Intelligencer: April 25–May 2

It Happens This Week
•Tell your kids to take it outside: Public schools are on break.
•Climb a tree: It’s Arbor Day!
•Columbia University screens original Godzilla.
A Streetcar Named Desire opens.
•Go ride a bike: Citywide tour hits all five boroughs.
•Legendary musicians play legendary venues: Bob Dylan at the Beacon … Snoop Dogg at the Apollo.

The Weld Factor
Bill vs. Hill—or Eliot—in ’06? GOP woos ex-governor.
Will Bill Weld do what Rudy Giuliani refused to do—namely, challenge Hillary Clinton in 2006? The former governor of Massachusetts, who currently works in private equity and lives in New York, has been telling associates that state GOP leaders have approached him and asked him to consider a statewide race against Clinton or, more likely, Eliot Spitzer, who’s seeking to replace the probably retiring Governor Pataki the same year. The consensus among political insiders is that Weld, a liberal Republican, would be reluctant to challenge Clinton, since the two are friends, having served together on the temporary staff of the Watergate task force overseen by famed lawyer Richard Ben-Veniste in the seventies. But Weld, a principal in the boutique investment firm Leeds, Weld & Co., would be a strong contender in a statewide race, allowing the state GOP to avoid the embarrassing, and increasingly likely, prospect of fielding no credible candidate in either of what will be among the most closely watched political races of 2006. He didn’t return calls for comment.
—Greg Sargent

Left, WTC; right, the "Aura."Photo: From left, courtesy of LMDC; courtesy of Studio Libeskind

Ground ZeroX2
Libeskind copies himself in California.
If he can’t make it here, he’ll make it … anyway. Marginalized at the World Trade Center, Daniel Libeskind has taken his designs and gone west. The architect’s plans for a 37-story condo tower named “Aura” in Sacramento, California, bear a remarkable resemblance to his original design for the second-tallest building at the ground-zero site. The 430-foot tower, to rise later this year, has the same geometric design at its pinnacle, with a sharply sloping downward angle on one corner. With the exception of its balconies, the tower is strikingly familiar. Libeskind says any similarity in the crowns was dictated by site-specific issues: “The genesis is that they both respond to light.” The top of the Sacramento building, he explains, pulls away from the planned adjacent skyscrapers, creating space for light. “The towers in New York had to shape the light so ground zero wouldn’t have shadows,” he says. “Architects have been using this angle forever,” Project architect Yama Karim, who worked closely with Libeskind on the Sacramento design, more readily admits the similarities. “It wasn’t intentional,” he says. “But you’re absolutely right, there is a resemblance.”
—Rob Turner

Save the Somewhat Dreary!
Backseat architects fight forLincoln Center’s past.
After being unable to stop the renovation of 2 Columbus Circle, the city’s modernist preservationists have a new sixties-heritage rallying point: Lincoln Center. Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s plans to alter the center include updating the Daniel Urban Kiley–designed North Plaza by depressing the travertine planters into the ground and narrowing the reflecting pool to create room for a new restaurant with a gently swooping, grass-covered paraboloid roof. “It maintains the essence of Kiley’s tranquil oasis without following it to the letter of the law,” Liz Diller told a recent Planning Commission meeting. “You don’t preserve something by destroying it but keeping its ‘essence,’ ” says landscape architect Michael Gotkin, who ambushed Diller after the meeting with his own solution. It preserves the pool by moving the restaurant. “Only five feet,” he said, sketch in hand. “It doesn’t work,” she said, tersely. And Gotkin stormed off.
—Alex French

Super-EnduranceModel Bows Out
Will Beyoncé replace her?
In the fickle world of fashion advertising, Kelly Gray is an institution. The daughter of St. John co-founders Marie and Robert Gray, she’s been the signature model for the knitwear line for twenty years, posing on boats and in other nautical settings, usually in the company of shirtless men. But CEO Richard Cohen has said that St. John, known for its wealthy, older demo, now wants “to talk to a customer that has never thought about talking to St. John before”—the kind of conversation best conducted with a young, A-list celebrity. Neither St. John nor its new ad agency, Lipman, Richmond, Greene, will reveal who’s in the running to replace Kelly, who reportedly agreed to the switch. But a source close to St. John reveals that Naomi Watts, Angelina Jolie, and Beyoncé are the top three contenders, and that one of them will be picked within the next month. At which point Kelly can finally take her shore leave.
—Amy Zalneraitis

Off the Hookin Cape Cod
An unofficial murder suspect on having his name cleared.
When Christa Worthington—a fashion writer who left Manhattan for a quieter life in Cape Cod—was found brutally murdered in her Truro home in 2002, the whodunit focused on the men she’d been involved with, especially Tony Jackett, a married “shellfish constable” who fathered her daughter, and Tim Arnold, an ex-boyfriend who found her body. But the stares and whispers have finally stopped. On April 14, Worthington’s garbage man was arrested on DNA evidence. So what’s it like to emerge from three years of neighborly suspicion? “I was in a state of shock,” says Jackett. “I’m sitting on a park bench the next morning, and who walks up but Tim Arnold. I say, ‘Hey, how you feeling?’ He says, ‘Much better.’ I wanted to give him a hug. It’s beyond embarrassing. You’re in a small town. Your kids find out their father is a two-timer and there’s a baby. This arrest certainly lifted any cloud of suspicion. Now when I go down the street, people smile and wave.”
—Kate Pickert From the archives: A 2002 NEW YORK cover story about the Christa Worthington murder.


Intelligencer: April 25–May 2