facto plan that eviscerated it, the one...
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Posted by greg at 12:43 PM

October 5, 2005

I Have A Dream Of 5-7 Million People Ready To Shop

Three years ago now, I cynically lamented the absence of a "Memorial Mall concept" from the Port Authority's poorly received master planning massing studies. I guess I should have been more patient. The Post reports on the PA's recently announced...
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Posted by greg at 10:18 AM

September 28, 2005

Hallowed-er Than Thou

Partly because an International Freedom Center founded by George Bush's old friend and business partner wasn't a reassuringly hagiographic enough puppet, but mostly because it was personally expedient for them to do so, George Pataki and a dogpile of other...
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Posted by greg at 9:03 AM

September 11, 2005

Technically, It Has Been Worse

My daughter became very sad this morning as she tried to coax her day-old balloon up off the floor. It was heartbreaking to watch, and we tried to console her, but then I realized that on some September 11th to...
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Posted by greg at 8:31 AM

As Ronald Reagan Once Said,

Are you better of than you were four years ago?Indeed, what's most shocking is not any particular mistake that was made but how often federal officials were left to brainstorm or hash out on-the-fly just what the federal government's responsibilities...
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Posted by greg at 8:21 AM

August 20, 2005

London's Train Station Memorials

In the London Review of Books, writer Iain Sinclair sets out to visit the now-nearly invisible WWI memorials in some of London's train stations:The panels advertising the war dead are invisible to through-shuffling station users, clients of apathy. The false...
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Posted by greg at 12:04 PM

August 18, 2005

If I Can't Have You...

I've gotten some pretty angry emails since my International Freedom Center post comparing GWB's cult of infallibility to Kim Jong Il's. Most of them single out my insensitive characterization of 9/11 family member Debra Burlingame as a toady, unwitting or...
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Posted by greg at 7:53 AM

August 12, 2005

Coming Soon: The Debra Burlingame Center For International Adoration Of Our Peerless Leader

Did you know George W. Bush shot a miraculous 11 holes-in-one on the first round of golf he ever played? This and other such signs of his divine leadership in the face of terror will soon be on display, if...
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Posted by greg at 12:42 PM

July 28, 2005

Hm. Doesn't Sound Like Intelligent Design OR Evolution

Santiago Calatrava's desgin for a WTC site transit hub has been altered for security reasons. The soaring wings and the glass atrium? Gone, filled in with concrete, to match the new "beak" and solid concrete wall surrounding the joing. According...
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Posted by greg at 9:25 AM

July 19, 2005

The Withdrawing Center?

Well, that's one way to keep the memory of September 11th alive. Remember how people had these stories about how they were supposed to be at the World Trade Center, but then for whatever reason, they didn't go? And how...
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Posted by greg at 9:35 AM

July 6, 2005

So September 10th

Hmm. I don't really know what to make of this. In the months after September 11, when no one knew what shape the WTC site would take in the future, but when people were at least entertaining the possibility that...
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Posted by greg at 11:32 AM

June 30, 2005

The Politicians Have Already Won

" [G]round zero is not really being shaped by architects; it is being shaped by politicians." "[Freedom Tower] will be seen by the world as a chilling expression of how we are reshaping our identity in a post-Sept. 11 context."...
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Posted by greg at 2:01 AM

June 27, 2005

Gee, If Only 'Policing Artwork' Were Easier...

George Pataki demanded "an absolute guarantee" that no one be offended by what goes on with the cultural organizations at the WTC site. That's frankly offensive. I love that the problem here is couched in terms of politicians' "difficulty of...
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Posted by greg at 12:33 PM

June 25, 2005

It Depends On What The Meaning Of 'Freedom' Is

Upset that the Wall Street Journal is having all the fun, what with all the Bush Republican-campaigning sisters of dead Sept. 11th pilots demagoguing about whose "truth" is in and whose "propaganda" is out at the WTC site, the New...
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Posted by greg at 10:08 AM

