Last week Bloomberg demanded a sitdown with the World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein and Governors Paterson and Corzine to see about speeding up this Ground Zero rebuilding thing. It now appears that the Port Authority has its own plan to speed things up by cutting one of the five towers and scaling down two of the others. (The Daily News says Tower Two, meant to be 79 stories tall, would “reduce” under this plan to “a glorified, prettied-up stump.”) Silverstein reportedly doesn’t like it because it means less money for him than the current, long-delayed scheme.
Meanwhile the Ground Zero transit hub — another grand plan that has been getting nowhere — unveiled a redesign on Saturday. The Times‘ Nicolai Ouroussoff says Santiago Calatrava “remains unable to overcome the project’s fatal flaw: the striking incongruity between the extravagance of the architecture and the limited purpose it serves,” especially since the Port Authority canned some of the hub’s functions, including the originally-proposed airport links. Calatrava has also been obliged by economic necessity to add retail shops to his grandiose design.
We’re starting to think we should just forget the whole thing and build something New Yorkers can really use, like a roller disco.