I created this website and Forum over Thanksgiving 2003 in order to advocate the concept that Ground Zero should be restored. The website showing this is:
Glad to see you've delved into this. Your highpoint hills sort of reminded me of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
I got interested in the WTC rebuild project, too, but for a different reason.
When Libeskind's design with its "Wedge of Light" made the national news back in February, I noted that the architects didn't really get it right. I submitted comments (see below) to the LMDC, but they rejected my email. Their reply said the public comment period was over. However, the renderings were only released to the national media the day before.
Anyway, the solar wedge is supposed to let a shaft of light go between two building edges and illuminate a park area between 8:46 and 10:28 am on 9/11.
I pointed out the same sun path also occurs on April Fool's Day. Oops.
Also, due to Leap Year considerations, if the design is 'tuned' to admit light over a precise time interval, it can only do so correctly once every four years. There will be a minute or two of drift each year. A batting average of 0.250 and a price tag of umpteen billions.
Once it's built it will be pointless to complain. OK, maybe it's too picky to gripe about even now. But the SELL JOB has been predicated heavily on symbolism. I believe they ought to at least get the symbolism 'right.' It seems our elders at Stonehenge and the Pyramids demonstrated a better knowledge of solar fundamentals in their architecture than we'll be able to do!
Lastly, I read the neighboring Millennium Hotel will shade the intended aperture anyway. Can you go by there and scope this out some time? If so, that sort of beats the crap out of the whole idea, wouldn't you think? This question was posed to Libeskind on a TV special this fall, and he gave a dissembling, hand-waving response. I interpreted this as a tacit acknowledgment that the intended direct beam of sunlight will indeed be blocked just when a solemn throng is looking skyward from the commemorative park.
I don't know if the designers didn't realize these factors or don't care, but for an outrageously expensive design based largely on symbolic elements, it seems most unfortunate and lame to have the same effect occur on a day our culture is already pretty spooked about. Plus, the Arab culture seems to be much more in tune with solar position as a way of measuring time -- the Persian New Year begins on the spring equinox, right? If people saddened by 9/11 are encouraged to congregate at the Wedge each 9/11, will wealthy Saudis and other bin-Laden sympathizers begin showing up on 4/1 to mock us?