Inhaling Architecture

Over at BLDGBLOG Geoff Manaugh writes in “Inhaling 9/11” about the broad range of toxins inhaled by NYC residents during and since 9/11, and what has rained back down on the surrounding area to enter the soil and waterways. Reflecting on the amount of dangerous material [understatement] released into the air as the buildings were pulverized, Manaugh asks,

“Were different and earlier forms of pulverized architecture somehow safer to breathe? In fact, if I can be excused a brief moment of contextually inappropriate speculation, would it be possible to impregnate buildings with good things – with good chemicals: with vitamins and medicines and even seeds – so that future 9/11s release beneficial plumes and so that the inhalation of architectural smoke is no longer catastrophic?”

A thought-provoking question to say the least, seeing as how – in the end – don’t all buildings fall down either by design or by accident?

Photo of a fireman in the ruins of a building on 9-11
Image courtesy of slagheap on Flickr


  1. There are tons of toxins both in the air and our water now unfortunately. The photograph is amazing though, thanks for sharing, and thanks to all the firefighters and rescue workers who selflessly saved the lives of so many on 911.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *