Trump’s tower plan a no-go

Trump’s tower plan a no-go

Barbara Nelson

Although public support may be behind Donald Tramp’s endorsement of the rebuilding of the Twin Towers, city and state officials say: It ain’t happening, Donald.

“Look, we are not going to build the two towers,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told Real Estate Weekly this week. “We made the agreement with the families that the footprints would be kept as memorial. We had a very public process, lots of input. We picked an architectural design, then an architect. And we are going to build that and we are raising money to do that.”

The Donald’s backing of Herbert Belton and Ken Gardner’s “The Plan of the People” made an international splash in the press and had people talking about the design that would bring back Manhattan’s pre-9/11 skyline.

At the entrance of Trump Tower, at Fifth and Park Avenues, Trump made his speech in front of a 15-foot mockup of the Twin Towers II, with memorabilia from his hit TV show, The Apprentice, as a backdrop.

Hundreds of media personnel awaited his biting words, words that would shock some and stir others to question the design that is to be the new World Trade Center.

Trump called the Daniel Libeskind/David Childs design “A series of broken down angles that don’t match each other that we are going to have to live with for hundreds of years.

“It is the worse pile of crap architecture I’ve ever seen in my life. And I don’t think we have to live with it.”

In his statement to Real Estate Weekly, Mayor Bloomberg said he understood Trump’s reasoning in wanting to rebuild the Twin Towers.

“So it’s a nice idea. I know there’s always the feeling: let’s go. Show the terrorists they didn’t beat us and build it one floor bigger, but it’s not really practical. It is also [the] wrong size space for down there. That’s not what’s needed,” he said. “We are going to go ahead and build the Freedom Tower. That’s what was picked by a public process and the Governor is working very hard. It’s very complex.”

With recent delays in the construction of the Freedom Tower, many have questioned whether the building process will ever begin, but Bloomberg said security and economics have all been considered in the design and getting it right takes time.

“We want to make sure it’s a secure building, and will make people comfortable,” he said. “We also have to make sure it’s economical. We also have to make sure it fits in with everything else.”

He said that Gov. Pataki is doing all he can to move the project forward.

“The Governor deserves an enormous amount of credit for going through with this. A lot of people criticized him, but there are so many moving parts, public and private officials. I think the public has to have patience, but this is going in the right a direction.”

Trump’s Twin Tower choice would also have to win the financial backing of World Trade Center developer, Larry A. Silverstein, and that is unlikely.

“Donald Trump is both a friend and a respected colleague of Larry Silverstein, and Larry is always interested in what Trump is thinking,” said Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Silverstein. “However, Larry Silverstein’s only concern right now is designing a safe and spectacular Freedom Tower in keeping with the well-established master plan for the site.”

Trump also said economics have to be considered in the rebuilding process. “Whether you build Freedom Tower, or what should be built, the World Trade Center reincarnated, you are possibly going to have a tremendous amount of economic problems,” Trump said. “[If] for any reason this can’t be built, because there is a possibility people do not want to be in any of the buildings on the site, then you should do what Giuliani wanted to do, build a park …You know, Larry has built a building that’s not on this site, but is very close to it and it’s not exactly renting up like wildfire.”

Trump especially bashed the Freedom Tower, referring to it as basically a pile of bones and calling it economically impractical. “It’s a building that’s essentially a skeleton,” Trump said. “It starts about 60 stories on top and rises to 1,700 feet and they do 1,776 for obvious reasons, but it’s just nothing more than a skeleton. The only good thing about the building, from an architectural standpoint, is the name, Freedom Tower. If we build the Freedom Tower, simply put, the terrorists win. It’s that bad from and architectural standpoint, from every standpoint.”

His comments raised ire in some, while others said it’s just Trump on an ego trip. “In the land of the free anyone can make whatever statement they want,” said Hazel Ephron, a partner with the architectural firm of Wank Adams Slavin Associates LLP.

“I believe that Mr. Trump has overstepped the decency level. The process that has gone on may be slow, but the outcome will be appropriate.”

COPYRIGHT 2005 Hagedorn Publication

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group