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Do you think this is a good idea?
Yes 60%
No 40%

Votes: 5

 A Living Memorial to the WTC Victims

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Sep 18, 2001
I've purposely been avoiding posting anything related to the events of last week other than the plea for sanity and normalcy that I dashed out on the day of the attacks. But tonight, while watching "The Late Show with David Letterman", Bryant Gumbel proposed an idea that I found a bit silly at first .. but the more I think about it, the more it's growing on me.

Rebuild the main WTC towers. Both of them. Exact replicas.


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Exact replicas .. on the outside.

We don't need floors and offices and elevators on the inside; all that needs to be there is the reinforcement that the structure would require. But on the outside, rebuild the towers so that they are identical down to the last square inch. Restore the skyline of New York City, and in doing so, establish the ultimate memorial to those who perished in the monstrous attacks of September 11th. As a side benefit, this would be a none-too-subtle "fuck you" to those who perpetrated the attacks.

I'm aware that many want to have a functional WTC rebuilt. Time will tell whether this idea is feasible or not; the prospect of working in this location may prove to be too dangerous or ghastly for many. I'm also aware that many will say that while a memorial is indeed appropriate, this particular idea takes the idea too far, that it would be an enormous waste of capital and effort. And some might say that the presence of the Twin Towers on the skyline would only serve as a reminder of the horrible events .. not as a memorial to the victims.

I'm sensitive to all of these arguments, but the silly, irrational, and sentimental side of me thinks that Gumbel's idea has merit. Hell, we could even investigate the feasability of recycling some of the existing rubble into materials for the new monument .. which would make the memorial all the more fitting. Perhaps the construction unions would be willing to operate under reduced rates. Perhaps the generous Americans who have donated so willingly to the cause of disaster relief would also be willing to donate money towards the building of this monument.

Maybe this is a dumb idea. But I have to admit that it grabs me.


I'd rather they weren't (5.00 / 2) (#2)
by zikzak on Tue Sep 18th, 2001 at 10:48:48 PM PST
I would not like to see exact replicas built for the simple reason that the towers were not particularly attractive in the first place. I don't disagree with what message would be sent by doing so, and I think it is valid. However, I think it would be even more of a "Fuck You" if something better than what previously existed were built instead.

If you've been following this tangent of the tragedy, the current owners have said they intend to rebuild. Also, Donald Trump has expressed interest in being involved as well. The Donald has been chomping at the bit to build the world's tallest building for some time now, and he sees a good opportunity opening up for him. Yes, that may seem a bit selfish of him, but he is a New Yorker, and building sky scrapers is what he does. It's not like his, *ahem* "talents" would be best utilized bringing water and sandwiches to the disaster workers on site. Maybe he should be involved.

A huge vote against Trump is that most of what he builds is crap. Since I think it is highly unlikely that exact replicas will be built anyway, a better target for efforts on this front may be the design. Get Trump involved, make the replacement be the tallest building in the world (for a few years, at least), but lose the crappy architecture.

Yes, good design is expensive. However, sky scrapers are not very economic anyway. All those huge phallus symbols are erected (heh) because of ego, not because they are very profitable. It would be nice to take the strong motivations for rebuilding as a stick in the eye to the terrorists and use that to create a truly iconic building that is known for more than just being big.

Making this happen would probably require a large amount of support (demand) from the public. The architecture firms that usually get high rise commissions are small in number and not very good at doing anything other then securing high rise commissions. Those who actually decide to build the things and fund them don't have much familiarity with anyone else. It is a small, insular community, and it breeds the construction of much crap.

There are lots of highly talented architects out there who are capable of meeting this challenge and delivering something that is truly a fitting monument to those who died. Since the WTC is going to rebuilt anyway (I absolutely guarantee this), we should insist that the designer be uniquely qualified to design, rather than someone who is uniquely qualified to produce more of the same on a tight budget.

I think it would be a huge injustice to those who were killed to just throw up any old building that meets the space and program requirements of global trade.

No more elitist Bauhaus and Mies van der Ro crap. (5.00 / 3) (#3)
by elenchos on Wed Sep 19th, 2001 at 12:31:48 AM PST
Typical skyscrapers are just inaccessable to the common American artistically. It's all this abstract, minimalist stuff that Art snobs just love, but it makes everyone else just scratch their heads.

