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May 19th, 2005 - 9:55 am

Best news I’ve seen all week:

Billionaire developer Donald Trump has officially thrown his support behind a plant to rebuild the Twin Towers at Ground Zero in practically the same form they were in prior to the September 11 attacks with a few safety modifications.

Trump implored Governor George Pataki to discard the plans for the ‘Freedom Tower’ presently on the table, describing the design as ‘the worst pile of crap architecture I’ve ever seen in my life,’ according to a report published in ‘Newsday.’

Wednesday, Trump held a news conference at Trump Towers on Fifth Avenue to announce his support for a ‘taller, stronger, more beautiful version of the World Trade Center.’

Even the Donald gets one right now and then.

Click here to view the 56 legacy comments
  • 6. FL Mom

    Hi! I’m new here. :)

    I’m so happy to hear this about the Twin Towers! I’d always thought that if they wouldn’t build 2 new ones that they ought to build 3 as a symbolic nose-thumbing to the terrorists. But new Twins would be great!

  • 7. Ivan Forger

    I believe THIS is the plan that you are looking for…

  • When I moved to this area, I used to go through the WTC’s underground mall to transfer from the PATH to the MTA subway. I still remember it, and I do miss it.

    But who will occupy the Twin Towers if they are rebuilt? Moreover, what design changes can be made to protect the occupants in case of another terrorist attack by airliner? If anybody has links about how design changes could mitigate the possible damage, please post links.

  • 9. Ivan Forger

    If they don’t use this plan they are fools. It needs to be as close to 9/10/01 as possible, as a “FUCK YOU” to everyone who celebrated when they fell, with a suiting memorial to the nightmare that is 9/11/01, so we won’t forget WHY we are telling them “FUCK YOU”.

    And as a personal note, if it were up to me, I’d put a 10′ tall, solid gold “finger” on top of the spire, and it’d be facing Mecca.

  • 10. Doug

    Rebuild them. Yes.

    But please don’t let Trump get involved in it. Dare I say that there is a tad bit of self-promotion behind Donald’s endorsement of this idea ?

  • 11. Brian Perry

    Self-promo from the Donald? Never!

    However, he does have the kind of visibility and clout to get the public moving again. The whole rebuilding has been embarrassing, slow and unfocused. The resulting design was just bad- like a little piece of Europe in Manhattan.

    Rebuilding the towers pains me a bit. One the one hand I agree that building them again would send a powerful message. On the other, I feel that they are gone, taken from us, and should remain that way. This is the way things are now, and the lack of those towers gives me a reminder of just what the stakes are here. Getting them back would imply that we can bring those pre-9/11 days back as well. I for one don’t want those days back- we were utterly screwing up strategically. We need a new approach to the buildings just as we needed a new approach to how we view the world strategically. The destroyed towers are a painful reminder of our past failings and a big motivator to me to stay focused and resolved to the fight.

    The call in the past was not “Refloat the Maine!” but “Remember the Maine!”. Not “Rebuild the Alamo!” but “Remember the Alamo!”. We need to remember the WTC, and let that memory guide or future actions. Let a new building design reflect those sentiments.

  • 12. Osamabinladen

    Why does everyone think rebuilding the towers bigger than they were is going to impress those who blew them up? It may make everyone feel better but if the clowns who did this aren’t impressed, then what has been accomplished? Or, look at it this way: building them bigger is egging them on to do it again? I know I know we aren’t going to be held hostage by anyone, but this eye-for-an-eye attitude is childish and counter productive,

  • 13. jegstuff

    Yamasaki’s design epitomized “crap architecture”…so no, I’m not interested in seeing the same thing rebuilt. I’m not really wild about the Freedom Tower either. I think there is (or was, rather) an opportunity to have something truly unique and beautiful and I just haven’t seen anything like that yet.

