(Originally posted 3/5/04) By Jason Klamm
In case you’re unaware, yesterday New York City held a ceremony to celebrate the finished design for the building to take the place of the World Trade Center. Called “The Freedom Tower,” it will stand 1,776 feet. I suggested rounding up to 1,780 feet, because round numbers just make it sound taller. But then again, they rejected all of my ideas.
I will say, firstly, that I am pleased to hear they changed the name of the building from “The French Tower,” because that’s just not in the American spirit, it doesn’t seem. But the building, to my somewhat trained eye, still just doesn’t seem to project the power they were looking for. With it’s tapered design, it doesn’t seem as stable as so many of the buildings surrounding it.
My suggestions began with two stabilizing structures at the bottom. Were I to be in charge of increasing New York’s tourism and image, I’d want to recall to the visitor’s mind something of a theme park, without being so frivolous. Inspired by Disney’s Epcot Center, I submitted a slightly revised blueprint of the building featuring two geodesic domes at the base, in which would be museums, terrariums, solar power transmitters and a Starbucks.
I was most perplexed by their rejection of the solar power idea. After all, this new design contains giant wind turbines to power almost half of the Freedom Tower. But could these turbines provide the necessary electricity to power the fountain I’d planned in place of its radio antenna? Using an incredible 1,000 gallons per cycle (recycling it of course in my version’s built-in reservoir), the Freedom Fountain would gush about eight times a second, shooting high enough to be seen by the entire city! Tell me, could a soul be left unimpressed?
It seems that perhaps my ideas were a bit too forward-thinking for the city planners of New York City. But I doubt it’s too late to make a few suggestions to those advertising the new structure. After all, the root of success is advertising. What better way to say “Welcome,” “Bring It On,” “Capitalism is Fun” and “Hey, Pal, I Like Your Style” than by saying “The Freedom Tower: Here’s Mud in Your Eye.” That’s what I thought.