May 26, 2005

Imagine Paul Goldberger Stepping Out Of The Shower

Like some architecture critical version of Bobby Ewing. [Or is it Pamela? Whichever.] In this week's New Yorker, Paul Goldberger writes about the horrible dream he just had: Pataki and the Port Authority were railroading their 10mm sf uber alles...
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Posted by greg at 3:58 AM

May 20, 2005

This Problem Was Baked In From The Beginning Of The Process

What is missing at ground zero is a sense of humility. This is something that cannot be remedied by reducing the scale of a building. We should refocus attention on what matters most: remembering the human beings who were lost...
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Posted by greg at 12:14 PM

May 18, 2005

Now let's see, what rhymes with 'glass hat'?

Miss Representation dumps a scalding hot cup of realism in the Port Authority's lap by asking if their crown jewel--and the only thing the PA's obduracy hasn't botched so far--the Calatrava "transit hub", isn't just a crown roast instead. The...
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Posted by greg at 12:28 PM

May 4, 2005

WTC? What WTC? I Don't See Any WTC

According to Alex Frangos' report in the Wall Street Journal, roughly $1.8 billion of the $4.6 billion insurance proceeds for the WTC have been spent so far on things like buyouts (is that Westfield, the Autralian mall company that used...
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Posted by greg at 12:44 PM

May 3, 2005

At Least The Bathtub's Not Leaking

While Kevin Rampe jumps from the LMDC, Larry Silverstein may be getting the push. NY1 hears creaking and shouts of eminent domain from Pataki's office, as if he wasn't the visionless machinator behind the whole fiasco. Now opportunists like Sheldon...
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Posted by greg at 5:55 AM

May 2, 2005

Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P

And that stands for Port Authority or Pataki, take your pick. The Port Authority has apparently threatened some of the architects involved with various aspects of the WTC site redevelopment with breach of their confidentiality agreements if they talk to...
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Posted by greg at 8:03 AM

April 21, 2005

Ada Louise Huxtable: The WTC Horse Is Out Of The Barn

No honest questioning of the Silverstein/Port Authority 10mm sf program. No more Libeskind master plan. No political backbone or redevelopment vision. No appreciation for the arts as anything but a criticism-placating bullet point on a mission statement. No program apparently...
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Posted by greg at 8:18 AM

April 8, 2005

Bond?, Max Bond?

Since when did architecture Max Bond, of Davis Brody Bond get above-the-line billing on the design of the World Trade Center Memorial? From the earliest beginnings of the WTC redevelopment and memorial design process, there's been a dissonant gap between...
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Posted by greg at 5:38 AM

March 30, 2005

The Pop Culture of 9/11

The Daily Show; Wag The Dog; Antonia Bird's film, The Hamburg Cell; William Basinski's albums, The Disintegration Loops I-IV; Iyer and Ladd's In What Language?, and more, all mapped against the relevant chapters of The 9/11 Commission Report. At Pitchfork,...
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Posted by greg at 12:20 PM

March 25, 2005

On The Flight 93 Memorial Competition

Whoa. I had a looong post about the designs for the Flight 93 memorial competition for the site in Shanksville, PA, but I think I'll spare you. For a few reasons: Lowered expectations. Since the WTC site debacles (or, if...
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Posted by greg at 8:45 AM

March 22, 2005

Squint And It Looks Like The Hudson

Just because it was wrested from his control and altered beyond all recognition by the real powers-that-be in the redevelopment of the WTC site doesn't mean it's not a good idea. Daniel Libeskind has repurposed his ascending-spiral-in-the-skyline and atriums-in-the-sky motifs...
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Posted by greg at 10:50 AM

March 19, 2005

On The Memorial At The World Trade Center Site. Still.

For some reason, I can't get my idea for the memorial at the World Trade Center out of my head. I'll read about the intensifying folly that's engulfing redevelopment plans for the site; the dilution of the "winning" memorial design;...
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Posted by greg at 2:23 AM

January 6, 2005

WTC Site Redevelopment: The Political Opera

Yow. If Philip Nobel's interview is any indication, his new book, Sixteen Acres: Architecture and the Outrageous Struggle for the Future of Ground Zero, is the most incisive telling to date of the architectural and political developments of the World...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 6:00 AM

December 18, 2004

More On WTC Memorial Design

Very little pun intended. The LMDC and its architects released details of the latest incarnation of the World Trade Center Memorial. Salient changes/evolutions: the giant waterfall voids seem reduced in size and scale. The space for the names of those...
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Posted by greg at 9:14 AM

September 17, 2004

Libeskind Documentary on VPRO

[via archinect] Two extensive interviews with Daniel Libeskind--one contemporary, one from 1997, when he was working on the Berlin Jewish Museum--form the core of Rob Schrder's documentary for VPRO, the cool Dutch TV network. 1997 Libeskind's almost unrecognizable, the earnest...
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Posted by greg at 2:24 AM

August 15, 2004

Moving the WTC Site Museums?

Has he shrunk out of sight? Daniel Libeskind was notably absent from David Dunlap's NYT report of architects vying for the commission to design the cultural buildings at the World Trade Center Site. Maybe he's automatically in the running. After...
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Posted by greg at 6:59 AM

August 7, 2004

I went to the Hiroshima Memorial and all I got was the chance to unload on the Pakistani Ambassador

Took a 3-hour tour, a 3-hour tour to Hiroshima yesterday for the anniversary of the US dropping The Bomb on them. While I'm sure it was much hotter in 1945, the wide-open, stone-paved memorial park seems designed to recreate the...
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Posted by greg at 12:55 PM

July 20, 2004

How Louis Malle would protest at the Republican Convention

Louis Malle's 1987 film about a pair of boarding school students during WWII, Au revoir, les enfants, was based in large part on his own childhood growing up in Occupied France. In a scene when his mother comes from Paris...
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Posted by greg at 1:01 AM

July 16, 2004

Looking at Tall Buildings

A correction: Reading Herbert Muschamp's review of MoMA's "Tall Buildings" show, which includes the United Architects proposal for the WTC site. [The 'Dream Team' proposal is in there, too, but I've said all I'll say about that.] Coming after...
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Posted by greg at 7:27 AM

July 13, 2004

How I Would Protest At The Republican Convention

Due to a work-related trip out of the country, I will miss the Republican Convention when it comes to town. If I were here, I would protest. I would not use signs, or puppets, or chants; I would protest by...
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Posted by greg at 10:41 AM

July 8, 2004

At Least They Got The Font Right

David Dunlap has a nice story about the typeface used for the inscription on the Freedom Tower cornerstone. Inspired by the sign on the Port Authority bus terminal, the typeface was designed by Brooklyn native Tobias Frere-Jones, whose name for...
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Posted by greg at 7:19 AM

July 5, 2004


They'd cover it up for now so it doesn't distract from the event, then they'd rip it out once everyone's gone. They'd also make a few arbitrary, unreviewed, undiscussed decisions about other stuff they'd keep.Most guests arriving at the ceremony...
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Posted by greg at 6:32 AM

WTC Groundbreaking QTVR

At, Hans Nyberg has posted a remarkable QTVR by Jook Leung, taken from the center of the media scrum at yesterday's Freedom Tower groundbreaking ceremony. Pataki Schmataki, check out the full extent of the Bathtub wall, with its uneven...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 2:59 AM

July 2, 2004

So We're Rebuilding the WTC After All

Christopher Hawthorne nails this weekend's Pataki Day Celebration, aka the groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower.This is what it has come to at Ground Zero: A premature, election-year press conference held on Independence Day to celebrate the start of construction on...
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Posted by greg at 9:59 AM

June 16, 2004

Airlines, FAA Sat On Earliest Warnings of 9/11 Hijackings

From Gail Sheehy in the NY Observer Before their F.A.A. superiors forbade them to talk to anyone, two of the controllers told the Christian Science Monitor on Sept. 11 that the captain of Flight 11 [the first plane hijacked], John...
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Posted by greg at 10:18 AM

June 13, 2004

British Journalist Mugged by Twin Tower-Rebuilders

A hapless British journalist was jumped and his article about the rebuilding at the WTC site was hijacked by a band of Rebuild The Towers soundbite whores during a recent visit to New York City. James Westcott published his account...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 9:42 AM

June 11, 2004

WTC Site Cultural Anchor: The Drawing Center??

