Over the last 13 years, the still-in-progress redevelopment of the World Trade Center site has ranged from memorial plaza to office towers. Of particular note, the long-delayed $4 billion PATH station and transportation hub, a structure that looks like a dinosaur's skeleton, a bird in flight, or a "glorious boondoggle," is slated to open this year. By contrast, work on the still-shuttered Cortlandt Street subway stop is set to start in mid-May and finish up in 2018. It makes sense that the local stop on the 1 train wasn't a priority given the major projects in the area, but it's good to know that we'll be on our way soon. Even better, the MTA just selected a large-scale work of public art that will cover a good chunk of the station.
Yesterday, the MTA chose Ohio-based artist Ann Hamilton to install a $1 million artwork in the $101 million station. Like her other work, this site-specific will involve an interweaving of symbolic, significant words and phrases.
In Ms. Hamilton's concept, which is still evolving, texts would fill about 70 percent of the station's walls in the form of an elaborate concordance, something like a crossword puzzle. Text fragments reading horizontally would probably come from documents of international significance, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
At intervals, certain words from the horizontal texts would align to form vertical spines. Those words—like "human" and "justice"—would be common to passages from national documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Declaration of Sentiments, adopted in 1848 in Seneca Falls, N.Y., which held that "all men and women are created equal."
The design hasn't yet been finalized.
Hamilton plans to develop the piece in white, in order to jive with the color scheme of Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center skeletal transportation hub. The Cortlandt Street 1 station will have "a prominent entrance" from the hub. Alliance for Downtown New York president Jessica Lappin told the Times, ""It should be moving and powerful and certainly worth the wait."
· At Cortlandt Street Subway Station, Art Woven From Words [NYT]
· All World Trade Center redevelopment coverage [Curbed]