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Near-Century-Old Plans Considered for WTC Site

January 23, 2003  | 

Revolutionary architect Antoni Gaudi drew plans in 1908 for a rocket-shaped skyscraper intended for the then-future site of the World Trade Center. Now, some are campaigning to include the design in the new plans for rebuilding the site.

Gaudi, whose distinctive architecture changed the face of Barcelona, Spain, in the early 1900s, designed his rocket skyscraper for a New York hotel that was never built. Now, 95 years later, Boston architect Paul Laffoley wants to give the concept a second chance.

"It's like resurrecting something that should have existed in the past," Laffoley says.

He intends to enter Gaudi's design in the international memorial competition that begins this spring. A plan for rebuilding the would Trade Center site is scheduled to be chosen by Sept. 11, 2003, the second anniversary of the terrorist attack on the buildings.

The drawing called for a cluster of steel and concrete parabolic towers at varying heights around a central tower that would stand 1,048 feet tall. According to Laffoley, inside the tip of the main tower would be empty space and then a 412-foot cavern where each victim would be commemorated.

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