Commentary on the Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds From the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the World Trade Center Memorial and Cultural Program

By Louis Epstein
R.D. 2,Carmel,New York 10512
Founder & Director,World Trade Center Restoration Movement

This Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds,announced with only a week's opportunity for the public to register objections,represents yet another step in the official policy of maximizing both the appalling incompetence of decisions and the frantic rush to implement them before wiser thought can correct them.

Having declared specifications that mandated bad designs,selected the design that finished last in their own official poll,and brushed aside public dismay at the plan's countless shortcomings,the official planners now propose that the United States taxpayers be obliged to pay for it.

The even division of public opinion on whether it is best to rebuild on the former Twin Towers' footprints having been brusquely dismissed by the Governor,a plan leaving both totally empty,with the concomitant symbolic glorification of the murderous act that emptied them,is now being pressed.

The combination of this stricture with the obsession of some quarters with the complete extension of Greenwich Street through the site and the cowardly invocation of short-term market demand to reduce the size of buildings result in proposals to construct symbols of surrender shamefully claimed to represent the resilience that they in fact graphically disprove.

A consequence of this is the alleged need to acquire the Southern Site because the greater efficiency and greater safety and greater appropriateness of combining the office space into a smaller number of taller and more massive buildings within the WTC site is indefensibly forsworn.

The use of taxpayer funds for this is an outrage.Until the "Libescheme" is replaced by a plan more strongly evocative of what was destroyed and in no way retreating from its scale,there should be no request for,and certainly no granting of,release of funds.

May 19,2004