With the mania to build government-subsidized luxury apartment towers in Lower Manhattan — even as many sat empty or entered foreclosure before COVID-19 — one might assume that the decision to let Silverstein and Brookfield build a residential complex at 5 World Trade Center, the last public lot at the attack site, is just another example of the superrich’s preoccupation with glass boxes.

Five World Trade Center. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

However, deeper investigation reveals that the tower proposal is a sideshow to the main event at the World Trade Center. While of course the bidding process begun in 2019 was inadequate and Silverstein and Brookfield are likely…


Approaching Tuesday, March 17, as COVID-19 was spreading rapidly around New York, the Mayor’s Office asked that the community board for the financial district (Community Board 1) hold one last scheduled in-person meeting, despite the anxieties of members and staff.

The Department of Transportation wanted to fast track a long-pursued scheme to move the famous “Charging Bull” sculpture from Bowling Green to a spot near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

The exchange itself has offered to pay for the move. In 2018, the local business improvement district, the Alliance for Downtown New York, published a special report, written by…


The September 11 Memorial Museum’s disregard of the advice of its Interfaith Advisory Council regarding a film in its permanent exhibition has made national and international headlines in the last two weeks, yet few reporters have asked the crucial underlying question: what official guidelines set the mission of the museum, a private nonprofit corporation that operates from government land? This line of investigation, leading back to a 2004 advisory committee of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), provides the basis to understand how “The Rise of Al-Qaeda” film emerged as it did. …


Sunday’s shooting at a Jewish community center in Kansas reminds us of the violent anti-Semitism that stubbornly persists. For people of Jewish ancestry, the news activated deeply-seated anxieties and fears — traces of the pogroms, genocide, and everyday discriminations of the past. Even more troublesome for me, this disturbing event in the public eye coincided with threats and anti-Semitic insults that I received last week after writing about the September 11 Museum at the World Trade Center. …


This article, first published on April 3, 2014, along with parallel advocacy, led the September 11 Memorial Museum to delete the specific terminology of “Islamic terrorism” from its advance material on April 8. It evolved into a group letter in opposition signed by over 100 scholars.

Scheduled to open on May 21, thirteen years after the attacks, the September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site promises to become one of the most visited and influential cultural institutions in the United States. …

Todd Fine

President of Washington Street Advocacy Group; PhD Candidate in History at Graduate Center of City University of New York.

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