This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Vassar’s Urban Studies Program Explores World Trade Center Redevelopment

For its 2007-08 Urban Talks programming, the Urban Studies Program is hosting a series of events, “Redeveloping the World Trade Center,” to educate the Vassar community on the recent developments and unfolding debates in the redesign and rebuilding of the World Trade Center (WTC) area in downtown New York City. The events cover the crucial aspects of this project — planning, architecture, policy, media, the Ground Zero building site, and neighborhood stakeholders — and will be incorporated into the assignments and readings for at least three Spring 2008 courses at Vassar.

The first event (Thursday, March 27, 5 p.m., Students’ Building, second floor) introduces the complex and contested planning history of the WTC redevelopment after 9/11. Nicholas Adams, Vassar’s Mary Conover Mellon Professor in the History of Architecture, will interview Andrew Winters, who was vice president and director of planning, design, and development at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Winters now serves in the office of Daniel Doctoroff, New York City’s deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding. In this position, he has special responsibility for the performing arts center at Ground Zero. On Thursday, April 3, a panel discussion on the WTC redevelopment will focus on the architectural, media, and policy issues. Three scholars — New York University Professor of Architectural History Hilary Ballon, Vassar Lecturer in Urban Studies Lisa Brawley, and Vassar Professor of Geography Brian Godfrey — will each give presentations on these respective areas, referring to the prior Winters lecture to call attention to the contested aspects and depictions of the WTC redevelopment.

And, finally, students and faculty will travel to the WTC redevelopment site. Matthew Postal ’83, an architectural historian at the Municipal Arts Society, will lead a tour of the site and the day also will include discussions with representatives of neighborhood stakeholders that have challenged the closed deliberations and corporate-responsive direction of the redevelopment. The three participating classes in this field trip are “Introduction to Urban Studies” with Associate Professor of Sociology Leonard Nevarez, “Urban Geography” with Professor of Geography Brian Godfrey, and “Architecture of the Modern World” with Professor of Art Nicholas Adams. 

The first two lectures are open to the public. If you are interested in attending, please contact

March 2008

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