New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
PA dodging Ground Zero tower feud
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
and GREG GITTRICH
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, October 24th, 2003
The Port Authority will not help resolve a clash between a pair of architects designing the signature skyscraper at Ground Zero, a top official said yesterday.
The fight between architects Daniel Libeskind and David Childs over the appearance of the Freedom Tower threatens to delay Gov. Pataki's aggressive rebuilding timetable.
But PA Executive Director Joseph Seymour said it's not up to the bistate agency to make Libeskind and Childs get along, even though the agency owns Ground Zero.
"We are not building the building," Seymour said.
That job falls to developer Larry Silverstein, who holds a 99-year lease on the twin towers' site, Seymour said.
He added that the PA is working with Silverstein to approve a design for the tower, which would become the world's tallest building.
But Pataki, who is set to give a speech to business leaders detailing downtown's progress next week, appeared to pick sides in the squabble yesterday.
Pataki said it was important to "maintain the vision" in Libeskind's overall plan for Ground Zero, which won a worldwide contest in February.
"I think it is very important that the vision that was enunciated for the master site plan be ultimately constructed at Ground Zero," he said.
"The public spoke, and they want it to be a Freedom Tower that stands as a symbol of the strength, the confidence and the unity of the people in New York, and that's what we're going to see the people get."
Libeskind took a secondary role in designing the tower this summer when Silverstein made Childs the lead architect.
Simmering disagreements between Childs and Libeskind exploded Monday when they had a fight over the tower's appearance and Libeskind walked out of Childs' office.
Pataki wants the cornerstone of the tower laid by August - before Republicans converge on the city for their national convention.