View Poll Results: Construction is underway, how do you feel about the final design for the WTC site?

Voters
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  • I am more than satisfied; I believe that the final design surpasses that of the original World Trade Center. 10/10

    50 26.04%
  • While nothing may ever live up to the Twin Towers, I am wholly satisfied with the new World Trade Center; it is a new symbol for a new era. 7/10

    55 28.65%
  • I have come to terms with the new World Trade Center; although it has a number of flaws, I find the design to be acceptable. 5/10

    48 25.00%
  • I am wholly disappointed with the New World Trade Center; we will live to regret the final design. 0/10

    22 11.46%
  • I am biased, but honest, and hate anything that is not a reincarnation of the original Twin Towers.

    17 8.85%
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Thread: World Trade Center Developments

  1. #2266

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    At the risk of repeating myself.....

    Every great pedestrian city in the world manages to support these types of enclosed pedestrian streets. In virtually every case they enhance the variety of the city they are in.

    The key to whether it is used or not will be the quality of the design and whether what is in there is what people want to visit. TWC is a prime example of getting the market correctly.

    Whether or not Cortland St. is dead or not does not depend on whether it is covered over or not. It depends on what lines the street in terms of services. A roof and a glass front mean nothing either way.

  2. #2267

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    No, because I don't think the important part of the issue is the Cortlandt space itself, but more the relationship to the surroundings.

    The best analogy I can think of the TWC space. I think the vertical arrangement is a liability, but the first floor arc with entrances at either end and small shops lining the length works very well with street flow.

    Edit: My post was in response to BPC

  3. #2268

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    That's because it is a perfect analogy, and no one has provided an intelligent answer to it. Just a bunch of fluff about "malls," as if the mere use of the word resolves any issue as to whether cars should be returned to Cortland Street. Silly.
    It's not a good analogy. We've been through this before. You're comparing destruction and creation - destroying a landmark and the rebuilding of a hole in the ground. It's a little disingenuous. Maybe you should reread the earlier posts because there was a lot more in them than "fluff about malls". No one is suggesting that the mall wouldn't be successful, even lively. The reasons some of us think an open street is more suitable has little to do with that space itself. Like Zippy said, it's about the relationship to the surrounding. Which way is more beneficial to the area on the whole? I feel an open street would provide more unity to the area. Help to incorporate the WTC site with the area the north. Also I don't think another Winter Garden or "shopping arcade" is needed here. We already have one just a few blocks away in the WFC. It does little to nothing to add to the variety of the city, as some have said.

  4. #2269
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    There is also the possibility of an open arcade or overpass for that area that might work well.


    So long as you do it with a large headroom, it might be nice to have a partially sheltered space to go through or sit at on a rainy day.

    Now, if they overpass area was built too low, it would be a dank and dark dungeon that noone would like, so there are some caveats....

    the entire road would not have to be enclosed, maybe only a small section that would allow protected conveyance between the areas on opposite sides of the road during the more unpleasant times of the year.


    Oh, one other thing though. Even if it were to be left open, I would not want it to be re-opened. I would recommend that it be turned into a plaza and allow buisnesses allong the side to use all available sidewalk space for external seaing and the like. Space is rare in the city, and people like it when it is used properly.

  5. #2270

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenie
    Also I don't think another Winter Garden or "shopping arcade" is needed here. We already have one just a few blocks away in the WFC. It does little to nothing to add to the variety of the city, as some have said.
    Retail is desperately needed downtown. You are the only person I know who doesn't think the neighborhood needs retail. What isn't needed is more cars and traffic, which is what through street would bring.

    Workers and residents should get the priority. Retail is more important than another traffic sewer.

  6. #2271
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    greenie's post read to me as though greenie was not opposing retail in general, but questioning an enclosed "arcade" ala the Winter Garden / WFC as a venue for retail.

  7. #2272

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    More retail is always nice, but where it is desperately needed is the area south of the WTC. The WTC site will have plenty, no matter what the chosen configuration is.

    What the entire area needs, and seems to be forgotten, is entertainment.

  8. #2273
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Another traffic sewer - Cortlandt Street?

    Opening more streets doesn't necessarily mean more traffic, it could ease congestion if configured correctly, and besides, that's not the plan with this street.

    The reason the streets are reintroduced are to help the neighborhood, not aid the driver. Obviously nobody wants a traffic jam, but a little traffic or at least pedestrian traffic actually draws people in and in doing so helps small businesses and keeps the neighborhood active. Street life is what is sorely needed in this area to keep it animated and opened past five - and the more of that the better since half of the rest of the site will be a gloomy memorial. If you disagree that's fine, but I think I'm with the vast majority of urban planners on this one.

