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Take a Look at the Freedom Tower Lobby

Some day — one hopes sooner rather than later — the Freedom Tower will be an actual building, not just an idea to argue about, and that building will have a lobby. Daily Intel got the first look at renderings of the planned lobby, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. A 60-foot-high expanse of prismatic glass looks out on the memorial pool. "The lobby sheds light into the memorial pool," explained SOM's TJ Gottesdiener. "And the front door is celebrated." Where the old Twin Towers sealed themselves from the street, the new lobby echoes the old bustle of downtown — true to the notion that Daniel Libeskind laid out before he lost control of the building's design. "The greatest thing about Danny's master plan is that it lets streets flow," Gottesdiener said. Got that? Even more impressive than the renderings, SOM just said something nice about Libeskind. —Alec Appelbaum


The Black-Tie Horrors of the New ‘Times’ Tower!

The staff of the New York Times, as you may have (repeatedly) heard, is not entirely enamored of the paper's shiny new building, across Eighth Avenue from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. (This probably says more about the sorts of conversations we have than about anything else, but we've been finding it profoundly odd for the last month or so to no longer be able to use the phrase "43rd Street" to refer to the paper's headquarters. "Eighth Avenue" just doesn't work the same way.) People don't like the elevators, they don't like the toilets, they don't like the automated window-shade system, and they don't like the lights, which sometimes turn off on their own. (They also don't like the leaks, mice, and maggots, though that displeasure would not be unique to Timespeople.) In today's new New Yorker, that magazine's architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, an alumnus of 43rd Street who presumably has listened to his old friends kvetch about their new tower, passes along yet another dissatisfaction with the new workplace:
In a nice, democratic gesture, most of the building’s perimeter has been left open, bringing in lots of natural light, and the private offices for editors all have glass walls facing into the newsroom. One member of the editorial board, who gave up a large, enclosed office in the old building for one of these small fishbowls, growled to me, “There’s no place I can change into a tuxedo.”
God, it's hard working in the newspaper business these days. Towers of Babble [NYer]