PDA

View Full Version : Libeskind Chosen



ASchwarz
February 26th, 2003, 07:58 PM
AP just reported Libeskind design chosen...

ZippyTheChimp
February 26th, 2003, 08:10 PM
And now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.

NyC MaNiAc
February 26th, 2003, 08:13 PM
hmmm...thats funny. I thought the board was actually prasing THINK's design today...Whatever.

Evan
February 26th, 2003, 08:31 PM
I wonder what the final plans will look like after the PA and Silverstein butcher his original proposal.

NoyokA
February 26th, 2003, 08:36 PM
I was in shock that THINK was the P/A favorite. I was convinced it was a fix somehow. But I was probably paranoid, or more likely they were of the public outcry.

Gulcrapek
February 26th, 2003, 08:38 PM
I support Libeskind. However, like Evan said, we'll see what happens now to the design. I predict that the memorial idea will stick and remain in some form as a basis for the memorial competition. However the towers will most probably be altered drastically.

TLOZ Link5
February 26th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Heh, the idiots on the AOL message boards keep calling it "Plan B" because they only read AOL News to stay informed about the competition. *THINK, of course, was called "Plan A."

"itz official, plan B wuz chossen!"

I love brain-dead AOLers.

Kris
February 26th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Isn't it a bit early?


February 26, 2003
Libeskind Plan Chosen for World Trade Center Site
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 6:56 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A complex of angular buildings and a 1,776-foot spire designed by architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the plan for the World Trade Center site on Wednesday, The Associated Press has learned.

Libeskind's design beat the THINK team's ``World Cultural Center'' plan, which envisioned two 1,665-foot latticework towers straddling the footprints of the original towers.

The new building is planned to be taller than the trade center towers, which briefly stood as the world's tallest at 1,350 feet. Libeskind's tower also would surpass Malaysia's 1,483-foot Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in the world.

The choice was made by a committee with representatives of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the governor and the mayor. The committee met briefly on Wednesday afternoon and decided on the plan that was favored by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to a source close to the process.

LMDC Chairman John Whitehead telephoned Libeskind with the news, the source said, telling the architect that his ``vision has brought hope and inspiration to a city still recovering from a terrible tragedy.''

Libeskind told the chairman that being selected is ``a life-changing experience,'' the source said.

Nine proposals for redeveloping the trade center site, where nearly 2,800 people died Sept. 11, 2001, were unveiled Dec. 18. The design competition was launched after an initial set of plans, released in July, was derided as boring and overstuffed with office space.

Redevelopment officials were scheduled to announce the decision publicly Thursday.

After the two plans were chosen as finalists earlier this month, both teams of architects were asked to revise their designs to make them more easily realized.

Libeskind, whose original design called for a memorial at the trade center foundation 70-feet below ground, reportedly changed that to 30 feet, allowing for infrastructure and transportation underneath.

The LMDC was created by Pataki and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after Sept. 11 to oversee the rebuilding of the trade center site and downtown Manhattan. The Port Authority owns the site.


Copyright 2003 The Associated Press

NoyokA
February 26th, 2003, 08:48 PM
Again, great news!

Agglomeration
February 26th, 2003, 08:53 PM
That's fine, I thought those THINK skeletons are too depressing to be real towers. Now maybe Libeskind can raise the height of the office towers a little bit...

JMGarcia
February 26th, 2003, 08:53 PM
Everytime a see an article begin with a quote of the "1776" feet I can't help but smile as it will make it soooooo much harder for anyone (Silverstein) to back track on it.

The more the press harps on it as the world's tallest building the better its chances become.

Expect it to be changed drastically BTW.

http://members.verizon.net/~vze26pnp/WTC4.gif

(Edited by JMGarcia at 7:54 pm on Feb. 26, 2003)

NoyokA
February 26th, 2003, 09:02 PM
I smile because its highly symbolic, and as a result it cant be f*ck
ed with. Im sure you are all aware 1776 was the date America was founded. Every aspect of Libeskind's proposal is symbolic, but the garden tower is his main aspect.

Kris
February 26th, 2003, 09:09 PM
I'm pretty sure they chose it precisely because they think it can be modified almost at will.

Kris
February 26th, 2003, 09:30 PM
February 26, 2003
Libeskind Plan Chosen for World Trade Center Site
By EDWARD WYATT

An open pit, the crucible where the fires burned for weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, and the hallowed ground that held most of the bodies of the dead, will stand as the centerpiece of the city's effort to memorialize and rebuild following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, city and state officials said last night.

The decision came today when rebuilding officials agreed to hire the architect whose plan for the site centered on the pit, Studio Daniel Libeskind, the Berlin-based firm founded by a Polish immigrant to New York City, to design the site, according to people involved in the discussions.

The Libeskind design was considered the front-runner for weeks, although a rival plan, featuring two soaring latticework towers called the World Culture Center, by an architecture team called Think, collected strong support as the decision neared.

A formal announcement of the decision is expected at 11 a.m. Thursday at a press conference at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, adjacent to ground zero. The officials who made the decision, including representatives from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the offices of Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, declined to comment last night as they left the meeting.

While the choice of the Libeskind design made some things clear, battle lines are already being drawn over any number of issues, ranging from the proposed underground parking garages to an enclosed mall and the amount of commercial office space. It is by no means certain how the memorial will be paid for, when the commercial buildings will go up, whether the towers will look anything like the buildings in the design, or who in the end will control the trade center site, the city or the Port Authority.

Mr. Libeskind's design, focusing on the pit and its bleak walls, sustained a groundswell of support that began almost as soon as it was unveiled in December. The exposed concrete walls of the excavated pit were purely functional when built, designed to hold back the subterranean waters of the Hudson River.

To Mr. Libeskind, however, they represented nothing less than the foundations of democracy, standing fast under the onslaught of a swift and terrifying enemy.

The public is likely to hear plenty, however, from the winning team over the next 2 to 10 years. In addition to the worldwide attention certain to be focused over the next few weeks on the winner of the competition, much work remains to be done before a shovelful of dirt is turned at the World Trade Center site.

Rebuilding officials said this week that further revisions will be made to the plans for the site, which have been put together in little more than four months — an extremely short deadline for a project of such immense scope.

Most immediately, the winning architect is likely to focus on the memorial area, preparing guidelines for the memorial competition, which is scheduled to begin in the next couple of months. Development corporation officials hope to have a design for the memorial selected by the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

Among the issues that will have to be addressed by rebuilding officials is where to locate a bus parking area for visitors to the memorial. Several million visitors are expected at the trade center site each year, and officials have predicted that that they will need to provide parking for up to 120 busses at a time.

Both of the finalist plans specify that the memorial will be in the southwest corner of the site, within the area surrounded by the concrete slurry walls that hold back the Hudson River waters. That area, known as "the bathtub," measures about seven acres, although some of the below-ground area has been take up by the PATH station, currently being reconstructed.

Some family members of those killed in the trade center attack have fervently fought to have the Port Authority keep as much as possible of the bathtub clear of any structures. They call it "sacred ground" because that is where most of the human remains were found during the cleanup of the collapsed towers.

Anthony G. Cracchiolo, the Port Authority's director of priority capital programs, said last week, however, that city and state officials have told the authority that no other places in Lower Manhattan exist that could easily hold that many busses.

Designs have already begun on ancillary parts of the trade center facilities, including a transportation center that will tie together the PATH commuter line with the city's subway lines that pass through or near the site. The Port Authority has developed initial plans on the station that will anchor the trade center site, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has similarly begun the design of its Fulton Transit Center, which will be linked to the site via an underground concourse.

