World Trade Center Restoration Movement

February 27, 2003


Independent Design Competition Planned
NEW YORK CITY - The World Trade Center Restoration Movement, a leading group in the popular campaign to ensure that the World Trade Center is rebuilt in a form not shorter than the old Twin Towers by any measurement,today criticized the official designation of the design by Studio Daniel Libeskind as "final plan" for the redevelopment of the site.

"This is the inadequate product of an inadequate process", said WTCRM founder Louis Epstein."From the beginning the official process has been determined to impose unreasonable requirements... epitomized by the obsession with the complete restoration of Greenwich Street...while failing to pay proper respect to the symbolic implications of plans representing retreat of any kind in the face of terror."

In leaving a huge portion of the site a sunken pit,the Libeskind plan ostentatiously subordinates New York's future to the will of the mass murderers of September 11th 2001,and implicitly invites terrorists of the future to claim similar "places on the map" as permanent desolation just as this vital part of Manhattan's Financial District is conceded to be forever emptied by the will of Osama bin Laden..

"The promise of a world's tallest building as part of this plan is not something we can count on",Mr. Epstein stated."The flimsy and ornamental nature of the upper reaches of the proposed structure make it no compensation for the lost Windows on the World or observation deck to begin with.And since it is used entirely for non-economic purposes with high maintenance costs,there is a substantial risk that this feature will be removed in a redesign,leaving us with buildings of 70 stories or less as disgraceful replacements for the lost Twin Towers.And these buildings may bear little resemblance to the current proposal,as Mr. Libeskind has never designed an office tower and may well not get the detailed design commission."

WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein's repeated claims that buildings over 60 or 70 stories would not find tenants,a key ingredient in the cited risk that the plan would be downsized,were also criticized by the WTCRM. Jonathan Hakala, head of Threshold Capital Management and a 77th floor tenant of the North Tower,pledged at WTCRM rallies in late 2002 that he would not sign a lease in a new World Trade Center unless it were in a building of at least 110 stories,and he is not alone in this resolve among former,let alone potential,tenants."More people would willingly work on a 110th floor than could possibly fit on it",said Epstein. "Supplies of stickers signifying the will to do so have repeatedly been exhausted during our petition drives."

Numerous better designs than Libeskind's have been offered for the site, but refused or disqualified for a variety of reasons.To remedy this clear injustice and make clear the result of a process that really includes the public to the extent that has only been pretended by the official planners, the WTCRM has announced its own parallel,unofficial design competition for the site,which will produce "finalists" that will then be pitted against the leading products of the official process in a fair and credible public poll.The draft program for this competition,pending finalization when the jury selection has been completed,is at .

"No plan that does not include occupied towers at least as tall as those that were destroyed can properly honor the thousands of good people who were slaughtered",said Epstein."Nor should we shy from the complete restoration of the office space that was destroyed,given the Group of 35 report that identified a need for the construction of 60 million square feet of new office space in the city by 2020,months before over 11 million square feet of Downtown's best space was destroyed and added to the shortage.And the taller the office towers we build,and the more reluctant we are to run streets through the site,the more open space can be dedicated to other uses."

The WTCRM pledged to continue its efforts both within and outside the official framework to redirect planning toward structures that more clearly reaffirm the former uses and design principles of the World Trade Center,updated for the new millennium with the latest technologies evocative of the same soaring spirit that produced the original Towers.

Contacts: Joe Wright			Louis Epstein
Phone: 212-244-5488 x4WTC (4982)	Phone: 845-225-4848
E-mail:		E-mail:

For more information about rebuilding goto:
WTCRM website:
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again, at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.