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WTC Proposals: Who's Saying What Worldwide (updated 04/18/03)

by ArchNewsNow
January 31, 2003

ArchNewsNow has been compiling news and reviews of the nine WTC proposals since their unveiling on December 18. They are from all over the world. We will continue to update.


April 18, 2003:


Silverstein names his own overseer.


April 17, 2003:


Garvin resigns LMDC.


April 16, 2003:


WTC memorial process begins. -- Musings on restoring and rebuilding from our own backyards to Baghdad.


April 14, 2003:


Libeskind as master salesman.


April 11, 2003:


Design plans for Ground Zero hit a mall wall. -- 9/11 memorial jury announced.


April 9, 2003:


Public won't pick Ground Zero memorial design, but will have input for the jury. -- High marks for Libeskind in Toronto and Denver.


April 7, 2003:


Libeskind: empathy and the architect. -- But: "Affordable housing and green spaces: These are what New York needs, not redundant office towers where mortals fear to tread." -- Flying high in Denver.


April 4, 2003:


Libeskind in London with an inkling of a timeline for WTC site. -- Retail czar apparently not at all pleased with design.


April 3, 2003:


Twin Towers and monuments.


April 2, 2003:


Port Authority architect shown the door.


March 31, 2003:


Culture (including the New York City Opera?) to find home at Ground Zero. -- Downtown CEOs make short-term recommendations for the "gloomy tangle of closed streets, scaffolding, barricades and seemingly endless excavations." -- Libeskind as pop icon (not all are impressed)…and a sampling of past celebrity architects.


March 28, 2003:


Ground Zero/airport exchange: "It could go either way."


March 25, 2003:


New LMDC president speaks out.


March 24, 2003:


Radio round with Libeskind (in transcript form). -- Where have all the critics gone? (Our search shows them alive and kicking.)

March 21, 2003:


The "master design architect" may actually have a client (or is it clients?).


March 20, 2003:


"Mankind…is measured by the cities it builds, and destroys." -- Too much NYC planning happening behind too many closed doors.


March 17, 2003:


WTC competition an open process that exposed "the egos of architects and the potency of public opinion."


March 14, 2003:


WTC memorial issues heat up: Are all victims equal?


March 13, 2003:


What makes a visionary? "The key to understanding Libeskind's flexibility may be his belief that so long as he is the one who keeps modifying the vision, the modified vision will remain his." -- Rumors of catty conversations. -- The mayor wants Ground Zero. -- A Philadelphian in the mix. -- Also downtown: What is the potential effect of so many monuments to death and loss on a living neighborhood?


March 12, 2003:


Contract in the offing for Libeskind (maybe now we'll know who the client is?).


March 11, 2003:


Now design selected for Ground Zero, contentious issues will ensue. -- Libeskind's "open and aggressive approach refreshing… inclined to listen to voices other than that of his own muse." -- "Libeskind's design…epitomises American society's current morbid preoccupation with death and conflict." -- Little fear of tall towers in Malaysia.


March 10, 2003:


Libeskind as master of architecture, politics, and budgets ("Daniel is good at getting the best bang for your buck. It's called value engineering…," says Nina. "It is the bargain-basement of all the schemes in the competition," says Daniel.) -- Memorial competition "efforts fascinating even to those of us who are not American." -- Hometown proud of Pentagon Memorial designer. -- Souvenirs of disasters.


March 7, 2003:


Panned and praised WTC plans have a lot in common. -- Architecture and the art of compromise. -- The city wants more say in rebuilding plans. -- Pentagon Memorial process offers lessons.


March 6, 2003:


Whatever the design, the focus today seems to be on the man (and wife): The "Danny and Nina Show" - Mr. & Mrs. Ground Zero. -- Libeskind: a Bronx socialist or a notorious deconstructivist/anti-rationality activist? -- Wall Street Rising has big plans, too. -- High praise for a soaring memorial.


March 5, 2003:


Goldberger muses on the WTC competition. -- Lessons to be learned from a planning czar.


March 4, 2003:


Pentagon Memorial winner selected. -- Polisher of profession's image "deserves to go from Ground Zero to hero" (that's what we'd call 'laying it on a bit thick'). -- "…revised plan is much reduced, its mysteries nearly banished." -- Gardens are out - communications equipment in at the top.


March 3, 2003:


Wondering whether Libeskind's plans for WTC site will remain visionary and noble - or even get built (and one voice that calls the whole thing a political scandal). -- Profiling the architect as media star (but he'll stay true to Denver). -- Keeping score - a handy chart of who said what about the two finalists.


February 28, 2003:


Perhaps the "unnamed officials" leaked news of Libeskind's win on Wednesday night to allow a multitude of pundits to gather their punditries - the good, the bad, and the ugly - for today's editions.