The selection of a winning design is the culmination of a nine-month process that began last May, with the selection of Beyer Blinder Belle as the design consultant to the development corporation. The architecture firm, with the help of Peterson Littenberg Architects, came up with six design schemes for the site, each focused on a different vision for a memorial park, plaza or promenade.

The designs were poorly received, however, in large part because of a decision by rebuilding officials to demand the reconstruction of all 11 million square feet of office and retail space on the trade center property.

In addition, the architects did what architects usually do when creating a site plan: They focused on street layouts, pedestrian patterns and parkland, and they did not try to design buildings. Rather, they represented commercial office buildings on the site with plain white blocks — spaceholders, in effect, for the designs that would come whenever a developer undertook to build the actual buildings.

The reaction was almost universally negative. In July, at a large public meeting at the Javits Convention Center, the comments included "uninspiring," "too crowded" and "looks like Albany," a pejorative that almost any New Yorker recognized as the ultimate disgrace.

Rebuilding officials decided to go back to the drawing board, but with a difference. This time, they vowed, they would help New Yorkers to imagine what the site might be. To do so, they called on some of the brightest stars in the pantheon of architecture, and told them that they were free from the strictures that had so hampered Beyer Blinder Belle's designs.

A new competition was started, and architecture and design firms from all over the world were invited — a contrast to the requirements of the first round, which demanded 10 years or more experience on commercial projects in New York City.

Several hundred firms expressed interest, and seven teams of architects were chosen for the competition. They were given a new program of requirements, allowing for as little as 6.5 million square feet of office space to be built on the site (although preliminary provisions for the remaining 4 million square feet had to be made somewhere in Lower Manhattan).

And while the architects were told that the families of those killed would like the footprints of the original towers to be preserved, they were allowed to ignore that if they chose.

The new designs, unveiled in December at the Winter Garden, were greeted with almost universal praise. When Daniel Libeskind finished the first presentation, of the excavated pit where the memorial would be ringed by jagged glass towers that swirled upward to a towering, vertical garden, 1,776 feet tall, the crowd of family members, architects, city and state officials and other civic leaders burst into a crescendo of applause.

None of the other designs was as well received on first glance, save perhaps the "kissing towers" designed by Sir Norman Foster. The towers, which evoked the original twin towers, met at several places along their height, and they were embraced by many people who wanted the towers to be restored as much as possible.

The Think group — led by Mr. Vinoly, Mr. Schwartz, Ken Smith and Shigeru Ban — presented three designs, a tactic that initially left many observers confused about the message the group was trying to convey.

Almost immediately, however, the group's efforts focused on the promotion of one of the three — the World Cultural Towers, two giant latticework structures with individual buildings suspended within them at various levels.

The towers were clearly intended to evoke the original trade center, but turned the use of the space over to culture rather than commerce. At first, the design seemed like a longshot. But the intense lobbying efforts of Mr. Vinoly and Mr. Schwartz, making countless appearances on television and at civic forums, produced a growing following for the designs.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 10:48 PM
What a relief! *I hope it's true. *On to the next round.

Eugenius
February 27th, 2003, 01:05 AM
So now the question is: What's going to happen to the "angular towers?" *The 1776 foot height can also be achieved in a number of ways (i.e. god forbid, a 776 foot spire atop a 1000 foot building). *We noted that Libeskind does not design skyscrapers, so we pretty much have to look at the design as it was meant to be - a land-use plan.

NyC MaNiAc
February 27th, 2003, 01:08 AM
Right-I'm still hoping that his plan can incorporate a Twin Tower Structure.

dbhstockton
February 27th, 2003, 01:58 AM
Yes. *The memorial competition is next.

Agglomeration
February 27th, 2003, 02:06 AM
A memorial is fine, and hopefully it won't take up the whole site, but if they start calling for a 16-acre memorial again, everyone take your gloves off.

TonyO
February 27th, 2003, 02:13 AM
The misinformed reporters that are even talking about the height of the Libeskind plan should be fired. *Its basically a radio antenna.

So THIS is supposed to restore our skyline? *Please.

Fabb
February 27th, 2003, 05:21 AM
Reporters don't know what they're talking about.
Or... they know perfectly well but they play for the wrong team.

kony
February 27th, 2003, 07:13 AM
well i don't see what is the Libeskind plan to have so many people enthusiastic about it...it's nothin but a radio spire as someone said...i'm sure that *the CN tower in toronto has more appeal that thi wtc plan could never have...unless they change it dramatically !

i regret that Think wasnt chosen.... an eiffel tower look-like building is guaranteed to be nice !

Kris
February 27th, 2003, 08:17 AM
February 27, 2003
A Memorial, Yes, but Battle Lines Form for Everything Else
By CHARLES V. BAGLI

The easy part of the rebuilding on the World Trade Center site may be over, even if it took nearly 18 months of often fractious public hearings and disputes between rival public and private interests to select a design team for the endeavor.

It is now clear that there will be a memorial on the southwest part of the site, which embraces the footprints of the twin towers. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is well along in building a temporary PATH station that will restore rail service to New Jersey and in planning a permanent transit hub. Billions of dollars have been set aside for the transit hub and an underground concourse stretching from the World Financial Center, across the trade center site to the subways at Broadway and Fulton Street.

But battle lines are already being drawn over most everything else, from the proposed underground parking garages to an enclosed mall and the amount of commercial office space. It is by no means certain how the memorial will be paid for, when the commercial buildings will go up, whether the towers will look anything like the designs being unveiled at a news conference today or who in the end will control the trade center site, the city or the Port Authority.

Most people agree that with acres of vacant office space available in Lower Manhattan and layoffs continuing on Wall Street, it will be years before there is any demand for new commercial buildings. Still, the Port Authority, which owns the land, wants to be able to rebuild the 10 million square feet of office space and the huge concourse mall that once occupied the site. It wants to ensure that it continues to get about $120 million a year in rent, as it does under its lease with the developer Larry A. Silverstein.

In the last few weeks the architects have been asked to accommodate some of these demands. But members of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation like Roland W. Betts, some civic groups and others fear that the current designs could essentially be scrapped by compromises in the near future.

"The physical wreckage has been cleared from the site but the legal and institutional piles are still strewn across the landscape," said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association and a leader of the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York. "The real challenge moving forward is to safeguard the integrity of the designs, to make sure that they're not whittled away by conflicts over parking garages, a shopping mall or financial concerns."

But one director of the development corporation expressed a starkly different view. "None of this stuff is written in stone," he said, echoing comments by two downtown developers and several state officials.

But those are not the only issues.

There is debate over the future of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which was created by the governor and the mayor to lead the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Many state officials say that the corporation should now narrow its focus to an international design contest for the memorial and cut its staff.

But Mr. Betts, some city officials and the civic groups want the corporation to play a strong role in ensuring the integrity of the design, which was fashioned in a public process, rather than allowing any plan to be compromised beyond recognition by the commercial interests of the Port Authority or the developer.

Both sides seem to agree that the $1.3 billion left in the corporation should go to transportation and road projects downtown, not to, say, the memorial or other architectural plans. A director of the corporation suggested that the memorial could be supported by a fund-raising effort, rather by than federal money designated for rebuilding downtown, and Mr. Betts, who is a close friend of President Bush, has hinted that some federal money might be available from the White House.

"Hopefully the money will go towards transportation," said Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation and vice chairman of the Port Authority. "The more we fund the infrastructure projects, the better off the future of Lower Manhattan."

There is also a question about who will ultimately control the site.

The Bloomberg administration has proposed a land swap, giving the Port Authority the land beneath the airports in exchange for the trade center site. But Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development, also wants $890 million for the airport land, as well as some continuing control over airport operations. The Port Authority, in turn, has offered $500 million and may go to $600 million, according to two people who have been briefed on the negotiations. But many officials doubt that a deal will be made.