Wow. There's opaque and then there's opaque. The Drawing Center was selected to join The Freedom Center in one of two cultural buildings planned for the WTC Site. Their building will adjoin the WTC Memorial, while the other two cultural...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 8:22 AM

April 14, 2004

Big News About WTC Memorial: Feh

There was a day when a story like "Architectural Team Is Chosen for Trade Center Memorial" would be frontpage news. And there was a day when an LMDC statement like "[Building the memorial]' would also likely require removal of some...
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Posted by greg at 12:21 PM

April 9, 2004

WTC Memorial Gets Back to Business

David Dunlap reports in the NYT that the city's powers that be are moving in on the WTC Memorial site: Some of the biggest development-savvy architecture firms are vying for the role of associate architect on the WTC Memorial. [Gothamist...
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Posted by greg at 2:25 AM

April 3, 2004

Artifacts and Space at WTC

Under the easily ignorable aegis of curating objects in the WTC interpretive museum, the NYT's David W. Dunlap touches on some of the most poignant and painful memories of the attacks--and the lives of people lost in it. He leads...
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Posted by greg at 12:09 PM

Anish Kapoor Selected for British 9/11 Memorial in NYC

Sculptor Anish Kapoor's design for a memorial to the 67 Britons killed on September 11 was selected for inclusion in the British Memorial Garden, which will be created at Hanover Square in lower Manhattan. Unlike the much-publicized [mea culpa], frenzied...
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Posted by greg at 9:49 AM

March 3, 2004

Michael Arad Interview at Arch. Record

[via Archinect] WTC Memorial designer Michael Arad discusses his original idea, design process, and experience in a too-brief interview for Architectrual Record Magazine. Arad's reworked proposal (with Peter Walker) attempts a return to his original vision, in which very clear,...
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Posted by greg at 11:59 AM

In the WTC Memorial Kitchen: Still Baking, Lots of Cooks

The NY Observer's Blair Golson reports on conflict brewing around Michael Arad's design for the WTC Memorial. Apparently, he doesn't want to be the malleable vassal the Jury and the LMDC had in mind when they chose his proposal. Some...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 11:04 AM

February 27, 2004

On "Ephemeral Elegance" at the WTC Site

Read David Dunlap's evocative account of the "temporary" architecture--the PATH station, footbridges and viewing wall--that surrounds and inhabits the World Trade Center site. These structures, "erected in a hurry," are utilitarian first, Dunlap notes, but they still sometimes "approach...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 10:05 AM

WTC Memorial Juror to speak at Dartmouth, 3/2/04

[Thank Hugh] "Memory and the Monument after 9/11: Deliberations at Ground Zero" is the title of the presentation by WTC Memorial Juror, Prof. James Young, at Dartmouth College. Young is as close as we've got to a professional memorialist; he's...
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Posted by greg at 9:39 AM

February 19, 2004

All 5,201 WTC Memorial Competition Submissions Online

Get this man a graphic designer. The LMDC has released scanned images of all 5,201 Memorial Competition submissions, browsable by country and state, or searchable by last name. Mark Wahlberg's proposal is here, and here is Ross Bleckner's. John Bennett's...
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Posted by greg at 1:29 AM

January 22, 2004

"El silencio es tambien musica."

