Louis Epstein's Speech composed for the January 13th 2003 hearing (Not delivered)

On September 11th 2001,ten murderous men who did not want gigantic landmark twin towers to dominate the lower Manhattan skyline slaughtered thousands of good people.No plan that grants those men's wishes can honor their victims,still less any plan that lets history record that the Financial District as we know it was also slaughtered on that day.

The world's largest office complex was destroyed;the world's largest office complex must be rebuilt.The tallest buildings in New York,built as the tallest in the world,were destroyed;we must again build the tallest buildings in New York,and preferably the world,returning the human presence to work,to dine,to sightsee in the skies every inch as high as before and beyond.

To rebuild and remember means to reaffirm,not rethink;we must reincarnate the principles that gave us the Twin Towers,updated with the technologies of the new millennium,not opportunistically repudiate them and grant the killers an undeserved legacy.We need plans that underline the strength of our commitment to gigantism with a force that will take the whole world's breath away.

The plans now offered take a step in this direction,but too tentatively, hindered in part by unwise program requirements.They expend their boldness in unusual shapes,rather than embodying the courage to build taller,larger buildings than short-term market prospects would support,a courage that alone gave us the Twin Towers,the Empire State Building,and the Woolworth Building,a courage history must not show that the terrorists frightened out of us.Withour this courage those buildings would not be icons,but ordinary.

We need a small number of very tall buildings with simple silhouettes, surrounded by open space,and so situated so as not to block each other's views.If this can not be reconciled with extending Greenwich Street south of Fulton Street,then Greenwich Street must not be extended south of Fulton Street.Let us have no doubt that these buildings will fill with tenants,including on the top floors;they will be the strongest,safest office towers ever built.

Let us reclaim the dreams of those who died for future generations to enjoy,rather than build humbled half-towers or inhabited abstract sculptures or picket fences as testament to their killers' triumph.

And lastly,let us think again who it truly honors,whose successors would be inspired,if we leave both Tower footprints completely empty as was the killers' dream.How much better it would be to reclaim at least some portion from the emptiness desired by the masters of murder to the purposes to which and for which the victims gave their lives.