If Donald Trump had his way, the World Trade Center would be rebuilt "bigger and better," and former Penn Architecture professor Daniel Libeskind would have nothing to do with it.
Trump called Libeskind, the University's Paul Philippe Cret professor of architecture when his design for the site was selected, an "egghead architect" on the May 11 episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews.
Trump went on to say that the Penn architecture team came up with a "terrible" and "disgusting," design and that if the Freedom Tower is built on the site of the World Trade Center, "the terrorists win."
Gary Hack, the dean of Penn's School of Design and one of the members of the Freedom Tower design team, said in an e-mail, "I don't really have much to say about Trump. He has no credibility as a design critic. It's not worth wasting words on his comments."
The plan for the Freedom Tower has been marred with criticism and disagreement from the moment it was selected from 435 proposals for the site.
In a presentation last year sponsored by the Fox Leadership Program, Hack said that the former World Trade Center was a powerful symbol and noted how many different proposals and ideas were submitted for the site.
While criticism was not surprising, Trump's attack on the design stands out because of his strong wording and the public nature of his comments. Trump appeared publicly on May 18 to show his support for a rival design by architects Kenneth Gardner and Herbert Belton. The design, called "Twin Towers II," features two towers identical to the fallen ones, only one story taller.
While Libeskind declined to comment on Trump's criticism, his publicist David Luther said in an e-mail, "Mr. Trump is entitled to his opinions, but this site is obviously about more than commercial towers or business as usual."
Libeskind, an award-winning architect, was selected by a panel that was composed of an international group of architects, government officials and philanthropists.
In a press release when the plans were first announced, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "This is the world's most exciting city, and great design by world-class architects and designers like ... Daniel Libeskind helps make it so."
The plans call for the Freedom Tower to be the tallest building in the world, stretching to a symbolic 1,776 feet.
The several structures planned for the site will spread across the 16 acres of Ground Zero and will be arranged so that on Sept. 11 of each year, a ray of sunlight will illuminate the site from 8:46 a.m., when the first plane hit, to 10:28 a.m., when the second tower fell.
The New York Police Department has raised concerns that the Freedom Tower would be susceptible to car bombings, so the design will have to be slightly altered. The main aspects of the design should remain unchanged.Comments powered by Disqus
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