Proposals for Rebuilding

Proposals for Rebuilding

by Tess Taylor

What should be done with the World Trade Center site in New York? Should it become a memorial park? Or should new buildings go up, and if so, should they rise as high as their predecessors? Or higher? When you ask these questions of over 100 internationally known architects, you can expect to receive a broad range of answers.

This is what happened at a recent exhibit, "A New World Trade Center: Design Proposals," at the Max Protetch Gallery in Manhattan. Before closing its crowded, media-filled, month-long run, the exhibit displayed a powerful and eclectic assembly of architectural ideas.

There were drawings and models from all over the world. Some displays were pensive, others keening; some were possible, others patently impractical. There were even poignant sketches offered by the late Samuel Mockbee during his final days. Together, the exhibits served as a rich springboard for discussion about what should happen at the site of the nation's most conspicuously gaping hole.

As remarkable as the display itself was its reception. From the beginning, it was hardly recognizable as an exhibit of architectural drawings. Like encampments of rock fans waiting for David Bowie tickets, the crowds wrapped around the block on opening night, stamping in the cold, waiting for several hours to get in