A beautiful sorrow, a painful joy
: I have the reaction to the new PATH station design at the World Trade Center that I wish I’d had to the September 11th memorial designs.
I am saddened, joyful, humbled, and amazed.
Architect Santiago Calatrava’s design is magnificence.
It soars. It inspires. It remembers. It is hopeful, respectful, and beautiful.
Oh, why couldn’t the memorial have such a heart and soul as this train station?
I know that New Yorkers will come to love this station and treat it as if it were the memorial.
The pity is that this station will shame that memorial. The memorial sinks into the ground, cold, hard, sterile, unfeeling. This train station rises to the heavens, reaching to the heroes and innocents we lost that day.
The memorial is surrender and sadness. The train station is defiance and pride.
It made me profoundly sad to see this beauty at a place that had become so ugly. But it made me hopeful and happy about the future of this place for the first time in a long time, especially since I have started riding into again, seeing what is not there.
A mere design did that. A mere design can when it is the right design. A mere design could make me cry and make me smile.
: See the full PowerPoint presentation here.
: Don’t read the Herbert Muschamp analysis. That man could suck the life out of a baby.