Visions of Ground Zero
What happens when some of America’s most valuable commercial property becomes the locus of an epic national event? At present, the void where the World Trade Center once stood in New York City is the nation’s most poignant pilgrimage destination–a bleak and unsettling place that is at once a crime scene, a battlefield, and a cemetery. But it is also our most eligible construction site: sixteen acres of land at the foot of Wall Street, the epicenter of world capitalism. At first blush, it is impossible to reconcile these fundamentally opposed concepts–sacred terrain, or mere real estate?–but in the next few months both developers and the officials charged with overseeing the site will be asked to do just that.
About the Author
Michael J. Lewis, a frequent contributor, teaches at Williams College. He is the author most recently of American Art and Architecture (Thames & Hudson)