That could be a reference to John Cage, but it's actually Santiago Calatrava discussing his design for a transportation hub at the WTC site. The dual-winged design will be unveiled today. For images and details, see the Port Authority...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 9:32 AM

Peter Walker, "Landscape Doctor"

The NY Times profiles Peter Walker, the dean of modernist US landscape design (and ex-dean of Harvard and Berkeley arch. schools). Not a lot of news, but he does cite Donald Judd and Carl Andre as artistic inspirations. 2 pts...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 9:27 AM

January 19, 2004

WTC Memorial Jurors Speak--and Design

The NYT's Glenn Collins and David Dunlap have a transfixing and revelatory article about details of the WTC Memorial Jury's deliberations and process for the first time. Twelve of the thirteen jurors spoke with the reporters. It turns out even...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 11:06 AM

January 14, 2004

Revised WTC Memorial design leaked a day early

After a German press agency forgot to attach an embargo notice to them, the NY Times published images of the heavily revised Arad/Walker design for the World Trade Center Memorial a day early. There are quite a few changes. Perhaps...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 2:04 AM

January 6, 2004


According to Herbert Muschamp, he has discovered the way to "liberate the site from the clutches of politicians, architects, their publicists and other unqualified figures who have presumed to speak in history's name. And it could slow the breakneck redevelopment...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 9:31 AM

Ugh. Maya Lin Strikes Again

The worst design of the worst set of finalists was just chosen for the World Trade Center Memorial. Michael Arad's barren, sunken pools, "Reflecting Absence," was a favorite of Maya Lin, according to an unnamed LMDC source who was...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 5:19 AM

January 5, 2004

WTC Memorial: And then there were two, or three, or...

On the last day of the year, the Times' reporter on the World Trade Center beat, David Dunlap, shared a byline with Herbert Muschamp to report that the Jury has narrowed their choices to two or three final designs for...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 2:11 AM

November 26, 2003

Maya Lin: The Problem, not The Solution for the WTC Memorial

While I've been contemplating what to write about the WTC Memorial, most of the ideas I've wanted to write about have been put out there. At least they have now that Clay Risen's article in the Observer lays into...
[read the full post...]
Posted by greg at 6:12 AM

November 20, 2003

From The WTC Memorial Finalists: The Media Event

The piece I wish I'd written in immediate response to the eight WTC Memorial Finalists: Christopher Hawthorne's article on Slate. What I'm on the record saying in the mean time: from my debut appearance in USA Today. [FWIW, I actually...
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Posted by greg at 10:17 AM

November 19, 2003

Spaces Made Sacred, my proposal for the WTC Memorial

Tens of thousands of people pursuing lives, professions, dreams, duties, of their own choosing--following their own paths. Ordinary people in the course of a typical morning, going about their daily lives. Individual paths running parallel, for a time--familiar strangers...
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Posted by greg at 10:06 AM

Some WTC Finalists Google Stunt That Took Way Too Much Time

Knowing what's going to happen to these peoples' Google search results tomorrow, I thought I'd take a little search engine snapshot, from before they were Finalists....
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Posted by greg at 7:11 AM

Memorial Elements: Paths, Portraits, Destinations

The Memorial will reconstitute the space made sacred, the actual and accurate paths taken by the 3,016 individuals killed on September 11, 2001 and February 26,1993. In Concept, it comprises three major elements: Paths, Portraits, and Destinations. The Memorial's...
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Posted by greg at 6:02 AM

November 14, 2003

On Exhibiting the WTC Memorial Competition Entries

I posted about this on my WTC Discussion sublog. An NYT article mentions the daunting challenge of exhibiting 5,201 poster-sized entries in one place. It's not about space constraints, it's about information architecture and the user experience. [Thanks, Gothamist!]...
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Posted by greg at 12:51 PM

November 10, 2003

The WTC Memorial Finalist That Wasn't

[via Archinect] Fred Bernstein's proposal for a World Trade Center Memorial has been online for a while. (I first saw--and posted about-- it when Timothy Noah featured it on Slate way back in Feb. 2002.) . Back then, it...
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Posted by greg at 10:24 AM

October 11, 2003

I Report, You Decide: Speaking with a former WTC juror

Friday, I met an architecture professional who was on the LMDC jury last summer to select the architects for the World Trade Center site design study. We spoke about the Memorial Competition, details of which were familiar to this person....
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Posted by greg at 11:01 AM