The New World Trade Center should be designed by the architechtural equivalent of Thomas Kinkade -- hell, get Kinkade himself to draw it. People want to see buildings like Kinkade's Hidden Cottage, like it or not. So give it to them, I say. Or take Julianne's Cottage: all that needs to be done is expanding that basic form vertically a couple hundred storys. Voila! The world's tallest Thomas Kinkade cottage.

Sure the Art weenies will be scandalized, but screw them. This is a gift to America -- real Americans. Not a bunch of elitists. Let them have their Ivory Tower, and the good-hearted, simple American people can have their Kinkade Tower.

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

I wish (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by zikzak on Wed Sep 19th, 2001 at 07:56:12 AM PST
If only those buildings really were designed by some high-falutin' art fag instead of the repulsive, kitschy shit that tends to go up instead.

What about Norman Foster? (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Sep 19th, 2001 at 09:21:38 AM PST
He did a good job with the Reichstag in Berlin (proving he is good for sensitive, emotional projects such as this) and is much in demand for his artistic, feeling buildings. The Opera House in Glasgow (the armadillo) is a triumph of aesthetic.

Foster's ok (none / 0) (#13)
by zikzak on Fri Sep 21st, 2001 at 11:16:07 AM PST
...but I'd rather see Renzo Piano do it. Much more elegant and understated than Foster.

It must be bigger and better (1.00 / 1) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Sep 19th, 2001 at 05:14:12 PM PST
We need at least <strong>three towers</strong>, ALL taller than the original wtc built from aircraft-resistant materials, and with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles on the roof.

As a non-too-subtle "fuck you" (5.00 / 2) (#4)
by StrontiumDog on Wed Sep 19th, 2001 at 01:47:07 AM PST
rebuilding the WTC would be lost on the perpetrators.

They're dead, you see.

Flipping corpses the finger is not a particularly productive pastime. Flipping a $50 billion finger (the estimated costs of rebuilding the WTCs according to The Economist) is even less productive, considering that the economy has been affected out of all proportion to the actual damage inflicted. It's time to stop obsessing and move on. Now.

All dead? (none / 0) (#8)
by SpaceGhoti on Wed Sep 19th, 2001 at 08:03:52 PM PST
Does this mean you think that the people who hijacked and flew those planes into their targets are the ones who planned, finances and organized the entire attack?

If you do, I think the rest of the world strongly disagrees with you. The attack on the WTC as well as the Pentagon involved more than just those terrorists who died. Someone else had to provide money and organization for them, and that someone else is the target of US vengeance. The "fuck you" intended by rebuilding the WTC is aimed toward them.

A troll's true colors.

Most dead, yes. (5.00 / 2) (#9)
by StrontiumDog on Thu Sep 20th, 2001 at 04:14:13 AM PST
First off, the attack didn't need much financing. The need to attribute the attack to some huge shadowy SPECTER-like organisation is largely wounded-ego stroking.

Secondly, "planning" the attack means checking flight schedules, organising the teams, deciding on attack plans (who does what during the hijack), and dry runs to test various aspects of their plan. This can only be done by the people on the spot themselves: the men in the US, and I'm willing to bet the major role in the planning was played by the guys who actually had to execute it.

You're not going to convince me that bin Laden orchestrated all this, from minute-to-minute airline flight schedule checks to test runs, from behind his mountain-range "campfire" (GWB's own description) in the bombed-out, infrastructure-less hellhole that is Afghanistan, half a world away. Electricity and running water are luxury goods in Afghanistan, let alone telephones or internet access. To coordinate a similar operation from a similarly remote location the US needs an army of AWACs, spy satellites, warships and destroyers, and sophisticated communication equipment. How in fucksname did bin Laden coordinate the attack, hmm? By Camel Express?

So what if the "whole world" thinks otherwise? That's the same mindless shit CNN has been pouring out from the very beginning.

Rebuttle (none / 0) (#10)
by SpaceGhoti on Thu Sep 20th, 2001 at 08:43:59 PM PST
...the attack didn't need much financing.

Again, I disagree. The cost of training the pilots, particularly for the specific types of aircraft used, is phenomenal. There wasn't one single model of airliner hijacked, there were multiple jets and each of them are different. Then there's the cost of bringing those people into the country and organizing their false information. Just moving from the US to Australia cost me a bundle, so somebody had to foot the bill. Beginning to end, somebody paved the way for those fanatics to do their work, and that required more than the average yearly income.

