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Blameless

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astragal

Proposals for Ground Zero in Manhattan have now come under the fair but fierce critical scrutiny of Ada Louise Huxtable. Writing in the Wall Street Journal last week, her verdict is pretty damning. Having praised the 'conceptual daring and advanced technology of these schemes', she concludes: 'The bad news is that provocative and beautiful presentations have also given us a stunning demonstration of how to do the wrong thing right. With no proper program - a wish-list from the public, elicited through opinion polls, is not a program - they have shown us how skilfully and elegantly the wrong thing can be done.' The problem, as she sees it, is the requirement for reinstatement of real estate (rather than the revitalisation of Lower Manhattan), 'with the memorial an afterthought to be plugged in later'. She has real time for only one of the competition schemes - Daniel Libeskind's - because 'he has perfected an intensely individual, profoundly moving architecture of memory and loss of unsurpassed impact and meaning'.

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