BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Architect shapes New York skyline
John Belle in New York City
John Belle in the city he has adopted
A Welsh architect has been given the job of redeveloping the skyline of his adopted city, New York, in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks on the city.

John Belle left Cardiff for the Big Apple as a young man looking to find work on the streets of Manhattan.

John Belle
John Belle is making plans for Ground Zero

Now, as one of America's most influential architects, he has the task of filling the gaping hole where the World Trade Center once stood.

It has become the biggest most difficult and sensitive project he has ever faced - the re-building of Ground Zero.

"This is the city of skyscrapers. That's what everybody's image of New York is," he said.

"They weren't necessarily the greatest on the skyline but they sure were the biggest and you miss them."

Distinguished career

Mr Belle was brought up in Pontcanna area of the Welsh capital during the Second World War.

In his distingushed career, he has restored some of New York's great iconic buildings including Grand Central Terminal, the Rockefeller Centre, and the great conservatory at New York's botanical garden.

Grand Central Station, NY
Mr Belle has restored Grand Central Station
But the brief to restore the glory to the city's beleaguered skyline must overcome more than the scepticism of the critics and the planners, and the demands of big business and politics.

He must negotiate his way through the emotions of the bereaved, and the concerns of millions of ordinary New Yorkers.

At a public meeting, six of his company's projects were rejected.

Against a background of dissention and in-fighting, what will fill the yawning emptiness of Ground Zero is undecided.

"The important thing is we have started, we've defined some options," said Mr Belle.

"The public has responded to those options by giving us some very valid criticisms and in the process of doing that, I think the objectives and the ultimate solutions will become that much clearer."


More news from south east Wales
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes