View Poll Results: Should the International Freedom Center be built on the WTC site?

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  • It should be built right where its planned on the WTC site.

    17 39.53%
  • It should be built but off the WTC site.

    9 20.93%
  • It should be built in some other place of the WTC site.

    7 16.28%
  • It should not be built at all, anywhere.

    10 23.26%
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Thread: WTC Memorial Pavilion - Visitors Center - by Snohetta

  1. #241

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    This wasn't intended to be a war memorial, it's a memorial to those who died on September 11, 2001, and a replacement for the destroyed memorial for those who died in the '93 attack.
    If this is an event memorial, it has to rank as one of the most overblown in history. It doesn't need all that space plus two museums.

  2. #242

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    If this is an event memorial, it has to rank as one of the most overblown in history. It doesn't need all that space plus two museums.
    But a self-centered "event memorial" is exactly what the most vocal faction of the families are pushing for and in fact are getting. It seems many of them, to this day, want an even larger memorial, the entire site, focused solely on their loses and events of that day.

  3. #243
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMGarcia
    But a self-centered "event memorial" is exactly what the most vocal faction of the families are pushing for and in fact are getting. It seems many of them, to this day, want an even larger memorial, the entire site, focused solely on their loses and events of that day.
    And the politicians (Pataki, Hillary, et al) are caving in because they know the huge amount of negative PR that would be leveled against them if they don't pander to the Burlingame gang.

  4. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    If this is an event memorial, it has to rank as one of the most overblown in history. It doesn't need all that space plus two museums.
    I agree it doesn't need two museums. Just use the building as THE museum and as a buffer perhaps, but let time dictate what should and shouldn't be displayed there. There's plenty to display there before anyone figure's out the meaning of it all.

  5. #245

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    Westchester Housewife
    Meet Debra Burlingame, who won a battle at Ground Zero.



    BY TUNKU VARADARAJAN
    Saturday, October 1, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

    Rage renders some people incoherent and others blind. It causes some to flare up--fiercely, but briefly--and then to burn out. In others, it does no more than instill sadness, and paralysis. Yet in Debra Burlingame--the 51-year-old sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, the pilot of the plane that was crashed into the Pentagon by terrorists on September 11, 2001--rage has fueled eloquence, an impressively mulish obstinacy, and an almost eerie moral clarity.

    These are not all virtues, however, if you happen to be--like the founders and planners of the International Freedom Center--the object of that rage. Just this week, George Pataki, New York's governor, ordered the ousting of the Freedom Center from the World Trade Center memorial site: He did so, it should be said, in response to the relentless pressure exerted by Ms. Burlingame and the Take Back the Memorial Movement, a coalition of little platoons of 9/11 family members assembled to boot the Freedom Center off Ground Zero. This is ground that Ms. Burlingame and numerous Americans regard as hallowed; for them, the Freedom Center's apparent mission--the establishment of an educational venue focused more squarely on such matters as the Native American genocide and the Jim Crow South than on the victims and perpetrators of 9/11--was pure anathema, proof not merely of leftist muddle-headedness but also of an elitist contempt for popular feeling.

    The Take Back the Memorial Movement's best-known voice--and certainly the most articulate critic of the Freedom Center--is Ms. Burlingame, who started it all on these pages in early June, when she wrote an op-ed essay titled "The Great Ground Zero Heist." In it, she made public the Freedom Center's determination to build a memorial that "stubbornly refuses to acknowledge" 9/11.

    "Rather than a respectful tribute to our individual and collective loss," she wrote, "[we] will get a slanted history lesson, a didactic lecture on the meaning of liberty in a post-9/11 world . . . [and] a heaping foreign policy discussion over the greater meaning of Abu Ghraib and what it portends for the country and the rest of the world." She also asked whether it was seemly for the Freedom Center's advisory board to include members who had said, "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House" (Columbia's Eric Foner); pushed for the center to highlight how 9/11 had led to the curtailment of civil liberties (the ACLU's Anthony Romero); and led a world-wide "Stop Torture Now" campaign focused on the U.S. military (Michael Posner, of Human Rights First).

    Her rage was irrefutable, and one got the sense, after her piece appeared in print, that the Freedom Center did not stand a chance.

    When I called Ms. Burlingame on Wednesday, the day Gov. Pataki put a stop to the Freedom Center, she sounded contemplative, not triumphal. "We're not really done," were her first words--the Freedom Center may have gone, but it was still not certain what would take its place. She wanted the recognition of her victory to be restrained, not raucous, and her voice betrayed some of the fatigue that can so often set in as soon as a battle of attrition is over. I suggested that we meet the next morning, to talk about the turn events had taken.
    "Oh no!" she protested, "Not in the morning! I look horrible in the morning!" This last assertion turns out to be the only thing I've heard her say that is open to refutation.