October 10, 2003

Discussing the WTC Memorial

The first rule of the World Trade Center Memorial Competition is don't discuss the World Trade Center Memorial Competition. OK, technically, it's the second rule, and it actually applies to publicly identifying your own design proposal, but whatever. Many entrants...
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Posted by greg at 1:27 AM

October 1, 2003

Australian Mall out, Architecture Mall in at WTC Site

A couple of weeks ago, the Port Authority bought out Westfield America's lease for the retail areas of the WTC site, temporarily emptying one chair at the master plan negotiating table. The square peg mall developers from Australia just couldn't...
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Posted by greg at 7:50 AM

September 23, 2003

WTC Plan Revisions revisited

Felix Salmon posted an admirable, in-depth, and probably a bit too optimistic review of the revised WTC site master plan. LMDC's offering Libeskind's whole 35Mb Powerpoint deck for download, so knock yourself out. Then today, Felix tried to envision what...
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Posted by greg at 9:28 AM

September 11, 2003

Ellsworth Kelly on Ground Zero

Ground Zero, Ellsworth Kelly, 2003, collage. The reconstructed text of a letter from Ellsworth Kelly to the Times' architecture critic, Herbert Muschamp: "On October 19, 2001, I wrote a letter to you (that I never sent) in response...
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Posted by greg at 7:03 AM

September 10, 2003

New Yorker on the WTC memorial and rebuilding

I'm a Paul Goldberger fan, and mad praise for his dogged reporting, following Daniel Libeskind around the country, but I'm not getting anything new from the profile in this week's New Yorker. When I schmoozed him last spring, Goldberger talked...
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Posted by greg at 4:10 AM

August 24, 2003

WTC Memorial Space to Hold Unidentified Remains

Not new information, just more of it. From the NYTimes, the unidentified remains of those killed at the World Trade Center will be preserved in the hope that future technology will make identification possible. The remains will be interred at...
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Posted by greg at 11:13 AM

August 21, 2003

WTC Station's Master in Slate

BCE Galleria/Heritage Square, Toronto 1992, Santiago Calatrava, image: On Slate, Christopher Hawthorne writes about Santiago Calatrava, architect of the transportation hub, um, slated for the WTC site. Hawthorne's got good architectural sensibility, but I think he's wrong to...
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Posted by greg at 11:49 AM

August 19, 2003

WTC Memorial Competition Update

Newsday reports the WTC Memorial jury will select up to eight finalists, who will receive over $100,000 each to refine their designs more fully ("to develop models and three-dimensional computerized designs"). A winner (from among the finalists) will be announced...
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Posted by greg at 8:21 AM

August 16, 2003

On the Under-heralded Designer of The WTC Memorial Site

Part Two of a Washington Post series on the rebuilding of the WTC features George Tamaro, one of the original engineers of the slurry wall which is the centerpiece of Libeskind's memorial site design. The more I think about it,...
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Posted by greg at 7:46 AM

July 31, 2003

Santiago Calatrava to design WTC Station?? That Rocks.

In the NYT, Ed Wyatt reports that the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been selected to design the train station at the World Train Center site. Now we're gettin' somewhere. [Finally, Herbert Muschamp weighs in, too, and favorably.] I've...
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Posted by greg at 11:54 AM

July 23, 2003

Familiar Stranger and Digital Patina

Anne Galloway's on a roll these days. Until this Fall, I can't say exactly why I find her posts about Intel Research Lab Berkeley's Eric Paulos' work so highly relevant just now. I can say that it's very heartening...
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Posted by greg at 3:34 AM

July 17, 2003

David Childs' West Side Story

He's the only architect listed on the Observer's Dec. 2000 list of Players in New York's real estate game. Engineering a backroom takeover of the WTC rebuilding project may just be one step in David Childs' larger plan: to 0wn...
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Posted by greg at 12:42 PM

5200 Entries for the WTC Memorial

The LMDC announced today that 5,200 qualified entries were accepted into the Memorial Competition. That's a much smaller yield than I estimated earlier. Even so, it's the largest design competition ever (my previous quality/quantity estimate still stands). Reuters reports...
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Posted by greg at 8:17 AM

July 1, 2003

WTC Memorial Submission: All Action, No Talk. Until Now.

