What has compelled human beings to build towering structures? Historians point to both economic and psychological sources—the yen to make money and the urge to rival or, in the case of churches and temples, to glorify the heavens. Go to New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Frankfurt, or any other host of modern cities and you will find the same thing: enormous buildings housing giant commercial enterprises. With the terrorist attack on New York's twin towers, art critics and commoners alike have been compelled to reconsider the role of skyscrapers and public spaces generally. Art critic Paul Goldberger does just that in the essay (pdf format) below.

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j. buck
new york times
c. stevens