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Donald Trump gets it right

I never thought I'd say this, but Donald Trump has excellent taste.

He is, correctly, trashing Daniel Libeskind's sickeningly defeatist plan to sully the site of the former World Trade Center with a spindly, skeletal "Freedom Tower" and a cluster of stumpy, jagged buildings that look like they've had their tops sliced off with a knife — all surrounding the naked "footprints" of the original towers, left exposed like gaping wounds:

Trump wants to replace Libeskind's atrocity with a plan to rebuild the original Twin Towers, only bigger:
"If someone knocked down the Statue of Liberty, you wouldn’t put the Eiffel Tower in its place," Trump said in a press release. In Trump's design, by engineer Ken Gardner and architect Herbert Belton, the proposed north tower would be the world's tallest building at 1,858 feet high, surpassing even the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower.

I have long considered Trump to be a crass, classless opportunist who also appears to have a remarkable knack for managing his businesses straight into bankruptcy. But in his bravado and his chutzpah, he embodies the spirit of New York. And he is finally saying what has needed saying for several years, ever since Governor Pataki rammed through Libeskind's pathetic excuse for a design. I only hope site developer Larry Silverstein has the good sense to listen.

Thanks, Donald.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

In general, I would agree with you that it would be more appropriate -- politically, psychologically, etc. -- to replace the Twin Towers with their replica. Everything else seems to dance around the reality of what took place their. I have to admit, however, that I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, you have the undeniable fact that people may be loathe to locate themselves and their businesses at a rebuilt WTC.  People felt targeted there, and this feeling is likely to be stubborn and entrenched. Also, each time the tenants walk through the plaza to their respective towers, there the memorial will be, reminding them of the fact that they are 1000+ feet in the air and would be similarly trapped if anything happens. There goes the rationale for building any skyscraper(s) on the site. Also, the profit motive for the buildings' reconstruction may not be there. It's irresponsible for NYC to assume the cost of the buildings' construction and maintenance if there are not enough tenants to guarantee the buildings' financial viability.

On the other hand, I am finding it increasingly difficult to support the idea of building anything on the WTC site. The attacks of September 11th are the seminal events of modern history, and the Twin Towers are the country's symbol of that terrible day. I understand that rebuilding the Twin Towers is a critical component of healing the psyche of Americans, and New Yorkers in particular. My concern is that people will forget what happened there. After all, people have in many ways left behind the stark reality of what happened that day, as well as how New Yorkers came together to help those affected both directly and tangentially by the terrorist attack on their city. The old rules of interaction seem to be back in place, with the corporate titans at the head of the pile. We seem to have forgotten the role those on the lower rungs of the social strata, and the fact that they saved more people than their professional class counterparts. I didn't expect that everyone would be singing Kumbaya together for the rest of their days, but I also didn't expect that so many people would seem to regard it as a nuisance to continue with the spirit of cooperation that came to be a symbol of that day, a symbol almost as great as the attacks themselves. Hence, a memorial and a park feel more like the only appropriate response to this discussion.

Sorry to be so wordy, GB, but this is a subject that holds a lot of interest for me. Thanks for including it in your blog!

 

Posted by langtry

Anonymous said...

I think that was your best comment yet. 

Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

If Trump had his druthers the new towers would be covered with gold mirrors and have the word "Trump" stamped all over them. Ughh. I really hate the idea of Trump's short fingers getting anywhere near the WTC site. 

Posted by Bojack

Anonymous said...

I'm probably even less of a fan of Trump's than the next guy... but I think he's right on a couple of points.

First, we need to build SOMETHING there alredy.
Second, it needs to make a real powerful statement that you can't mess with us—not, "go ahead, mess with us... we'll be fine, but we'll lick our wounds quite publicly." 

Posted by Brian

Anonymous said...

There was a poll awhile back saying that the vast majority of New Yorkers support rebuilding the WTC as it was. 

Posted by Dave

Anonymous said...

And I support "as it was, but way more kick-ass," which seems to be what Trump is saying.

Let's rub those jihadists' noses in it! 

Posted by Brian

Anonymous said...

On the outside of one of the towers, we should build one of those thrill rides that drops you all the way straight down. When we catch Osama, he should be strapped into it and forced to ride it over and over in perpetuity. 

Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

Or just stramp him to the outside of the tower and make him gaze at the Statute of Liberty. 

Posted by Bojack

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree, but the Towers were ugly, and the space around them, dead. I worked a block south of the site, still do, and I would be very sorry to see those domineering, inhuman slabs back in the sky. Which isn't to say I'm not satisfied to see the current project thrown into chaos. On the other hand, I've given up hoping for anything especially good. They've even given up on the plan to bury the Westside Highway.  

Posted by Clay

clazy said...

Do I need to point out that I would, nonetheless, prefer that those ugly inhuman slabs had never fallen? Ahem.

Anonymous said...

Regarding langrty's perceptive comments on feeling targeted in rebuilt towers:

I hope we New Yorkers, upon feeling that fear, would quickly come to welcome the opportunity to overcome it --- just as thousands of workers in other skyscrapers do every day.

I also understand that occupancy decisions are made by committees paralyzed by fear of litigation --- a much more virulent cancer in our society than terrorism itself.

I don't particularly care for Trump either -- but I admire his ability to overcome that paralysis --- and I think he's quite right in this instance.




 

Posted by Cliff

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