    As for Trump, he’s the last person I would be taking Aesthetic advice from. I mean, have you seen the guy’s hair? What’s more…have you seen what he’s built before? Trump is from the “color it gold and call it beautiful” school of design which, to me, reeks of pretentiousness and sleaze…the last thing that should be at Ground Zero.

  • 14. Retread

    If they re-built using the old design with extra safety features and a few more floors, would they get tennants? And would the tennants get employees to work there? I think there might be enough doubt about filling the new towers to make a developer very hesitant.

  • 15. Sydney Carton

    As a New Yorker, this is the greatest news I’ve heard all day. God Bless Trump for having the balls to step forward with this plan. I hope he convinces the Governor to scrap the Freedom Tower and rebuild the Twins. I loved the Twin Towers. Only in New York would they build not one, but two, of the tallest buildings in the world. It wasn’t that it was the biggest building in the world when originally built – it was that there was TWO of them. And I thought they were very pleasing to the eye. Driving from my parents house in Jersey to the city, you would know you were close to NYC when you could see the Towers on the horizon. It was like they were calling you home. And looking up at the sky from the base of the Twins almost looked as if they stretched onto infinity, and that the might of American capitalism, and the skill of the designers and engineers, seemed to go on forever.

    The Freedom Tower is such a disaster that if an attack were ever to happen again, it’s the one location that’s guaranteed to be safe because it’s not worth slamming a plane into. Rebuild the Towers!

  • 16. Julie

    Maybe it was a link from this blog but I saw a really nice plan for the towers building monuments on the exact footprint of the old towers (museums and memorials and subway station and a relecting pool on the other or something) and then two new towers offset just a bit.

    I thought it was great.

    And I’m certain they wouldn’t have trouble renting the office space.

  • If you replace the WTC with ugly architecture, the terrorists will have won.

  • I was hoping for a little art deco action for the new towers, but I guess rebuilding them would be okay, too.

  • 19. Verity

    I always thought, “Re-build the towers” – but actually, Brian Perry’s argument is very well put. Now, I don’t know.

  • 20. louielouie

    newbie here:

    wow, glad to hear i have the same sentiment as so many others. i thought i was the only person alive who thought they should be rebuilt.
    to impress?
    to say fuck you?
    they re-built the penty because they need the functionality of the building.
    the towers should be rebuilt, with a larger footprint so as not to sit on the original footprint, but built because there is an office space requirement. the several specials/reports i have seen said the rockys built them when they weren’t needed but became the symbol of american commerce. they didn’t achieve financial success until the boom of the ’90s.
    you guys have some good ideas.

  • 21. Anarchy Frank

    Let’s be honest about one thing: the original towers were widely considered an eyesore and a steaming pile of architectural malfeasance before the towers became sacred. For me, the crime of the originals was the windows–such views but so narrow! I say rebuild, but let’s give every floor nice wide windows.

  • 22. jmaster

    As you consider removing yourself from the blogosphere, please re-read the comments elicited here.

    One post like this every two or three days, and you can continue blogging effectively in perpetuity.

    And I

  • Trump builds the ugliest buildings in New York.

    And the Twin Towers were awfully ugly monstrosities. They destroyed street life in lower Manhattan.

    I want a building and I want it to be tall. But don’t rebuild the twin towers. Why would New York want to make the same mistake twice.

    I live 10 blocks from the World Trade Center Site. Those buildings did not work.

    The Freedom Tower already is being redesigned. Don’t criticize it until you see it.

  • 24. Sydney Carton


    We’ve seen it. The Freedom Tower sucks. The Twins were amazing towers. Maybe you don’t like the idea of an underground mall. Fine. That can be changed. But I want the Towers back, and so do a lot of other New Yorkers. I loved them. I thought they were beautiful, and I looked on them with fondness from across the river in Jersey City where I worked as a college intern before moving to NYC – “One day, I’ll be in those.” I remember thinking that, like the Pyramids, they were so big that they’d last forever. There was no way for a construction crew to take them down and replace it with something else.

