September 30, 2007

A visit.

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52 comments:

Pogo said...

Any picture of that cues in my mind the last chord of A Day in the Life.

SMGalbraith said...

Why is it still like this?

MSNBC news anchor Keith Olbermann, for example, blames Bush (okay, no surprise there; he blames him for the San Franciso earthquake - the one in 1906; but, fair journalist he is, exonerates Bush from the 1989 event).

My guess is that the blame - if one must assign it - rests elsewhere.

SMG

downtownlad said...

Why is it still like this?

And What's that supposed to mean smgalbraith? Why don't you just shut up when you don't know what you're talking about.

There are hundreds of construction workers working on this site daily.

The reason it is still "like this" is because it's actually pretty complicated reconstructing the bathtub of the WTC and laying the foundation for a 1700 foot building. But if you're implying that is no work is getting done, you are just completely clueless.

Gedaliya said...

The reason it is still "like this" is because it's actually pretty complicated reconstructing the bathtub of the WTC and laying the foundation for a 1700 foot building. But if you're implying that is no work is getting done, you are just completely clueless.

Wrong again, kid. The reason it is still "like this" is because for years the State of New York, the Port Authority, the leaseholder Larry Silverstein, and nine insurance companies have bickered over the insurance proceeds, who has the authority to rebuild the site, and how the site was to be rebuilt. The entire process was thoroughly politicized. There was, at one time, a plan to spend $500,000,000 on the memorial portion of the site, although I believe that figure has now been reduced considerably.

New York is notorious for delays and cost-overruns in its public projects. In addition, the stranglehold the unions have in the construction trades ensure that contracts are padded fat with public money. It is a disgrace that the construction has taken this long to be at its current state and an even greater disgrace that there is so much farther to go.

downtownlad said...

Gedaliya is clueless as well.

Really - stop talking out of your ass if you don't know what you're talking about.

7 World Trade Center is rebuilt and OCCUPIED.

The first steel columns for the Freedom tower's foundation were installed last December and it is due to start rising above street level early next year.

The Port Authority is ON SCHEDULE to finish the bathtub work, so that Larry Silverstein can start working on the three other towers by January 1, 2008.

The new Calatrava path station is under construction.

But let's ignore the facts. According to smgalbraith and Gedaliya, the whole project is caught up in a bureaucracy and nothing is happening and the project is a "disgrace".

Gedaliya said...

The first steel columns for the Freedom tower's foundation were installed last December and it is due to start rising above street level early next year.

The towers have been down for over six years. The reasons the the walls of the Freedom Tower have not yet risen abut street level are precisely those I listed above.

The Port Authority is ON SCHEDULE to finish the bathtub work, so that Larry Silverstein can start working on the three other towers by January 1, 2008.

Yeah, on the schedule they finally agreed upon after years and years of bickering and litigation.

Who do you think you're fooling here?

downtownlad said...

Really. How quickly did you expect those issues to get resolved? A $3.5 billion dollar insurance dispute. Coming up with a design that the victim families, the government, Silverstein, and the local community are comfortable with, the massive cleanup of the site, the search for victim remains (still being discovered), the reconstruction of the bathtub.

Sorry - but that takes time - and you need to be realistic here. San Francisco just came up with plans to build the tallest building on the West Coast, but it's smaller than Freedom Tower, and it's not due to be completed until 2014.

Sorry - but this stuff takes time - and I don't think the reconstruction effort has been slow at all. I live half a mile from the site and have watched the progress. 7 World Trade is DONE after all.

But some people, like Gedaliya, like to complain about things with which they really have no knowledge about.

downtownlad said...

My prediction - One year from now everyone will be commenting on how quickly the WTC reconstruction is proceeding and how fast the tower is rising. Two years from now when all four towers are going up, people will be complaining about how the buildings are too TAAAALLLLLL and are blocking sunlight.

Gedaliya said...

How quickly did you expect those issues to get resolved? A $3.5 billion dollar insurance dispute. Coming up with a design that the victim families, the government, Silverstein, and the local community are comfortable with...

Geez. The kid repeats exactly what I said to bolster his own argument. As I said, the process has been thoroughly politicized and the delays are the result of needless litigation, government inefficiency and bureaucracy, and posturing by the various interest groups vying for a piece of the (public money) pie.

...the massive cleanup of the site...

