Community Disappointed By WTC Plans
By World Journal
July 17, 2002
As the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation unveiled six concept
plans for World Trade Center site, many people applauded the plans
that combine transportation development and memorials. However,
many others said all six plans failed to present anything innovative
or reinvent the former Word Trade Center.
But in the Chinese community, people are disappointed by the plans
because Chinatown is not included in the first phase of the rebuilding.
Billie Tsien, a renowned architect and a member of the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation Board, said the architectural designs of
all six plans are very similar and that it takes some time, even
for a professional, to determine their respective strengths.
As a member of the board, Tsien said she does not want to comment
on the actual plans, but she added that she likes the two plans
that propose more open space because they add energy to the site.
Paul Lee, an advisor to the development corporation, said the plans
are symbolic but lack originality. Lee agreed with the idea of linking
the Winter Garden and Century 21 Department Store with an underground
pedestrian walkway. However, he was dissatisfied with the fact that
the design does not have a directly connected path between the proposed
site and Chinatown.
Park Road, Lee said, used to be the only directly connected way
between the former World Trade Center site and Chinatown but has
been blocked since the Sept. 11 attacks. He added that the plans
obviously neglected Chinatown because Park Road was not mentioned
in any of the plans.
David Chen, another advisor, said the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation tried to include everything in the six proposed plans
within their limitation so a lot of compromises were made to avoid
Chen added that the proposed 70-story new towers are not much different
from the former 100-story towers in terms of preventing terrorist
attacks but the magnitude is greatly reduced.
Tseng Chao-hsien, whose son Tseng Che lost his life while trying
to save peoples lives during the Sept. 11 attacks, said she
is concerned about whether the Chinese community will be included
in the memorial. She hopes that her sons story will be displayed
in the memorial hall to show a positive image of Chinese immigrants.
"I hope that Tseng Che will have given his life so that the
general American public recognize the contributions of Chinese people
in the United States," Tseng said.
Lee Tse-kuang, another advisor, said that the proposed site for
rebuilding ranges from Battery Park City to Murray Street in front
of City Hall but does not include Chinatown. He added that the plans
proposed to run an electric bus between Battery Park City and South
Street Seaport but no one mentioned running the bus to Chinatown.
He hopes to see the first phase of the rebuilding include Chinatown,
Soho and Little Italy.
"I would like to see the rebuilding of lower Manhattan as
an engine to revive Chinatowns economy, but I didnt
see any of it in the plans," said Lee.
In fact, people in Chinatown are most upset about the fact that
the development corporation did not include Chinatowns interests
in the plans. Despite the complaints, the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation said in a press conference yesterday that they would
wait to discuss issues regarding Chinatown until phase two of the
planning, and could not talk about them now.
Lee Tse-kuang said Chinatown was hurt at the same time as the World
Trade Center, so they should be rebuilt at the same time. David
Chen also agreed that the plans to rebuild Chinatown should be drafted
along with other plans.
Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung.
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