For a good long while after the events of 9/11, there was a call to rebuild the World Trade Center just as it was the day before the attacks. This was an idea not without precedent. Everywhere from the Hebrew Temple to the Madison White House to the Super Dome, humanity has been rebuilding their monuments after wars and disasters. Rarely, though, are the buildings exactly the same, as had been so vocally proposed here.
The idea, even with the backing of Donald Trump and the Post, did not succeed, and it never will now that the project has progressed so far. There was a time, in the laggard days of 2006 and 2007, with little visible progress under way, when the call was renewed. It is a persistent plea, one that echoes today, a month shy of the 10th anniversary. With that dark hallmark approaching, a design competition has just been launched by a group called Twin Towers Go Global that is seeking submissions for a new set of Twin Towers built anywhere in the world.
The group has actually been working for a number of years to have replicas of the Minoru Yamasaki structures built somewhere in the world, and now it has turned to the public for help. The purpose behind the Twin Towers competition, according to the competition website, is “to create a memorial expressive of the Towers’ significance to a wide array of individuals and cultures, as well as their continuing unifying power.”
Entries are due by Sept. 2, and a few suggestions, though no renderings, have been posted to an online gallery. “They should be rebuilt on ground zero just as they were,” remarks one. Another says, “I think another should be built in Washington D.C.” Makes sense, given the attack on the Pentagon and the hot D.C. office market. “Rebuild them in Athens, Greece, the cradle of democracy,” declares a third. There are two votes for Houston and one very annoyed submission. “I’ve rarely seen such a pointless attempt to self-profit off a tragedy, you guys take the cake,” it begins.
There is one suggestion, post to the group’s Facebook, that The Observer took for an arch-commentary on what ground zero has become, until we saw it was submitted by a high school student from Indiana: “I say miniature versions, in Lower Manhattan, about one-fourth the size of the originals housing gift shops, skyscraper museums, etc. I’ll send full designs soon.”