    At 10 a.m. the next day, I found her outside her home in Pelham, N.Y., in prosperous Westchester County, looking the very picture of blond, suburban poise: neat hair, pearly teeth, understated jewelry, crisp white cotton shirt, laundered blue jeans, blue flip-flops, pink toenails. She was hauling empty garbage cans off the sidewalk and back onto her drive, where her SUV was parked. Two dogs barked their greetings as we stepped into a house so immaculate that it was hard to believe it was kept not by a Full-time Homemaker, but by a Full-time Activist.

    " 'Activist'. . . I'm not entirely happy with the term," she said to me with mild reproof. "I'm a citizen." We were seated in her small office--a place where Mexican oil paintings vied for space with pictures of her brother and a collage of yellow Post-it Notes on the wall. This was, in fact, the one part of her house that was less than perfectly ordered; I confess that I was reassured by this--Ms. Burlingame, disconcertingly, can come across as a seemingly flawless person on a seemingly flawless mission.

    This was not the view, of course, of the men she took on at the Freedom Center. "They dismissed me as a Westchester housewife," Ms. Burlingame said, more in mirth than in indignation. She was referring, principally, to Tom Bernstein, the center's chairman, best known before this project as a founder of Manhattan's Chelsea Piers leisure complex. Mr. Bernstein led a triumvirate, along with Peter Kunhardt (the creative director of the center and a filmmaker of repute) and Richard Tofel (the president and COO of the center, and formerly the assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal), that sought to derail Ms. Burlingame's opposition to the Freedom Center.
    "When I talked to Tom Bernstein in person about what they were about to do at the center," Ms. Burlingame recounted, "he said to me, 'You know, 9/11, if we don't put it in a broader context, it will be forgotten. It will not stand the test of time if we do not put it in a broader historical context.' The arrogance of this was stunning. And when I told him that Ground Zero was, to the 9/11 family people, and especially the military, a sacred place, and that you cannot put anything on this site that ignores that, denigrates that, marginalizes that, or does not give it the acknowledgment that is due . . . he looked at me blankly. Completely blankly. They were trying to cut 9/11 out of it completely."

    So is there no broader context for 9/11? "Absolutely!" she exclaimed, chafing mildly at the idea that she might have come across as one-dimensional. "Of course there is! But one of the challenges of putting together a memorial museum is doing it in real time. This history is still unfolding. We have these people who are still at large, not the least of whom is Osama bin Laden. . . . So when people say, 'Hurry, hurry, hurry, and build this,' I say, 'Why? We still don't have a grasp on the full story here.' "

    Here, Ms. Burlingame resorts to her greatest strength--forensic rigor acquired at law school (where she went, at the age of 37, after working for TWA as a flight attendant for several tedious years): "You can't tell the broader story of 9/11 and not talk about terrorism, or Islamo-fascism, or the jihad. . . . But in the Freedom Center's 49-page report they never once mention bin Laden. The words 'al Qaeda' never appear anywhere in it. There's nothing about the war on terrorism."

    This is the woman Messrs. Bernstein and company dismissed as a hausfrau. How they did so is baffling: She has the facts at her fingertips, the confidence of a person at ease with authority, and the rhetorical skills of one at home with the language. How could they have believed that she would just go away? "They were ambitious," Ms. Burlingame replied, "and myopic. Bernstein is an ideologue, a true believer. He told me that he was prepared to dedicate the next 10 years of his life to the center." They patronized her: By her account, Mr. Bernstein said, "Debra, we're calling on people from all sides of the political spectrum . . . very balanced . . . people who are very dignified." To which she responded, "Oh really! Tell me who you have that's conservative. And he replied, 'Fareed Zakaria' [editor of Newsweek International]. I squinched my face up and said, 'He's not conservative,' and Bernstein goes, 'Naah . . . he's not, yeah, you're right, he's not.' "

