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Thread: WTC Memorial - by Michael Arad (Architect) and Peter Walker (Landscape)

  1. #181

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    Moderator, please move the above posts regarding the Freedom Center here. Thanx

    BTW, why was Reflecting Absence taken out of the title of this thread?

  2. #182

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    I made the title (as in a few other threads) more generic, in the hope that it would attract all memorial posts as discourage duplicate threads.

    I guess it worked too well.

  3. #183
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    NY Times
    August 29, 2005

    At Ground Zero, a Place to Recall a Lost Era

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP
    Close to the heart but far from public consciousness, the World Trade Center Memorial Museum - where visitors will be immersed in history in the very crucible where it unfolded - is beginning to take form.

    There is no director, though a national search is under way. No artifacts have been chosen, though a three-volume catalog suggests how many there are to choose. Boundary skirmishes among the users of underground space on the trade center site are settled enough that officials can say the museum will have at least 110,000 square feet of floor area.

    A picture of this museum-in-progress emerged from interviews with key figures at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the architectural firm of Davis Brody Bond. The plans will be presented publicly at workshops beginning in mid-September.

    "Normally, the icon contains the exhibit," said Steven M. Davis, one of the architects, speaking about museum design. "Here, the icon is the exhibit."

    But the memorial museum, he added, is "about the people, not the architecture."

    Almost certainly, it will be organized thematically, beginning with a depiction of life at the towers before and between the attacks of Feb. 26, 1993, and Sept. 11, 2001. Exhibits following that would depict the events of 9/11, rendered graphically and unflinchingly (visitors may bypass this exhibit); and the rescue efforts and relief work, the outpouring of support and the broader aftermath.

    Galleries, corridors and overlooks will thread through a three-dimensional subterranean labyrinth in a gently sloping descent, skirting the memorial pools, ducking under an electrical distribution room, and edging around the chiller plant and PATH tracks.

    At one critical juncture, visitors will be standing below and between the imposing volumes of the north and south memorial pools. This inverse form of the voids above is intended to convey something of the enormity of the site and to mark the towers' place.

    The journey will end in a great chamber some 40 feet high and 240 feet long, just a few feet above bedrock, with sheared-off column remnants from the north tower on one side and a section of the rugged slurry wall on the other, lighted from a skylight high above.

    On this level, within the footprint of the north tower (96 percent of which will be preserved, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey), 9,100 unidentified remains will be kept in a repository maintained by the chief medical examiner. Visitors will not be permitted within, though they will find a contemplation room nearby with a symbolic vessel and a view open to the sky.

    Within the column remnants and footprint of the south tower (47 percent of which will be preserved), there will be a kind of library of lives and memories, where victims will be commemorated in real or virtual albums and images.

    Even in its conceptual phase, the museum has come under fire. Some victims' relatives have criticized it for not being large enough, noting that the cultural and performing arts buildings contain more space. And they have disparaged the museum for relegating the stories of victims, survivors and rescuers to a place far below ground.

    But redevelopment officials said that the museum's size would equal or rival many important New York institutions and that its location, within the foundation walls of the original trade center, would be integral to its narrative role.

    "The experience of moving through the space is also the telling of the story," said Anita F. Contini, who was until recently the development corporation's vice president for memorial, cultural and civic programs. "The whole idea that this should be above ground - it's almost not fair to the lives of those who were lost to place it in a traditional setting."

    Gretchen Dykstra, president and chief executive of the foundation, which will assume responsibility for building the memorial and the museum, said nearly all of the museum's 110,000 square feet would be devoted to exhibitions and education.

    That is twice as much exhibition space as at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and three times as much as at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    "Memorials ought not be judged by size exclusively," said Stefan Pryor, the president of the development corporation. "But if we're dealing with square footage, over 500,000 square feet are dedicated to the memorial and the memorial museum combined."

