Three Modest Proposals for a New World Trade Center
As a native New Yorker and having spent a summer in Hoboken watching
the construction of the twin towers, I really miss them. Yes, they were
ugly; extremely, uncompromisingly ugly. They looked like two boxes of staples.
Their ugliness was part of their charm They were office buildings, not metaphors,
and this gave them a certain honest grandeur. They loomed over lower Manhattan
and served as a magnificent navigational beacon
The current proposals for use of the World Trade Center site, for all
their pretense of sense and sensibility, are basically decadent. The business
people, who have built so much and transformed so many neighborhoods, deny
that a reconstructed World Trade Center could serve economically. This group
has made mistakes before. I mean, who would want to move to the Lower East
Side or down below Canal Street? The memorialists, arguing for Elysian Fields
and cenotaphs, long to stop time and aim to turn lower Manhattan into a
The spirit of New York City is not that of tasteful mourning. It is the
spirit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and people come to
New York City from around the globe to partake of this spirit. The city
should not try to honor the victims of the attack by pretending to be something
that it is not. No tasteful charade can comfort the families of those killed
While some propose an exact reproduction of the original World Trade
Center, perhaps with additional safety modifications, the designs here use
the original design as a mere starting point. What the city needs, the nation
needs, and the civilized world needs, is a defiant assertion of New York,
its humor, its vulgarity, its greed, its charity, its raw vitality. The
dead are with god, what's left is real estate.
Fort World Trade Center
New York City has been bleeding tax dollars for years, paying for military
bases all around the country and getting nothing, not even DEFENSE, in return.
Isn't it time to bring some of the dollars home and get some defense in
the bargain? We don't need bases down in Georgia, the enemy has struck in
The World Trade Center site is perfect for a new generation of military
base, situated in a densely populated, high value target, urban area. Equipped
with advanced radar and missile systems, it could command the seas and skies
in much of the Northeastern United States. Further, its urban location could
help our military develop the strategic and tactical skills needed in future
The World Trade Center Airport
The destruction of the World Trade Center was a tragedy, but it was also
an opportunity. Isn't it finally time that New York City had an airport
with a direct subway connection? The idea of a skyscraper airport is not
new. Rent Palm Beach Story for Preston Sturges' take on it. The terrorists
may have used airplanes to destroy the towers, but that doesn't mean we
can't learn from them.
Maybe it is time to move on and solve a number of transportation problems
with one blow. Rebuild the World Trade Center as two 110 story towers with
an airport for medium sized jets spanning both roofs. This would not only
provide a fourth metropolitan area airport, but would offer a selling point
to lure business occupants to the towers and make the new World Trade Center
a REAL world trade center.
The World Trade Finger
They say no one will reoccupy a pair of 110 story office towers in lower
Manhattan, so this proposal is a compromise, with just one 110 story tower
and four smaller towers. Let's see which ones rent out first.
The terrorists attacked New York City for two reasons.
First, it is the center of world trade and a major world capital market.
The terrorists, mainly well off Saudis, hate this. They are old fashioned
aristocrats who feel that the world owes them, not just a living, but a
tug on the forelock.
Second, it is the center for immigration and global tolerance, with people
from hundreds of nationalities, religions and cultures somehow cooperating
in their pursuit of a better life. The terrorists, coming from a repressive,
theocratic state hate this. New York City is full of infidels, heathen and
This rebuilding would send them a message on both counts.
Shortly after the World Trade Center was destroyed, I was taking a cab
ride near Lincoln Towers on the Upper West Side. The driver pointed out
the new Trump buildings behind Lincoln Towers and explained, "Donald
Trump wanted to build the world's tallest building on that site, but he
couldn't get permission from Osama bin Laden".
We should not allow the terrorists to tell us what we can
or cannot build.
REBUILD THE WORLD TRADE CENTER
© Copyright Kaleberg Symbionts 2002