The People’s Choice

The Freedom Tower

Photo: The Twin Towers Alliance

The February issue of Esquire includes the latest installment of Scott Raab’s highly selective history of rebuilding. He may think that the site is now at “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” but the end of the beginning of the end may be more like it. Journalists are supposed to dig for all the facts before using their platform to mold opinion. But what the public got in the Scott Raab piece above was lots of moldy opinion and few facts.

Raab even has the nerve — and lack of shame — to accuse other journalists (lowly newspaper columnists) of “getting it wrong. Mr. Raab should stop shilling for Larry Silverstein by cherry-picking the facts — beginning with how little of his own money Silverstein has invested in the site and how the insurance money was spent.

For over a decade the public has been supporting Silverstein’s pretensions. People should know how a man who was obligated not just to replace 10 million square feet, but to rebuild the Twin Towers “if damaged or destroyed” to the “extent feasible” — at his own expense — got away with even taking back his original down payment and living off the public ever since.

Not only was honestly restoring the skyline with new state-of-the-art Twin Towers “feasible” — it was easily the most feasible and most cost-effective option — and the only one that had strong support from the public, first-responders, former tenants, and 9/11 family members.

The Port Authority — a/k/a the public — is now on the hook for at least $7.5 billion, as the region’s infrastructure crumbles, while Larry Silverstein’s investment remains minimal at best. Even the time and effort he has “invested” has immeasurably enhanced the Silverstein brand around the world with priceless free advertising.

Silverstein was also required to clear away any destruction at his own expense. It would be useful to know how much of the 2/3 of a billion dollars in clean-up costs came from him and how much from public coffers. MORE


The Beginning of the End of the Beginning: The World Trade Center Rebuilding

New York Post

Ground Zero’s new face: No substitute for the twins

New York Magazine

Christie, Cuomo, and Bloomberg Find a New Reason to Fight Over the W.T.C. Site

New York Post

Port Authority to nix World Trade Center security detail with city cops

NY1 News

Kelly: NYPD Will Have Security Presence At WTC Site

New York Daily News

Workers ordered to remove racist, sexist slurs…

2013-01-28T01:22:05+00:00 January 28th, 2013|Vol. 2, No. 4 —|

If You Build It…

Photo: The Twin Towers Alliance

So where are the tenants? The if-you-build-it rule doesn’t seem to apply to Ground Zero, where it is two-and-a-half years since the Conde Nast lease was supposed to be the first of many. Could the reason tenants seems to be running the other way is that we didn’t build it? We built something, but not the “it” that signifies the courage and confidence of a baseball stadium in a cornfield.

Not according to Steve Cuozzo, who is listed on the New York Post editorial roster next to “Gossip” but frequently pontificates on the WTC site. His recent swipe (linked below) is far more vitriolic than his past columns — as if he thinks that tearing the Twin Towers’ reputation down can build the Freedom Tower’s reputation up.

The Freedom Tower is not a bad building, but it is no replacement for the two most iconic towers on earth. It was common to hear the Twin Towers put in the same class as the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China. That is not a comparison we are ever likely to hear about the Freedom Tower, because the Twins exuded confidence and achievement, while it simply exudes money — ours.

After all, how awful could a $4 billion tower be? Actually, pretty awful when one considers that the public that bankrolled it never cared for it. Cuozzo doesn’t realize that his tasteless remarks about the Twin Towers weren’t just a gratuitous swipe at the Towers, but at the millions of supporters who have always overwhelmed the unofficial polls that were carried out through the years.

Just recently we came across a small poll that was done on a pop music site that asked whether respondents preferred “The twins of NEW YORK CITY (duh)” or the “identitiy crisis towers.” The Twin Towers won by almost 20%. But in a 2009 MSNBC poll, with a very large sampling, going head-to-head with the Freedom Tower complex, they received over 90% of the vote.

The damage done by using one’s position to amplify opinions that fly in the face of facts amounts to malpractice — maybe worse, considering how deeply the entire country was wounded and deprived of the recovery we desired, deserved, and paid for.

Real Estate Weekly

Fresh push to sell 1WTC to global tenants

The Real Deal

Jefferies Group snubs World Trade Center towers…

USA Today (AP)

World Trade Center workers scrawl graffiti messages

New York Post

New WTC security chief says it will ‘take a community to protect this complex’

Crain’s New York

The debate over downtown’s future is ON

New York Post

Freedom Sings

2013-01-21T23:42:18+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Vol. 2, No. 3 —|

Truth in Advertising

Installing the Spire

Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

CBS News

Cranes install base of spire at 1 WTC

George Orwell observed that if thought can corrupt language, then language can corrupt thought. That is the last thing we need, especially at Ground Zero, where corrupt thought and corrupt language can only result in corrupt history. We owe those who lost their lives on 9/11 a higher standard of remembrance and resolve.

What standard are we using when we keep boasting that a building with precisley the same roof-height as the original One World Trade Center, and a roof-height around a hundred feet shorter than the Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago, will be the tallest tower in the hemisphere? The human-eye-standard, which registers roof height? Or that of the official arbiter, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s standard, which is by no means certain to include the “spire” in the height?

By any standard, it is enhancing reality, just as the “Carrie Diaries” are distorting reality. Both are perverting the truth and that is not wise.

The Los Angeles Times

Skyline not quite right in CW’s 1984 New York-set ‘Carrie Diaries’

The Huffington Post

Cantor Fitzgerald Slacks On 9/11 Pledge, But Promises $10 Million To Sandy Relief

Could it be that they are making a statement against the Memorial Foundation’s operations?

2013-01-14T23:39:36+00:00 January 14th, 2013|Vol. 2, No. 2 —|

A Crime Against the Heart

9/11 Families and Norman Siegel

Photo: Professor Glenn Corbett

“A crime against the heart” is how one of the bystanders outside the New York Appellate Court, near Madison Square Park, was heard to sum up his disgust at the battle over the unidentified human remains. And that is not hyperbole. The heart is where we trust — and regardless of our politics and divisions, most Americans trust that when it comes to 9/11, officials will suspend their agendas and show respect for those who paid the price for 9/11. But the evidence is to the contrary.

The Asbury Park Press (AP)

9/11 families press fight over remains at museum

The New York Daily News

9/11 families press judges…

The New York Post

Unidentified 9/11 remains will be safe: city

The New York Times

No Story

The New York Post

9/11 tiles rise again

2013-01-07T09:37:14+00:00 January 7th, 2013|Vol. 2, No. 1 —|