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For Once, The World Trade Center Gets Showered With Praise

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Even if the world's smattering of archicritics largely haven't, visitors to the new World Trade Center have embraced the partially-redeveloped site as the beacon of reverence, hope, and renewal that it seeks to be. As if looking at it through new eyes, traditionally balking New York Post archicritic Steve Cuozzo—the same guy who called Calatrava's transportation hub "LOL-ugly" more than once—embraces the site as a success for those its meant to serve,

Delighted visitors know something the city's architectural and urban-affairs intelligentsia don't: The politically warped, ideologically conflicted and bureaucratically hamstrung 13-year redevelopment saga since 9/11 improbably brought forth a much better result than we had a right to expect—or than we deserved. The abundant goodwill that went into planning narrowly carried the day over equally abundant greed and venality. Cuozzo is referring to the critiques of his peers: Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, who Cuozzo refers to indirectly as a "learned crank," has previously bemoaned One World Trade Center as a "missed opportunity," and a recent Mother Jones column asked what the heck went wrong with the tower's environmental ambitions. Cuozzo's view-altering revelation was spawned by only a few words by a simpleton neighbor, "No matter what you guys write, everybody in the world is going to love it. Even the dinosaur," the friend said, referring of course to Calatrava's bird-in-flight design that the archicritic formerly ridiculed as the "Calatrasaurus," to which Cuozzo essentially responded, "Ugh, I guess you're right. Time to undo everything I've vehemently asserted and side with the people on this one."

Cuozzo's nearly selfless takeaway is that despite what he and other architecture critics say, the site has already won the hearts of the tourist elite—not, he differentiates, the "Big Mac-munchers" of Times Square, but those with a capacity for reflection at the site—and to that end, it is a success.
· Public has embraced gorgeous new World Trade Center [NYP]
· Archicritic Trashes Transportation Hub, Calls It 'LOL-ugly' [Curbed]
· Archicritic archive [Curbed]

One World Trade Center Freedom Tower

72 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10006