Category:world trade center memorial

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 concrete facing and steel cable tiebacks. Once the centerpiece of Libeskind's own sunken memorial plan, the raw wall's going to be refaced, and ultimately, only a small section--if any of it--of it will be visible through a glass curtain wall when all's said and done.

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 a building called the Freedom Tower, which is designed to be precisely 1,776 feet tall and to rise next door to a vaguely conceived but lavishly outfitted museum called the Freedom Center. Who says patriotism is dead?
Even though it's not designed, funding is uncertain, there are no tenants, and market demand is less than zero, Pataki's pushing the tower forward out of some mix of ambition and political narrative desperation. "All this is looking more and more like the process that brought us the original Twin Towers in the late 1960s and early '70s."

Related: Hawthorne nails the WTC Memorial competition

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 Ogonowski, was surreptitiously triggering a "push-to-talk" button on the aircraft's yoke most of the way to New York. When controllers picked up the voices of men speaking in Arabic and heavily accented English, they knew something was terribly wrong. More than one F.A.A. controller heard an ominous statement by a terrorist in the background saying, "We have more planes. We have other planes."

To this writer's knowledge, there has been no public mention of the Flight 11 pilot's narrative since the news report on Sept. 12, 2001. When Peg Ogonowski, the pilotís wife, asked American Airlines to let her listen to that tape, she never heard back.

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 of the incident in the Guardian, but it appears he has no idea what happened to him.

The number of guerillas is not known. Activist groups such as Team Twin Towers and Make New York New York Again claim wide "populist" support, but most attacks can be traced back to one man, John Hakala. Hakala's tactic of delivering seductively glib quotes that have no basis in reality is now well known to veteran reporters on the WTC beat.

Westcott's story on unresolved issues and conflict over development efforts at the WTC site was turned into a disturbing manifesto for rebuilding the Twin Towers that betrays the faulty reasoning, impractical banality, and logical inconsistencies of the guerillas' position. One "architectural activist" seeking "restoration" of the Towers criticizes the Freedom Tower: "We are replacing a symbol of world peace and human cooperation with a self-absorbed salute to America," says an "architectural activist". Yes, echos another, "They [the Towers] were us: stark capitalism, power and beauty without explanation or apology."

And Hakala points out the fatal flaw of the Childs/Libeskind-designed Freedom Tower: "You don't see it on a single mug, T-shirt, postcard or pin around the city."

Observers who wonder how a seasoned journalist like Westcott could be so vulnerable suggest he let his guard down after reading a cryptic outburst of support for rebuilding by controversial Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp. Meanwhile, guerillas may have interpreted Muschamp's reference to "Mnemosyne" as a secret code to trigger the attack. Muschamp has since been relieved of his criticking duties.

lombardi_gwb_tdc.jpgWow. 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 organizations--The Joyce and Signature Theaters--will share a performance center across the street.

I'm a huge fan of The Drawing Center, as much as the aggressively unassuming, rather esoteric, old-school SoHo gallery can engender huge fandom. But how in the world did the LMDC come to the decision to put them next to the sure-to-be-corporate-slick American Freedom Experience? Is there some backchannel connection?

If only the artist Mark Lombardi were still alive, he could explain it to us. Lombardi's intricate drawings traced the webs of corruption, power, and influence that spun out of major scandals like the BCCI bank collapse, Iran-Contra, and, ahem, "George W. Bush, Harken Energy, and jackson Stephens ca 1979-90." That's the title of the 1999 work above, which was included in the first major retrospective of the late artist's career--held at The Drawing Center last fall.

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 remnants of the former W.T.C.'" would set off alarm bells all over, seeing as how there are very few actual remnants left.

And there was a day when a lengthy article in the Times castigating Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum as a theme park of facile, emotionally manipulative kitsch--and a functional failure as a museum--would ignite a firestorm of debate.

That day is not today.

[Michael Kimmelman casts his critique as a cautionary tale for New York; but like belated credulous investigative journalism about WMD claims, this stuff would've been nice to hear before we got lured into Libeskind's quagmire.]

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 has links to the firms' corporate sites.]

Meanwhile, the LMDC announced a 24-person advisory committee for the Memorial Center, the 65,000SF underground space which will house artifacts from the attacks. Included on the committee is Lowery Stokes Sims of the Studio Museum in Harlem, a Memorial juror; the head of the Landmarks Commission; Tom Eccles, head of the Public Arts Fund; and Raymond Gastil, of the Van Alen Institute.

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 with the kind of powerful, personal experience New Yorkers will recognize from that day: seeing a mundane object--a shoe on a rooftop, in Dunlap's case--in a terrible new way. He then explores creating the experience of visiting an emotionally resonant, historic space.

Anish Kapoor, Unity, image: 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 competition for the WTC Site Memorial, Kapoor's memorial design was selected the old-fashioned way: The British Memorial Garden Trust invited "twelve of Britainís most celebrated and critically acclaimed artists" to submit proposals, and, voila, nine months later (and six months overdue), the winner is announced. Without a peep from the US media, as far as I can tell.

Kapoor will create a 6m black granite monolith with a highly polished rectangular chamber in the center, which, the artist says, "reflects light so as to form a column, which hovers, ghost-like, in the void of the stone.

"This very physically monolithic object then appears to create within itself an ephemeral reflection akin to an eternal flame."

Kapoor's intensely fragile sculptures of raw pigment can be seen at the Hirshhorn Museum and at my friend's house, where he has a little note for the cleaning lady reminding her not to dust, for heaven's sake.

[via archinect]

[via Archinect] WTC Memorial designer Michael Arad discusses his original idea, design process, and experience in a too-brief interview for Architectrual Record Magazine.

Michael Heizer at Dia Beaon, image:

Arad's reworked proposal (with Peter Walker) attempts a return to his original vision, in which very clear, stark voids pierce the horizontal plane of the plaza. More and more, the experience sounds similar to Michael Heizer's Nort, East, South, West installation at Dia Beacon.

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Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

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Category: world trade center memorial

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