Lynne Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Shore Professor Emerita of Real Estate: "Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan."
Professor Sagalyn, an eminent scholar of major reconstruction projects, will discuss her latest Oxford University Press book. "Power at Ground Zero," the culmination of over a decade of research and writing, analyzes the full scope of the lower Manhattan rebuilding effort and places the emphasis on the true drivers: real estate money and political power
From the publisher: "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.
"The symbolism of the reconstruction extended far beyond New York and was freighted with the twin tasks of symbolizing American resilience and projecting American power. As a result, every aspect was contested. As Sagalyn points out, while modern city building is often dismissed as cold-hearted and detached from meaning, the opposite was true at Ground Zero. Virtually every action was infused with symbolic significance and needed to be debated. The emotional dimension of 9/11 made this large-scale rebuilding effort unique; it supercharged the complexity of the rebuilding process with both sanctity and a truly unique politics."