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WTC Chaos Update: 'Memorial Mess'

Yeah, we know that's a pretty large visual of the World Trade Center memorial?and no, we're not sure if this particular design element's been tweaked already?but a big estimated price tag deserves a big picture. The construction manager's now pegged the cost of building Michael Arad's "Reflecting Absence" at $972 million, according to the Times?or nearly as much as the original Twin Towers cost to build, if you don't adjust for inflation. The blog Tropolism reads the tea leaves:

Essentially, Bovis Lend Lease added everything and the kitchen sink in an effort to create a headline of "OMG WTC MEM AT $1B" for the Post, probably at the wink-nod of the governor. But the items enumerated are arguably things the state should provide to the foundation: a buildable site, heating and cooling infrastructure, etc. It isn't a commercial tenant trying to develop valuable real estate in Lower Manhattan. It's a memorial, something that should be the focal point for our healing. Apparently it's also another field for playing power-ball.For comparison, Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C., still heralded as a simple yet moving stroke of design genius, cost a mere $7 million in the early 1980s.
· WTC Memorial Estimate: Fishy Business [Tropolism]
· Memorial Cost at Ground Zero Nears $1 Billion [NYTimes]
· Mayor: Put $500M Cap on Shrine [NYP]
· Memorial's back on hold [NYDN]
· Memorial Mess [WSJ]
· Reflecting Absence (photo) [WTC Memorial Competition/LMDC]