For a few days, anyway. I got my Memorial competition submission done, expensively printed at Kinko's, and delivered. (The official Competition Site forbade hand delivery and said couriers must be "listed in the phone book," a verification system clearly designed...
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Posted by greg at 11:35 AM

June 26, 2003

Must. Finish. WTC. Submission

Must. Learn. To. Photoshop. Properly. Must. Learn. Illustrator. Must. Admit. Powerpoint. Is. Not. A. Real. Graphics. Program. Must. Say, puffy fabric paint and a scanner is easier than learning Form-Z. Must. Say, I have newfound appreciation for the way artists'...
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Posted by greg at 9:22 AM

June 21, 2003

Archaeology at WTC Site

In the MIT speech I posted last week, Rafael Vinoly made a comment that there was "no archaeology left" at the WTC site. It had been stripped to bedrock. The Bathtub/slurry wall had to be rebuilt/refaced/replaced already. The Twin Towers'...
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Posted by greg at 9:33 AM

June 16, 2003

Interesting things I've found while working on the WTC Memorial Competition

(not in chronological order) Christopher Benfy's argument on Slate for why much less is more for a WTC Memorial. Benfy misuses an interesting term, "countermonument," which comes from Competition juror, Prof. James E. Young. [it's used on this syllabus] Speaking...
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Posted by greg at 8:05 AM

June 12, 2003

Rafael Vinoly on the WTC Competition(s)

[via Archinect] Last month, MIT's Dept. of Architecture hosted a presentation by Rafael Vinoly, the Al Gore of last year's WTC competition study competition. Vinoly was part of Team THINK, and he tells about the antics at Herbert Muschamp's NYT...
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Posted by greg at 1:20 AM

June 7, 2003

The Art House Project: James Turrell and Tadao Ando in Naoshima

Ando and Turrell collaborated on Minamidera, a Buddhist temple on Naoshima, a small island in Japan's Inland Sea. Is it worth noting that Ando was a boxer and Turrell was a Quaker? Here is one exchange from their conversation...
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Posted by greg at 7:40 AM

June 1, 2003

Catching up: WTC

Thursday night, seven of us got together to discuss our questions and challenges for the WTC Memorial competition. [Here's a sublog for the topic.] It was an extremely helpful and insightful couple of hours. The group included a journalist/weblogging guru,...
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Posted by greg at 8:15 AM

May 28, 2003

Whew. Observations from the WTC Memorial public forum

The LMDC held a forum for the public to tell WTC Memorial Competition jurors what kind of memorial they want, and how to make it relevant to future generations. [Check here for an archived webcast.] In the 1,000-seat auditorium, approximately...
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Posted by greg at 10:29 AM

May 14, 2003

Ground Zero muralist doesn't wait for the competition results

A Brooklyn artist, James Peterson, has created a mural in Tribeca that has some people upset. See it at Gothamist....
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Posted by greg at 12:34 PM

WTC Memorial competition charette/discussion update

I've held off for a few days, waiting to finalize the list of participants, but in the mean time, I created a separate page where I'll post charette-related items. Tentative date: Wed., May 28, one day before the competition registration...
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Posted by greg at 2:48 AM

May 7, 2003

WTC Memorial charette update; Maya Lin on the Vietnam competition

Been fielding some interesting responses from people on the WTC charette, including several about the word, "charette." A couple of people said it's snooty, a couple complained that it's architect-y, a couple complained it's French. As they say in darts,...
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Posted by greg at 7:39 AM