    A visit would begin in a pavilion at the west edge of the memorial plaza. An advisory committee has recommended a "signpost and icon" here, using a "powerful, visible artifact, such as a remnant from the buildings." The pavilion is being designed by the architectural firm Snohetta, which is also responsible for the cultural building.

    Visitors would descend 17 feet to an orientation area, then gradually down nine feet to the first main exhibition level. Displays would be arranged so that visitors could choose whether they cared to relive the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

    "You can go into it if you want, or bypass it, or get a glimpse," said Anne Papageorge, the senior vice president for memorial and cultural development at the corporation. "It's going to be sensual, graphic and very honest." At this level, the exact location can be marked where a truck bomb was detonated on Feb. 26, 1993.

    Down six more feet, from an overlook at the end of an L-shaped spur, visitors will first see the slurry wall, pockmarked with distinctive steel tieback anchors.

    Another exhibition level will follow, paralleling the south face of the north pool and taking visitors down 15 feet. At the end of this level, probably by escalator, visitors will travel down the final 22 feet, almost to bedrock, between the tower footprints.

    All told, a trip along this underground ribbon could cover 2,333 feet (roughly nine blocks on the Manhattan grid), said J. Max Bond Jr. of Davis Brody Bond, or it could be as short as 533 feet for those who go directly from the entry pavilion to bedrock level.

    The ascent back to the plaza will occur alongside the old foundation wall. "We like the metaphorical quality of the slurry wall as a survivor," said Carl F. Krebs, a partner in Davis Brody Bond. "It helped us define the closing experience."

    Preliminary projections suggest that the museum and memorial may draw as many as 6.6 million visitors annually in the first three years of operation, from 2009 to 2011, assuming there is no admission charge for the museum. By 2012, attendance is projected to fall to 4.8 million, Ms. Papageorge said, and by 2018, it would drop to 4 million visitors a year.

    Choosing the artifacts will be a staggering task. Objects salvaged by the Port Authority alone - including the last column taken from the site, steel trident sections from the facade of the north tower, a crumpled Alexander Calder stabile and some 20 vehicles - fill an 80,000-square-foot hangar at Kennedy Airport.

    A survey of existing 9/11-related collections by Howard & Revis, the curatorial planning consultants, has pinpointed the location of thousands of other artifacts. These include: tableware from Windows on the World; fuselage parts; a cellphone used by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; firefighters' helmets and air tanks; remnants of the bronze Rodin sculptures from the Cantor Fitzgerald office; the plywood panels of Bellevue Hospital's Wall of Prayer; hand-crocheted blankets from St. Paul's Chapel; and 84 cubic feet of dried roses collected at the first-anniversary ceremonies at ground zero.

    The foundation and the development corporation are now searching for "a person with stature in the world of museums, libraries and/or archives" to be director of the museum. Ms. Dykstra said, "It's essential that we get someone pretty soon who can guide this process with an eye of a museum professional."

    "We not only have a responsibility to tell the events of the day and the lives of people who were lost, but we also want to celebrate and recognize all the outpouring of support and volunteerism," she added. "We want to tell both sides of that story with equal levels of respect and recognition."


  4. #184
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Moving through these spaces should be an incredible experience (that is if it's done well, and since Snohetta is involved I'm thinking it's in good hands).

    One possible comparison is the Holocaust Museum in D.C. Although I think that museum (and the accompnaying displays) is possibly too "neat" for the complex experience it is trying to portray.

    IMO something of the chaotic nature of the horror of 9/11 should be incorporated into the some of the design / layout / displays.

  5. #185
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    I have to agree that the Holocaust Museum is a brilliant design in that it is an integral part of the story telling by the museum. Compare that museum with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which just might be THE WORST designed museum space in the country.

  6. #186

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    But the memorial museum, he added, is "about the people, not the architecture."
    They picked the right architects; these folks normally have trouble with doing architecture; they're putting us on notice.

