Yesterday the currently-under-construction "Freedom Tower," or One World Trade Center, grew to a height of 1,271 feet, edging out the Empire State Building to become the tallest building in New York City. As a native I'm kind of bummed that we didn't rebuild the Twin Towers exactly as they were, but I realize property developers will not be swayed by bloggers pining away for the skyline of their youth.
Lost skyscrapers is nothing new to New York, as explained in architecture professor Max Page's The Creative Destruction of New York. Once-iconic structures like the bell-shaped Singer tower and the original Grand Central Station were demolished and replaced with new structures in decades past. The conventional wisdom seems to be that when something that large is destroyed, there's no point in rebuilding the exact same thing.
Unless, perhaps, it never got to where it was supposed to go. An Australian mining billionaire named Clive Palmer has announced he has commissioned a replica of, get this, the Titanic. And that he's then going to have the thing sail from England to New York, icebergs be damned, in 2016.
The Titanic II will, like its predecessor, have 840 rooms on nine decks, Palmer said.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," Palmer said, along with gymnasiums and swimming pools.
Say, did you happen to bring that big, floating, watertight suitcase with you?
Controversially, Palmer has selected a Chinese shipbuilding company with cargo ship building, but no cruise ship building, experience; and he suggests China's navy ought "to escort Titanic II on its maiden voyage to New York."
Next we need teenagers Tweeting that they do not realize any of this is real.
Crap, I think I left my cell phone in there