"It's a game," said one Port Authority executive. "It's very difficult to work out and I don't think it's going to happen."

In the meantime, the land is owned by the Port Authority, which leased the twin towers to Mr. Silverstein six weeks before the terrorist attack in a 99-year deal valued at $3.2 billion. Mr. Silverstein's partner, Westfield America, leased the concourse mall, one of the most lucrative in the country because of the 50,000 visitors and workers who flowed through the complex every day. Westfield and Mr. Silverstein still pay a combined $10 million a month in rent.

Mr. Silverstein insists that under the terms of the lease he has the obligation and the right to rebuild 10 million square feet of office space. Nor does he feel bound by the designs or compelled to use their architects. "He's willing to work with people," said one person who works with Mr. Silverstein, "but the developer will decide everything about the design. We're the ones who have to rent these buildings."

Westfield, a suburban mall operator, has said that it has the right to rebuild the underground mall to a total of 900,000 square feet, twice what was there originally. The Port Authority has also insisted that a bus garage go underneath the site.

But the Bloomberg administration, many urban planners and downtown residents complain that a vast underground mall would rob the area of street life. They favor ground-floor retail in the office buildings and vibrant retail corridors along Broadway and Fulton Street, with fewer stores underground.

These disputes are why Mr. Yaro and others fear that all the work on the design may be meaningless if the Port Authority and others are allowed to override them.

"There's a real concern that the Port will wrap an underground mall, millions of square feet of office space and a bunch of parking garages around this great new civic and memorial space," Mr. Yaro said. "It's the worst kind of 1960's planning."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

NYguy
February 27th, 2003, 10:09 AM
In the end the whole process almost played out like an election, with architects from both plans "campaigning" to win the decision. *There was even a premature report that THINK had won. *Libeskind would not concede. *But the WCC supporters demand a full RECOUNT! *The designs were too difficult for the committee to understand, and clearly they were in above their heads.

Its also amazing that it took the LMDC nearly 8 months to pick a plan that was already in existence - MEMORIAL PLAZA. *Because Libeskind's towers will be designed by someone else, its basically what we have.

Ignore Libeskind's memorial pit. *The memorial design competiton will produce the real memorial.

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2002-07/3855905.jpg


http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/69-front_big.jpg

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/63049p-58748c.html

NYguy
February 27th, 2003, 10:13 AM
Sources said Libeskind has topped his proposed tower with an antenna to replace the one lost in the terror attacks.

I wonder what impact this would have on the Television Alliance's decision to build in Bayonne. *I think the timing, and the fact that it would be atop a skyscraper would still leave the Bayonne option open...

NYguy
February 27th, 2003, 10:15 AM
Quote: from tonyo on 1:13 am on Feb. 27, 2003
The misinformed reporters that are even talking about the height of the Libeskind plan should be fired. *Its basically a radio antenna. *So THIS is supposed to restore our skyline? *Please.


It's amazing that after all this time, reporters are still referring to the Petronas Towers, as if that height is something to beat....

(Edited by NYguy at 9:16 am on Feb. 27, 2003)

NYatKNIGHT
February 27th, 2003, 10:34 AM
It somehow feels like little has been settled. If THINK was chosen at least we'd somewhat know what to expect. I agree it will be hard to backtrack on a 1776 foot spire, but you never know....

From the Times article above:
* * *"Mr. Silverstein insists that under the terms of the lease he has the obligation and the right to rebuild 10 million square feet of office space. Nor does he feel bound by the designs or compelled to use their architects. "He's willing to work with people," said one person who works with Mr. Silverstein, "but the developer will decide everything about the design. We're the ones who have to rent these buildings."


It will be a long time before we know what type of towers will rise above the site. I guess for now we concentrate on the transportation and the memorial.

(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 9:36 am on Feb. 27, 2003)

BrooklynRider
February 27th, 2003, 10:59 AM
I'm just happy that someone - anyone, for that matter - has been chosen. *There is nothing more tedious than watching bureaucracy in action. *It's like watching a plant grow - yawn.

Those of us who keep informed of development in this city and the transformation of designs and planning know this is only movingthe process from square one to square two. *There's a whole gameboard to move through before anything happens.

In spite of plans rejected or approved, the PA of NYNJ is moving ahead with a construction plan in the pit to rebuild transportation. *In my opinion, this is good. *I would hope we eventually get some inspired architecture on the site and a restored skyline. *The more immediate desire for me is to see that hole filled in and have the term "ground zero" dissipate from the public vocabulary.

TonyO
February 27th, 2003, 11:10 AM
Outrageous. *The public had absolutely nothing to do with this choice. *We had better get loud or else we will have this open grave to look at forever.

NYguy
February 27th, 2003, 11:17 AM
Pataki didn't even listen to his own committee.

There will be an announcement at 11am of the winning design. *The revised designs will probably be revealed. *NY1 will have a live feed...

BrooklynRider
February 27th, 2003, 11:33 AM
Quote: from NYguy on 10:17 am on Feb. 27, 2003
Pataki didn't even listen to his own committee.

There will be an announcement at 11am of the winning design. *The revised designs will probably be revealed. *NY1 will have a live feed...

I have to disagree with you. *The faster the public and competing special interests are removed from this process, the faster we will move from theory to practice. *The public has had an opportunity to voice their opinion. *Now, the people with money need to be given time to actually DO something. *It was very nice to see the public be involved, but it served no purpose for me other than to understand how hobbled projects can get when there is no leader with the power to say, "ENOUGH ALREADY!" *

I know the Memorial "phase" is going to be even more excruciating as people clutching old pictures and ghosts of the past attempt to channel their mourning and grief into a structure of some sort. *I think this is the phase where public input is relevant and important, but again, at some point someone will have to say, "stop", and move the process along.

Hope I don't get flamed on this one, but I want to see something built in my lifetime. *

NYguy
February 27th, 2003, 12:21 PM
I have to disagree with you. *The faster the public and competing special interests are removed from this process, the faster we will move from theory to practice. *The public has had an opportunity to voice their opinion. *Now, the people with money need to be given time to actually DO something.

Well let me put it this way. *This plan is one of the final 6 that was put before the public for opinion. *If you are going to pick one, why not pick one the public actually wants? *There's nothing there that would suggest the public is holding the project back in this case.

Kris
February 27th, 2003, 12:21 PM
Edward Wyatt has modified his article. Here is the new version:


February 27, 2003
Libeskind Design Chosen for Rebuilding at Ground Zero
By EDWARD WYATT

An open pit, the crucible where the fires burned for weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, and the ground that held most of the bodies of the dead, will stand as the centerpiece of the city's effort to memorialize and rebuild after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, under a decision made by city and state officials last night.

The move came yesterday when officials overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan agreed to hire Studio Daniel Libeskind, the Berlin-based firm whose plan for the site centers on the excavated pit at the trade center, ringed by glass towers that swirl upward to a 1,776-foot spire.

The Libeskind design was considered the front-runner for weeks, although a rival plan by an architecture team called Think, which featured two soaring latticework towers called the World Cultural Center, collected strong support as the decision neared. Ultimately, however, rebuilding officials voted in favor of Mr. Libeskind's somber treatment of the memorial and the incorporation of an active street life in the commercial portions of the site.

While the choice of design made some things clear, battle lines are already being drawn over other issues, from the proposed underground parking garages to an enclosed mall and the amount of commercial office space on the site. It is by no means certain, for example, how the memorial will be paid for, when the commercial buildings will go up, whether the towers will look much like the buildings in the design, or whether the city or the Port Authority will ultimately control the site.

