Some may think it is too soon
to discuss rebuild
ing The World Trade Center
. Perhaps they are right, in some ways--we still need to find
and grieve for
, and we need to remove
that the buildings
have become. If thinking about this now is uncomfortable
to you, stop reading now--it is not my intention
There will soon become a need to know what will happen with the land, and what that is may affect the current salvage and removal efforts (especially once they inevitably shift from rescue to recovery.)
In the days after the attack. I envisioned new Twin Towers, for some reason golden colored instead of the silver that the old towers (yes, they're now the old towers) were. While we're at it, let's add another 20 or 30 stories to them, making sure they are once again the tallest buildings in the world. The skyline would be largely the same as before, but also different, perhaps befitting as a memorial to the fallen (who are all, essentially, war heroes.)
Clearly, these new buildings would have do be done a little differently. The most important thing is some way of getting people out faster than the hours it used to take--hours that these people didn't have. Alternately, you try and figure out how to make the buildings stand longer under the intense fires they were subjected too. I must say that now I understand why there is fireproofing on structural steel. I hope that advances in safety technology and engineering can at least improve the chances of those who would work in such a building. Of course, there's also dealing with the airport security issues that allowed this to happen--before September 11, 2001, no one thought this could happen. Now that we know it can, we have to acknowledge it.
The other question is who would rent space in these things if they were rebuilt? You can convince people all you want about escape routes, fire safety, and the security of our airways, but that will never eliminate the fact that it happened. So it's possible the buildings could never be used if they were rebuilt. That surely is not an appropriate thing to have happen.
I heard a few days ago the landlord of the World Trade Center is considering four 50-story towers where 2 110 story towers once stood. Most of the other buildings in downtown Manhattan are that height, so they would fit in fine, and you'll have the same amount of office space (the way air rights in Manhattan work, you'd need less open space around shorter buildings so the ground area would probably be about the same.) There was also talk of a memorial, which is crucial in my opinion.
With the practicality in mind, my idea for the new World Trade Center is to have the 4 buildings as above, but with 2 of them, build a tower similar to the original buildings, on top of the habitable space, to the height (or taller) of the original buildings. This would be a superstructure akin to the Eiffel Tower, not used for office space, possibly with an observation tower on top, as well as the antennas and other facilities that were on top of the original building. This would restore the skyline and the empty shells of the buildings would serve as a memorial for all who lost their lives. Hopefully this can be made so if it were damaged it wouldn't take the rest of the building down--and there would be considerably fewer people to evacuate in the buildings as well. Perhaps have some sort of rescue device for the observation decks that could be released in the event of a disaster.
Personally, I would still love to see two new towers, fully used, than the former solution. I'd like to see these towers dedicated during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics that would be held in New York City, when we can say we've dealt with the problem of terrorism and have been able to create a truly free world where everyone shares in the benefits of society and democracy. That would be a great memorial to the fallen, in my opinion.