Sunday, June 15, 2008

Skyscraper Boom Signals Post-9/11 Defeat

By Joseph Kellard

It's great to see that the quintessential American architecture, the skyscraper, is growing in popularity globally as record-high buildings are piercing skies in various corners of the world. What's discouraging, however, is that many are rising in the Middle East (e.g., Saudi Arabia), while it has become tougher to build tall in post-9/11 America.

I read all about this trend in a New York Times' article on Sunday:

"Nearly seven years after the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York portended a pullback from cloud-grazing construction, the world is in the midst of a huge wave of tall building construction, both in number and in size."

"Some of the most ambitious developments are in the petro-fueled economies of the Middle East and Russia. Among the most anticipated is the $1 billion Burj Dubai, a massive tower being developed by Emaar Properties in the United Arab Emirates."

"In contrast, she [Carol Willis, an urban historian and director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York] says that large developments in New York and other Western cities these days are likely to encounter public opposition - as evidenced by initial public reaction to Forrest City Ratner's plan for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, and Jean Nouvel's soaring Midtown Manhattan tower, commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer."

Observe that in the land that produced the terrorists that destroyed the Twin Towers, some of the tallest skyscrapers are going up, while in the city where the attacks took place, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to build at all, and the skyscraper that will replace the towers is significantly smaller in scale.

This is a less obvious but nevertheless significant example of how the radical Islamics are winning the so-called "war on terrorism."

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