11 Sep 2009 8:46 am   //   Filed under: New York is different

9/11/09

Friends outside New York City often ask what’s going on at the World Trade Center site. Here are some pictures that show the progress of the site:

wtc4

wtc2

wtc3

I shot these pictures July 23 looking south (downtown) out the windows of the Silverstein Properties office in WTC 7, where I was attending a photo exhibition. So far, WTC 7 is the only office building to be built at the World Trade Center complex since 2001.

I’ve griped before about the slowness of fixing this giant, depressing crater in the middle of our city. It’s pleasing to see some steel actually rising above grade level.

There are now a few things for visitors to do at the site, apart from gaze at a hole and shop for knockoff handbags. There’s a new National September 11 Memorial and Museum Preview Site—a popup storefront on Vessey Street—which I visited last weekend when my dad and stepmom were in town. It’s tastefully done, even though it has a gift shop. Over on Liberty Street, there’s apparently a Tribute WTC Visitors Center, which costs $10 to enter and which I know nothing about.

From everything I’ve read, the WTC rebuilding project is still snarled in bureaucracy and perpetually behind schedule. The worst part? The massive construction fence around the site, which renders the entire area unpleasant and hard to walk around. As long as that fence is there, it keeps this wound open and keeps the space from rejoining the fabric of Manhattan.