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[This proposal was originally written as an informal outline, sent to
members of our community in a local e-list. The informality of the
original is retained here.]
I'd like to ask the Sharon e-list to consider the following rough outline
of a proposal for a Peace Plaza in New York, at the disaster site. We need
to rebuild the site in a way that tells the destroyers they didn't succeed,
and that both replaces the business and commercial facilities, and creates
some sort of inspirational center that roundly and simply trumps the terrorism
in every way.
Some of the details of this design have been on my mind for a number of
years. I've always thought of them in terms of a sculpture garden in Jerusalem.
If there are professional architects in the community who might want to
help me create a formal proposal, that would be very helpful. I have no experience
writing an architectural proposal, and if these ideas are going to be taken
seriously, that's definitely what's required.
The devastated area is more or less rectangular. So, what I'm proposing
has a rectangular, or possibly square, outline of several city blocks on
There would be four commercial buildings offering office space, shopping,
dining, tourist facilities, and other commercial activities, one at each
corner of the square. Total capacity of the four buildings combined (including
parking garages and underground promenades) would exceed the space that was
lost. Each building might be a block long on each outer side.But on the inside,
facing the center, each of the four office buildings would taper back from
a large central circle. So, each of the buildings would actually be more
or less triangular, with the two outside walls vertical and full-height (about
50-stories), and the one triangular face on the inside tapered back from
the large central circle to the apex of the building, perhaps in a series
Because of the design of the corner-buildings, at the center of each edge
of the square there would appear to be a V-shaped valley between the buildings
on the corners.Thus, the center of each edge of the square would be open
to the street, and the city (or, on the west side, to the West Side Highway
and Hudson River waterfront).
The central circle within the square would be the Peace Plaza itself. The
circle would actually be the rim of a fairly shallow double-crater.In other
words, the Peace Plaza would actually taper down funnel-like to a double-center.More
on the center below.
There would be a transition from the commercial, business-like atmosphere
outside of the circle, to a quiet, respectful space, somewhat below street
level, in the double-center area.
There would be concentric circles of increasing calm, tapering from the
outer circle to the double-center.
First, there would be a park area, with trees and benches, and places for
people to sit or stand quietly, but also to go about their business.
Within the park area, there would be a circle of vertical posts that would
hold large, transparent panes, maybe starting 10 feet up.The panes would
actually be large holograms.When a person looks through them from the ground
just in front and below, they would see images -- ghostly holographic images,
that is -- of the towers, as they once stood.In a sense, they'd still be
there.And of course, because they're from holograms, their images would be
indestructible.If a person didn't want to see these images, they would simply
not look through the panes.There would be plenty of space between them, so
that would be very easy, and yet it would also be easy for those who wanted
Within the this circle, there would be a sculpture garden, which would
consist of statues of men and women of all ages, all races, and all cultures,
each making gestures including Tai Chi gestures, meditational gestures (mudras,
etc.), and including, intertwined with each other, a walk showing statue-people
making gestures that produced all of the letters of the Hebrew, Greek, and
Arabic alphabets (as presented in the research of the Meru Foundation, <www.meru.org>. This Gesture-Garden would
teach by look-see demonstration the intertwinedness of all peoples and cultures,
and a universal hand-gesture alphabet-language that could be used world-wide.