    They should be rebuilt.

    And for the record, the newer versions, more safe, have larger windows.

  • 25. Keith

    Here’s an idea: Combine the UN and Twin Towers project. Rebuild the Towers, and have the UN occupy the top floors. Then, if they ever get taken down again, the UN staff and representatives will be the first to go, and won’t be there to cause trouble when we retaliate.

  • Trump Gets it Right

    Donald Trump is mostly a dork, but sometimes he does get things right. Via Vodkapundit, we learn that Trump has involved himself in the controversy surrounding what exactly should be built on the 9/11 site:

    Billionaire developer Donald Trump has of…

  • 27. Pigfoot

    The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days. . . .
    At the interrogators’ behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling. . . .

    Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

    Don’t worry, we can blame the New York Times. They reported it.

  • 28. rosignol

    Or, look at it this way: building them bigger is egging them on to do it again?

    Not egging- daring. The last group to try it is still getting it’s ass kicked, and we’re not going to stop until they’re all dead or imprisoned.

    I know I know we aren’t going to be held hostage by anyone, but this eye-for-an-eye attitude is childish and counter productive,

    So you say- but the towers coming down snapped this country out of it’s post-cold-war complacency, and we deposed not one, but two dictators, and set off a wave of liberalization in the middle east that even now, almost 4 years after the event, has not run it’s course.

    Childish? Maybe. Counterproductive? Hell, No.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- the best memorial to honor those who died on 9/11/01 will not be in NYC or DC- it’ll be in a free, democratic Afghanistan.

    Rebuild the towers, I say, better than they were. Not to honor the dead, but in defiance of the people who murdered them.

  • 29. Crank

    I was gonna suggest what Keith did: if you rebuild the towers, put the UN at the top. Talk about giving the institution some skin in the game as far as the fight against terrorism.

    Realistically, as someone who worked in Tower One until September 11, I’m very doubtful that you can get commercial tenants back in those buildings.

  • 30. kevino

    Trump and almost all of the commentators above are totally correct: rebuild them!

    The twin towers were destroyed because they were symbols. Rebuilding them would be symbolic, too. It would be an act of pure defiance.

    They attacked the Pentagon, and we repaired it.
    They destroyed the twin towers, and we rebuilt it.
    They built their ideal society with the Taliban. It sucks to be you.

    Trump is also correct about another thing: the results of the architecture-by-committee has been pure crap. The original plans are garbage and the freedom tower is garbage. I haven’t seen the revised plans, but I’m not holding my breath. Designing anything like this by committee has been a disaster. One person needs to start with a vision and carry it forward.

    Oh, and I got a chuckle out of Ivan Forger’s suggestion to top it off with a gold middle finger aimed at Mecca. That’s bad, Ivan, very bad. (Of course, I really, REALLY like it!)

  • Get It Done

    I hadn’t heard about this one until the husband clued me in last night. Billionaire developer Donald Trump has officially thrown his support behind a plan to rebuild the Twin Towers at Ground Zero in practically the same form they…

  • 32. C'est Moi

    F*CK YEAH!! Oh, and the Gold Finger To Mecca is AWESOME!

  • 33. spongeworthy

    And if you can’t find tenants? How do you think that’s going to be spun by the bad guys? Well, I’ll tell you: Americans Are Cowards. That’s how.

    Already, a great deal of downtown office space has been converted into residential. 7 WTC is nearly finished and has no tenants yet. We can all feel better about ourselves clamoring for rebuilt towers, but if we can’t fill them it’s going to be a disaster.

  • 34. kevino

    Given that the economy isn’t great right now and given that many companies are moving out of New York City, finding tenants may be a problem. However, those factors won’t be around forever (I hope).

    However, let’s remember what happened when they couldn’t sell office space when they first created the WTC: they moved government agencies into the place. And they were prepared to subsidize it.