May 6, 2003

Join a WTC Memorial Discussion/Charette

A couple of people saw some cynicism my last post on the WTC Memorial competition's designation as "open to all" and "part of the mourning process." It was partly a reaction to that member of the axis of eager, Jeff...
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Posted by greg at 11:56 AM

May 2, 2003

Libeskind's Uncomfortable Wedgie of Light

A controversy is brewing over Daniel Libeskind's design for the WTC site, which is moving, rapidly and significantly, from what he'd originally proposed--and won with. The NYTimes' Edward Wyatt is on top of things. Yesterday, he reported on a study...
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Posted by greg at 1:10 AM

April 29, 2003

WTC Memorial: We're All Designers Now

That could be the sub-title of this site, really. I made Souvenir (November 2001), in part, to ask what could New York be like in 80 years, after the generation of us who experienced the attacks are all gone. How...
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Posted by greg at 10:59 AM

February 22, 2003

First, Let Me Say, Daniel, We Loved Your Idea

And (according to the Guardian), we'd really like to move forward with it. We made just a couple of notes, 'Kay? The bathtub kept open as a memorial? We love it. What do you think about filling it in...
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Posted by greg at 5:47 AM

January 13, 2003

"The Eiffel Tower for the 21st Century"

This morning on Kurt Andersen's Studio360, Paul Goldberger suggested "the Eiffel tower of 21st century, something that would use the technology of our time with the brilliance that Eiffel used the technology of the 19th century," be built at...
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Posted by greg at 9:41 AM

January 9, 2003

Dream Team-gate: WTC Architects on Charlie Rose Make White House Flak Look Candid, Honest

That guy on the left isn't at all. He's Dan Bartlett, flak for the Architect of the Axis of Evil (and, alarmingly, the most straight-talking guy on the show) image: Just caught The WTC "Dream Team" (their quotes)--Charles...
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Posted by greg at 3:12 AM

December 18, 2002

WTC Site Designs Revealed While Director Poaches Memorial-Friendly Media

If the 3+ hour multimedia press conference for around 25 brand name architects to present their proposals for the World Trade Center site were Saks, I was the chick selling hand-beaded mittens from a card table on the sidewalk....
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Posted by greg at 7:50 AM

October 5, 2002

"Don't rebuild. Reimagine" (as applied to writing an animated musical feature)

My attention has been turned to the as-yet-unannounced feature I'm writing (unannounced because of the desire to confirm clear ownership of the story, because it's freakin' brilliant, and because there were some major plot questions in turning it into...
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Posted by greg at 5:41 AM

September 7, 2002

Don't Rebuild. Reimagine.

Herbert Muschamp "curated" a re-imagining of downtown Manhattan, a process where some of the world's best-known architects (and a few up-and-comers) collaborated on and thrashed out an overall plan, then divvied up the resulting projects. From the cursory scan I've...
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Posted by greg at 11:04 AM

July 16, 2002

Today the LMDC released its

Today the LMDC released its six concepts for rebuilding the World Trade Center. Visit the LMDC concepts website for details. One thing that strikes me immediately is how they're all titled "Memorial _____" (fill in the blank with Square, Promenade,...
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Posted by greg at 5:44 AM

July 6, 2002

On Maya Lin's ninja-like approach to the WTC Memorial

There's an interesting article by Louis Menand in this week's New Yorker about Maya Lin called "The Reluctant Memorialist." He talks about her early rejection of any WTC Memorial-related requests and about her recent informal advisory work for the decisionmakers...
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Posted by greg at 8:00 AM

February 27, 2002

Today; it was announced that

Today; it was announced that the Towers of Light will go on display March 11, six months after September 11. Feb 26 was the nine-year anniversary of the first bombing of the World Trade Center....
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Posted by greg at 4:54 AM

February 13, 2002

Found this on Slate: An

Found this on Slate: An interesting proposal for a World Trade Center memorial by Fred Bernstein, an architecture writer (for the NYTimes, among others, it seems). Basically, it's twin tower-sized piers with the names of those killed placed on the...
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Posted by greg at 5:52 AM