A formal announcement of the decision is expected at 11 a.m. today at a news conference at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, adjacent to ground zero. The officials who made the decision, including representatives from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the offices of Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, declined to comment last night as they left the meeting.

John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the development corporation, called Mr. Libeskind yesterday to inform him of his selection, according to a person present during the conversation. Rafael Viñoly, one of the leaders of the Think team, said in an interview last night that he received a brief telephone call from Alexander Garvin, the lead planner for the development corporation, informing him of the decision.

After months of wrangling over the future of the area known as ground zero, and after three weeks of intense lobbying by the two finalists, the decision last evening was made in a meeting that lasted less than an hour.

The eight members of the steering committee that made the decision met with the architects on Tuesday night to hear about revisions that each had made to their plans to address concerns raised by rebuilding officials. Yesterday, just a few hours before the decision was reached, the architects met with Mr. Pataki and Mr. Bloomberg.

Two people who took part in the steering committee meeting said that both Mr. Pataki and Mr. Bloomberg supported Mr. Libeskind, as did representatives from the Port Authority. Roland W. Betts, the development corporation director who oversaw the site planning effort, supported the Think plan but agreed to the group's consensus.

Two people who took part in the committee's discussion yesterday said Mr. Bloomberg, who earlier this month said he favored Mr. Libeskind's design, was not impressed with the changes made by the Think team, particularly in the ground-level aspects of its design. Throughout the process, city officials have stressed their belief that a plan for the site must contribute to an active street life downtown.

Mr. Pataki has repeatedly said that his focus in the rebuilding process is on the memorial to the victims of the attack, and from the beginning he has said he was moved by Mr. Libeskind's design. Many family members of victims have also favored Mr. Libeskind's preservation of so much of the site, and Mr. Pataki has sided with the desires of family members several times, as when he proclaimed last summer that nothing would be built on the ground where the two towers had stood.

Mr. Viñoly said that he was not told much yesterday about the reasoning behind the decision. "But as far as I'm concerned, that is one of the situations in which our profession often finds itself," he said. "These things happen all the time, and you have to go on and do your work."

Two state officials said last night that they feared the governor could face some negative political fallout from the decision. The development corporation's site committee voted on Tuesday to endorse the Think plan; those board members were appointed by Mr. Pataki, Mr. Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Thus these elected officials overruled their own appointees, appointees who were charged specifically with carrying out the rebuilding.

But Mr. Libeskind's design, focusing on the pit and its bleak walls, has sustained a groundswell of support that began almost as soon as it was unveiled in December. The exposed concrete walls of the excavated pit, purely functional when built and designed to hold back the subterranean waters of the Hudson River, came in Mr. Libeskind's design to represent the foundations of democracy, standing fast under the onslaught of a swift and terrifying enemy.

The selection of a winning design is the culmination of a nine-month process that began last May. While the first phase of the rebuilding process is largely complete, much work remains to be done before anything resembling new development takes place at the World Trade Center site.

Rebuilding officials said this week that further revisions would be made to the plans, which were put together in little more than four months — an extremely short deadline for a project of such immense scope.

Most immediately, Mr. Libeskind is likely to focus on the memorial area, preparing guidelines for the memorial competition, which is scheduled to begin in the next couple of months. Development corporation officials hope to have a design for the memorial selected by the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

In addition, engineers will begin work on the delicate process of securing the concrete slurry walls that hold back the Hudson River waters and which are the signature portion of Mr. Libeskind's design.

Much of the seven acres within those walls, an area known as "the bathtub" at the southwest corner of the site, will be devoted to the memorial. Mr. Libeskind's original design called for the memorial to be on the bedrock floor of the excavated pit, 70 feet below ground, but the revised plan calls for the floor of the memorial to be only 30 or so feet below ground level.

The original design by Mr. Libeskind featured two ground-level parks as well, one of which is positioned to capture a wedge of sunlight each year on Sept. 11, from the time that the first plane hit the trade center's north tower until the time that tower fell, the second of the two to collapse.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 27th, 2003, 12:26 PM
From a Washington Post article:

"Libeskind's plan is cheaper, and it has a memorial space that makes the victims' families happy," said a source close to those who favored the Libeskind design.

Sounds good.

JMGarcia
February 27th, 2003, 12:30 PM
Its also more flexible than THINK's.

There were also reports that THINK's transit center was unpopular with the PA. It was actually in an open pit on the east side of Greenwich St. giving no street front buildings. Westfield and the PA also wanted an eclosed mall which wasn't provided for.

http://www.rvapc.com/i/wcc_greenwich_lg.jpg

http://www.rvapc.com/i/wcc_trans_lg.jpg

Kris
February 27th, 2003, 05:21 PM
The Next Phase

The LMDC and Port Authority will work with the selected design team to further develop the details of their design, particularly the Phase One plans for underground transportation infrastructure. This is a critical phase, establishing the public realm that will shape future development on and off the site— the memorial, the streets, parks and public facilities. These aspects of development will generate a private market reaction, signaling that Lower Manhattan has recovered from the events of September 11. The design team will also provide building envelope directions for future commercial and office development.
To ensure that the site is developed consistent with the selected design concept, the stakeholders recognize guidelines must be created to ensure future construction on the site proceeds consistent with the design concepts and the highest standards established for the Innovative Design Study. For example, the guidelines would ensure buildings on the site meet safety and sustainability standards. Such guidelines will uphold the principles of excellence, safety and sustainable design that served as the foundation of the innovative design competition.

http://www.lowermanhattan.info/rebuild/new_design_plans/selected_libeskind/pdfs/selecteddesignreport-libeskind2.pdf

Fabb
February 27th, 2003, 05:49 PM
Speaking of highest standards ...
Oh, well.

Kris
February 27th, 2003, 05:50 PM
The spire is likely to stay:

But what drew the most attention was the spire, which will be filled with greenery.

While Pataki termed it "inspiring," Bloomberg said it “is guaranteed to become an internationally recognized icon for our city."

A glowing Libeskind called his selection “a tremendously proud and moving moment.” He said he was looking forward to restoring the city’s skyline.

“It was what America stood for,” he said. “It was what the freedom of America stood for.”

http://www.nynewsday.com/templates/misc/printstory.jsp?slug=nyc%2Dwtc0228&section=%2Fnews% 2Flocal%2Fnewyork

JMGarcia
February 27th, 2003, 05:58 PM
The more press the spire and specifically the 1776 ft height gets the better as far as I'm concerned.

I can't wait until they do the estimates of visitors and compare it to what kind of space will be needed to accomodate them. I predict it will need to be "beefed-up" in response.

Fabb
February 27th, 2003, 06:06 PM
Bloomberg is very optimistic.
I hope it'll be recognized in a good way. It might also inspire dismay.

JMGarcia
February 27th, 2003, 06:20 PM
The NY Post reports...

"Sources said Libeskind has apparently altered the initial plan so that the vertical garden tower will be topped by a TV broadcasting antenna. "

I wonder what that means for Bayonne.

Kris
February 27th, 2003, 06:26 PM
It might cancel that plan and quicken this one.

http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2003-02/6778279.jpg

http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2003-02/6778382.jpg

NYatKNIGHT
February 27th, 2003, 06:37 PM
Maybe it would increase the size of the tower since they were going for 2000 feet in the other one. They can raise the roof to 1776 and then add the antenna (which doesn't count in height).

Okay, wishful thinking maybe, but at least it would beef up that slender almost unnoticeable point on top.

billyblancoNYC
February 27th, 2003, 07:33 PM
Hmmm... that would count, in some ways, as a 2000 ft building. *I just hope the highest inhabitable point is close to 1776.

