[design] New Modern Times

Book Casts WTC Redevelopment as Modern-Day Epic

Q: You wrote a Metropolis profile in 1999 that was largely sympathetic to Daniel Libeskind. Was there a moment in the WTC process when you began have doubts about him?

A: ... Around April 2003, Danny was saying, “This 1776-foot-tall tower will stand as a symbol of freedom and beauty, reinforcing the world’s understanding that we’re rising from the ashes, and moving boldly into a glorious, optimistic future.” In a subsequent speech, Pataki condensed that and simply referred to the building as “Freedom Tower.” When that happened, it became clear that what Libeskind had done was shrewdly, brilliantly, and cravenly produce this symbol that could be used as a cudgel by right-leaning politicians, during the war and during the build-up to the war in Iraq. That seemed inexcusable and ironic, given Libeskind's political leanings.

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