    This gets to the heart of the problem: The Freedom Center's progenitors were convinced--utterly and adamantly--of their own reasonableness. In an inversion of the usual conditions of passion, the Forces of Rage--here, led by Ms. Burlingame--had an impressive clarity of vision; by contrast, the self-styled Forces of Reason were blinded by their own certitudes. (Ms. Burlingame insists that the blind include the editorial page of the New York Times, which twice attacked her by name--describing her, even, as "the Governor's Proxy"--yet did not consider it important to print a letter from her in response. The page's editor, Gail Collins, would not, it seems, take her calls. "A very, very snotty assistant said to me, 'Let me take your information.' Ms. Collins was 'busy,' 'unavailable' . . .")
    Finding interlocutors on the telephone wasn't always this hard for Ms. Burlingame. After her op-ed appeared in the Journal in June, she received calls from political players in Washington, asking her to drop her opposition to Mr. Bernstein's project. She is prepared, only, to name John Bridgeland--a former director of the Domestic Policy Council in President Bush's White House, deputy policy director for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, and, after 9/11, the first director of the USA Freedom Corps Office. He called twice "to discourage me . . . no, not discourage, to 'explain what was actually going to be happening [at the Freedom Center],' and that I'd 'got it all wrong.' I said to him, 'Are you aware of some of the exhibits that they're talking about?' " He wasn't. "Here's a man who didn't know what was happening, yet he was picking up the phone and trying to effect an outcome."

    Ms. Burlingame's face, never inscrutable, reflects afresh some of the fury she must have felt at the time. Composure is only a part of her arsenal. "Anger can be very, very productive, as long as it's focused and you don't lose your mind. After the London bombings [in July], someone asked me, 'Have we become complacent? Do you miss 9/11, when people had more unity?' And I say, 'No, no, no. What I miss is the anger. And the clarity. That's what I miss.' "

    Mr. Varadarajan is editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal.

  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    No, what I believe is based on the facts as reported by reputable historic, academic and journalistic sources...
    Exactly which sources would those be? Because YOU believe them doesn't make them reputable. And, there are as many academics endowed by funding from corporations and highly partisan individuals to make "academia" itself a joke. Name your sources. The New York Times? Jayson Blair. CNN? Gallop Polls Wall Street Journal? Paul Gigot Spare me the high brow condescension.

    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    What you believe is based on conspiracy internet sites. ...
    That's quite a crystal ball you have there. Care to share with me what Zippy's beliefs are based on? What Edward's beliefs are based on? What Stern's beliefs are based on? You haven't countered anything I've said with a fact. Just an attack on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    They are not equivalent, just like evolution and "intelligent design" are not equivalent....
    Apparently, you are an expert on every subject out there. Thank you for clearing this subject up for me with with more factual information.

    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    As someone who lived through one horrible terrorist attack that destroyed my community and my home and left me displaced, I can no longer laugh off idiotic Islamist propaganda and let it go unchallenged, because the militant Islamists threaten to undermine civilization and all that is good in the world, and turn us back to the dark ages....
    That's a page right out of the "victim's families'" play book. No one could possibly have had as terrible experience as you. Because of what YOU went through, I should defer and you should feel emboldened to dismiss my comments.


    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    ...I can no longer laugh off idiotic Islamist propaganda and let it go unchallenged, because the militant Islamists threaten to undermine civilization and all that is good in the world, and turn us back to the dark ages....
    Yeah, the Islamic propaganda - blah, blah, blah. And before that, the communist propaganda - blah, blah, blah. If we spent as much money and energy feeding, clothing and educating the world as we do killing people, we wouldn't have this problem. And - check YOUR facts. The "Islamic" problem is not about religion it is very specific and started at a very specific time: The U.S. stayed in Saudi Arabia after the first gulf war. THAT is what ignited these attacks. Before that, we did not have this "Islamic" threat. Iran? We supported the Shah - a dictator. Iraq? We supported Saddam - a dictator. Saudi Arabia - we supported the Faud Family - dictators. Egypt? We support Mubarak - a dictator. Afghanistan? We supported the Taliban.

    The current "terrorist threat" derives from our continued military presence in Saudi Arabia - home to Mecca. This isn't some "idiotic Islamic propaganda" - there are reasons that apparently your "reputable", "academic" and ""respected journalist" sources haven't told you about.


    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    But the militant Islamists hit us under Clinton (several times), they hit us under Bush, and they surely will hit us under our next dozen presidents, whether you personally like those presidents' political affiliations or not. Unless we can separate ourselves from obnoxious partisan politics and get real about the enemy who is trying to destroy us, we are all going down the tubes....
    Right - see above.

    I'd rather have a shopping mall than a memorial. All this will memorialize is the terrorist victory.

