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Piece On Ground Zero

Posted by acdtest on November 8, 2003

Interesting Piece On Ground Zero

ew York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp has an interesting piece on Ground Zero up today. It concerns the draft of new design guidelines for building on the site drawn up by overseeing project architect Daniel Libeskind, the winner of the Ground Zero design competition held by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. last year. Although I’ve not seen the draft of these new design guidelines, and therefore can make no comment concerning them, I’m in wholehearted agreement with Mr. Muschamp when he writes,

Any design guidelines that insist on restrictiveness and homogeneity should be rejected. There is not just one way to respond to 9/11. The exclusion of other architectural visions is an assault on the idea of the city as a place where every voice counts.

Design guidelines in general are problematic for ground zero. Commonly used in suburban residential neighborhoods, they are now most often associated with the followers of the New Urbanism, developers of suburban communities known for their “traditional” period pastiche styles. Plans originally prepared for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation by the New York firms Peterson/Littenberg and Beyer Blinder Belle adhered to this retro design philosophy. That is one reason for which these plans were rejected by the public at town hall meetings held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in July of last year.

Good on Herbert Muschamp! He gets it right again, as he most often does.

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