Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Candidate Profile Sixteen: Mike Huckabee
The project to rebuild Ground Zero has, thus far, been an embarrassment. We’ve had the spectacle of designs, redesigns, lack of tenants, both real and potential, and the insertion of political correctness into the mix. Of course nothing can ever detract from the site’s resonance with the American people, but we can do much better than we have so far.
With that criticism in mind, I’m cautiously pleased with the redesigned Freedom Tower. Aesthetically, it wears a little better to my eye, but more importantly, some of the security flaws that proved so fatal on 9/11 are addressed at last. The building has been pushed back from the street substantially, and the utilities and elevators have been reinforced. There will be a 200-foot base, or pedestal, on top of which 69 floors of rentable office space will perch.
It also has the original design’s extra-wide emergency stairs, a dedicated staircase just for firefighters, enhanced elevators and ‘areas of refuge’ on each floor. Stairs, communications, sprinklers and elevators will be encased in 3-foot-thick walls.
The redesign has resulted in another year’s delay; the estimated date for occupancy is now 2010. We’ve reached the ‘put up or shut up’ time now; let’s push forward now and get this thing done. Further delay in the center of world capitalism will do us no credit, with our friends or enemies.