Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan

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  1. Site Information Navigation
  2. Possible sale of One World Trade Center sets up massive drama
  3. Review: Lynne B. Sagalyn, ‘Power at Ground Zero'
  4. Blog Archive

Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority dominated the discussions, and, as the rebuilding commenced, engaged in disputes. Both sides made adjustments and accommodations.

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The fragmented nature of property rights and government power at Ground Zero was the fundamental cause of the battle. This decentralized structure has pros and cons. On the one hand, it tends to limit abuses, but, on the other, it prolongs the process. The New York media constantly hammered the latter point. Coverage emphasized the seemingly interminable delays, stumbling blocks, slow progress, blown budgets, and missed deadlines.


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The articles, columns, and editorials shaped the opinion of an increasingly frustrated public. Some critics accused developer Larry Silverstein of greed; others laid blame with the inefficient Port Authority.

Possible sale of One World Trade Center sets up massive drama

As extensive as the reporting was, it often overlooked progress on the ground. Designed by Israeli-American architect Michael Arad, with landscape architect Peter Walker, Reflecting Absence encompasses eight acres, centered on two recessed pools, where the twin towers stood, buffered by swamp white oak trees. Power at Ground Zero , written in medias res, is a solid work of contemporary history.


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  • Lynne B. Sagalyn;
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The approach has a few advantages and many disadvantages. On the one hand, Sagalyn conducted interviews with key players during the planning process, gaining insights that might have been impossible to obtain after the fact, when officials are concerned about their legacies and memory becomes selective.

Recensie(s)

Pataki had leverage to direct the rebuilding, but he was often reactive. But the organization clashed with Silverstein and the Port Authority due to confusion about procedure. Throughout the process other groups asserted their interests, such as the New York Police Department and Goldman Sachs, on topics ranging from security to finance. Still other professionals offered their expertise on policy decisions or technical questions, including architects, attorneys, elected officials, urban planners, and construction management specialists.

Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority dominated the discussions, and, as the rebuilding commenced, engaged in disputes.

Review: Lynne B. Sagalyn, ‘Power at Ground Zero'

Both sides made adjustments and accommodations. The fragmented nature of property rights and government power at Ground Zero was the fundamental cause of the battle. This decentralized structure has pros and cons. On the one hand, it tends to limit abuses, but, on the other, it prolongs the process.

The New York media constantly hammered the latter point. Coverage emphasized the seemingly interminable delays, stumbling blocks, slow progress, blown budgets, and missed deadlines.

The articles, columns, and editorials shaped the opinion of an increasingly frustrated public. Some critics accused developer Larry Silverstein of greed; others laid blame with the inefficient Port Authority. As extensive as the reporting was, it often overlooked progress on the ground.

Blog Archive

Sagalyn, professor emeritus of real estate at Columbia's Graduate School of Business, dicsusses her recent book, Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan, and the challenges of large- scale development in present- day New York. Skip to main content Press Enter. Login to see members only content.

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Visiting The 9/11 Memorial & Museum In New York