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The World Trade Center's Original Architect Would Hate It Now

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Given all the starchitects that are involved with the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site these days—from Bjarke Ingels and Richard Rogers to David Childs and Fumihiko Maki to (gasp!) Daniel Libeskind—it's not surprising that Minoru Yamasaki is all but forgotten. Who? Oh, just the architect of the original Twin Towers. The Awl rediscovered a few paragraphs of a long letter Yamasaki wrote to New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, who had panned his towers in a 1973 review. She called the narrow windows "pure visual frustration," but Yamasaki thoughtfully defended his aesthetic viewpoint (which would later prove to be an iconic one) and spoke out against all-glass structures. Just look at the uber-glassy renderings of the WTC complex as it'll be in about five or six years to see that his defense was basically for naught.

Yamasaki wrote:

While some of the structural and energy-efficiency problems have probably been alleviated by construction technology, he brings up a good point. "Is this the future of cities?"

He also wrote, "For me, the day of the all-glass building is finished." Poor guy. Finished, at least until the 21st century in New York City's Financial District.
· Glass, Towers [The Awl]
· In Memoriam: 15 Photos of the Twin Towers in the 1970s [Curbed]
· All World Trade Center Redevelopment coverage [Curbed]

One World Trade Center Freedom Tower

72 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10006

3 World Trade Center

175 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007