..."planning" the attack ...can only be done by the people on the spot themselves...

Have you ever organized something involving more than three people? Have you ever appreciated the amount of detail it requires to coordinate getting all of those parts understood and executed with such a high degree of accuracy? There were at least four planes involved, and there are hints of a more. All of those planes had remarkably light passenger loads for their sizes, which means there was a lot more to it than picking a plane at the last minute. Then there was the timing of the attacks; it was all done within a matter of minutes, not hours or days. All of this suggests a high degree of planning for years with incredible attention to detail and lots of money thrown around. Last but not least, the suicide attacks have all the earmarks of Osama bin Ladin's style, demonstrated by bombings of the US embassies in Africa and the USS Cole in Yemen. Read those reports before you take my word for it. The man is a Saudi millionaire with a grudge and a fanatical horde of religious warriors at his beck and call. You think he can't organize an such an attack to such a degree that the terrorists themselves will have only loose ends to tie up in the final stages? That's what he's counting on.

Osama bin Ladin may be innocent of this attack. He may not have planned or contributed to it beyond basic training of the terrorists. However, my first thought upon seeing the accuracy of the attacks was that he had to be the primary suspect. I believe that the case against him needs to be investigated thoroughly and that nothing should be done without incontrovertible evidence of his guilt. I believe that anything less will create a hell of a schism in the world community that will set international relations back decades.

I do not believe those terrorists acted alone. They were the soldiers in their holy war, not the masterminds of the attack. I accept that you want to believe that, but I cannot agree with you. It smacks too much of coincidence, and I'm not a powerful believer in coincidence.

A troll's true colors.

Rebuttal to the rebuttle: (none / 0) (#12)
by StrontiumDog on Fri Sep 21st, 2001 at 04:52:25 AM PST
Again, I disagree. The cost of training the pilots, particularly for the specific types of aircraft used, is phenomenal.

"Phenomenal", eh? The reports coming out all indicate that the "phenomenal" training the hijackers had was a few months of private flying school. It's even more damning evidence that one of the students showed no interest in mastering takeoff or landing, only in horizontal flight. If you ask me, their budget must have been minimal.

All of those planes had remarkably light passenger loads for their sizes, which means there was a lot more to it than picking a plane at the last minute.

That's exactly the point. For some reason, you're anxious to give the attackers superhuman predictive powers. There is no fucking way anyone can predict the manifest of a plane weeks or months in advance. You are turning Bin Laden into a mythical superman.

I tell you, the only way to carry out this kind of attack is to hang around on the spot yourself and wait for the right moment. Watch the schedules closely for a few days, study passenger manifests. Strike in low season, during an off-period. What extra knowledge does Bin Laden posess in Afghanistan that the men at the location themselves didn't have? For fuckssakes, Bin Laden has never been to the West. He's never lived in a Western country. He's not stupid, but wha use is a man in such situations who has never been to New York, never seen a US airport, never used an ATM, has no idea what daily US life is like?

All of this suggests a high degree of planning for years with incredible attention to detail and lots of money thrown around.

"Lots of money thrown around". From The Economist: Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who plotted to bomb Los Angeles airport but later co-operated with American authorities, says he was given $12,000 of seed-money to set up his operation. When he asked for more cash, he was advised to finance himself by credit-card fraud.

"High degree of planning, incredible attention to detail, lots of money thrown around" my ass. They operate on shoe-string budgets, the terrorists have to ad-lib it most of the way, and as previous attacks and foiled attacks will testify, there is no shortage of botched attempts.

September 11 was the day they hit a patch of good luck. They're even luckier they've got you wetting your pants at the thought of their sheer perfection.

That would be a definite `fuck you' (none / 0) (#11)
by em on Thu Sep 20th, 2001 at 09:08:01 PM PST
As a side benefit, this would be a none-too-subtle "fuck you" to those who perpetrated the attacks. [...] I'm aware that many want to have a functional WTC rebuilt.

Eh, the design in that doctored photo, um, well, eh, doesn't quite *scream* out "fuck you", but rather, *manually gestures* it...
Associate Editor,


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