5 minutes with David M. Childs
David M. Childs is the chairman of the Municipal Art Society and trustee of the National Housing Partnership Foundation. He is behind the design of One World Trade Center, the centerpiece of commercial development at Ground Zero. He lives on the Upper East Side.
What would you most like to see accomplished in NYC? There is an absolutely critical need for improved infrastructure in our mass transit system. London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., have created great and beautifully designed systems, while ours is falling apart. We also need to make the Second Avenue Subway longer, connect Penn Station to Grand Central and forge much better, efficient connections between all the train stations and the airports. Every great city has connected its railroad stations to its airports.
What do you know about NYC that no one else does? Construction on skyscrapers in midtown and downtown is much easier because there is granite right below them; it's a real advantage in construction.
What is Manhattan's best-kept secret? Guidebooks overlook the unsung great lobbies in some of our old buildings. Of course, these places were built to welcome the public. Since 9/11, you're now likely to be greeted by a burly person with an Uzi.
What's your current "must-see"? The best ticket in town is Central Park. And the new Islamic wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is just right - it knocks your socks off.
What is your favorite block in NYC? As a walking place, I'd pick Rockefeller Center. It's got religion [St. Patrick's Cathedral], shopping, trade, public art ... it's got everything.