  7. #187
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    An email I received today:

    From: Regional Plan Association
    Subject: Memorial Museum Planning Workshops


    Dear friends of RPA:
    We are pleased to announce three upcoming events to explore the programming of the proposed Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site. Regional Plan Association, as convener of the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, will host two public workshops in Lower Manhattan on September 19 and October 11 with the LMDC and the WTC Memorial Foundation to explore conceptual programming ideas for the Memorial Museum, which will be built at the World Trade Center site. We invite you to register for one of the workshops, or to attend the kick-off event on September 15 at the Center for Architecture, hosted by New York New Visions and the AIA New York Chapter.

    More information about all three events is provided below.

    Regards,

    Robert D. Yaro
    President
    Regional Plan Association


    *New York New Visions Public Forum: September 15, 2005

    New York New Visions and the AIA New York Chapter invite you to attend a special public forum to address the current planning and programming for the Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site. Speakers will include members of the Memorial design team, led by Davis Brody Bond Architects.

    WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2005

    TIME: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

    WHERE:

    Center for Architecture, Lecture Hall
    536 LaGuardia Place, NY NY 10012
    Between Bleecker and West Third Streets
    Sponsored By: New York New Visions, AIA New York Chapter

    PRICE: Free
    RSVP: (212) 358-6111 or rsvp@aiany.org


    ** Memorial Museum Program Workshops: September 19 & October 11, 2005 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, in partnership with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, will sponsor a series of workshops on preliminary programming concepts for the Memorial Museum dedicated to the events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.

    The Memorial Museum will tell the individual stories of the victims of the World Trade Center attacks and the contributions from around the world toward the rescue, recovery, and relief efforts. Preliminary concepts for an exhibition devoted to the timeline of the events of the day and the personal stories of victims, survivors, families, and New Yorkers will be presented at the workshops, as well as plans to showcase a variety of artifacts, from personal objects of everyday life in the Twin Towers, to large pieces of steel rescued from the wreckage of the site.

    The workshops will take place on Monday, September 19 and Tuesday, October 11, from 6:00 – 8:30 pm, offering the same program on both nights, at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the Woolworth Building, 15 Barclay Street in Lower Manhattan. The workshops will feature a presentation by curatorial and institutional planning consultants and will offer attendees the ability to break into smaller groups and discuss their thoughts on the preliminary programming concepts.

    *********************************************

    The workshops are free, but advanced registration is required. To register for the Memorial Museum Program Workshops, visit the Civic Alliance website at
    www.civic-alliance.org, or call Amanda Jones at 212-253-2727 x317.

    * To read LMDC's press release on the workshops, visit

    http://www.renewnyc.com/

    * For more information on the memorial museum, visit

    http://www.renewnyc.com/News/DisplayStory.asp-id-118.asp

    This project is supported by a September 11 recovery grant from the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund

    http://www.redcross.org/september11/help


  8. #188
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    NY Times
    September 8, 2005

    In Tree Search, a Step Toward Healing Ground Zero


    Gov. George E. Pataki, left, Peter Walker and Gretchen Dykstra marked trees Wednesday in Eastport, N.Y.

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP
    EASTPORT, N.Y., Sept. 7 - The starry leaves on the sweet gum trees are already tinged in crimson.

    "I'm amazed this soon," Gov. George E. Pataki said Wednesday as he and an entourage of photographers, architects, officials and tree brokers made their way from sweet gum to sweet gum at the Eastport Nursery in Suffolk County, tying white ribbons on five of the trees that will one day surround a glade at the World Trade Center memorial.

    It seems almost too perfect that 50 or so of the 350 trees planned on the memorial plaza - the balance will be swamp white oaks - might turn at just that time of year when thoughts turn to ground zero.

    "I don't want to promise anything," Peter Walker, the landscape architect of the memorial, told the governor. Changing weather, for instance, will affect the colors.

    But the sweet gums seemed to fulfill Mr. Walker's aspiration that the memorial plaza be at least streaked, if not suffused, in crimson. The oaks, he said, will turn more of a golden brown.

