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 done, the result it energetic, a breath of fresh air, an unequivocal rebuke to any and all of the "thinking" that's gone into the official process so far, and, in some cases, inspiring. (To be fair, a couple of the broadest strokes--the West Street Promenade, for example--were identified and retained from the LMDC/Port Authority/Australian Mall Developer's abortive attempts in July.)
Another question that has "already been settled," at least in the media's version of the "New York Street," is the preservation/reconstitution of the WTC footprints as open space. While I'm not necessarily gung-ho for building
Anyway, what I'd really meant to say was that one rather significant and almost radical element of the NYTimes' project is a delay of the memorial decision process, at least as it is currently perceived by the New York Street. I think this is bold, but right. According to an architect friend who is involved in the revamped LMDC planning process, public meetings frequently devolve into "kookville," where every cockamamie red-white-and-blue-flag-shaped-TRIPLET-towers-this-time scheme is entertained/endured ad nauseum.
Even going by the title, reimagining takes a lot of the pressure for getting the memorial right off of the entire project. It solves almost all the problems of the holy footprints and most of the rest of Ground Zero and focuses the memorial question there (while calling for a "vigorous public debate" on what to do), thereby allowing all of downtown to heal, to grow, even to thrive. Given the reputed arrogance of rock star architects like those in the project, it's fascinating, though, that not one wanted to touch the idea of a memorial, even to venture a sketch. Only Maya Lin was finally pressed, pressed into throwing out a few of the roughest ideas. Such is the suasive power of the New York Street, I guess.