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World Trade Center Site Fuckups: Don't Blame Herbert

As part of an interview with Metropolis about his new book about rebuilding Ground Zero, Sixteen Acres: Architecture and the Outrageous Struggle for the Future of Ground Zero, writer Philip Nobel takes the blame for the fucked-up planning process off the shoulders of former NYT architecture critic Herbert Muschamp:

The conventional wisdom is that Muschamp did a wonderful thing in fall 2002 by getting this group of international stars and local architects together to do the New York Times Magazine's ?masters plan? issue. That the LMDC saw Herbert gathering these forces for a ?visionary? plan and countered him by doing the innovative design study. Never mind that last summer Muschamp flip-flopped, saying, ?I actually think the best solution would be to just rebuild the twins as they were.?

I think his role has been overblown. The LMDC needed to do something, and having done the boring corporate thing, the only architectural option left was to bring in the stars. That?s the biggest lesson to take out of this.

Herbert, baby, come back to us! All is forgiven!
· Book Casts WTC Redevelopment as Modern Epic [Metropolis]
· Sixteen Acres excerpt, chap. 9: When Architects Attack [Metropolis, PDF]