It’s been a long time coming, but it’s there now, nearly twelve years after the September 11th attacks which brought down the Twin Towers. Watching the spire put into place, it’s a reminder that this is how big things are achieved: metal on metal, on concrete, on bedrock, time after time after time. It is difficult and dangerous work and it is an amazing effort of vision and will and strength on the part of so many people. It’s hard to build big buildings. The people who took the World Trade Center towers down could not have erected them in a thousand years. To destroy these American buildings, they had to use American jetliners, cutting people’s throats with blades to take control of them. That defines where such people stand and what they stand for. If they can, they ought to change their hearts and their minds and look to create and to foster life, instead of destroying and killing in the name of their death cult. Meanwhile, in a clearly tangible answer to their hatred, the skyscraper goes up in place of the one they brought down, all 1776 feet of it, the tallest building in the western hemisphere today. Continue reading Freedom Tower Spire Takes its Place in the New York Skyline
Back in October, yours truly visited the Financial District in Manhattan and took some pictures of the rising structure which is now officially known as “1 World Trade Center” and reflected then on whether the originally-conceived name for the building, i.e. the Freedom Tower, might stick in general usage, despite the apparent effort to put that moniker in the past. I think there’s good evidence today that it is sticking. Take just the headline in the New York Post as a barometer: WTC’s Freedom Tower to rise higher than Empire State building today.
People prefer to use a name for something in the skyline rather than an address, and the people of New York will call it what they choose to call it. It’s not entirely clear to me why the owners (being the Port Authority of NY and NJ) chose to ditch the name “Freedom Tower,” but that’s what they did back in 2009. They did suggest that it was easier to get tenants by calling it “1 World Trade Center.” Did “Freedom Tower” seem too “in-your-face,” too defiant? Yet, “1 World Trade Center” was the name/address of one of the buildings that was destroyed on September 11th, 2001—the other one being “2 World Trade Center.” (In common usage, mind you, they were the Twin Towers.) Would you prefer to rent space or go to work in a building bearing the name of one recently destroyed by terrorists or in one bearing a new name? Go figure. Continue reading Freedom Tower becomes tallest building in New York City
Although a resident of Manhattan, I rarely have cause to go down to the Financial District near the lower tip of the island. As a general rule, there are only two reasons to go to that part of town: (1) just to look at things, i.e. as a tourist and (2) to go to work, if you should happen to work there. These days there’s a third reason, of-course: to protest the stinking capitalists (which many are currently doing by camping out in a public plaza nearby and stinking back at them).
Today (a Sunday) I thought I’d go down there for reason #1: tourism. Mainly, it’s been so long since I’ve been there that I wanted to see in person how far construction on the “Freedom Tower” had come. However, we’re not supposed to call it the “Freedom Tower” anymore, since that apparently scared people—and isn’t freedom a scary thing?— so it’s just “One World Trade Center” now. In any case, the last time I had been down there there was virtually nothing above ground. It has pained many of us for the past decade to have a big hole in the ground down at Ground Zero, and I wanted to replace that mental image. Continue reading A Visit to Wall Street and Environs