Nicolai Ouroussof, the architecture critic for the New York Times, spares little in his criticism of the official Freedom Tower design. The Freedom Tower will be built on the site of the WTC in New York City. You can tell how much Ouroussof likes the design by the title of his commentary: Fear in a soaring tower.
Somber, oppressive and clumsily conceived, the project is a monument to a society that has turned its back on any notion of cultural openness. It is exactly the kind of nightmare that government officials repeatedly asserted would never happen here: an impregnable tower braced against the outside world.
And he hasn’t even gotten to the Nazi comparison yet….
Apparently, Ouroussof cares little for Godwin’s law as well:
But if this is a potentially fascinating work of architecture, it is, sadly, fascinating in the way that Albert Speer’s architectural nightmares were fascinating – as expressions of the values of a particular time and era. The Freedom Tower embodies, in its way, a world shaped by fear.
Albert Speer, in case you didn’t know, was Hitler’s architect.
Ouroussof continues, with a criticism that extends beyond the building itself:
What the tower evokes, by comparison, are ancient obelisks, blown up to a preposterous scale and clad in heavy sheaths of reinforced glass – an ideal symbol for an empire enthralled with its own power, and unaware that it is fading.
Watch Ouroussof become the next target of the right wing noise machine, if they can pronounce his name. Soon, he will be the next reason that the Iraq war isn’t going so well, with all his empire talk and Nazi analogies.