Friday, December 19, 2003

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The freedom tower

I confess that I have not followed the debate over replacing the World Trade Towers in Manhattan. But, the proposed tower was unveiled today -- a curving, simple spire of 1,776 feet to be called the Freedom Tower. Here's how the proposed replacement will look:


Go check out the New York Times and Los Angeles Times for the backstory. ABC has a lovely picture of the future skyline.

My reaction is akin to how Montgomery Burns felt about Marge Simpson's portrait of him in "Brush With Greatness":

"You know, I'm no art critic, but I know what I hate. And... I don't hate this."

posted by Dan on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM


My question is, where are they going to find idiots willing to work in the thing?

posted by: Susan Paxton on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Well, should the Dems somehow come back to power, they could use it for all those recently rediscovered homeless.

posted by: Deano on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

"You know, I'm no art critic, but I know what I hate. And... I don't hate this."

I have to concur there. It's a beautiful design, and I can't wait to see it finished. I'm sure the city of New York will heal a great deal when they no longer have to look at the visible scars of 9/11.

My only quibble is with the name. "Freedom Tower"? Aside from a slight cheese factor, by choosing a name that turns it into an American icon, they might as well paint a big bullseye on it.

posted by: Catsy on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Does this skyscraper make economic sense? I find it very difficult to believe that there are lot of businesses ready to move in. Am I wrong about this? Also, the WTC was a government funded project. Is that the case this time around?

posted by: David Thomson on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Thanks for not making fun of my genitalia.

posted by: M. Burns on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

I thought I did.

posted by: Dan (Marge) Drezner on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Actually, if you look at a 90 degree angle, the cluster of new buildings does look a bit, er, member-like.

Still, I guess it works. Since my only visit to the original site was as a zygote, I can't really offer much of an opinion otherwise.

posted by: Chris Lawrence on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Christopher Hawthorne (Slate) writes that the "Freedom Tower's" name and design are "bluntly jingoistic," "inane" and "saccharine."

I completely disagree (although I do prefer the original Liebeskind design).

posted by: Michael on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Er...A tower, three quarters full?!!

posted by: Jon Stopa on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Seriously, though, would that group look as nice if they weren't bright and shinny, and you mentally color them dark and weather-worn.

posted by: Jon Stopa on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Yeah, seriously, are the buildings going to be all silvery grey like that? That's what makes them pretty.

Libeskind's original is def best.

posted by: andalucia on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

What is this continuing contest to claim the world's tallest building all about?

It is no coincidence that, at 1776 feet tall, this memorial building will just happen to out stage the new Taipei, Taiwan 1,500 foot tower that must look just downright silly in the midst of the midget buildings of Taipei city.

It will out stage the Kuala Lumpur twin towers
and the Shanghai China entry. England is planning a mere 1000 footer; and I believe another tallest building competitor is planned for the Middle East.

It seems as if this tallest structure ("building" might be a misnomer, since many have, or will have multi-hundred foot spires and antennae on top) competition is making some kind of nationalistic statement; just what, I'm not sure.

Perhaps the answer is almost too simple and too obvious for any thinking person to comprehend; "taller makes us better".

As silly sounding as this might be, I'm not discounting a future plan to make a one building city.

posted by: Marcel Perez on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

"It is no coincidence that, at 1776 feet tall, this memorial building will just happen to out stage the new Taipei, Taiwan 1,500 foot tower ."

I presume the 1776 figure was chosen for another reason.

posted by: Bill Woods on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

While the design may be nice, I was personally hoping that they would find a clever way to retain the open space and use it for something parklike while still providing opportunity for business to move in.