    On the plaza, trees will be arranged in even east-west rows and meandering north-south columns, not unlike an abacus. Their crowns will be trimmed to create a canopy 10 to 12 feet high. Michael Arad, the architect of the memorial, said one of his key concerns had been "how to maintain the integrity of this vast plane without overwhelming it."

    Walking among the sweet gums with the architects, Stefan Pryor, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, asked Mr. Walker, "The tree we're looking for is three to four times the height of Michael Arad, correct?"

    Correct: about 25 feet tall. The search for ideal trees - with even branches and straight trunks five to six inches in caliper - has taken Adam Greenspan of Peter Walker & Partners through nurseries in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

    The current price for oaks and sweet gums of this size is around $3,000, said Anne Papageorge, senior vice president of the development corporation. The first five sweet gums were acquired with a grant from the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture.

    The chosen trees will be trimmed and pruned in the nurseries where they were found. In 2007, they will be moved to a field closer to the city and placed in large wooden boxes. In the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009, the trees - by then up to 35 feet tall - will come to ground zero.

    They are expected to live 50 to 150 years. "We've promised Peter Walker we'll have a horticulturist on staff," said Gretchen Dykstra, president and chief executive of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, which will construct, own and maintain the memorial.

    Mr. Pataki allowed himself a glimpse a decade or two into the future, undaunted by the incongruity of speaking at a lectern set up in the middle of a dusty country road.

    "When I have a chance - without any cameras - to walk down to Lower Manhattan," he said, "I'm going to sit under one of these sweet gum trees, I'm going to reflect in the glade and give thanks for the courage of so many New Yorkers."

  9. #189

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    It is not enough to redesign the buildings, now Pataki picks out trees.

  10. #190

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    Well, at least he's having a blast doing it, judging by that stupid smirk on his face.

  11. #191

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    Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article...0050908/1/1562

    9/11 And ''Inappropriate Art''

    by Jonathan Mandell
    08 Sep 2005

    George Negroponte once met an ironworker who had helped dismantle the last remnants of the Twin Towers after the terrorist attack of September 11th, an experience that changed the man’s life in two main ways -– he suffered a disability, and he enrolled in art school. “He is now working full-time as an artist,” Negroponte said. “I’ve heard so many stories about so many people finding the need to have an artistic response.”

    This was one reason why Negroponte wanted to be involved in what he calls “the intersection between culture and rebuilding” –- a reason why the Drawing Center, a small museum founded in 1977 of which Negroponte is the president, was one of more than 100 cultural institutions to apply to be part of the new World Trade Center site. The Drawing Center was one of four that was chosen some 18 months ago.

    It is one of the two -- the other is the International Freedom Center -- that will probably be kicked out. They are being accused of wanting to exhibit work that is unpatriotic, unAmerican or...inappropriate.

    INAPPROPRIATE

    Judging from the many harsh words lately, September 11th has spawned a new art movement - Inappropriate Art:
    • The Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center are "inappropriate institutions for a site where so many have died."
    • "The International Freedom Center plans to host controversial debates and sponsor inappropriate programming involving the Tribeca Film Festival."
    • "So long as there is but one square inch housing dialogue, debates, artistic impressions, or exhibits about extraneous historical events, the International Freedom Center is inappropriate and a slap in the face to the victims, their families, and everyone affected by the Sept. 11th attacks"
    All three comments are from the Web site for Take Back The Memorial , an organization created after a former lawyer and Court TV producer named Debra Burlingame, the sister of the pilot whose plane was crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal in June attacking the International Freedom Center, or IFC.

    Their campaign -- aided by a drumbeat of blunt attacks from the tabloids (one Post editorial: "...anti-American activism of the sort implicitly embedded in the IFC and the Drawing Center is inappropriate at any memorial site") -- got results. The Drawing Center has announced it is looking at other options, and the International Freedom Center has been given a deadline of September 23rd in effect to satisfy its critics; since its critics only want exhibitions directly related to 9/11, it is difficult to see how the International Freedom Center can satisfy them.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who objected to the latest turn of events, nevertheless said: "The challenge for the curators is going to be: given the context of where these cultural institutions are, what's appropriate here?''

