Skip to comments.Anything Less Is Suicide (World Trade Center)
Posted on 07/23/2002 11:41:09 AM PDT by thmiley
click here to read article
The truth hurts. Are you listening, Mr. President?
Good idea. The line to rent space in it starts over there. I expect to see you first in line.
I disagree. There's a disadvantage in building structures so tall that they take about an hour to evacuate. Rebuild the WTC certainly, but keep safety considerations in mind.
Anything Less Is Suicide
By Sherri R. Tracinski (July 21, 2002)
[CAPITALISMMAGAZINE.COM] As both an architect and architectural historianthat is, as someone who
cares about buildings nearly as much as I care about my friends and familyI felt like I lost an old friend on
September 11 when the towers of the World Trade Center crumbled to the ground. While the nation mourned the
thousands of people who died that day, I also mourned for the two buildings that died that day.
I could not write about rebuilding the towers until the site was completely cleared; one would never discuss settling
the estate until after the funeral. But now that the Port Authority has announced its diminutive plans for the WTC
sitenone of the proposals calls for a tower at anything near the original height of the twin towersI must shout to
every American: "Don't do it, it doesn't have to end this way." It is the same cry you would shout to stop a suicide.
Anything less than a new tower at the same heightor higheris demonstrating to those who hate us that we intend
to cut back, roll over, and give up. It is not the quick, violent suicide of putting a gun to your head, but the slow
suicide of a man who has given up trying to live.
Throughout history, many great buildings have been damaged and destroyed in war. What a society does to rebuild
afterward is an omen for its future survival.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, a marauding Persian army sacked the Greek city of Athens and burned the
Parthenon, the city's most important temple. What did the ancient Athenians do? They didn't decide they should
make a smaller temple so that it would be less of a target in the future. They didn't decide that they were guilty of
offending the enemy with their wealth and success. They didn't leave a barren plateau to commemorate the men who
died fighting the Persians. Instead, after they roundly defeated the enemy, they rebuilt bigger and better. The old
Parthenon had been built of limestone. The new Parthenon was built of the finest material the Athenians could
findwhite marbleand decorated with inspiring sculptures of heroes. It was the greatest Greek temple ever built
and marked the beginning of the Athenian Golden Age.
Or consider America's history. During the war of 1812, when the British burned the Presidential Mansion, what did
we do? We rebuilt the mansion, repainted the charred exterior, and called it the White House.
In the 1850s, when a fire burned the Capitol building, plans were made to rebuild it, but soon the country was split
apart by the Civil War. Yet it was during the war, with limited funds and limited workers, that the Capitol was rebuilt
and enlarged using the latest modern materials. During a conflict that threatened to rip the nation in two, the
rebuilding of the Capitol demonstrated Lincoln's confidence that we would succeed in preserving the Union.
Today, however, America's reaction is increasingly one of passivity and resignation. We flounder in a half-hearted
war because we're afraid we might suffer casualtiesor worse, we're afraid we might inflict them on the enemy. We
plead with our allies and our enemies for permission to invade Iraq. And when the World Trade Center site is
cleared, we propose a half-hearted building campaign. We accept a slow suicide.
Yes, the new World Trade Center site should include a memorial to the American civilians who were killed in this
war. The 16-acre site has plenty of room to accommodate such a memorial. But the demands to make the whole
site into a giant mausoleum are perverse.
Some say that the WTC site is sacred ground. But in my view, all of Manhattan is sacred groundnot because
people died there, but because its bridges and skyscrapers are monuments to human life. They are monuments to the
human aspiration to build and to create. This is what was attacked on September 11: our wealth, our success, the
global reach of our commerce and culture. The best way to commemorate those achievements is through a new
skyscraper, bigger, better, and more beautiful than the ones we have lost.
This would be our declaration that we, the American people, have chosen to keep buildingthat we have chosen,
not to give up, but to go on to even greater heights.
Anything less would be suicide.
Sherri R. Tracinski, an architect and architectural historian based in Virginia, is a writer for the Ayn Rand
Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and
The Fountainhead. If you want to read more editorials produced by the Ayn Rand Institute go to
We should build it back because we are Americans, but more than that, we are New yorkers. And there is nothing that says NY more than an in your face statement like that. I'll move in to the top floor myself.
So what happens when it takes thirty minutes to evacuate and the thing falls in twenty?
I wish I could have gotten the same guarantee of a long life you were given. But even though I wasn't, I don't ponder whether my next step will be my last even though it may well be.
This is about telling the Muslims they cannot dictate the height of our buildings. It is also about not letting fear rule us.
But hey, I am not French.
Funny, people are still flying on airplanes - the other half of the terrorism flying-bombs-into-buildings equation.
People are still filling cruise ships and sports stadiums - the next likely targets of terror attacks. They're still driving through tunnels and over bridges - also likely targets.
This country and NY needs a tall tower to lift the sprit and tell the Islamist to f*** themselves. Make the floors over 60 an observation tower and memorial if not office space. But build it tall.
Abandoning capitalism in calling for "bigger and better" is letting terrorists dictate to us and letting fear rule us.
So your premise is that if we build shorter buildings, they won't go after them?
They will go after what we ourselves define as "great". If we define the Rocky Mountians as our national treasure because of some environaut touchy feelgood thing. They will burn down the forest. If we have a Golden Gate bridge, they will topple it.
Just as offering land to the Palestinians encuraged them to send more suicide bombers, because they thought they were "winning". Building a huge, sick, mausoleum on lower manhattan will bring on more attacks.
Too bad they didn't think like that after Pearl Harbor.
Imagine how much better WWII would have gone, if after Pearl Harbor we built more and bigger battleships instead of aircraft carriers and radar.
And then bottled those new battleships up in a harbor, with just a little ammunition locked away, and then told the crews to sleep late on Sundays.
Boy, that would have shown them Japs!
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