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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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July 02, 2005

For the Freedom Tower

Responding to my blog on New York's replacement for the World Trade Center towers, in which I came out for several shorter, inconspicuous buildings, one reader argues for the new 1,776-foot design:

The various proposals for "Freedom Tower" have, until the latest, been ludicrous. It seemed that in the rush to fill the void left by the destruction of the World Trade Center, common sense was given the heave-ho in favor of a grandiose, utterly impractical gesture of short-term fashionableness. Libeskind's shard was sculpture, not architecture. Thank God more level heads prevailed and it was abandoned. Donald Trump was correct to call the plan for Ground Zero a "junkyard."

What David Childs now proposes is rather like a futuristic glass version of the Washington Monument. As such, it is a design of great intrinsic beauty and underlying geometry (the soul of good architecture) in the shape of a tapering obelisk, a form invented by one of the great civilizations, the Ancient Egyptians. It is absolutely the right choice to make, and will be an instant classic if built. I urge the media to advocate its construction, because it is light-years ahead of previous proposals. Time will prove it correct.

Whether Mr. Childs is a "commercial" architect or not, his building exemplifies what architecture is about, while at the same time providing usable office space -- life must go on in hard-nosed New York City. His form will not simply fill a hole, but enhance Manhattan in a way that the simple-minded, graceless, in-your-face design of the old WTC never could. Mr. Childs design is nothing short of, well, genius, and his firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill is to be commended for their work.


 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at July 2, 2005 09:24 AM



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