February 27, 2003:


One of ANN's sources said, "The vote went quickly." The unconfirmed news was on the AP wire by 6:56 last night - just in time for Peter Jennings to announce it at the end of World News Tonight (right after "Mini-millions," a report on the fortunes spent for models to win competitions - the focus was Viñoly). Of course, the official announcement comes at 11:00 a.m. this morning (Lower Manhattan time). The question remains: how much of Libeskind's design actually has a chance at being built? John King proposes an even broader question: "What comes next? Not just in Lower Manhattan, but to skylines across the United States." We would add "across the world."

What is apparent to us in this emotionally-charged saga of the World Trade Center site is that it has not only galvanized the vox populi of New York, but has brought to the front page of even the smallest local papers important issues raised by developments of every scale and impact. The public is letting its voice be heard - and in many cases, it is being listened to. What is most encouraging is the public vocabulary that now includes "bold" and "visionary." There can be no turning back. -- KR


February 26, 2003:


On Monday, the finalists appeared on Oprah's show (we haven't seen them kissing any babies - yet). -- Muschamp muses on reality and the public. -- Would either plan be a mistake? -- Libeskind had the odds…but then the committee spoke - we'll know the results tomorrow. -- Meanwhile, Robert Moses moseys around the West Side - and likes what might be.


February 25, 2003:


Two days and counting to Ground Zero design winner…there's a lot of sniping and apologizing and backtracking going on. -- LA Times balances yesterday's in-depth personality profile of the Libeskinds with Viñoly today (and not much time to include Schwartz, Smith, and Ban).


February 24, 2003:


Down to the wire downtown: officials will announce WTC design winner Thursday (are they playing odds in Las Vegas, we wonder?). Meanwhile: Libeskind has made the bathtub shallower, and THINK got rid of the reflecting pools. -- "Modernists are not trained to commemorate and revivify, to heal and restore; in fact, if anything, quite the opposite," says Trachtenberg.


February 21, 2003:


An electronic conversation about WTC plans, mis-interpreted in translation, sparks apology. -- "Sham plan" - a grabber of a headline, but a bit overstated (we hope).


February 20, 2003:


Focus on Libeskind.


February 17, 2003:


Opinions about WTC finalists abound: "[Libeskind] foresees meaningful public spaces shaped by moving architecture." -- "The two finalists are as different as pastrami and cornbread." -- The cause of the "confusing course of the trade center redevelopment process…an almost total absence of demand for excellent architecture, and a flawed system of undergraduate and professional education…"


February 14, 2003:


The yeas and nays for underground retail at Ground Zero.

February 13, 2003:


Now come the revisions in WTC designs. -- Sky gardens explored. -- Muschamp maligned.


February 12, 2003:


There's more than enough space for a memorial. -- Ground Zero development "not as simple as issuing a politically correct mission statement, or running a routine design competition." -- Then there's the West Side.


February 11, 2003:


Developer wants all the bucks for his buildings. -- Money speaks louder than architecture. -- Time gives time to Libeskind.


February 10, 2003:


Ground Zero commentaries: the finalists are "the best proof yet that serious architecture will play a role in the redevelopment of one of the most important sites in U.S. history." -- "This is not just another real estate project. It is the supreme urban planning test of our time." -- Of monuments and memorials. -- Then there's the West Side.


February 7, 2003:


Details details re: WTC plans…no, they're not the tallest. -- Libeskind interviewed.


February 6, 2003:


WTC plans: Then there were two…and there's no shortage of opinions and analysis (undoubtedly, just the beginning). -- January Q&A symposium with WTC teams very interesting in hindsight. -- Big plans (or just dreams) for Brooklyn waterfront.


February 5, 2003:


It's official: Libeskind and THINK on shortlist for WTC design - with caveat: "No plan in its current configuration is perfect." -- The battle for Ground Zero: much of it shaped by publicity machines. -- A memorial garden for Lower Manhattan.


February 4, 2003:


Ground Zero: Architects emerge as cultural emissaries: thinkers, visual poets, and city makers. -- Libeskind as storyteller.


February 3, 2003:


Will developer Silverstein "put a spanner in the works" of WTC redevelopment? -- Where's the beef (i.e. the bucks) for rebuilding? -- A lively chat with Steven Holl. -- Another thumbs-up for THINK plan instead of "architecture of angst." -- Shanghai still going for tallest.


January 31, 2003:


Re: WTC…Foster comes in third, but not giving up. -- R.Dot endorses Libeskind plan.


January 30, 2003:


It's unofficial: Libeskind and THINK on shortlist for WTC design (Foster was a close third). -- A Canadian critic calls it even before the (un)officials do. -- Lessons in memorial-building from Oklahoma.


