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Lopate: Not to get us too depressed, but can we talk about ground zero?

Huxtable: The first piece I wrote predicted what was going to happen. People thought I was clairvoyant. No, Iíd just been watching the city for a long time. We all knew! The strange thing that came along was this small group of bereaved families, who really knew how to operate, and who did not speak for the rest of the group at all, but who began to roll over the politicians.

If thereís anything a politician will roll over for, itís this kind of grief. After all the good things they vetoed or interfered with, cultural institutions like the Freedom museum because they were worried something unpatriotic might be exhibited there, they now have this memorial, and nobody has any concept how overscaled it is. A huge memorial, and these profit-making towers. Daniel Libeskindís original architectural inspiration has been stripped away, and the developer, Larry Silverstein, got everything he wanted.

It is a horrible failure, as far as Iím concerned. We missed the chance to make a 21st-century Rockefeller Center.

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