The site was cleaned up in a mere 8.5 months...1,610,852 tons of debris. The job was finished in mid-2002. It will soon be 2008.

San Francisco just came up with...

Using San Fransisco as an example of how to judge the efficacy of a government-funded project is as absurd as your contention that the project is "on schedule."

hdhouse said...

Gedaliya said...
"New York is notorious for delays and cost-overruns in its public projects. In addition, the stranglehold the unions have in the construction trades ensure that contracts are padded fat with public money. It is a disgrace that the construction has taken this long to be at its current state and an even greater disgrace that there is so much farther to go."

What in the hell are you talking about? This is private, not public. If you want an example of fighting with public money take a look at the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Otherwise, if you have no idea what you are talking about it is just better to not.

SMGalbraith said...

Gedaliya:
Thanks.

SMG

Gedaliya said...


What in the hell are you talking about? This is private, not public. If you want an example of fighting with public money take a look at the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Otherwise, if you have no idea what you are talking about it is just better to not.


Oh? Hmmm.

From Wikipedia:

February 2007 estimates put the cost for construction of The Freedom Tower at $3 billion, or $1,150 per square foot ($12,380 per square meter).[16] Approximately $1 billion of insurance money recuperated by Silverstein is slated for construction of the Freedom Tower.[16] The State of New York is expected to provide $250 million towards construction costs, and the Port Authority would finance another $1 billion for the Freedom Tower, through bonds.[17]

In other words, about half the budget is public money.

Furthermore...

The State of New York has agreed to a 15 year lease of 415,000 square feet (38,550 square meter) of space in the Freedom Tower, with an option to extend the term of the lease and occupy up to 1,000,000 square feet (92,900 square meter).[11] The General Services Administration (GSA) has agreed to lease over 600,000 square feet (55,700 square meter) of space.[11]

This means that of the 2.6 million square feet of office space, almost 2,000,000, or over 75%, will be leased with public money.

So...hdhouse, who is it here who doesn't know what they're talking about?

SMGalbraith said...

According to smgalbraith and Gedaliya, the whole project is caught up in a bureaucracy and nothing is happening and the project is a "disgrace".

As any sentient, literate person can read, I said no such thing.

I made no statements whatsoever about delays or bureaucracy or that the project is a "disgrace".

All I did was ask: Why is it still like this?

Gedaliya, being an adult, answered (or tried to) my question.

SMG

SMGalbraith said...

As that famous brother-from-another mother Bill O'Reilly might say, "That downtownlad is one crazy mo-fo".

True dat, brother Bill, true dat.

SMG

Luckyoldson said...

SMGalbraith,
Anybody who invokes the name, Bill O'Reilly, loses all credibility.

I thought the wingnuts here never listened to Bill, Rush, Sean or Ann?

downtownlad said...

Smgalbraith is the illiterate one. Gedaliya called it a "disgrace", which is exactly what I stated.

100 bucks that Smgalbraith and Gedaliya were part of the wingnuts who were screaming about the construction of the Freedom Center - now destined to be a concrete barren corner FOREVER. Talk about stopping the reconstruction - I blame them.

And how the hell is trying to figure out a $3.5 billion dollar settlement - "needless".

And let's be honest, the "free market" really doesn't want a giant office building here. Nobody will want to work there. So of course you have to get the government involved in the reconstruction.

Gedaliya and Smgalbraith are completely clueless. They actually wanted these towers to start rising above street level on September 12th, 2001, which just shows that they no absolutely nothing about actually getting a building constructed.

They want the pro-union laws to just somehow to magically disappear, just because they "want" them to. They want the victim families to just shut up and stop demanding that the bodies be treated with respect, just because they "want" them to. They want the reconstruction of the bathtub to be done in zero days, just because they "want" it to happen.

It's patently absurd. The fact that the Freedom Tower is going to be constructed and completed 10 years after 9/11 is actually amazingly fast considering the circumstances.

But Gedaliya and smgalbraith have nothing better to do than whine. Wah, wah, wah.

Such victims.

SMGalbraith said...

He says:
Smgalbraith is the illiterate one. Gedaliya called it a "disgrace", which is exactly what I stated.

He said (direct quote):
According to smgalbraith and Gedaliya, the whole project is caught up in a bureaucracy and nothing is happening and the project is a "disgrace".

The smgalbraith is me.

I rest my case your honor.

