Letters, Week of May 17, 2012

Bring the Fritz Koenig Sphere home

 To the Editor:
Re “W.T.C. sphere vetoed for 9/11 Memorial Plaza” (news article, May 16):

The piece of sculptural art (and piece of our history) that has become known as “the Sphere” should be placed permanently at the new World Trade Center site. This unique piece of art was an inspiring part of our city before the 9/11 attacks that it ultimately survived. Clearly, it should assume the same position now.

I also am not opposed to a restoration of the sculpture so that it could be seen in its original state. It’s appropriate to remove the scars left by the acts of terrorists.

However, as an artist who experienced the 9/11 attacks first-hand, I find it to be totally inappropriate to consider removing this highly symbolic piece of art to a remote hanger. Frankly, I find the idea to be abhorrent. I hope more creative and reverent minds prevail and that the sculpture is simply allowed to go home.
Lawrence White 

‘No’ to housing on Pier 40 

To the Editor:
Re “Residential could save Pier 40, new study finds” (news article, May 16):

That anyone in these neighborhoods — Tribeca, the Village, Soho and the entire Lower West Side — would give their trust to hotel and luxury real estate developers, and expect them to do what they say they are going to do with Pier 40, is beyond my comprehension. They will creep and creep and add more as they go, build against their promise and then say, “We can’t take it down, it’s already up.”

The machinery is already in place, and if it is not stopped, the story 10 years from now will be that the youth sports organizations sealed their own fate with their own study. It will end up being luxury high-rises. The self-entitled residents will complain about the fields and get what they want: no more sports or noise after a certain hour and private security that will tighten down all entrances, preventing a multicultural group of youth from using the fields. Worse, they will presume over time that they alone are allowed use of the waterfront, and will begin to seal off and privatize public space.

After all of the fighting to protect this pier, this is a massive giveaway in the making, to the same old gang.

If the park is to remain a park, it needs a non-housing partner. This would be like building condos in Central Park, and at taxpayer expense, if the Hudson River Trust Act is changed.

On the other hand, Major League Soccer is a partner perfectly consistent with Pier 40’s current use, and it would be far easier with them to strike the type of deal that can be counted on to create and retain open space in the long term.
Patrick Shields

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