Kris
February 28th, 2003, 06:22 AM
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/02/28/nyregion/REBU.jpg

Anonymous
February 28th, 2003, 11:42 AM
According to the official poll from Imagine NY, Libeskind's design wasn't even first and was actually last to THINK and none of the above.

NYatKNIGHT
February 28th, 2003, 12:16 PM
Let it go.....

Fabb
February 28th, 2003, 12:47 PM
The garden tower is strangely transparent.
Did Libeskind steal some of Think's concepts ? (the see-through building)

Kris
February 28th, 2003, 12:53 PM
The concept was a vertical framework for buildings dedicated to culture. There's nothing exceptional about a translucent building.

NYatKNIGHT
February 28th, 2003, 01:04 PM
Is it even a garden tower anymore?

Times article:
The "garden in the sky" that was in the original vision he presented in December....has disappeared from his glass tower....replaced by a more sedate restaurant and observation deck.

dbhstockton
February 28th, 2003, 01:12 PM
THINK did not invent the see-through building (think Mies Van Der Rohe, Philip Johnson). *And his Garden tower model pretty much looks the same as when he originally unveiled it.

JMGarcia
February 28th, 2003, 01:33 PM
The difference in the garden tower in the models seems to be that in the original the gardens went up to the top. In the new one the gardens stop much lower hinting at the observatory and restaurant and other uses at the top.

Of course it may just be that the model makers were rushed.

Fabb
February 28th, 2003, 02:05 PM
I'm not talking about translucent buildings à la Mies. I'm talking about something even more dramatic : the absence of actual floors.
A good way to reduce costs, let's admit it.

NYatKNIGHT
February 28th, 2003, 02:37 PM
CHARLES V. BAGLI - NY Times article:

The office buildings themselves, however, will be designed by the architect hired by the site's developer, Mr. Silverstein, and may not look anything like the towers depicted by Mr. Libeskind. Mr. Silverstein and his partners, who pay $120 million a year in rent, have selected David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to design the first tower.

Childs is designing this tower. Don't get used to anything we've seen thus far. All we know for sure is it will be tall (and pointy).

dbhstockton
February 28th, 2003, 02:56 PM
I'm not talking about translucent buildings à la Mies. I'm talking about something even more dramatic : the absence of actual floors.
A good way to reduce costs, let's admit it.

You're right, I misunderstood what you were trying to say. *

Kris
February 28th, 2003, 03:00 PM
The floorplates are small but there are floors.

JMGarcia
February 28th, 2003, 03:49 PM
I believe that some of the floorplate are actually only half floors - sort of like blacony floors. Like floor 70 goes to all 3 walls but floor 71 and 72 are open to below.

Fabb
February 28th, 2003, 05:23 PM
I've been too sarcastic about Libeskind's plan.
Now it's time for me to apologize to all the admirers of this cute and clever plan.

Yes, it's cute.
Dad, Mum and the kids. In decreasing order. Don't you just love the little one ?

Yes, it's clever.
Who would dare hit them ? 5 of them at the same time ?
Which one would be the target, anyway ? The very thin one ? Nope : too hard to get. And almost empty. The other ones ? Too low. Might hit the WFC by mistake.

Someone has thought through all the details.

NYatKNIGHT
February 28th, 2003, 05:24 PM
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/02/27/nyregion/27kind.jpg

Agglomeration
February 28th, 2003, 05:53 PM
The smile on Libeskind's face has to be wiped off.

ZippyTheChimp
February 28th, 2003, 06:53 PM
Careful. Libeskind may be our best friend among these characters.

He sure looks happy.

ddny
February 28th, 2003, 08:32 PM
Quote: from NYatKNIGHT on 4:37 pm on Feb. 28, 2003
CHARLES V. BAGLI - NY Times article:

The office buildings themselves, however, will be designed by the architect hired by the site's developer, Mr. Silverstein, and may not look anything like the towers depicted by Mr. Libeskind. Mr. Silverstein and his partners, who pay $120 million a year in rent, have selected David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to design the first tower.

Childs is designing this tower. Don't get used to anything we've seen thus far. All we know for sure is it will be tall (and pointy).


Childs? I'm beginning to lose hope...

Fabb
March 1st, 2003, 05:07 AM
Why ?
What could we lose anyway ?

Kris
March 1st, 2003, 07:58 AM
Great architecture.

Fabb
March 1st, 2003, 08:22 AM
Probably not.
With Libeskind at the helm, great architecture is certainly not guaranteed. And I'm not talking about fake height or morbid vision.
I'm talking about the probability of a total fiasco.

Kris
March 1st, 2003, 08:48 AM
Aha. Great architecture is far from guaranteed, but it isn't practically excluded as it would be with SOM.

ddny
March 1st, 2003, 08:50 AM
Quote: from Fabb on 7:07 am on Mar. 1, 2003
Why ?
What could we lose anyway ?


So far...I have been disappointed with Childs, and with SOM in general, especially here in NY.

I am not sure what we could lose or even gain with SOM in this process, but from past experiences...it probably won't be that great.

I'll take 7 WTC for example...

amigo32
March 1st, 2003, 09:07 AM
SOM. *Thumbs down. *:(

Fabb
March 1st, 2003, 09:16 AM
Quote: from ddny on 7:50 am on Mar. 1, 2003

I'll take 7 WTC for example...


That's unfair.
He had a very limited time to design that building.
Now we're talking about plans that'll be realized in a decade.

amigo32
March 1st, 2003, 09:24 AM
Maybe, but Silverstein always knew what he wanted.

Anonymous
March 1st, 2003, 11:47 AM
Quote: from Agglomeration on 4:53 pm on Feb. 28, 2003
The smile on Libeskind's face has to be wiped off.

I'm with you!

dbhstockton
March 1st, 2003, 03:33 PM
Yeah he looks autistic or something. *He is on top of the world right now. *It's a safe bet that he'll be knocked down, knowing the way things work in this city.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/02/27/nyregion/27kind.jpg

Kris
March 1st, 2003, 04:33 PM
The Times was nasty to choose that picture. Maybe Muschamp did it.

Bennie B
March 1st, 2003, 04:56 PM
CW at least it shows that PeeWee's playhouse is no substitute for the real thing.

Kris
March 1st, 2003, 05:01 PM
I suppose you have an authoritative definition of what "the real thing" would be.

Bennie B
March 1st, 2003, 06:20 PM
CW yep, I do: two Twin Towers, 110+ *stories each, on 1-acre floorplates offset to keep windows from looking into windows, each directly north of the original towers, clad in black granite and white travertine, along the lines of P/L's design, but a little more austere, with multiple setbacks, flutes, viewing platforms, faceted roofs, and antenas. *100% made in Manhattan.

Kris
March 1st, 2003, 06:46 PM
100% provincial and retrograde. You should have proposed your ambitious vision, it's too late now.

NyC MaNiAc
March 1st, 2003, 07:05 PM
no, it's not to late. Of course it's too late for you to become the architect of the WTC site, but *voice your opinion and maybe we'll see something like that on the Trade Center Site.


(Edited by NyC MaNiAc at 12:13 am on Mar. 2, 2003)

Agglomeration
March 1st, 2003, 10:09 PM
Everyone please, be civil. Whether you like Libeskind's plan and would accept his version of the Twin Towers, or hate it and want the Yamasaki version of the Twin Towers, I do not want to see this squabble escalate into personal attacks on one another just because we disagree on what should be built on these 16 acres. It's a fact that some of us will disagree on what should be built there, and it's best to respect this fact and not to escalate this into a fight. Ths infighting is exactly what destroyed Ross Perot's Reform Party (Patrick Buchanan made it worse), and I don't want to see the same thing happen here.

