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10.04.2005 

most disappointing


it seems to me that yet another interesting, maybe the most interesting piece of the world trade center redevelopmet plan has been removed. the international freedom center, schematically designed by snohetta, has got the shit can. score another one for mindless political input and decision making

blame it on what the IFC was hoping to put inside the building... they're the ones who destroyed any chance for this building to exist.

so because of what happened there, we should suspend freedom of the exchange of ideas.....if that is so, then the terrorists have already won

Let's protest! Is it the political minds of government held officials.............or the the land owners screwing things up? Whose best interest is beeing looked after, i.e. future space renters, visitors from other countries.......this is a much bigger question and problem, yet the solution seems simple?

no we should never suspend freedom. you have to realize that it was public opposition to what was going to be exhibited inside the structure. and good for the public to express their freedom to disapprove. it was the public that caused the political minds to act (as usual, they do whats popular). in this case the public was right however.

is there a place for such an exhibit to exist in this country? ofcourse. and thats freedom. no one is censoring anyone from creating a forum to express their intended ideas. its simply in bad taste to do so on the grounds of the WTC. its been made quite clear what side the backers of the IFC stand on the topics of terrorists and the blame america first movement, so we know exactly where this "acedemic" center would end up.

is it appropriate to build a beautiful modern building in Pearl Harbor that exhibits art that explors the glory of the japanese bombers? should we have a learning center at the remains of the cocentration camps in europe that explores the ideas of the nazis and call it a chance to debate both sides of the halocaust?

if an artist, architect or designer can not see that their object of creation is only completed when it is placed in its intedended environment then i challenge their ability. in this case the IFC's content was poorly considered rendering it impotent to the public it was intended for.

Anyone who truly values freedom of thought and exchange of ideas would realize that public funding of these ideas is a threat to free expression. To force the the taxpayer to fund particular views through art funding, public education, public broadcating etc. is a crime against free speach. Those who cry the loudest about seperation of church and state, have NO PROBLEM with using public funds to support their own moral/political/philosophical/intellectual agenda. This is an attempt to create a government MONOPOLY on thougth. There are many individuals willing to financially support diverse ideas with which they agree. This is as it should be.

The international freedom center is akin to a public museum dedicated to the study of the ten commandments from a narrow sectarian view--and in my opionion the view of a Satanist.

Many of the most bitter and divisive social issues, particularily surrounding public education, would not exist if the government did not fund particular ideas that many people disagree with. Most people do not complain about the contents of books at Barnes and Noble--because they are free to purchase the books or not--they are also free to threaten boycotts if they find material obscene or extremely offensive--but they never have the power to censor books--nor support those ideas they agree with beyond their OWN PURCHÃ…SING POWER. Would we suggest forcing customers who like romance novels to also subsidise fantasy novels when they find the books boring?

what would the libs say if bush decided to fund fox news with public money? why not? 51% of us voted for him. we need news don't we?

i don't know anything about architecture and this comment does not necessarily relate to the IFC or Freedom tower per se--but i think the glass curtain wall is an overused divice of architectural hacks. if modernism is based in the inherient honesty of form following function, should not the skeletal structure of a building be alluded to in some form? i find glass boxes to be unispiring and just as formally dishonest as covering a steel skeleton with heavy masonry, false columns and flying buttresses. in the later case the integrity of the building is hidden by "traditional" architectural vocabulary that related to a completely different function. in the former case, a banal sheet of glass is hung over the structure like a bad christo piece. while one could argue that the glass lets in more light, this is not true. it gives the appearance of letting in more light from the OUTSIDE--but the obstructions to windows still exist in the building's skeleton. expansive windows can still fill in open space between structural elements.

an appealing garmet reveals the body beneath. so should a building's exterior. now one could justify hiding a building's "bones" perhaps if in the service of some interesting design element. but glass panels? the flattness of many buildings, i find unappealing. because the structure is so important to a buiding, why not at least reference it?

perhaps there is something i don't understand as a layman?

concerning the freedom center:

i don't think it has "been made quite clear what side the backers of the IFC stand on". i think a lot of fear and misconstrued ideas have been put forth, and amplified by the dismal media organizations in this country which claim to put forward news.

the entire site, idea of memorial, transportaion hub, etc. has been placed into the public realm. once that happens you obligate yourself to public discourse which may or may not always make you happy. if this were to be a private memorial, a place reserved for family members and such, i agree that a much tighter control over what happens there would be appropriate.

concerning the glass curtain wall:

the glass curtain wall has been bastardized, and overused, especially in this country since at least the 1960's.

as a device of architecture, it was a direct off-shoot of the development of the steel skeleton. it was possible to build walls with great voids in them, since the entire building didn't have to rest on all of the wall below it. the modernist's, corb, mies, gropius, used this as a specific device in developing solid/void relationships on the facades of buildings which refelcted in some way what was happening behing them. solid/void could mean public space/private space. somewhere along the line (unfortunatly because of mies's late work in the USA) proportion was lost, and glass seemed to cover everything. mies did it right and many others did it wrong.

in the greater scheme of things, the federal government or perhaps new york state, should purchase a portion of the land from the port authority and errect a memorial that is appropriate for the events that occured on that day. the remaining portion should be sold to larry silverstein, or to the highest bidder with silverstein retaining his lease. then the private owners can do what they wish with the land provided 90% of the space is reserved for affordable housing.

just kidding on the housing part.

why should the port authority control airports, buildings ect.? i recently read that the port authority of cleveland was responsible for expanding the cleveland art museum. how are these types of things consistent with the mission of a "port authority?"

i cant say that it would require the site to be deemed "reserved for family members" for there to then be a level of appropriate measures taken. assuming that what we do receive as news to be more true then not, then this public space's fate was decided by the public based on the IFC's backer's affiliations. what we do know was that they where not denying any of the accusations against them so i guess we can only guess.

the vietnam memorial is a public space but i know i would not want there to be a side booth educating me on the viet cong's plight against the french in the 60's. i'ld rather learn about that elsewhere. i can sympathize with the idea of losing a great piece of architecture; content is everything.

in the end... some things are actually sacred.

I noticed all glass facades being errected over the new hippodrome on sixth ave and 44th, and another building on lex near bloomingdales. there's a bannana republic on the ground floor of that buiding (which already had crimminal design of the storefront in context with the building). both buildings, i think, were nice examples of modernism if not "important" buildings. a step backward in my opinion.

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