PHOTOS: This is wrong, Michael Arad thought.
It was 2003. Arad was 34, a few years removed from graduate school and working as an architect for New York City’s housing department when the call went out for designs for a memorial at ground zero. An open competition would produce a winning design.
Architect Daniel Libeskind the designer of the Freedom Tower, had charge of the master plan for the site and had set the design guidelines for the memorial. But Arad bristled at the lines Libeskind had drawn, the lines the designs were expected to stay inside.
Libeskind wanted the entire 8-acre site to be 60 feet below street level, an enormous pit in the middle of the city, Arad calls it.
The young architect was convinced it was the wrong way to go.