    What about housing? Finding an apartment or condo in NY is really tough. I’d certainly live there, especially if it was affordable. The location is fantastic. And the existance of that much space will push prices for residences and office space down for a time, making it easier for companies to stay. (Of course, lowering taxes would help, too.)

    And best of all, let’s move the UN into the area. They’re running out of room and constantly complaining about lack of US support. Fine, we’ll give them loads of office space or residential space. Terrorists will have to leave the new twin towers alone: they’d never attack their buddies at the UN. Even though the terrorists are crocked, raping, murdering, self-hating, deluded bigots, there is such a thing as professional courtesy.

  • 35. Rumsfeld Squarepants

    And best of all, let’s move the UN into the area. They’re running out of room and constantly complaining about lack of US support. Fine, we’ll give them loads of office space or residential space. Terrorists will have to leave the new twin towers alone: they’d never attack their buddies at the UN.

    You wanna use the U.N. as a shield? You’re that scared of these guys, 4 years, 300 billion dollars, and 150,000 deaths later? Funny definition of success you people have: anything Republicans do.

  • 36. kevino

    Rumsfeld Squarepants:

    The UN as “Human Shields?” That’s a fun way to say it.

    Am I afraid? No. Do I think that some terrorist group will try again? Oh, yeah. If bin Laden can’t do it (and I don’t think he can), some other group will try to take his place and make a name for themselves by attacking us.

    I also think it would be a good learning experience for the UN. Look at the UN resolutions on terrorist organizations. They define groups that participate in terrorist acts (e.g. kidnapping civilians and attacking civilian transportation infrastructure), and they pass resolutions that get at the financing of such groups. But they cannot enforce any of their own laws, they look the other way when members violate their laws, and they cannot even define what terrorism actually is. Maybe they need a little pressure to understand reality.

    I’m not a Republican. I don’t have a political party ever since the DNC lost their minds, and I’ve had to vote for some GOP candidates or just stay home. I won’t join the GOP. Hopefully the DNC will come back to reality.

  • 37. Matthew

    I love the idea of rebuilding the old towers.

    Now if we can just get Lileks behind it, it’s a done deal for sure!

    I emailed him a link to the other day, but–dang it–I haven’t heard back yet. The suspense is killing me!

    Stephen, maybe you can use your “blogebrity” to twist his arm.

  • 38. Ronald Rutherford

    I love all the comments above. They all had good points even if a few I disagreed with.
    But let me suggest that the new “Twins” be slightly different in height. The difference being 2,749 inches higher for each death in 9-11. I believe Scarborough had suggested 1″ shorter per death. But I say higher, as their deaths make us stronger.
    Putting the UN into the offices sounds good as mentioned but also allows the UN delegates to see the memorial every day!
    And on a humorous note if the UN is in the twin towers and another plane collides into it then Bolton’s idea of taking 10 floors off the UN will come true.

  • 39. richard mcenroe

    Build them back. Build them taller. And don’t forget the commemorative Standard missile cells in the courtyard…

  • I wonder if if his ‘news conference’ had anything to do with him believing that he should of course build the next Twin Towers instead?

    And I wonder what the 9/11 families will think about his idea?

  • I wonder if if his ‘news conference’ had anything to do with him believing that he should of course build the next Twin Towers instead?

    And I wonder what the 9/11 families will think about his idea?

  • 42. BenJCarter

    “It may make everyone feel better but if the clowns who did this aren’t impressed, then what has been accomplished?”

    Everyone feels better?

    It is proven that the best way to fight vandalism is to repair the damage as soon as possible.

    Build the towers and build them taller. Let our message be “we shall overcome”. I don’t care how the world sees it. Ill will be spoken of us no matter what we do, so why worry about them.

  • Hold on, a second! When The Donald was on Larry King, three nights ago, he said that although he hated the Freedom Tower design, that there was “no way” he was going to financially back his “one story taller” design.

