11 Sep 2008 8:05 am   //   Filed under: Failure

Build this ugly building already

Freedom Tower

I am sure the terrorists didn’t realize they were attacking New York at a time when city and state bureaucracy was completely logjammed. In retrospect, The Port Authority should have immediately dug out the blueprints from the 1970s and started putting the towers back where they stood. They could be up by now, symbols of hope and defiance. But what really happened? A developer produced drawings of buildings even more boring than the World Trade Center, and sat on the land for seven years while a tangle of quasi-government authorities churned out delays and excuses.

If you haven’t seen Ground Zero and are curious about what the site looks like now, I recommend the photos shot by my friend Mark Lennihan, who has been covering the redevelopment for the AP. You can see some of his aerials this week on The Big Picture (check out photos 9-12, 16 and 17).