? New York Ground Zero

Theological Terrorism

An old, old story

From vol. 7, pg. 112 of Storia D’Italia by Montanelli
On the first crusade, year 1099
? New York Ground Zero

Theological Terrorism

An old, old story

From vol. 7, pg. 112 of Storia D’Italia by Montanelli
On the first crusade, year 1099

There were no more than 12000 crusaders that, in July 1099, after a three-year campaign, got to camp under the walls of Jerusalem. Their emotion in sighting the sacred city changed into surprise when the presiding Muslim garrison declared to be ready for an armistice. That garrison wasn’t Turkish but Arab, because the previous year Jerusalem had been retaken from the Selgiuchi by the Fatimidi, who had never confronted the Franchi. But they didn’t accept the offer, perhaps because they thought a non-violent negotiation would have ruined their triumph. Therefore they demanded unconditional surrender. The defenders, about 1000 men, resisted for 40 days. Then they surrendered. “Then,” a witness present, Raimondo de Agiles, famous for his zeal and his piety said, “one saw marvelous (meravigliose) things. The Muslims were beheaded or killed by harrow or thrown from the towers. Others were tortured for days and days and then torched. The streets were strewn with heads, chopped hands and feet.” Those “marvelous” things lasted until the total consummation of the 70,000 citizens of Jerusalem, including the Jews. They were crowded and burned inside the synagogues. Then the crusaders gathered in the grotto of the Santa Sepolcro that had hosted the remains of Christ, who had come into the world to preach misericordia and there they cried joyfully, finally feeling worthy of him.


? The Secular Cathedral
A transnational structure aiming at a (distant) more equitable consumerism.
A habitat for remembering, living, working, learning and divertimento. Part of the divertimento is the battery of slides evacuating the cathedral in 20 minutes or so (20,000 people?). The mantle generated by the 40 or so slides defines an umbrella-parasol of about 400 meters diameter covering a multi-story urban life that the citizens of New York would think about and the designer-builder would try to satisfy (the analogy with the Piero della Francesca generous mantle of mother sheltering the flock of her children). The circular pond is the speed breaker for the people evacuating the cathedral from most of its stories. The evacuation is pure gravity effect descent, with no mechanical equipment, no energy use, in fact no need of leg use. It is a very large combination of children’s playground and swimming pool slide, of roller coaster rides and of emergency slides in air passenger planes.


? Time: for instance from floor 30 one can reach a restaurant or a shop on Barclay St., West St., Liberty St., etc. in less than one minute. This is part of the appeal to visitors and employees offered by the multi-level grounds of the cathedral. Magnetic levitation propulsion is suggested for the power driven ascent conveyances. Besides escalators and elevators, gondolas could be propelled on wider slides Functions: the first 4-5 floors are of the “N.Y., N.Y.” format. The typical busybody going about of the Manhattan people. Those floors ring the area and also serve as entrance to the inner-urban celebratory spaces where business, cultural gatherings, concerts, theater let the visitors commingle, enjoy and learn. This is a multi-story inner space under the cover of the slides umbrella-parasol. A simulacra made of some of the structural segments of the towers might be afloat where the two centers of the towers used to be. The remaining floors, 40 to 50, are for the transnational activities in financial, economic, environmental, social equity fields of endeavor.

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