New York drops the ball!

And draws a big zero. Suddenly, out of nowhere, "they" have decided how the WTC site and its environs will be rebuilt, and they don't really care what you think, above all if you have imagination or a real aesthetic. It will be business as usual, with dull dull dull middlebrow power and bureaucratic consensus dictating the fate of a site whose rebirth has been keenly discussed and anticipated by the entire world. This sad but magnificent opportunity, perhaps the opportunity of the century, has been squandered in back rooms by people you shouldn't trust to build your weekend cottage.

The architecture critic, Herbert Muschamp, who has long campaigned against precisely what is now being presented as a fait accompli, is properly outraged.

The selection of the New York architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle to design a master plan for ground zero and the financial district confirms once again that architecture will play no more than a marginal role in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan.
. . .
Mediocrity, the choice of this firm reminds us, is not a default mode. It is a carefully constructed reality, erected at vast public expense. Ignorance is the brick from which this wretched edifice is built. Secrecy is the mortar holding it together.

We wuz robbed!

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Published on May 23, 2002 4:45 PM.

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