Yes, non compos mentis on his part; but still your honor.

SMG

downtownlad said...

That's correct. You implied that nothing was happening by saying "Why is it still like this" and Gedaliya called the project a "disgrace".

But only a literate person could actually follow that simple logic.

But let's face it Smgalbraith - You have zero say over the Ground Zero reconstruction. That is really between Larry Silverstein who holds the lease and the Port Authority, whom Silverstein has the lease from.

It's really nobody else's business. Certainly not yours.

I would like to be something built there, and I am happy that the construction is proceeding at a lightning fast pace. As anyone who is down there during the day could tell you. There are hundreds of workers there daily, working hard at building some grand buildings.

Too bad you just sit there and anonymously mock them while you sit behind a computer.

Palladian said...

"Too bad you just sit there and anonymously mock them while you sit behind a computer."

Lol! That's really f**king rich, coming from you.

downtownlad said...

Palladian.

Really - stop with the insults.

Gedaliya said...

I would like to be something built there, and I am happy that the construction is proceeding at a lightning fast pace.

Construction on the Empire State Building commenced on January 22, 1930. The building officially opened on May 1, 1931. I think most people would agree that this qualifies as a "lightning fast pace." In comparison, the construction schedule of the Freedom Tower and the 9/11 memorial is positively glacial.

Luckyoldson said...

Why would anyone pay any attention to someone who doesn't have the guts even post a profile of any sort, facetious or otherwise?

downtownlad said...

Hundreds of thousands of people come to the site each year, but last year they would have seen an empty construction site. Today it's a hive of activity.

That is what Ground Zero is today. A "hive of activity". But I just want to be pretentious, I'll quack out misinformed comments such as "Why is it still like this?"

Wahh, Waaah, Waaah.

downtownlad said...

Here's the link.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=3582930&page=1

SMGalbraith said...

Too bad you just sit there and anonymously mock them while you sit behind a computer.

My question again: "Why is it still like this"?

A simple interrogatory sentence that mocks no one, that second guesses no one.

The no-named accuser claims: I "anonymously mock them while [I] sit behind a computer."

Me: SMGalbraith (as I stated before, "S" as in Steve)

The accuser: downtownlad.

Which is the anonymous accuser again?

BTW, are "LOS" and "DTL" the same person?

SMG

downtownlad said...

That's right luckyoldsen. And there are quite a few other bloggers who have met me in person, and my friends know I used to blog for several years as Downtown Lad. But I won't give Palladian my home address, so he accuses me of being anonymous.

And why do these people ignore the fact that Seven World Trade is completed and occupied? Why doesn't that count as part of the reconstruction?

So it took a few years for all parties to come to an agreement, get the insurance finalized, guarantee tenants for the Freedom Tower, come up with the designs for the buildings. How long did they honestly expect that to take?

And you can't argue about the past.

They are working as fast as they possibly can on Ground Zero reconstruction - including nights and weekends.

People need to stop complaining.

Gedaliya said...

That is what Ground Zero is today. A "hive of activity". But I just want to be pretentious, I'll quack out misinformed comments such as "Why is it still like this?"

And back to SMG's original question, which you're trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid: why has it taken so long?

You've taken three positions on this:

1. It isn't taking long.
2. It's taking so long because it's hard to do.
3. It's on schedule.

I think most people reading this thread would agree, however, that it's taking so long because of the reasons I stated earlier in the thread:

...the process has been thoroughly politicized and the delays are the result of needless litigation, government inefficiency and bureaucracy, and posturing by the various interest groups vying for a piece of the (public money) pie.

downtownlad said...

What needless litigation?

The only politicization has been by CONSERVATIVE bloggers, who SABATOGED the Freedom Center. Congratulations - you won that debate. Now it will be a barren concrete corner FOREVER. Well done. I blame you for that.

You never answered my question. How long did you honestly think it would take to resolve all of those issues. If you actually read any of the articles on reconstruction after 9/11, many experts thought that nothing would even get decided for at least 10 years. And many people thought it would be prudent to wait that long.

Instead - the whole project is going to be completed in 10 years - amazingly fast if you compare it to other redevelopment efforts. Let's say Hudson Yards on Manhattan's West Side for example. That's a 25 year redevelopment effort.

It's not a slow reconstruction effort. 7 World Trade Center is complete, which you insist on ignoring. Getting consensus takes time.