    Whatever else this particular controversy has illustrated, it is just the latest trouble to visit the four cultural structures of the new World Trade Center site. One way or another, the future of all four of them -- the memorial, the memorial museum, the performing arts center, and the cultural building -- is unclear.

    "It remains to be seen how it will play out,” says Petra Todorovich, senior planner and coordinator of Civic Alliance, the sponsors of the “Listening To The City” workshops that attracted nearly 5,000 people three years ago to participate in the initial planning for Ground Zero. They will soon hold two similar workshops for the public to react to the preliminary designs for the Memorial Museum.

    9/11 AND THE USES OF ART

    The arts have been part of September 11th from the beginning, when makeshift shrines and spontaneous walls of "Missing" posters sprouted all over the city.

    There was some talk of "appropriate" art even then - Clear Channel Communications reportedly circulated a list of 150 songs deemed inappropriate for broadcast on their radio stations - but the urgency to create took precedence, and impressed many people, especially those professionally involved in the arts.

    It taught art critic Arthur Danto, he says, that "even the most ordinary people respond to tragedy with art." Danto is the curator of "The Art of 9/11," an exhibition of a dozen well-known artists, at apexart, in Tribeca.

    It helped Radhika Subramaniam see that "art is used as healing, and for memory, and for telling stories.” Subramaniam is the curator of "What Comes After: Cities, Art + Recovery", which through panel discussions, art exhibitions and performance pieces, looks at the role of art in cities affected by catastrophe around the world. There are times, she learned, when art can literally save somebody. During Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia, a painter named Vann Nath was put in a prison where nearly 20,000 inmates were killed; only seven survived. Vann Nath was one of the seven, because his guards, discovering his talent, kept him alive to paint portraits of the dictator. Art saved him again, in a different way, when the new government asked him to paint scenes from his prison experiences.

    By the first anniversary of September 11th there were dozens of songs and theater pieces, hundreds of museum exhibitions , and countless memorials, many of them identified as temporary, but some of them permanent.

    The urge of those affected by September 11th to create showed Kay Turner, a folklorist on the staff of the Brooklyn Arts Council, that “some people have a need to forget, but a lot of people have a need to process. Art casts things in light of metaphor, and becomes a source of understanding.”

    At the third anniversary last year, Turner said, “I was very moved to see lots of new spontaneous memorials. It doesn’t happen when the tourists are there during the rest of the year. But it still happens on anniversaries."

    Turner, moderator for "Art of Memory/Art of Memorial,” a panel discussion at the Brooklyn Historical Society on September 10th, wonders whether there will be a place for this kind of "spontaneous expression" in the rebuilt World Trade Center site.

    But art as a palliative and outlet for tragedy is not its only intended use at Ground Zero. If, as the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s “Report on the Memorial Center and Cultural Complex” pointed out, “culture has the potential to infuse the redevelopment with hope and energy drawn from the human spirit,” it also offers the possibility of drawing visitors, and new residents, to Lower Manhattan. “A lot of people see the arts as an asset that is underutilized in Lower Manhattan,” said Petra Todovich, “that could be enhanced to revitalize the neighborhoods. If it becomes a cutting-edge place to experience arts and culture, it could bring people down to discover other assets."

    THE STATE OF THE ARTS AT GROUND ZERO

    If few New Yorkers know that there are four separate cultural structures planned for the World Trade Center site, even those who have been following carefully couldn’t say where they are and where they are going. 1. The Memorial

    "Reflecting Absence" was selected in January, 2004 as the memorial to commemorate September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993 (the earlier terrorist attack at the World Trade Center), after the largest design competition in history, with proposals by 5,201 individuals from 63 nations and 49 states. The winner, a young architect named Michael Arad, who was working for the New York City Housing Authority, designed two sunken pools where the Twin Towers had stood, with an austere plaza in-between.

