The debate surrounding the fate of New Orleans’ World Trade Center is an interesting case of “NOLA in a nutshell.” To distill the issue down to hyperbole (as is the nature of cartoonists), this seems to be another case of rebuild vs. redefine: some rising to protect a city landmark, and others calling for a new one.
Beneath both sides, of course, lingers the familiar question: “Can we afford this?”
Admittedly, the WTC is not the prettiest city icon as it currently stands, blemished by weather and the retro-funk common to most buildings from the ’60s and ’70s. Maybe it would be better to just tear the thing down and use its footprint for a riverside park, where children can frolic and adults can weather their mid-day blackouts.
On the other hand, just drawing the WTC for the final panel sparked a certain nostalgia. The window-striped “x” tower and once-revolving observatory certainly lend the building enough novelty for “iconic” status. And, as the Superdome arguably proved, a simple facelift can work wonders for a building’s reputation.
Whatever the outcome, let’s just hope they don’t go with any of my ideas. Except maybe the daiquiri one; that I wouldn’t mind.
Grant Davis is a former Tulane student from New Hampshire with specializations in writing, graphic design and video production. He currently lives between a couch, a sketchpad and a laptop somewhere in New Orleans. His weekly graphic column Gnarleans offers his own slightly skewed take on life in the Big Easy. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.