A note from the editors: “Inspiration boards” give a glimpse at the inner landscape of a creative person’s brain. Boards can convey a concept, a design direction, ideas for a kitchen remodel, or in our case, a personal narrative. Every so often, we feature one of the creative spirits at Chute Gerdeman.
As I watched the steel beams put in place this week to push the new 1 World Trade Center up and above the venerable 71-year old Empire State Building, I felt something inside. Inspiration had found me once again. This iconic and hallowed site in Lower Manhattan, referred to as “ground zero” for the past eleven years, was like a phoenix rising into the sky. Politics and creative debate have famously delayed its ascent, but seeing it claim the mythical title of “tallest building in New York” seems healing, perhaps cathartic. Time will tell if this singular, angular structure, and its rebuilt site, will satisfy those who so desire a reaffirmation of New York’s ability to shape its dreams in glass and steel…or at least a fitting memorial spire. But I feel that this shiny new architectural wonder will only be embraced as the World Trade Center when it moves past merely reanimating the past and achieves its own distinct identity, facing forward.
While doing a little research on this inspiring building, I came across a really well designed information graphic. “World Trade Center Reborn” captures the timeline, the rebuilding and everything that went into the process including more than 2,500 workers on an average day. Then I remembered a news report from Rock Center that aired in early April. It featured a glimpse into the lives of these construction workers, and how the events of 9/11 affected their lives. You can read a recap of that report of their reflections here or watch the clip in its entirety on msnbc.com.
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1. A stellar shot of the NYC skyline taken by the very talented Adrian Wilson. This photo captures the changing skyline with the Empire State Building in the foreground and 1 World Trade Center in the back.
2. An updated version of the iconic “I Heart NY” symbol by Milton Glaser, created in honor of 9/11. This version is a better representation of how I (and lots of other Americans) feel about the rising.
3. The Wall Street subway station. Both Wall Street and the NYC subway are staples, and this location just happens to be very near Ground Zero.
4. Lady Liberty, another monument rich with American history and beaming with New York pride. From Flickr.