Book Launch | Lynne Sagalyn’s Power at Ground Zero
20 Cooper Square, 5th floor
New York, New York, 10003
The Institute for Public Knowledge and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at NYU invite you to join us for an event to celebrate the release of Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn. The author will be in discussion with New York policy and planning scholar Mitchell Moss.
The destruction of the World Trade Center complex on 9/11 set in motion a chain of events that fundamentally transformed both the United States and the wider world. But the symbolic locus of the post-9/11 world has always been “Ground Zero”–the sixteen acres in Manhattan’s financial district where the twin towers collapsed. While idealism dominated in the initial rebuilding phase, interest-group trench warfare soon ensued. Myriad battles involving all of the interests with a stake in that space-real estate interests, victims’ families, politicians, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the federal government, community groups, architectural firms, and a panoply of ambitious entrepreneurs grasping for pieces of the pie-raged for over a decade, and nearly fifteen years later there are still loose ends that need resolution.
In Power at Ground Zero, Lynne Sagalyn offers the definitive account of one of the greatest reconstruction projects in modern world history. Sagalyn is America’s most eminent scholar of major urban reconstruction projects, and this is the culmination of over a decade of research. Both epic in scope and granular in detail, this is at base a classic New York story. Sagalyn has an extraordinary command over all of the actors and moving parts involved in the drama: the long parade of New York and New Jersey governors involved in the project, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, various Port Authority leaders, the ubiquitous real estate magnate Larry Silverstein, and architectural superstars like Santiago Calatrava and Daniel Libeskind. As she shows, political competition at the local, state, regional, and federal level along with vast sums of money drove every aspect of the planning process. But the reconstruction project was always about more than complex real estate deals and jockeying among local politicians.