The Wall Street Journal views the skyscraper as a "pillar of confidence." Ponders Julie V. Iovine: "Is architecture different now, made better by the events of 9/11? Not really, because it remains impossible to anticipate the irrational. In some ways, it is far more likely that Hurricane Irene and other recurring storm hazards will force more visible changes to the built environment. The issues so urgently raised in the days right after 9/11 have turned out to have had less impact than anyone expected. What has remained strong, however, is the wish among architects to be allowed, even demanded, by the public to participate in shaping the city in ways more subtle and lasting than what can be seen on the skyline."


Curbed NY shares "a sort of 10-year downtown skyline flipbook" that chronicles the vertical development of downtown Manhattan following 9/11. 


Inhabitat rounds up "7 Unrealized Designs for the WTC Site." Actually, the recently acquired green design website dedicates multiple posts to the exact same topic. Editorial oversight or not, at least it's topical. 


EcoHome gives props to the Melody, a LEED Platinum co-op housing complex in an area of the Bronx known for high asthma rates due to poor indoor air quality. Placing an emphasis on physical fitness, the 8-story building boasts a state-of-the-art ventilation system and various low-VOC materials to help its residents breathe easier. 


The Daily Green weighs the pros (you'll save thousands of bucks up front costs) and cons (you'll miss you on lucrative tax credits and cash incentives) of home solar leasing. MNN's very own Jim Motavalli reports. 


Jetson Green checks out the New Norris House, an award-winning, 768-square-foot prefab abode opened by the University of Tennessee that will serve as a "living laboratory to measure energy efficiency, natural light, air quality and the effectiveness of an innovative water infiltration and treatment system. The system relies on gardens to treat rainwater and grey water."


Fast Company cleans house with the Stem Vacuum, a lean, green sucking machine concept that reduces energy usage by 43 percent by "being just powerful enough."


Gizmodo gets all hot and bothered over Yves Behar's Sayl Chair for Herman Miller. Writes Mario Aguliar: "After long weekends, I'm overcome by the feeling that I'll die in my office. That's a disturbing thought, but I'd feel mighty comfortable dying in a Sayl — I'd look good, too."


Re-Nest spends some QT with the 2012 IKEA catalog and uncovers 10 different small storage solutions from the Swedish home furnishings behemoth. 

The Los Angeles Times reports that California Governor Jerry Brown has given the green light to the Renter's Right to Recycle Act, a bill that will require the landlords of apartment buildings with five units or more to provide tenants with bins for recycling paper, plastic, and cans. In Los Angeles alone, over 180,000 apartment buildings are currently without recycling services. 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: Empire state of mind
Although your thoughts may be elsewhere this weekend, take a brief moment to catch up with a few notable eco-home news items from this past week.