Bryant Gumbel's plan for the WTC spot...

I’m no fan of Bryant Gumbel, but a good idea is a good idea and this is a good idea.

Chickenhead, Gumbel suggested that it be paid for with donations. And I’m sure there’d be no shortage of donors.

No, sir, I don’t like it.
Two giant, billion dollar, empty buildings? I’m sorry, the WTC was a place of business, it should be again. That’s how you show your resolve, rebuilding for real, not for show.

How about a 110 story tall statue of Bryant Gumbel?

I don’t mind the idea of an park/memorial/open space anyway. Or how about a synogogue, to really piss off the Islamic fundies?

My friend had this to say:

“Personally, I’d like to see three towers built in their place, with the middle one much taller than the other two. That way, it would look like a giant middle finger aimed straight at the [jerks] who did this.”

He never was one for subtlety…

In all seriousness though, I agree that they should be rebuilt for their original purpose, with a major memorial/tribute in the first and/or top floors.


I just can’t see the wisdom of two giant expensive empty buildings. What exactly would we be trying to say?

“You may bomb us, but we will just build them back- empty!”

“America has so much cash we build empty buildings on prime real estate”

“Hey New Yorkers, check out the new buildings. They manage to linger as a reminder of pain, but this time they serve no useful purpose!”

“See Joey, when mommy was kid there used to be buildings there. But then, those buildings were bombed, so now we built them again but Mr. engineer decided not to actually put anything in them. Isn’t that clever?”

Sorry man, I don’t get it.

What purpose does this possibly serve? Does Gumbel think empty towers will be a target? Why else make them empty?

“See that you terrorists? We rebulit them. Yeah, they’re empty and useless, but there.”

That land is extraordinarily valuble. The best bet is that a few smaller towers are put in place, say 5 50-60 story towers, with a memorial in there somewhere.

How about four towers arranged in a square, each about 50 stories high, with an open courtyard in the center with a memorial and an eternal flame? It would reduce the size of the buildings to about the size of the surrounding ones, removing them as a target, while maintaining the spirit of the WTC and retaining all the office space.

I think standing in that courtyard looking up at four towers would be awe-inspiring. And the towers would darken the center enough even in broad daylight so that the flame would always be visible.

And every office worker could just walk over to the windows at any time and look down at the memorial. With the right layout, the center square could have a visible message even from 50 stories up.

Yep. Something along those lines would be nice. And also the most probable, IMO.

Sam Stone - Great Idea!!! To accentuate the interior plaza, instead of being perfect squares, the four buildings could have their corners closest to the plaza replaced by a concave arc, so the empty space is a circle. (Did anybody understand that? Wish there was a way to illustrate it, but then I can’t draw, either.)

Sam Stone, that is a wonderful idea.

PlanMan, I understood it. Sam Stone, that is a great idea!

I don’t know whether they’ll be able to build anything all that big on the site; the damage to the basin they built to hold the river back was pretty extensive, and now there are building across the street so rebuilding that basin will be tricky.

So they might have to go with a smaller project because of limitation on the foundation.

But my fantasy project would be four buildings, at least one of which is the tallest in the world, whose combined height is one foot for each of the victims.

The four-tower idea is a fine one indeed. The only question is whether there is enough space to make up in width for what was lost in height.

I’m in agreement with Manhattan on the logistics of rebuilding. A cousin is on the team of engineers for the WTC building firm surveying the damage: I’m curious to see what he says, but he’s working some loooong hours now.

On another interim note, today’s Sunday NY Times Magazine cover photo showed a beautiful proposed memorial by two artists who have been working for the past few months on a WTC project. Their memorial response is to have two columns of light grace the skyline; replicas of the buildings. I hope that will come to pass.

the column of lights idea was cool, but I wonder about what would happen to anyone looking into the lights (or the electricity costs involved).
Although the Luxor in Vegas has a smaller version of the same idea at its apex.

[Pre-attack layout

[url=“”]Different version](
Zoning map of area (pdf file)
Pre-attack satellite image
Sept. 15th satellite image
tower floor plan

From the Great Buildings site, I gather that the World Trade Center altogether covered 16 acres, with a five acre center plaza. In usable units, that translates to 696,960 square feet altogether, and a 217,800 square foot plaza. The total rentable space (I think this is just for the two towers, but it’s rather unclear) was 10,000,000 square feet.

From the New York City Zoning Resolution, I gather that the maximum floor space would be 14 times the area of the total site for the zone that the World Trade Center is in. Of course, that gives a total maximum floor area of 9.76 million square feet, which is less than the rentable space of the two WTC towers alone.

Anyway, that should be enough information to get started on some plans. I’d probably go for something along the lines of Sam’s idea.

I thought about that too. But the problem with that idea is that any building that is put up on that spot will immediately become a new target for terrorists.


I mean, I’d think that if you put up a building that has the same purpose as the towers before them did, and is even taller and bigger than the previous buildings, you’re asking for trouble.

At least that’s my thought.

Another problem with replacing the towers with new fully functional buildings is the idea that the spot is essentially the grave yard for thousands of people- who is going to want to occupy that space?

I wouldn’t. It’d be creepy big-time.

So, you’re left with a memorial of some kind. I still like the idea of the empty towers, simply because it seems to address the problems that crop up.

But I admit that Sam Stone’s idea is good too. But you still have people occupying that site.

I dunno, there’s a lot of problems to anything being put on that spot. I just hope it’s something that incorporates all the people’s concerns.

“Another problem with replacing the towers with new fully functional buildings is the idea that the spot is essentially the grave yard for thousands of people- who is going to want to occupy that space?”

Lower Manhattan has been inhabited for well over three centuries, and I dare say most plots of land there have been the site of some sort of tragedy (fire, homicide, etc.) at some point in that long history. If people were reluctant to occupy land where somebody died less than peacefully at some point in time, then lower Manhattan would be utterly deserted.

Bryant Gumbel is a jerk and this idea is pretty stupid if you ask me.

I would build four buildings at the corners, as earlier mentioned, and then, in the center, perhaps under a small raised park, I’d build four centers of worship, An hebrew synagog, a christian church, a islamic mosque, and a hindu temple. All as a means of saying, we oppose religious differences, we are a nation of multiple beliefs joined. Obviously, the church would be a bit difficult to deal with the various denominations that would want to use it, but something could be figured out I am sure. Similar problems would also occur with the other three faiths, but I’m not familiar with them enough to say.