Lemon or Masterpiece? Early Walk-throughs of the WTC Transportation Hub Tell You What to Expect


The WTC Transportation Hub is set to open to the public in a matter of days, and if you’ve been wondering what to expect once the final curtain is lifted, both the New York Post and New York Magazine have received first-hand walk-throughs of the $4 billion transit hub. The New York Post slams the hub from the start, calling Santiago Calatrava’s project a “lemon” with “elephantine excess.” Meanwhile, New York Magazine takes a much more respectful approach to the hub, admiring it despite its high cost and massive delays. Some key quotes below:


“The Oculus, which will partially open to the public the first week in March, is as functionally vapid inside as it is outside.” —NYP


“But what will the public find on the vast, 56,448-square-foot floor? Nothing. Not a seat. No newsstands or snack concessions. No central information kiosk like the one that provides a focus to the main hall of Grand Central Terminal…the PA plans to pimp out the Oculus as an event venue, and any installations would get in the way. (How transit riders will make their way around weddings and corporate celebrations remains to be explained.)” —NYP


“It seems miraculous that Calatrava’s daydream should now finally exist, altered yet recognizable. Its frame is a little less lithe, its skin a little less smooth, its concept more mature. What remains is an extravagantly idealistic creation unlike any in New York.” —NY Mag


“In the PATH Hall that extends beneath the memorial plaza, the steel lines flow horizontally, undulating across the ceiling to make an underground chamber feel like a dive beneath the waves.” —NY Mag


“Calatrava’s skeletal dove joins the tiny circle of New York’s great indoor public spaces, serving not just the city that built it but also the city it will help build.” —NY Mag


The New York Post made an interesting comment about the Port Authority using the Oculus as a special events venue. Sure, it’s a massive space, but considering how many commuters will cross that hall, you have to wonder how they’ll make that work. Meanwhile, Politico reports that the Port Authority will open the hub with no fanfare whatsoever. The new hub is scheduled to open the first week of March. Path commuters stay tuned! —NY Mag & New York Post via Curbed

(Image: NY Mag)