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Friday, May 4, 2007

Inside the architects' studio at ground zero

Ground zero at night, seen from 7 World Trade Centerdowntown manhattanThe Tribeca Trib is running a cover story this month, that looks inside the architect's studios at Seven World Trade Center; "Silverstein Eyes Progress on His Towers". Its a soft edged vignette of a day in the design life of Tower 4, as Fumihiko Maki's team endeavors to complete their project by the first of July. The article paints a picture of the intense effort being made in architecture and design. While that is serious and important work, what those efforts will eventually frame grows increasingly unclear. In my opinion the biggest loss for the downtown community in the redevelopment of ground zero, is the exodus of the art and cultural institutions from the fabric of its re-development. Only the Joyce theater remains of the original four.

"At one end of the room, tall windows overlooked the World Trade Center site directly below. At the other end of the room stood a blank screen where a team from the architectural firm of Maki and Associates waited to make their monthly presentation to their client, Larry Silverstein".
Ground zero is not a typical development. It is a statement of who we are in the face of enormous challenges. No where is that reflected more poignantly than in the Arts. Their absence, or just a limp embrace, should not be an option. It would be an embarrassment if the statement we make at ground zero is that we can't fund the arts, but can build a shopping mall and office space. The Trib ran a second story, "Many Voices on Culture at WTC Site" that touched on the latest talk on the subject.

related stories:
sleepwalking to ground zero
less than zero