But you're not part of the reality based community. So you insist on complaining about something you know nothing about.

Palladian said...

Don't bother being sensible, people. downtownlad just likes being the turd in the punchbowl. It makes him feel "special", that bad boy frisson that he lacks in life is just a few keystrokes away.

And I don't want your home address, I try to stay out of SROs if I can help it.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - Why you INSIST on turning every discussion to be about me is astounding.

Add something constructive or shut up.

Back to the subject at hand.

How is "needless" to figure out whether you are collecting a $3.5 billion insurance settlement or a $7 billion insurance settlement. It's not "needless" at all. It was instrumental to whether or not Silverstein had the financial ability to rebuild the site or not.

downtownlad said...

And please, since when is a 4000+ square foot abode in Manhattan an SRO?

SMGalbraith said...

Gedaliya:
the reasons I stated earlier in the thread:

Any guesses on whether Washington or some outside group (or person) could have solved or mitigated some of these problems?

A Trade Center "Czar" so to speak?

Seems to me from the references you cited that much of this was inevitable. People would just have to work through the process.

SMG

Gedaliya said...

The only politicization has been by CONSERVATIVE bloggers, who SABATOGED the Freedom Center.

"Bloggers"??

What are you talking about? Cite something to back this up.

You never answered my question. How long did you honestly think it would take to resolve all of those issues.

The site would be completely reconstructed today if it had taken only four times the amount of time it took to build the Empire State Building. And yet, it isn't scheduled for completion until 2011.

many experts thought that nothing would even get decided for at least 10 years.

Like who?

Let's say Hudson Yards on Manhattan's West Side for example. That's a 25 year redevelopment effort.

There is as yet no plan to re-develop this site. What are you talking about?

Getting consensus takes time.

Yeah. Getting consensus on who's going to get what part of the public money takes time. After all, there are so many constituencies that are crowding at the trough, squealing and snorting for their portion of the slops.

So you insist on complaining about something you know nothing about.

You keep repeating yourself. Do you actually believe saying something over and over again makes it true?

Palladian said...

"And please, since when is a 4000+ square foot abode in Manhattan an SRO?"

Lol. It's like lying about your cock size. Go ahead, add a few more square feet! No one will ever know!

Gedaliya said...

Any guesses on whether Washington or some outside group (or person) could have solved or mitigated some of these problems?

Given the realities on the ground here in NYC, I doubt any outside group or individual could have prevented these interminable delays.

Gedaliya said...

And please, since when is a 4000+ square foot abode in Manhattan an SRO?

You'd need at least $2.5 million to purchase such a place in Manhattan, and in many neighborhoods much more.

You must have a very good income.

Luckyoldson said...

SMGalbraith,
Leave me out of this, asshole.

downtownlad said...

Google "Freedom Center" and "Michelle Malkin" if you don't believe me about the bloggers. They created this controversy - and WON. It's now due to be a barren corner forever. And I do mean forever. It's going to be hollow under that corner, so you'll never be able to construct anything there now. If the Freedom Center had gone forward - even then it would have been very tricky tying it into the construction of the Transit Center and the memorial. Sorry - but as someone who has interest in urban planning - this really pisses me off.

As for the Empire State building comparison - get real. We have safety issues now and you need to build to code. Sorry - but skyscrapers take longer to build now. And the Freedom Tower is not unique.

There is as yet no plan to re-develop this [Hudson Yards] site. What are you talking about?

Yes, why is that taking so long? Waah, waah, waah. The fact that Ground Zero has been redeveloped much faster than Hudson Yards, despite the fact that many more developers want to actually build in Hudson Yards speaks volumes about how quickly the reconstruction has actually happened.

As for people who thought we SHOULD take at least 10 yeards before proceeding, I believe it was Ada Louise Huxtable who said that. Could have been the Times' architectural critic though.

Palladian said...

"You must have a very good income."

Or, more likely, a very good imagination.

downtownlad said...

No Gedaliya, you need at least $4.5 million.

But I didn't pay anywhere close to that. I've lived here for a while. And its irrelevant, but Palladian insists I live in an SRO. It's actually 12 rooms. Whatever.

downtownlad said...

Well Palladian - I could show you in person. But I have zero faith that you wouldn't give my address away to those who hate me.

Palladian said...

"Well Palladian - I could show you in person. But I have zero faith that you wouldn't give my address away to those who hate me."