  7. #247

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    Yeah, the Islamic propaganda - blah, blah, blah. And before that, the communist propaganda - blah, blah, blah. If we spent as much money and energy feeding, clothing and educating the world as we do killing people, we wouldn't have this problem. And - check YOUR facts. The "Islamic" problem is not about religion it is very specific and started at a very specific time: The U.S. stayed in Saudi Arabia after the first gulf war. THAT is what ignited these attacks. Before that, we did not have this "Islamic" threat. Iran? We supported the Shah - a dictator. Iraq? We supported Saddam - a dictator. Saudi Arabia - we supported the Faud Family - dictators. Egypt? We support Mubarak - a dictator. Afghanistan? We supported the Taliban.

    The current "terrorist threat" derives from our continued military presence in Saudi Arabia - home to Mecca. This isn't some "idiotic Islamic propaganda" - there are reasons that apparently your "reputable", "academic" and ""respected journalist" sources haven't told you about.
    Wow. So much Islamist propaganda, so little time to respond. OK, just the basics. What they don't tell you on your 9/11 conspiracy web sites. The Islamists are not democrats, and do not object to dictatorships. Indeed, the one regime that gave them state sponsorship, the Taleban, was the most repressive regime in the history of mankind. What they want is world Islamist rule. As for Saudi Arabia, our troops were there at the invitation of the rulers of that country, to protect that country from an external threat, the Iraqi army amassed just outside its border. Once that threat was removed, we left and have no military presence left in that country tpday, contrary to your post. BTW, it was Clinton who kept the troops in Saudi Arabia for eight years, Bush who pulled them out. So much for your theory of the Islamists as liberal democrats! As for our support of various dictators, again that policy has been consistent throughout the past dozen presidents, republican and democrat, and for good reason. There is no viable democratic alternative in most of these countries. The only current alternative to the secular dictators who afford their citizens some rights are Islamist dictators who would afford their citizens no rights. The only American president who has actively supported democracy in Islamic countries is the current one, who brought democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh yeah, that's right, you think that means we deserved to have our civilian airplanes hijacked and crashed into office towers, even though 9/11 came first, because the Islamists knew it was "hit or be hit." Do you even read what you type? Even the NAZIs had propagandists before WW2, but they at least were good at what they did.

  8. #248

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    Read this, and take the side discussion here.

  9. #249
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    If they'd just cancel the Snohetta design we could close this damn thread altogether.

    But I guess we'd just have to start up again when a new building is proposed ...

  10. #250
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    I wouldn't support the expansion of a 9/11 museum beyond the pre-ordained space under the memorial. I'd rather see a playground built or some outdoor eateries, like Bryant Park Grill.

  11. #251

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    Im very confused on what's going on here...

    NYPOST:

    FREEDOM-CENTER SITE BACK TO DRAWING BOARD

    The design of a cultural center intended for a freedom museum and drawing museum at the World Trade Center site must be altered to accommodate its new purpose telling the story of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, development officials say.

    The building designed by the Norway-based Snohetta firm will still look "substantially similar" to drawings unveiled nearly five months ago of the cultural center, said John Gallagher, spokesman for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

    "The building was being designed with specific tenants in mind, and now obviously that tenant and that programming have changed, so there will be some modifications required," said Gallagher.

    The Snohetta building was created to house the International Freedom Center, removed from the building last week by Gov. Pataki, and the Drawing Center, which is looking elsewhere.

    Pataki, under pressure from an organized campaign led by 9/11 families who said the museum would distract from the trade center memorial, said Sept. 28 that the freedom center had generated "too much controversy" to keep its reserved spot at the Snohetta building.

    He said the building would contain only exhibits related to Sept. 11, as the museum's opponents requested.

    The LMDC met with the architects of the Snohetta building last week and will work together to make changes to the design that will "reflect the requirements of its new programming" ordered by the governor, Gallagher said.

    He said the location of the building, meant to act as a buffer between the six-acre memorial site and office, arts and retail space, will not change.

  12. #252
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Here is what I posted a few days ago (this seems to be what is going on):

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    ^ My understanding is that Snohetta was paid to design a cultural center. While I'm not certain of the specifics of their contract -- or the extent of the design work that has been submitted on this project -- the core purpose of the building has changed. It would not surprise me if architectural changes will be required as well...

    I don't foresee that Snohetta will actually withdraw from this project. If nothing else the firm might want to protect the integrity of their design.

  13. #253

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    Just guessing here but I think they mean changes in floorplans to accomodate the larger exhibits from 9/11. Steel and trucks are substantially larger than the photos that were to be displayed there. That's what I think, but I don't know.

  14. #254

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    "substantially s i m i l a r"

  15. #255
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^^ Ooops. Gotta get some sleep ...

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