    There were immediate objections. Some said that the design violated Daniel Libeskind's original conception, in which the memorial would be sunken rather than at ground level. Others said the site was too barren. Victims' families argued over whether the names of firefighters and other emergency workers should be placed separately from the others who died.

    Within weeks, the plan had been revised , Arad paired with landscape architect Peter Walker to surround the pools with a lush garden of trees and plantings – “oak, sweetgum, grass, moss and groundcover,” Walker has explained.

    Of all the projects on the site, the six-acre memorial probably attracts the least controversy now, though there remain some quibbles. Still, while the aim is for a groundbreaking at the end of 2006, there are many design issues to work out - " It's not a simple matter to design an underground facility that will have millions of visitors a year and have waterfalls that flow during the winter," one observer points out.

    And there is the question of the cost. Initial estimate of planning, building and operating the memorial was put at over $350 million.

    2. Memorial Museum

    The World Trade Center Memorial Museum will be separate from the Reflecting Absence memorial in tone and, also (at least according to the latest plan) in physical space.

    A recent article in the New York Times said that the museum “is beginning to take form.” But then the author explained what he meant: “There is no director, though a national search is under way. No artifacts have been chosen, though a three-volume catalog suggests how many there are to choose. Boundary skirmishes among the users of underground space on the trade center site are settled enough that officials can say the museum will have at least 110,000 square feet of floor area.”

    As Petra Todorovich explains, “the museum consultants have put together preliminary ideas of what the story line of this museum might be -– for example, it will take you through the events of the day; there’ll be a contemplation room. The public will have the opportunity to review these ideas, discuss them in small groups, give their feedback.” That is the purpose for a presentation September 15th at the Center for Architecture and the workshops on September 19 and October 11th at the Woolworth Building.

    Though Listening to the City attracted some 5,000 participants, the Civic Alliance is expecting only about 200 this time. “This is an opportunity to shape something that’s really still in formation,” Todorovich says.

    3.Performing Arts Center

    In June, 2004, four cultural institutions, out of 113 that applied, were selected to take up residence in the site of the World Trade Center. Two of them, the Joyce International Dance Center and the Signature Theater Company, were slated to occupy the Performing Arts Center, which would also present the Tribeca Film Festival. The Joyce (which has two other theaters in Manhattan, one in Chelsea, the other in Soho) would present 30 different dance companies from around the world. The Signature, which pioneered the presentation of the work of a single living playwright per season, would operate "three intimate theaters, a café, bookstore, studios for rehearsals and performances, and classrooms."

    Once selected, the corporation hired Frank Gehry to design the building.



    But in April, the corporation announced that the center would be excluded from the initial $500 million fundraising drive for the World Trade Center site. Wall Street Journal architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable declared this "the final betrayal" in what had been a continuing "downgrading and evisceration of the cultural components" of Daniel Libeskind's original plan -- thanks to those who lack "the courage, or conviction, to demand that the arts be restored to their proper place as one of the city's greatest strengths and a source of its spiritual continuity."

    Just recently, LMDC chair John Whitehead announced that the organization would earmark $50 million specifically for the performing arts center. Nevertheless, the unofficial word is that the center is on hold.

    Part of the problem is the realization that, because of the small "footprint" in which they have to build, the structure will have to be a tower -- not a typical home for a theater, and expensive to adapt.

    But that is not the only reason, some say, there has been little visible progress. It would make sense to wait to see how the current controversies and challenges play out. After all, the Joyce and the Signature not only have nothing to do with September 11th, the Signature is a theater known for the high quality of its productions and its selections. If the Signature Theater produces, say, Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," which uses the Salem witch trials to attack modern-day groupthink and hysteria, will that be seen as unpatriotic or besmirching the memory of September 11th?

    4. The Cultural Building

    The Drawing Center, which has been in existence since 1977, and the International Freedom Center, which was conceived for the site, were also selected in June of 2004, to occupy the other building, which since has been designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta.