Tall towers, while impressive engineering feats just don't fill me with much awe personally. I was hoping for something more unique.

posted by: Waffle on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

This isn't the tallest. Canada's CN Tower is a lot taller.

posted by: Derek on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

So just be satisfied with 1,776 feet. I like that number, and I think it adds to the meaning of the structure. Horsepower isn't everything in a car, so height can't be everything in a building. It's the refinement that matters. Too bad the Freedom Tower really isn't refined. It isn't iconic or memorable, and it's too strange to be a symbol.

posted by: Derek on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Damn shame indeed that they are trying to make a 60+ story building look taller by adding some wire-frame structure, some windmills and a pole. They should forget about the useless empty spaces and build the office space it all the way to the top, observation deck included!
Those of us that visited the old WTC, will want to get a view from atop the city again!
Those fools don't even think of the millions they could make from all the visitors the old towers used to get.

posted by: Chris Rod on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

I think that it is a great idea to rebuild to towers. Freedom Tower sounds good; it was started July 4, Independence day to those who havent got a clue what that means, and it will be 1776 feet tall, not the tallest building, but a number signifying the year of our Independence. Also, when they build it, it is saying that we are not weak, we are not afraid, and we will move on.

posted by: David on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Yeah. We americans can now move on towards the future...with a sub-par ugly ass wire frame in the middle of NYC. Put another notch on the scoreboard for Boston, at least we won't have to look at that everyday.

posted by: Forbise on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

"They should forget about the useless empty spaces and build the office space it all the way to the top, observation deck included!"

There will be an obs. deck at the top (1776')

posted by: mark on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

"Freedom Tower" sucks, it's not even going to be the tallest in the world. Who would go to oobservation floor only 70 stories high, other buuidings will block the view of the city. The old buildings were at 107 story view and an outdoor rofftop deck, both with no obstructions. How can the worls tallest building only have 70 stories. It's just 2/3 building witha statues on top of it, not world's tallest material. You people shoiuld kick Pataki out of office for endorsing this peice of crap. Support the Belton Gardner design, that should be chosen. this tower is Al Queda tower.

posted by: K on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

I agree. Go with this plan by belton and gardner. The freedom tower just sucks. the other plan is magnifcient...this is just a slap in the face of minuro yamasaki and the 2,800 lost. people cant come back, but buildings can.

posted by: matt on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Just saw that Belton-Gardner plan. I like it. I've changed my mind; an upgraded, hardened WTC II is a great idea -- a better one than the Freedom Tower, even though I think Liebeskind's design would be really cool ... in Hong Kong.

posted by: rick on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

the names pretty cheesy. if the structure is truly meant to resemble the statue of liberty it should at least be called 'liberty tower' or something. Imagine if Al queda nocked down the Freeom tower? what would happen bushes ego

posted by: ragnarox on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

Very nice and useful site. I wish you good luck!

posted by: free pc games on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

I really Like WTC. I know everything about those towers. I never went there but I wanted to go. Ever since I saw those two towers rising into the clouds standing in that park in Wehawken, NJ. I was at Liberty state park the summer before 9/11. Got a couple picctures. I just can't belive they're gone. and know. You can call it a poetic justice that all the buildings that carry the Trade Center name, buildings 1-7 are gone and the ones without the WTC name still stand. THE FREEDOM TOWER SUCKS. It's a disgrace to the trade center. This is New York not Hong kong or germany or europe. i had a dream where they just finished the freedom tower and before the mayor could cut the ribbon, the ground shakes and two boxes rises from the ground. The freedom tower crumbles and standing in it's place is the World Trade Center. that's all. Hey did anyone see the Center Of The World documentry on PBS?

posted by: christopher schipp on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

This Freedom Tower makes absolutely no sense. Calling a 60 ( or is it 70) story building "the tallest building in the world" is ridiculos. I don't think the folks at Guiness Books of World Records would fall for this. Both the Empire State Building and the Sears Tower are over 100 story tall. If you want a panaromic view of NYC, going atop the Empire State Building is probably a better idea than going to the top of this joke of a building. I am afraid this ridiculos ugly building with its ridiculos name would make the USA the laughing stock of the world. REBUILD THE TWINS.

posted by: andy on 12.19.03 at 03:19 PM [permalink]

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