I’ve never cried for a building, until now

Morgan Meis in The Porch Magazine:

“I’ve never cried for a building, until now,” I wrote to my aunt Lou Ann. Then I had a moment’s hesitation. Did I not cry for the World Trade Center back in 2001? I was living in New York, after all. We watched the Towers fall from a roof in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I know that I shed some tears that day. Tears of shock and grief and loss. But I was not, in truth, crying for the Towers themselves. I don’t think anyone cried for the Towers themselves. Because they were not loved. I remember a Greek friend of mine once commenting that he found the Towers ridiculous in their doubleness. He put it like this: “It is absurd that there are two of them.” One giant monstrous imposing monolith would have been enough. But to make two of them? It is like, my friend said, a couple of guys who are bragging and competing about who has the largest schlong. And then a third guy walks up and says, “I’ve got you both beat. I’ve got two of them.” But has he really won? Did he even understand the game? The Twin Towers were like that. They won the giant building game. But at what cost?

Notre Dame was, like the Twin Towers, a braggadocious type of building. It was constructed during the high medieval days of cathedral battles. What city will have the grandest cathedral of them all? It was also built for the glory of God, yes, I suppose. But it was an arrogant building, a building that flaunted its beauty, its embodied wealth and power, a worldly triumph over the forces of gravity and weight, and the sheer heaviness of stone.

More here.