    The troubles began a year after their selection, with the article by Debra Burlingame. They were compounded by articles and editorials in the Daily News that pointed to Drawing Center exhibitions from several years back that it depicted as "silly, self-important, half-baked pieces of 'political art'...You've made a mistake, Governor. Fix it, please. Show these people the door."

    Shortly afterward, though he had said that these institutions would "reaffirm life in the wake of tragedy," Governor George Pataki did just that, demanding an "absolute guarantee" that the two institutions would proceed "with total respect for the sanctity of the site." What did this mean exactly? "We're not going to let it turn into something anti-American, anti-freedom or questioning the values of New York..."

    INAPPROPRIATE ANNIVERSARY

    Apparently flush from their success in protecting the World Trade Center from the possibility of inappropriate art -- and surely not because they felt egged on by the identical tough-guy approach of their competitor -- both the Daily News and the New York Post decided earlier this month to expand their protection and attack "A Knock At The Door," a group exhibition that promised to "explore the relationships between artists and authority in the post 9/11 world" and "raise public awareness of the current retreat of our most basic rights." It is one out of the two dozen or so art exhibitions that are part of "What Comes After: Cities, Art + Recovery" organized by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

    "Appropriate - adj., suitable or proper. Inappropriate - adj. unsuitable or improper," a Daily News editorial began. "We repeat these words and definitions here today because the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council appears to be unaware of them." The exhibition was "puerile," "in questionable taste" and "simply inappropriate." Why inappropriate? Because it will be open during September 11th (It's running from September 8 to October 1), and, as an earlier Daily News article explained, is "8 blocks from Ground Zero" -- at the South Street Seaport Museum, to be precise, on the other side of town. A New York Post editorial had expressed much the same sentiments the day before, though stretching in their own way -- "Behind the event are some of the same people shaping the future of Ground Zero and the museums -— the International Freedom Center (IFC) and the Drawing Center." (e.g. "Charles Maikish, tapped by Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to run the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, is LMCC chairman emeritus.")

    Commenting on the likely expulsion of the Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center from the World Trade Center site, architecture critic Paul Goldberger told WNYC: "We like to think of New York as the nation's most cosmopolitan city, a place in which the independence and freedom and values of art and culture are not questioned by anybody, [as if] that debate is over. But that debate is never really over, and Ground Zero is the perfect way to bring that debate back to the fore, even in New York."


  12. #192

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    Does anyone know why Gotham Gazette stopped covering the Rebuilding of the WTC? The last time they had anything new was for LAST YEAR'S anniversary of 9/11.

  13. #193

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    I assume their grant ran out.

  14. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomAuch
    Does anyone know why Gotham Gazette stopped covering the Rebuilding of the WTC? The last time they had anything new was for LAST YEAR'S anniversary of 9/11.
    The article above your post was just published.

    The Gotham Gazette still covers WTC rebuilding, but no longer as a "tab" on the webpage. The site has expanded, and now has more comprehensive coverage of other aspects of city life, and like a local newspaper, WTC news is incorporated into other sections.

    Since the website gained prominence after 09/11, many assume it was launched as a rebuilding site. But the main focus of the publisher, the Citizens Union, has always been NYC government, and Gotham Gazette reflects that.

  15. #195
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Towers of Light 9.11.05

    The Towers of Light were moved this year to atop the parking structure off West Street above the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel ramps -- a good 6 blocks south of the WTC site.

    From a distance the lights still have a beauty, but when viewed from close by they lost a great deal of their power as they no longer fill the hole in the sky as they did so brilliantly in their original location.

    If the lights are continued in the future it is my hope that they will be located in proximity to the WTC site, as the symbolism is as much about the location as anything else.

    PS: This year there were only a couple of dozen birds darting in and out of the lights (at least when I was down there about 11 PM) -- a big change from last year when there were literally hundreds of birds playing in the beams. Maybe be a shortage of bugs this year -- global warming?

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