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The World Trade Center’s architect saw them as a symbol of peace

1 7 0
09.09.2021

In commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, our primary purpose is to honor those who suffered and died in the attacks, the aftermath, and the costly wars that followed. Yet it is not inappropriate to reflect, as well, on the architectural icon that was lost, the twin towers of the World Trade Center, because their image remains a powerful symbolic vessel for feelings of grief, loss, hope, and determination connected with their devastating fate.

For the original architect of the World Trade Center, Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986), the towers were intended, ironically enough, as a symbol of peace. In words emblazoned on the wall of the 9/11 Museum, he declared that the center should “become a living representation of man’s belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through this cooperation his ability to find greatness.”

The idea that world trade could promote world peace was a common conviction at the height of the Cold War, and Yamasaki believed that he could contribute to the goal through architectural expressions of friendship and cultural appreciation. In a pavilion that he designed for the 1959 World Agricultural Exposition in New Delhi, India, for example, he sought to counter the pomposity........

© NY Daily News


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