January 29, 2003:


Mincing no words about Ground Zero plans: "Never has the amnesiac cast of the collective American consciousness been more disturbing than in this mad rush to create a new Tower of Babel;" and one architect's vision called an eyesore. -- Praise for the art of the models (finally!). -- A real-time lab for high-rise safety. -- Safety conference in Australia to highlight high-rises.


January 28, 2003:


Muschamp makes his pick of WTC plans. -- Optimism and investment for Lower Manhattan.


January 27, 2003:


Lower Manhattan and other global cities: "…strategic, creative activities - whether economic, cultural or political - thrive on density." -- Poetry and practicality as new visions for new century. -- An extraordinary architectural experiment. -- Last week, Gaudí's 77-year-old design was dusted off; this week it's a 70-year-old "Vertical Highway." -- Viñoly interview covers just about everything. -- Pentagon performance report released.


January 24, 2003:


Mincing no words about WTC designs: "the architecture profession's avant-garde is hopelessly mired…"


January 23, 2003:


One less team in the running for Ground Zero plans. -- Real estate and residents battle it out over rezoning NYC Seaport.


January 22, 2003:


Ground Zero: as graze land; a potential turf war; and another voice to rebuild the towers. -- Viñoly profiled (glasses and all).


January 21, 2003:


Gaudí at Ground Zero - what a concept! -- Airports/Ground Zero land swap still a possibility. -- Downtown countdown, but any new visions? -- Libeskind a front-runner.


January 20, 2003:


Sorkin asks whither democracy in plans for Ground Zero. -- Public hearings don't get good grades. -- Draft for memorial competition fares better. -- Will plans at least jolt architecture in new directions?


January 16, 2003:


Confusion continues to swirl around Ground Zero; AIA New York Chapter and New York New Visions make their views clear. -- Gardens of Remembrance will be among the first realities.


January 15, 2003:


Ground Zero: Public hearings continue, emotional, but how productive? -- Littenberg explains her plan, but doubts any of the nine designs will be built. -- Imagine New York offers a concise comparison of the plans.


January 14, 2003:


New WTC plans draw old complaints; one critic says it's a case of style over substance. -- Downtown college reclaims home lost on 9/11.


January 13, 2003:


Ground Zero: hearings and ponderings.


January 9, 2003:


Beyond design appraisals: "It doesn't matter a damn, Frank Gehry, that we were paid only $40,000," says Eisenman. -- WTC memorial mission statement. -- "Does God have a place at ground zero? …which god? Or, whose god? Or, what god?" -- It should be the people's choice.


January 7, 2003:


A rare treat: (free!) access to Ada Louise Huxtable's take on WTC designs. -- Plans are also called valiant but vain. -- A plea not to rush the memorial design. -- Old vs. new in urban design: architecture as a bridge or just anti-social?


January 6, 2003:


The gloves are really starting to come off regarding WTC plans, from group therapy to the emperor's new clothes, with a lot of hope and pessimism thrown in for good measure. -- Gehry's take? "…I found it demeaning that the agency paid only $40,000 for all that work." -- Add to the mix Olympics 2012.


January 2, 2003:


Too much publicity for WTC plans; also called monstrosities; and another call to rebuild the twin towers.


December 31, 2002:


Trade Center site design nearly finds right mix: Milwaukee could take a cue from the Trade Center experience. By Whitney Gould- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


December 30, 2002:


A week(!) of catch-up: Praises and pans of WTC plans continue to roll in.


December 23, 2002:


Opinions about the new design proposals for the WTC are coming fast and furiously. The most recent range from exaltations to cries of blight, and calls to include a working farm and celestial architecture.

December 20, 2002:

More takes on WTC proposals: Rybczynski: "Like a bulls in a china shop." -- NY Sun: "the process has been hijacked by architects…. without a client…disconnected from reality." -- Glancey: "too complex and clever." -- Engineering issues. -- Listening on the radio: "The architects…all seemed to be in a very high state of emotion." -- Live chat: Public participation a must.


December 19, 2002:

The eyes of the world were on New York City yesterday. The Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan was a veritable sea of international media. We have sifted through the several hundred articles that appeared around the globe, and selected the few that actually offer analysis, opinion…or just plain attitude (there will surely be more voices chiming in over the next few days). As a reality check, we've included today's reader forums from the New York Times and BBC. Most of the articles include links to the proposed designs for Ground Zero. If you haven't already, it is definitely worth your time to explore the presentations and make up your own mind.



September 27, 2002:

Dream Teams No Longer Just a Dream for Ground Zero (ANN report)



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(click on pictures to enlarge)

(Kristen Richards)
Ground Zero from the Winter Garden

© 2003