view from the west
A possible plan is the "WTC Towers Memorial" plan shown on the right. It has above-ground memorials and re-engineered Twin Towers.

The new towers look almost the same as the old ones. Security is considered in the design. The site plan might be modified. Antenna height could be up to to 1800 feet.

The top floors of each tower would be reserved for radio/TV transmitters, security, memorials, and public space. The appearance of the old vents is changed for better asthetics. Construction would be stronger and windows would be wider. Both towers would have foam/water pumping stations. These are economical and capable of controlling even jumbo jet fires. (The original towers had poor fire fighting capability.)

If memorials are built within the towers logical locations would be near the top or the same floors where each plane crashed. Lower density usage above 70 floors might be preferable. Most of the excellent design improvements planned for downtown manhattan could still be incorporated if the Twin Towers are rebuilt. Private investors would fund new Twin Towers.

The picture is the view from the west. The two new towers are east of the original footprint memorials. There are five memorials: the original footprints, a separate memorial area at the front right of the picture, and optionally one in each tower. The West Side Highway is at the front.

I think the best site plan is a modification of this plan shown in Fig. 5 on webpage:

Click here for the web site.

"Absence of thought"

To the left is the Libeskind plan. Dividing the site into many parcels was a thoughtless blunder to satisfy an active minority whose stated goal was to block large scale development on the site. Continuing Greenwich Street south of Fulton Street makes little sense; this is a low traffic street. The so called "International Freedom Center" was not the main problem with the plan - the plan is basically garbage. LMDC claims of public support for its process are untrue and offensive.

The New York governor controls the site. Governor Pataki appointed most of the LMDC staff based on political reasons, and most of the LMDC leadership should be replaced. President Bush said of the site, "Its a New York problem." Perhaps the federal, city, other government combination, or other entity should control the site.

One of the stupidist and wasteful parts of this plan is the "award winning" Calatrava travel center on the east side of the site (not shown). Because it is claimed it can be built quickly and requires no thought are not good reasons to build it. This ridiculously overpriced giant modern art sculpture takes up a whole block, has no meaning for the site, and only houses entrances for the PATH and subways. The large sum allocated for this relatively useless structure could be to cover up other expenditures. Instead this location should have a commercial building, park, or public building with a few entrances to the trains. Fortunately most of the underground work on the Calatrava project does not conflict with other plans.

Libeskind says his plan is "pregnant with meaning" because the antenna height on the proposed Freedom Tower is 1776 feet high. This plan is actually meaningless, but strives for meaning with this corny number. A 1776 foot high antenna does not miraculously change bad architecture into good architecture. The original twisting torso design was not cancelled for security reasons, but because this building would collapse under its own weight. Any first year structural engineering student knows a twisting torso design does not support vertical loads. The Freedom Tower does not show freedom, it advertises defeat.

The Arad memorial waterfalls are meaningless and impractical. Using the slurry wall as a theme in the memorials sets a new standard for mediocrity. Ed Koch's ideas for a memorial are much better and are supported by most victims' famiilies.

South of Liberty Street, models should be built of St. Nicholas church and the other buildings, and different arrangements compared.

At the June 7, 2005 City Council hearing on the proposed Freedom Tower, Peter Vallone Jr. complained that Pataki did not send his antiterrorism chief. Pataki's spokeswoman responded "There is no room for political grandstanding when it comes to the World Trade Center site." I assume the room broke out laughing.

So far most of the money spent by the LMDC on Ground Zero has been wasted. Little has been built (fortunately) although most of the federal money is gone, but the plans are so bad you wouldn't want to build them anyway. It would be much better if Donald Trump or someone else was in charge of this site and/or the LMDC. Larry Silverstein could/should sign off his rights to the remaining property, but he could keep WTC7 and a profit, and hopefully the official plan will die on its own.

Click here to see the latest "award winning" Calatrava garbage just completed in Sweden.

Click here to see the latest urban blight by Libeskind