Monday, August 6, 2012

Hiroshima - People Gather to Remember and Pray



Shards of 911 - Postscript - One Bankers Trust Plaza - 130 Liberty Street NYC

I saw a reminder on some blog last week about the upcoming eleventh anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

It took perhaps longer for me to forget some aspects of that day having worked across the street from the now defunct old World Trade Center for many years back in the eighties or thereabouts on a timeline.

The new World Trade Center is rising quite marvelously, taking its time to change the lower Manhattan skyline.

I call 130 Liberty Street by the title I knew it back when I worked there – One Bankers Trust Plaza.

The building was the back office of the main office of Bankers Trust Company on Wall Street which I think these days has a health spa in the gilded art deco main banking floor of that building and with I think condos now in old office space.  Things change especially in this virtual world.  Back offices in general in America these days are now in India and China courtesy of outsourcing. 

That bank eventually went under IMHO starting with the eighties, having put its old fashioned conservative banking sense, along with all its customer good will and corporate nest eggs into the new computer generated crap shoot game derivatives basket. Some German bank bought out the company in the nineties and what are left of old accounts on digital records are in that bank’s midtown offices and computer memory.

BT plaza had a nickname of the “BlackWidow” for some years.  She had been wounded in the World Trade center collapse and wore a dark fabric mesh covering for several years like a widow's veil.  But with insurances companies fighting and lawyers haggling, the building went to seed or more properly went to mold and the building was condemned, rather than clean her up and recycle its old function. 

No big profit to be had in retrofitting a 1970’s design building.  The bureaucrats made a handsome dime taking nine years and $300 million to tear it down and turn the building into an empty lot, waiting for some future billion dollar design office building or condos to stand one day in her old place.

This empty lot BTW is now being used as a staging area for tourists with tickets, to go across the street to visit the now opened 911 Memorial Fountains. 

Second Floor Lobby - BT Plaza

Skeletal outline of 1WTC (top) and 2WTC (bottom)

Tickets! All visitors to the Memorial must have their tickets out.

Without too much sentiment, looking at some of these photos of 911, I am reminded of a line by W.B. Yeats regarding that tragic day and use that poetic line in paraphrase – “A terrible beauty (was) born (on 911)”.