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Today’s News - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

•   We've learned (belatedly) that we've lost colleague and friend Karen Cooper much too soon.

•   9/11 is a good day to spend 2 minutes watching a stunning time-lapse video of 9 years of construction at Ground Zero.

•   Kamin considers "new twists in the arcane game of measuring skyscraper height" that raises the possibility that 1WTC "won't be No. 1" (CTBUH is considering the tower's "vanity height").

•   Merrick bemoans that the "original breed" of skyscrapers "has become an endangered species": they "used to be architectural hard-nuts who didn't need a nickname, or wear funny hats" (reference to anatomical parts included).

•   Fans of two endangered Saarinen projects can take heart: Balazs is tapped to develop the TWA terminal into a luxury hotel and conference center called the Standard, Flight Center (a flight museum included).

•   Gorlin is tapped to re-envision Saarinen's Bell Labs, the vacant research complex in New Jersey once marked for demolition.

•   An eyeful of what's in store for Chicago's landmarked-but-long-abandoned Old Main Post Office (towers included, of course).

•   Kristal is quite taken by Marseille's reinvention of itself: the European Capital of Culture designation proved pivotal.

•   Lexington, KY's grand plans for the pivotal CentrePointe project takes another (post-Gang) hit as EOP Architects pulls out (lots of P.R.-speak, but reason not exactly clear).

•   Webb cheers Meier's San Diego Federal Courthouse: it "triumphs as a graceful departure from the lumpish mediocrity of its neighbors, as a guardian of green space at the heart of the city, and by transforming public perceptions of the law in action."

•   Wainwright x 2: he encounters some skaters who are none too pleased with the "contrived" design for a new South Bank skateboarding space: "Creating this fake, sanitized version of an urban environment is just another way of getting rid of us."

•   He parses Tange's Syrian presidential palace: the architect "resigned before construction began...but it retains the hallmarks of his stripped, structuralist approach."

•   Finch explains why he thinks "RIBA's chief executive should consider a vow of public silence."

•   ASLA launches "Health Benefits of Nature," an extensive, vetted guide to hundreds of free research studies, news articles, and case studies that prove "nature is good for us."

•   2013 Architect 50, the 5th annual "qualitative look at how firms stack up across a broad range of categories, from business to sustainability to design."

•   Call for entries: Living Cities Design Competition: Residential Towers for the 21st Century + ENYA 2014 Biennial Design Ideas Competition: QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm (one of our faves!).

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