A few months before architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the master planner to rebuild Ground Zero, he stood in the pit of the World Trade Center site, before the “slurry wall” - the gigantic concrete barrier holding back the Hudson River- and pressed his hand against its cold, rough face.
“It was a revelatory experience,” he explains, “because in that moment I could read the wall, and I understood its message. In refusing to fall it seemed to attest, perhaps as eloquently as the Constitution, to the unshakable foundations of democracy and the value of human life and liberty.”
As he reads aloud these words, from his new memoir, Breaking Ground, it’s clear from the nods and half-smiles that many of the 20 other people in the room understand, and are perhaps drawing a connection to another retaining wall, another foundation, some 6,000 miles (and 2,000 years) removed, that had also refused to fall. (more…)