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Contest Seeks World Trade Center Designs Based on Twin Towers

Just when it seemed that a design for the Freedom Tower had been finalized yet again, a new campaign in New York seeks to restore some version of the original Twin Towers to Ground Zero. The World Trade Center Restoration Design Competition, launched last week, isn’t likely to change the status quo. But it highlights the ongoing frustrations of those who think the public was not given the opportunity to weigh in on the plans that first Daniel Libeskind, then David Childs have made for the site.

The contest asks participants to submit designs based on Minuro Yamasaki’s original buildings. Requirements call for each of the two new towers to be at least the same height and number of floors as the old World Trade Center, as well as provide the same amount of office space. But contestants will have the option to make changes to Yamasaki’s design, for example, by incorporating mixed-use elements into their plans. A nine-member jury, including a psychiatrist, a sculptor, and a New Jersey priest, will pick the winning design. The competition is sponsored by Team Twin Towers, a non-profit organization founded in 2002 with the purpose of restoring the Twin Towers, and Rebuild-the-Towers, a three-month-old group that promotes their reconstruction.

Information on the contest can be obtained at www.teamtwintowers.org.

Greg Hafkin