Yep, They're Twins Alright

Following up on yesterday's post about Donald Trump unveiling his design to rebuild the Twin Towers, NY1 reports that the design is available online. Apparently the design is one that's been on the internet for a while now (linked in yesterday's post), designed by Kenneth Gardner and Herbert Belton. Further it appears that Trump is merely endorsing this design rather than commissioning a designer for something new. No surprises there.

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Libeskind/SOM :: Gardner/Belton

If you're a reader of this page, you've probably noticed that I don't think rebuilding the Twin Towers is the right thing to do, even though I'm not in love with Libeskind's master plan and the hybrid Freedom Tower. Instead of rushing into one or the other, perhaps it's time for all interested parties to step back and reevaluate what's going on at the WTC site, so New York doesn't end up with something that hurts the city, and therefore the country. Money, politics and symbolism seem to be overshadowing good urban planning, architecture, and other concerns on a path towards something either chaotic and confused or uninspired and boring.

Update: covers Trump's presentation of the Twin Tower design. In an over-the-top manner, the billionaire describes the winning master plan design "like a junk yard, a series of broken-down angles that don't match each other. And we have to live with this for hundreds of years?...It is the worst pile of crap architecture I've ever seen in my life." What he's not grasping is that the master plan designs aren't set; they'll be designed be individual architects and firms in the future and will much less resemble what's in the master plan much like Freedom Tower doesn't resemble Libeskind's 1,776-foot tower. And although they don't "match each other", the angles are part of a group gesture that creates a focus on the void of the memorial and site of the original towers.

Further, Trump describes the Freedom Tower as skeleton-like, saying "If we rebuild the World Trade Center in the form of a skeleton, the terrorists win." Ironically, Libeskind and Governor Pataki used that very word to describe the THINK team's runner-up bid for the WTC site, the association helping to pave the way for the architect's winning scheme. It looks like Trump is pulling a page from the person he's now trying to destroy. And in another subtle move, Trump will use his TV show, The Apprentice, to further his cause.


  1. I just saw this on CNN's Inside the Blogs. I can't believe how much mud the Donald is raking.

  2. Yeah, the girls on CNN actually had Daily Dose up on the TV.
    **I just saw this on CNN's Inside the Blogs. I can't believe how much mud the Donald is raking.

  3. Talked with them after the fact. I'd like to check it out it's available on a free site...or I'll just break down and do a trial for CNN.

    Quite the surprise.

  4. The freedom tower has always seemed to be a compromise - designed out of fear. I don't completely agree with his tactics, but I for one would be thrilled to see the twin towers rebuilt.

  5. Good post, and I agree with you on all points.

    It's a shame that a cheesy, faux "celebrity"/developer with a relatively bland sense of architectural tastes has to come lashing out at the Freedom Tower.

    He actually makes Silverstein look good!

  6. Wow! CNN!

    I checked out this rebuild design for the towers. If they are going to rebuild it, at least do an exact copy of the exterior skin or something in the same spirit. It looks like the old towers up to the third floor then abruptly changes to a grid of square windows. The tall narrow windows of the original towers were probably not that great from the inside, but a better solution would be to reduce the width of the verticals. A crappy reproduction isn't any better than a good design that isn't to most people's taste.

  7. Focusing on 'the void' is not a very optimistic way of thinking. The Freedom Tower design is skeleton-like and timid.


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