FREEDOM TOWER IS A BOLD AND SIMPLE ICON IN THE SKY THAT ACKNOWLEDGES THE MEMORIAL BELOW. WHILE THE MEMORIAL, CARVED OUT OF THE EARTH, SPEAKS OF THE PAST AND OF REMEMBRANCE, FREEDOM TOWER SPEAKS ABOUT THE FUTURE AND HOPE AS IT RISES INTO THE SKY IN A FACETED, CRYSTALLINE FORM FILLED WITH, AND REFLECTING LIGHT.'Lovely'. There are some curious reminiscences here. The language of light and crystalline form stems immediately from the rhetoric of the Expressionist architects of early 20th-century Germany, glutted with the new delights of steel and especially glass. The visionary poet and science-fictionist Paul Scheerbart composed a slew of couplets for his friend Bruno Taut's extraordinary Glass Pavilion in 1914, including:
Das Licht will durch das ganzeBut if the aesthetic is expressionist, the general conception harks back to Wren's new design for St. Paul's Cathedral after the Great Fire of 1666, his vision completed in 1708. The old cathedral had been substantially damaged in the Civil War, but after the fire it was unsalvageable. The new building was to be grander and more impressive, with a dome inspired by St. Peter's in Rome, hence the large Baroque-classical edifice today. Wren's work, like the Freedom Tower, was thus a statement of national superiority and defiance against disaster, as well as explicitly commemorating fiery conflagration. (Wren even erected a subsidiary monument to the blaze, a 311-step hollow tower which, if it fell in the right direction, would touch with its tip the exact location of the fire's origin.) St. Paul's, too, has a significant height, stretching 365 feet from ground to summit, one foot for each day of the year.
All und ist Lebendig im Kristall
Light wills through all space,
And comes alive in crystal.