I would like to believe that your act on here and elsewhere is not really representative of your actual personality. That's why I hoped you would have come to the Althouse meetup. It's a lot harder to sling bile once you've actually met someone in person. Maybe next time...

Gedaliya said...

They created this controversy - and WON

The controversy you refer to took place over a period of three months in 2005, June to September. It's impact on the redevelopment of Ground Zero was negligible.

Who do you think you're fooling here?

Gedaliya said...

Oh, and the story mentions nothing of "bloggers." It says:

In the last several months, some victims' families, groups of firefighters and police officers and public officials said the center, which would feature historical exhibits expressing the worldwide struggle for freedom, would detract from the Sept. 11 themes and provide a possible forum for anti-U.S. messages.

Perhaps you'd be more effective in advancing your point of view if you exercised more care in gathering facts prior to posting your assertions.

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse: Richard Lawrence Cohen hasn't updated his blog since July! He stopped posting, completely without provocation, and with no explanation given. His last post contained some type of cryptic, and ominous excuse, but I didn't find that to be any kind of explanation at all.

Can you please shed some light on this?

Love, Maxine

downtownlad said...

Gediliya,

I blogged about the controversy while it was happening so I know what I'm talking about. It was absolutely spurred along by bloggers such as Michelle Malkin, along with Debra Burlingame's disgusting column in the Wall Street Journal where she slandered such venerable institutions as Soho's Drawing Gallery. And I'm certain Malkin claimed victory if you just scan her blog history.
And sorry, but if you look at that corner, it is now an empty lot. An empty lot at what should have been on of the most dynamic squares in the World. Not anymore thanks to myopic, xenophobic, conservative bloggers who hate Martin Luther King. As a lover of urban design, I am quite saddened by this.

Palladian - I have not once slung bile against anyone. Standing up for my rights is something I'm proud of. And pointing out bigotry when it happens is something I will always do.

You're the one who jumps to conclusions about me, trying to psycho-analyze my personality, how I hate my family (which I don't - we get along fine). I've never done the same about you nor any others on this board. I might call your beliefs stupid or moronic, but if that's what I think, there's nothing impolite about saying so - it's called being blunt. Which I am. And my friends know that.
I didn't go to the blog meetup, because I was halfway round the world.

Maxine Weiss said...

Richard Lawrence Cohen, how dare you! You know you're required to give notice before discontinuing a blog.

And, you've done this before. You tried to leave and then sheepishly returned, tail between legs, and expected everybody to welcome you back like nothing had happened.

Think of the inconvenience, everytime Althouse has to remove you from her Blogroll, and then reinstate you when you feel you're ready to resume. --The imposition...and it's very difficult to add and subtract people everytime you (daily) decide to quit, and then start up again.

You must give proper notice, and then you can't simply come back, without some sort of announcement to let people know.

Gedaliya said...

It was absolutely spurred along by bloggers such as Michelle Malkin, along with Debra Burlingame's disgusting column in the Wall Street Journal where she slandered such venerable institutions as Soho's Drawing Gallery. And I'm certain Malkin claimed victory if you just scan her blog history.

You keep mentioning Malkin, yet it seems to me that opposition to this plan was centered among the victims, the police and the fire communities, and bloggers were only riding the wave. Bloggers didn't bring down the plan, as you said. The plan was abandoned because there was deep opposition to it among the people whose loved ones died in the attack.

An empty lot at what should have been on of the most dynamic squares in the World.

Disputes over that land will fill the pockets of lawyers and politicians for many years to come.

Someday, i bet, you'll earnestly write a post claiming that the construction on the site is "on schedule."

Maxine Weiss said...

Britton Rice oughta be ashamed of himself. He hasn't logged into his MySpace since September 13th.

That's horrible. There oughta be a law!

Luckyoldson said...

maxine asks: "Who is Christopher Hitchens ?"

Wow.

Melinda said...

If I recall correctly, the protest over the Freedom Center came from the families of the victims. But then, I confess that I don't read Michelle Malkin except to laugh at how full of herself she is.

I formed my opinion through reports on local and national news broadcasts. In fact, (self-serving plug here) I remember blogging about it, and I'm not a conservative blogger.

Also, Penn & Teller's "Bullshit!" did an episode on the political infighting that was holding up progress, and as far as I can gather, neither of them are conservative bloggers either.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.