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World's Tallest Building

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - A twisting, shimmering, glass-encased skyscraper topped by a spire evocative of the Statue of Liberty, will replace the destroyed World Trade Center towers, officials said on Friday after months of heated argument between architects over the design.
The building dubbed the "Freedom Tower" will be the world's tallest at 1,776 feet when it is completed by the end of 2008 and is intended to reclaim part of Manhattan's famous skyline shattered in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. " (from here)

This is difficult to write about. Difficult because the subject brings up such a strange mix of conflicting feelings and emotions that are difficult for me to sort out.

One an intellectual and political level, the WTC was a great looming symbol. For some people it was a symbol of capitalism, power, and greed. I get that. I understand where it's coming from and why they feel that way. For others, it was a symbol for New York City... a beacon and a monument. Part of what they love about the City. I get that too, believe me.

When Liz and I started dating, I spent a lot of time in New York City. You could see the Towers clearly from her apartment in Brooklyn. Seeing the Twin Towers up close and walking beneath them was always awe inspiring... in the way that NYC is still awe inspiring to me today. It's something about the scale and the energy of NYC. It's breathtaking and addictive and exhausting. I think that was reflected in the WTC somehow.

I remember coming in to work on Sept.11. I sat down at my desk and suddenly everyone was buzzing about what had happened in New York. What had happened? I checked the news sites and my stomach tied in knots. Li z drove under those towers every day on her way to work, right around that time. Phone lines into NYC where all busy, abd most of the cell antennas in Manhatten had been on the Towers. Chaos. Thankfully, even though the phones went down, Liz still had internet access at her office. It didn't take long to find out that she was okay. After that, all we could do was leave the office. No one could work after that. I went home and watched the footage on TV. We all remember what it was like. I won't rehash it. I don't want to remember those visuals.

I remember visiting NYC after 9/11. Seeing Ground Zero while they were still finding bodies in the rubble... the incredible scale of the destruction and the visible damage to the buildings outside of the site that had survived. The gut wrenching sadness of the notes and pictures left to memorialize the people who had died. I remember the smell. I remember the security measures on the FDR and the Brooklyn Bridge. I remember how quiet the city became for quite awhile afterward. All that energy seemed to have evaporated for awhile. I'd never seen the Lower East Side so still. The buzz and energy all came back eventually. The people of New York are resilient. They have to be to live there.

So now they're building again. This time they're building bigger and taller and stronger. Once again, New York City will be the home of the World's Tallest Building. And I think I like that. Not because I think of it as "America standing strong against terrorism" or any such propaganda. It's because I think that New York deserves a building that once again reflects it's energy and it's magnitude. I like the new design. I like the way it twists and shimmers and uses the wind to generate part of it's power. I like that it will tower over the skyline of Manhatten. A new beacon for New Yorkers.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 19, 2003 6:06 PM.

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