‘Engineering Ground Zero’ Explores the Challenges of Redesigning Historic Site

BY Saskia de Melker  September 7, 2011 at 9:52 AM EST



Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, the memorial at the site of the World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan will be dedicated on Sunday and open to the public on Sept. 12, 2011.

NOVA’s latest documentary, “Engineering Ground Zero,” explores the behind-the-scenes struggle of architects and engineers to make the buildings at the site safe and highly secure under the pressures of a tight schedule. They faced the challenge of constructing a space that is both commemorative of the 9/11 attacks and one that can be used as a bustling commercial area.

Years of controversy and delays have plagued the 16-acre site. While the memorial was finished in time for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, building at Ground Zero is expected to continue for several more years before it is fully completed.

Once finished, Ground Zero will include a train station and six new towers surrounding the 9/11 memorial.

Jeffrey Brown talked with Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker and professor at the Parsons New School of Design, about the memorial (video above).

NOVA’s “Engineering Ground Zero” airs on PBS on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. Watch a preview:

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Viewers can tweet during the premiere of Engineering Ground Zero using the hashtag #NOVA.