Kris
October 20th, 2003, 02:58 PM
Instead of pasting the whole article here, i'm giving the link to Deroy Murdock's rant, just published in the National Review, about Libeskind's design for the WTC.

http://www.nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock200310200920.asp

JMGarcia
October 20th, 2003, 03:09 PM
Why people still insist on ranting on about Libeskind's designs for the towers when we all know (the author included) that he won't be designing the towers is beyond me.

Perhaps they just like the sound of their own voice.

:roll:

Harmonicaman
October 20th, 2003, 03:10 PM
Ho hum...

Just another anti-Libeskind reconstructionist diatribe. Another whiner who wants to rebuild the WTC Towers exactly like they were...

Sorry, aint gonna happen; get over it! :-(

dbhstockton
October 20th, 2003, 03:17 PM
Yeah. Blah blah blah. He lost me in the first paragraph. What kind of a jerk complains about a Jewish museum being closed on Rosh Hashanah?

NoyokA
October 20th, 2003, 03:25 PM
Interestingly enough, it was scheduled to open to the general public on September 11, 2001. In deference to al Qaeda's attack on America, the Jewish Museum opened Libeskind's extension two days later.

So says a real jerk.

NoyokA
October 20th, 2003, 03:26 PM
If anyone needs more confirmation.


There is a speck of sunshine amid these slivers of doom. His name is David Childs.

Liz L
October 20th, 2003, 05:06 PM
Bennie B, your idea sounds like it could be really nice, except for the white travertine - that's what they used on Lincoln Center's facade, and it has NOT held up well - it's so bady pitted, stained, and corroded that I couldn't even tell it was marble when I visited this summer. And the stone didn't even feel right to the touch...

In reference to Childs - was he involved in that atrocity SOM previously submitted, and which they (thankfully!) withdrew? This was the brainwave that filled the site with 6 or more towers, all the same height, but with some twisted and curved - the completely transparent facades (through which the floor plates were visible) and the gardens on the roofs, along with the curves in the buildings, made them look like some of those wormlike critters that live on the ocean bottom, and poke their heads, topped with a fringe of "whiskers" or whatever, out to look for lunch...

Eugenius
October 20th, 2003, 05:23 PM
I think Childs strategically distanced himself from that stillborn effort prior to the official submission of the design. So, technically, Childs was not involved. Practically, it's anyone's guess.

Kris
April 13th, 2004, 11:43 PM
April 14, 2004

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK

Shattered Shapes: Architect's Rhetoric of Suffering

By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/04/14/arts/14berl.xl.jpg
Daniel Libeskind described his design for the Jewish Museum in Berlin as a "deconstructed Star of David," with windows like slashes on the facade.

BERLIN — If you want to see where Daniel Libeskind's plan for ground zero comes from, you can find it here.

The Jewish Museum in Berlin was his first built commission. Opened in 2001 as an elaborate survey of nearly 2,000 years of Jewish life in Germany, it is the epitome of kitsch, catering to mass sentiment, and it has been a huge popular and critical success.

The zigzag, zinc-clad building by Mr. Libeskind has been widely interpreted as a de facto Holocaust memorial. He has devised a formal rhetoric of suffering and disaster, of shattered, quasi-religious shapes and voids that can as easily be applied to Jews in Germany as to New Yorkers at ground zero, where his master plan uses much the same visual vocabulary.

Each project has advertised and justified the other. Mr. Libeskind's model for ground zero has been exhibited at the Jewish Museum, and the museum's strong public reception clearly influenced his selection for the New York project.

Having decided on the memorial for ground zero, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker with Davis Brody Bond, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has now appointed a 24-member advisory committee of curators, academics, survivors and family members to develop the Memorial Center: a display of artifacts and other 9/11 archival material, occupying around 65,000 square feet below street level, within the memorial design.

The committee will consider mixing objects with interactive exhibitions to tell a narrative history of the World Trade Center and the attacks of 1993 and 2001. Whose narrative and how many perspectives will be represented are the sort of difficult questions that all memorials face.

This will be a memorial museum within a work of memorial architecture, itself contained in Mr. Libeskind's master plan. In Berlin, as at ground zero, the architecture was chosen before a decision was made about how to fill the building. The balance between form and content has been a vexing issue. Neither the Jewish Museum nor ground zero is immune to box office pressure. Both dubiously equate populism with civic duty.

During the late 1980's Berlin held a competition to design an addition to what was then the West Berlin city museum, occupying a former 18th-century Baroque courthouse. The expansion was to provide room for its theater and costume collections; the basement, about 30 percent of the new space, was for Judaica. Mr. Libeskind won. Ken Gorbey, a New Zealander hired in 2000 to oversee the museum's permanent exhibition, called what happened "a classic tale of the architectural tail wagging the political and museological dog." Mr. Libeskind's design was never good for displaying dresses. He ignored his assignment, but cleverly, by exploiting a ripe political opportunity.

His plan, representing what he called a "deconstructed Star of David," with windows like slashes all across the shiny facade, kindled hot public debate.

There had been talk here since the early 1970's about creating a new Jewish museum. The last one opened quietly a week before Hitler came to power, then was shut by the Nazis after Kristallnacht. Guilt and a desire to redefine Berlin after reunification as the nation's new cultural capital combined with Mr. Libeskind's design to quicken the discussion. The building was opened with nothing in it in 1999. Nearly 350,000 people came to see it before any exhibition was installed. Many writers speculated about whether it might best be left empty, as a Holocaust memorial sculpture, not least because it looked nearly impossible to fill coherently with objects.

It has been. Sloping grades, crooked passageways, dead ends, tall voids and other willful spaces were explained by Mr. Libeskind and then by others as architectural metaphors for the fate of Germany's Jews, for their difficult journey through history. In the basement, where tours start and finish, Mr. Libeskind designed a crisscross of tilting corridors symbolizing, he said, exile and the Holocaust, ending in two installations.

One is a high, bare, angular room, dimly lighted through a slit in a corner near the ceiling that lets in outside street sounds. Art aficionados may recognize it as a hand-me-down version of a work by the Minimal light artist James Turrell. Mr. Libeskind called it his Holocaust Tower, and should anyone not grasp his intention, a label on the wall instructs visitors how to react. Mr. Libeskind, it says, wants them to feel cut off from the city, able to hear but not reach the outside, "like people waiting for deportation and in the camps."

The other installation, the Garden of Exile, an inclining stone garden of 49 earth-filled pillars, lined up like so many Donald Judd boxes, has its own label. "Here," it says, "architect Daniel Libeskind asks us to think about the disorientation that exile brings."

W. Michael Blumenthal became the museum's director in 1997. A Berlin-born Jew whose family fled the Nazis for Shanghai, Mr. Blumenthal became an American citizen and was secretary of the treasury under President Jimmy Carter, before running Unisys and Bendix. He is an adept politician. The German central government was persuaded to take on what then became the Jewish Museum after the Berlin city museum, with its costumes and dresses, was jettisoned. Mr. Libeskind's building turned out to be much costlier than he had said it would be. Mr. Blumenthal secured federal support, supplemented by money he raised privately.

He also hired Mr. Gorbey, not an expert in Jewish history but a designer of big, populist, interactive exhibitions, to consult with various academics and survivors.

The permanent display, which was supposed to open to the public on Sept. 11, 2001, but opened two days later, has drawn nearly two million visitors. I have visited half a dozen times, occasionally with specialists in German Jewish history. The experience, which derives partly from the strategies of interactive theme park design, has been diverting, although the display has not become much more comprehensible after the sixth visit than it was after the first.