  9. #2274

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
    There is also the possibility of an open arcade or overpass for that area that might work well.
    When I was in San Diego a few years ago, I saw that it had some lovely, open-air pedestrian arcades. But the weather here is not quite San Diego, and the most successful new arcades seem to be weather protected (not just GCT but also Chelsea Market, to name another example). I am not quite a fan of the Time Warner Center, another weather-protected site that has been mentioned, as that really does seem to be just a mall.

  10. #2275

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    My concern with the Cortlandt Street mall is that, together with the mall planned at the Calatrava station, the two together have the potential to suck the life out of nearby streets. Arguably, the presence of two enclosed malls with 200 plus stores between them would make street-level retail (as in stores that open to the sidewalk) moribund.

    Regarding the presence of cars on the street, there has been a spate of research by urban scholars as well as empirical evidence that streets which accomodate both cars and pedestrians are the lively ones. Most urban experiments in the U.S. with pedestrian-only streets had dismal results, including squatting and petty crime. Certainly, the idea was attractive and, as others here have pointed out, it has worked in other countries. I have never been there, but the galleria in Milan looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, the U.S. just doesn't seem to be able to carry off this idea successfully.

  11. #2276
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Streetlover, there are plenty of open streets throughout the city that are just as moribund as you've described, not the least, the streets to the immediate south of the Trade Center, so you can't blame any malls for that. Likewise, there are plenty of malls that are livelier than the streets.

    Just because other closed street experiments failed doesn't necessarily mean that the idea is flawed, it could just mean the execution was poor.

  12. #2277

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    Quote Originally Posted by STREETLOVER
    My concern with the Cortlandt Street mall is that, together with the mall planned at the Calatrava station, the two together have the potential to suck the life out of nearby streets. Arguably, the presence of two enclosed malls with 200 plus stores between them would make street-level retail (as in stores that open to the sidewalk) moribund.

    Regarding the presence of cars on the street, there has been a spate of research by urban scholars as well as empirical evidence that streets which accomodate both cars and pedestrians are the lively ones. Most urban experiments in the U.S. with pedestrian-only streets had dismal results, including squatting and petty crime. Certainly, the idea was attractive and, as others here have pointed out, it has worked in other countries. I have never been there, but the galleria in Milan looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, the U.S. just doesn't seem to be able to carry off this idea successfully.
    But NYC isn't the typical U.S city. The city has tons more pedestrian traffic and streetlife than any other U.S. city. There are plenty of successful pedestrian-only areas in NYC (Rockefeller Center, Wall Street area, Seaport, Mulberry Street in Summer, Fulton Mall Brooklyn- working class but extremely successful) as well as in Boston, Burlington, VT, Ithaca, NY, etc.

    Also, nobody is mentioning that the former WTC mall (despite it's spartan appearance and connectivity flaws) benefitted, rather than hurt, surrounding street life. The streets surrounding the trade center were always packed, especially at lunch hour. There was terrific interplay between Century 21 and the mall entrances. The same thing is now occuring around the Time Warner Center where the formerly moribund streets have been invigorated.

  13. #2278

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz
    Also, nobody is mentioning that the former WTC mall (despite it's spartan appearance and connectivity flaws) benefitted, rather than hurt, surrounding street life. The streets surrounding the trade center were always packed, especially at lunch hour. There was terrific interplay between Century 21 and the mall entrances. The same thing is now occuring around the Time Warner Center where the formerly moribund streets have been invigorated.
    Funny, that's exactly how I remember it too. The WTC, particularly in its final years and particularly on its Liberty and Church Street sides, was always teeming with outdoor pedestrian life. And the indoor retail concourses, of course, were among the most successful in the nation, in terms of sales. Unfortunately, I have spent the last four and a half years reading about how the WTC "sucked the life" out of the surrounding areas, mostly be persons who never lived or worked down here. The truth, it seems, has been lost amidst ever-shifting urban planning fads.

  14. #2279

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    Unfortunately, I have spent the last four and a half years reading about how the WTC "sucked the life" out of the surrounding areas, mostly be persons who never lived or worked down here. The truth, it seems, has been lost amidst ever-shifting urban planning fads.
    Agreed, the WTC (particularly the transit and the mall) was the engine for the neighborhood's pedestrian vitality. The design was less than ideal, yet it worked quite well. I side with the Port Authority on this one.

  15. #2280

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz
    Also, nobody is mentioning that the former WTC mall (despite it's spartan appearance and connectivity flaws) benefitted, rather than hurt, surrounding street life. The streets surrounding the trade center were always packed, especially at lunch hour.
    I've lived neared the WTC for many years, and worked in the area for decades, and that was only marginally true Mon-Fri 9-5.

    In spite of the fact that year after year as the resident population increased, while the surrouinding neighborhoods increased in activity, the WTC are remained virtually dead after business hours and on weekends.

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