It is state-of-the-art technology, circa several years ago, all of it exhaustingly packaged. Some of this packaging is apt. Entry through the 18th-century building reminds that the past is linked to the present. While Mr. Libeskind's Holocaust basement frames a visit, upstairs in the permanent exhibition the Holocaust is pointedly framed, even minimized, by displays about the nearly 2,000 years of Jewish life preceding it and by the postwar period, so that German Jews are not defined, as the Nazis desired, solely as victims and corpses.

Stories of individual Jews, many of them of women, humanize the exhibition. They are told about different sorts of people, not only about artists and writers; the museum thereby sidesteps the stereotype of Jews as people of culture, which, while flattering, may imply that the life or death of a Jewish banker or street peddler is less worth honoring.

But over all the architecture and the exhibition trivialize and overwhelm history. The museum panders to the sort of audience of middlebrow Germans and tourists who don't know any real, live Jews, watering down and sweetening up the past. Even pared back from the 3,900 objects it had at the opening, the exhibition is a smorgasbord of tidbits. Visitors graze. Here are the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn's glasses next to recipes for kosher food; there is a display about medicine next to one about Jews being burned.

Mr. Libeskind's building posed obvious practical hurdles, but the installation is its own inchoate maze of added nooks and crannies, platforms, stairs and partitions, stuffed with gadgets and gimmicks. You can put on a backpack as heavy as a peddler wore. You can peel open a giant sculpture of a garlic. You can mint a coin. You can participate in computerized straw polls.

If you are German, you can assuage guilt a little and leave happy. There is no sense of why the Jews, a tiny minority of Germans, came to be viewed with such fascination and loathing. You detect throughout the exhibition, both in what it avoids saying and it how much it glancingly touches on, the pressures of conflicting factions, in and out of the museum: a predicament for any Jewish museum in Germany, as for any memorial museum. Here it has produced a display anxious to please everyone by offending no one.

The critic Clement Greenberg defined kitsch in the 1930's as ersatz culture "for those who, insensible to the values of genuine culture, are hungry nevertheless for the diversion that only culture of some sort can provide." Kitsch can be deceptive, he warned, adding, "It has many different levels, and some of them are high enough to be dangerous to the naïve seeker of true light."

There are possible lessons in Berlin for the Memorial Center at ground zero. The temptations of populism are strong. This is because the quality of a visit is harder to measure than the number of bodies going through the front door. Attendance is the easiest gauge of a museum's success for politicians and corporate sponsors.

Several times I have made a point of stopping into the former New Synagogue after visiting the Jewish Museum. Desecrated by the Nazis, then bombed, it is now a small memorial museum, the Centrum Judaicum, with its own permanent exhibition of artifacts. It is not far from the Jewish Museum. Few people visit. A police barricade is always outside. A foundation, it has a fraction of the budget that the Jewish Museum has. It can't promote itself aggressively. But it still organizes shows.

Until the beginning of May there is an excellent one about Jewish filmmakers in Germany, the sort of event the Jewish Museum might have organized if it had the same ambition for its temporary exhibition program.

In the synagogue are mostly modest objects, like a dented lamp and architectural fragments, carefully explained. No bells or whistles.

At the Jewish Museum artifacts drift in a sea of facsimiles, and the two are barely distinguished. A bolt of fabric from which yellow stars were cut might have more impact if it were separated out from the props around it. An 18th-century brass sabbath lamp might seem more like a rare object if it weren't swallowed up in a kind of stage set of an old Jewish quarter.

Art teaches us that power is a matter of physical evidence. A single object can make a disproprionately big impact. The same applies to historical and religious artifacts: authentic emotions derive from authentic objects; a relic is, like a genuine Rembrandt, a powerful talisman across time. True objects, even small ones, presented with dignity, can have an effect that neither melodramatic architecture nor the fanciest and most extravagantly packaged reproductions can match.

New York, take note. Less can be more. Substance trumps spectacle, or at least it should.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/04/14/arts/14berl184.jpg
At Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin, faces represent Holocaust victims.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/04/14/arts/14berl3.jpg
The museum includes crooked passageways and dead ends.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

MrShakespeare
July 14th, 2004, 10:39 AM
Long, but essential reading:

The Future of Ground Zero: Daniel Libeskind's Perverse Vision
http://www.policyreview.org/jun04/rosenthal.html

Kris
July 30th, 2004, 02:32 PM
July 30, 2004

PUBLIC LIVES

Big Enough to Be the Brainy Half

By ROBIN FINN

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/07/30/nyregion/profile.184.jpg
"I wouldn't say I crack a whip, but this is the division of duties we decided on." Nina Libeskind

IMPOSING, somehow, at just a smidgen over five feet tall, with a black-on-black wardrobe, a grayish brush cut of military precision and beyond-nerdy specs, Nina Libeskind seems a female photocopy of her husband, Daniel, architect of the master plan for the reconfigured World Trade Center. Taken together - and they usually are together - they're living proof that cutting edge can come in small packages. Matching packages.

But the resemblance ends at the resemblance. Soul mates, yes. Theirs was a case of love at first sight when they met at a Yiddish-speaking summer camp; after 35 years of marriage (they have three children) and nearly 15 years as business partners (she is chief operating officer of Studio Daniel Libeskind), they still have eyes only for each other. But doppelgangers, no. Both may wear the black pants in the family, but Ms. Libeskind, 55, is boss of the brood, and the business.

"I have to keep him in line," she says with a faint smile, tucked into a modish chair in a lofty conference room at Two Rector Street, their downtown headquarters. "I wouldn't say I crack a whip, but this is the division of duties we decided on. I told him, 'I can promise you only one thing: you will never have to think about money.' "

A model of his trade center master plan sits on the windowsill behind her. Beside it is a model of the Statue of Liberty, whose torch-bearing arm, along with the iconic year 1776, Mr. Libeskind used as inspiration for the Freedom Tower's shape and height. Those are the two design details he refused to relinquish after David Childs was brought in as the tower's chief architect by Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the ground zero site. There are a half-dozen Freedom Tower discards on the sill, remnants of the rocky, now litigious, collaboration between Mr. Libeskind and Mr. Childs.

Her husband, Ms. Libeskind stresses, is the dreamy creative genius in their partnership - a guy who memorizes Shakespearean sonnets during morning treadmill stints. She's the one with what he proudly calls "the Rolodex memory." He's the polymath; she does the math. It is the missus, rather than the mister, who has taken the lead role in a mutually unbecoming legal spat with Mr. Silverstein over what the developer owes the architect for design work on the tower. A week after its cornerstone was dedicated on July 4, the Libeskinds filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court. The judge ordered mediation, and set an October court date. Ms. Libeskind claims her firm is owed $843,750, and dismisses Mr. Silverstein's $225,000 settlement offer as "insulting."

"I don't think they thought we would sue," says Ms. Libeskind, aflutter with righteous indignation at the perceived slight to her husband's talents. "Who wanted to sue? I never did anything like this in my life. We're friends with our other clients. This should be a straightforward case of us asking to be paid for work that was done. Daniel isn't asking for a star fee."

According to Mr. Silverstein, the $2.25 million that Studio Daniel Libeskind received for its master plan from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Port Authority renders further compensation redundant. Through a spokesman, Howard J. Rubenstein, he described Mr. Libeskind's contributions to the Freedom Tower as "very limited" and termed the lawsuit a "cynical ploy to extract more money from Larry Silverstein than can be justified." The development corporation's take on the feud, according to one official: A pox on both their houses. But all parties agree that it hasn't impeded construction.

Nor will it, says Ms. Libeskind. "My husband made the master plan, which is a vision, not the end product. He knows you can't keep stamping your foot and saying, 'I won't allow this or that change.' The design process is a collaboration, the process only moves forward through collaboration, and as soon as you work with others, your vision is transformed." Aside from his "not fun" collaboration with Mr. Childs, she says her husband remains overjoyed at the prospect of overseeing his master plan's translation into actual structures.

"Our ties to the World Trade Center site are more than architectural," she says. "Projects don't often have that passion and emotion built into them that this one does."

Ms. Libeskind was raised in Toronto in a political household that received five daily newspapers; she volunteered at the polls at age 7. Her father, David Lewis, a Russian émigré, was a lawyer and a leader of the labor-friendly New Democratic Party. Her brother, Stephen, Canadian ambassador to the United Nations in the 1980's, is a U.N. special envoy to Africa. She went to college in Vancouver to study political theory - she envisioned a run for Parliament - but scotched that to return east and marry Mr. Libeskind in 1969.

Until he was selected in 1989 to design the Jewish Museum in Berlin, a commission that put him into architecture's fast lane, Mr. Libeskind was a very mobile academic; when the family finally moves next month from its temporary residence in an Upper East Side hotel to a TriBeCa apartment of her husband's design, Ms. Libeskind estimates they will have pulled up stakes 19 times. She doesn't anticipate a 20th move. New York City, she says, is home to them both, even if Mr. Libeskind's celebrity gets in the way of domestic tranquillity. Or its opposite.

"You can never have an argument on the street: that can be a problem for two people who are chalk and cheese, pepper and salt." Together, they stand 10 feet tall. Formidable? Evidently.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

MrShakespeare
September 1st, 2004, 11:58 AM
From the San Francisco Chronicle:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/08/31/entertainment1641EDT0208.DTL&type=tvradio

`Sacred Ground' charts a stormy planning process to rebuild at Ground Zero

FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
Tuesday, August 31, 2004


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(08-31) 13:41 PDT NEW YORK (AP) --

One day, it had been 16 acres of commercial real estate with the two looming towers most New Yorkers took for granted. A day later, it was a hideous rubble, an open wound that cried out for healing.

But what should ground zero re-emerge as? A memorial to the 9/11 attacks? A defiant restatement of capitalistic zeal?

How could the flood of interests be contained in a single, coherent design? How could the countless financial, political and moral claims on the site be sorted out?

Not so well, viewers may conclude from "Sacred Ground," airing Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS (check local listings).

Telling and poignant, this "Frontline" documentary exposes the contentious first year of the rebuilding effort on the World Trade Center site.

A turf battle over this sacred ground, it pitted architect Daniel Libeskind -- who won an official competition to design the site's master plan pledging to address "our vitality in the face of danger, and our optimism in the aftermath of tragedy" -- against David Childs, the architect privately chosen by the site's developer, Larry Silverstein, whose own top priority was seeing rentable properties with maximum square footage rise as soon as possible.

Caught in between: New York Gov. George Pataki, a fan of Libeskind's vision but also a realist who knew that, while ground zero might belong to everyone, Silverstein alone held the lease.

Despite all sides' struggle to publicly maintain a happy face, the architectural "collaboration" rapidly crumbled. "Sacred Ground" tracks the festering behind-the-scenes feud, which eventually found Libeskind excluded from the design process and his contest-winning ideas all but dismissed.

Granted special access by the Libeskind camp, filmmaker Kevin Sim had begun "Sacred Ground" as a portrait of this Polish-born son of Holocaust survivors who grew up in the Bronx. With credits that included Berlin's Jewish Museum, Libeskind in February 2003 had prevailed over some 500 rivals with a design whose centerpiece was a 1,776-foot Freedom Tower meant to echo the Statue of Liberty.

"He had been chosen to make a project that would somehow satisfy everybody: the families of the victims, the politicians, the developers, the people who wanted to remember," said Sim, whose other documentaries include "Remember My Lai," "The Man Who Shot John Lennon" and "Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail," in an interview last week from his London office.

"For a moment, it seemed he had the answer, and when we started the film, it seemed that was what we were going to be following. But during the making of our film, Daniel seemed to be less and less in command, until he was more or less excluded. So, in a sense, our man who was supposed to be there in the center of events found himself marginalized."

A small, dynamic man with an effusive manner and wraparound eyeglasses, Libeskind radiated a humanistic approach to architecture. He is heard in the film marveling at "the spirit" of the World Trade Center site, "full of its own forces."

But the force Libeskind clashed with was David Childs of the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owens and Merrill, who, in the view of The New Yorker magazine's architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, preferred a nuts-and-bolts approach to design: "The structural idea should come first (and) architecture should reflect the structural reality."

Interviewed for the film, Childs sounds coolly dismissive of his nominal colleague as someone who "has never yet had the opportunity of dealing with" a project of this scope.

In such an environment, Libeskind had clear need for Ed Hayes, a seasoned New York lawyer hired, he explains, to lead his client "through the jungles of New York without getting ambushed and eaten alive."

The film is full of these larger-than-life figures. But two human-scale people keep "Sacred Ground" grounded: Ellie Hertz, a suburban widow who recalls how her husband took the morning train to the World Trade Center for 13 years, and Gordon Huie, a young man from Chinatown whose sister was at a business meeting on the 106th floor.

"It was important to stay in touch with them," said Sim, explaining why he returns to this pair throughout his film. "The design process was so huge, and became such a dogfight, that it doesn't touch the condition of ordinary grieving people."

On July 4, construction began on the $1.5 billion, 70-story Freedom Tower, sporting a last-minute version of Libeskind's spire tacked atop the Childs camp's torqued, windmills-equipped skyscraper.

"A sad compromise," says Goldberger. But "Sacred Ground" argues that, on its way to becoming the world's tallest building, it perhaps was always doomed to come up short.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the Net:
www.pbs.org/frontline



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Frazier Moore can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org

MrShakespeare
September 1st, 2004, 12:02 PM
Another article, this from the Village Voice:

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0435/tv2.php

by Joy Press
Architect Versus Architect: The Great Manhattan Land Grab
August 30th, 2004 4:00 PM
Sacred Ground
September 7 at 9 on PBS


It's not often that we get to watch architects battle it out in a public grudge match. Judging by this program about the contested designs for ground zero, it's not a pretty sight. For a year, Frontline followed Daniel Libeskind—winner of a competition to design the site's master plan—as he watched his contribution to the project winnowed down to thin air.

Libeskind, who became a kind of design icon himself in his angular eyeglasses and Euro-chic wardrobe, won over many New Yorkers (including Governor Pataki) by knitting his vision for the site into a poetic narrative about America. But property developer Larry Silverstein—unimpressed by Libeskind's fancy-shmancy ideas—went ahead and hired another architect, David Childs, to build the Freedom Tower. The result was an ugly, ongoing standoff, documented here mostly from Libeskind's wounded perspective. "They stare you straight in the eye and they lie," says Libeskind's wife and partner, Nina, about Childs and co. The cameras catch Libeskind simpering awkwardly at press conferences next to a beaming Childs, while behind the scenes Libeskind is repeatedly being slapped upside the dome.

Although director Kevin Sim devotes most of the screen time to the two archrivals, he also interviews a few victims' family members, who express dismay that one rich developer—Silverstein—could hijack such a huge and meaningful public project. And then there's Roland Betts, chairman of the ground zero site committee, who admits sadly, "They've behaved like assholes, OK? I wish I'd stayed in there and been a referee . . . basically saying to David Childs, 'Stop it. Grow up.' But I didn't."