    So how much “support” is Trump really willing to give? Will it end up being anything beyond lip service for the sake of boosting his ratings for the Apprentice season finale?

  • 44. Beck

    The one idea from the Freedom Tower concept that I liked was its 1776 foot height. If they could take The Donald’s idea and jack it up a couple hundred feet or so, it’d be perfect.

  • Here is my favorite design for the site. It has three buildings, rather than two, built around the empty footprints of the original towers. I wonder about the aerodynamics of the arrangement, though.

    This may be the design Julie, above, was remembering.

  • Update

    Ok, I have just a moment here to try and catch up. I should be back online for good after Memorial Day, that’s when they come install the Internet Access at my new place at least. Assuming my furniture comes in on time. Right now my whole life is sitti…

  • The message will be clear: you knock it down, we’ll kick the tar out of you and then build it back even taller than before, after leaving the world a better place by spreading democracy in the Middle East.

    If Trump pulls this off, he can count me as a fan for life. I don’t care how silly his hair looks.

  • 48. Doug_s

    One problem, the new towers willbe the prime magnet for future terror atempts aganst buildings in the US. Would you pay extra rent for ofice space to cover extra high liability insurance? How does your business intend to make a profit taking on unnecessary costs?

  • 49. rosignol

    Doug, if the terrorists could strike a skyscraper in the US- any skyscraper- they would have done so. As far as watching out for the next attack- and there will be one, regardless of if we re-build the WTC, well, someone answered that question about 200 years go.

    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

  • 50. the snob

    The Donald may be a self-promoting comb-over but he understands real estate. I liked the early renderings of the Liebeskind design but it has since turned into the camel-as-horse-by-committee, a modernist grotesque that future generations will curse us for permitting.

    My suspicions is that if we built a dog park on the WTC site, the terrorists would try to blow it up. Yes, I would live in the towers, and I would move my company there. Everything is a potential target so you might as well forget about that part of the equation.


  • 51. Jon

    Let Trump build this thing, he is the king of skyscrapers in New York.

  • 52. welcome to the goatscape

    The right’s rage at Newsweek is all too reminiscent of the contempt it heaped on Specialist Thomas Wilson, the soldier who dared to ask Mr. Rumsfeld at a town hall meeting in Kuwait in December about the shortage of armored vehicles. Mr. Wilson was guilty of “near-insubordination,” said Rush Limbaugh; the embedded reporter who helped him frame his question was reviled by bloggers as a traitor. Yet Mr. Wilson’s question was legitimate, and Mr. Rumsfeld’s answer (that the shortage was only “a matter of production and capability”) was a lie. As USA Today reported in March, the Pentagon has known for nearly two years that it didn’t have enough armored Humvees but let the problem fester until that insubordinate questioner gave the defense secretary no choice but to act.

    It’s also because of incompetent Pentagon planning that other troops may now be victims of weapons looted from Saddam’s munitions depots after the fall of Baghdad. Yet when The New York Times reported one such looting incident, in Al Qaqaa, before the election, the administration and many in the blogosphere reflexively branded the story fraudulent. But the story was true. It was later corroborated not only by United States Army reservists and national guardsmen who spoke to The Los Angeles Times but also by Iraq’s own deputy minister of industry, who told The New York Times two months ago that Al Qaqaa was only one of many such weapon caches hijacked on America’s undermanned post-invasion watch.

    IT is terrible that Newsweek was wrong, though it’s worth noting, as John Donvan of ABC News did, that the Defense Department’s claim that its story was “demonstrably” false is also an overreach. Almost nothing that happens in the sealed prison at Guant

  • 53. richard mcenroe

    Welcome to the goatscape

  • 54. Drifting through the Goatscape

    OK, I get it, you hate Newsweek.

    Where is your outrage that taxpayer dollars are being used to hire propagandists? Why do you give a shit about Newsweek? Stop reading it if you think it’s anti-American crap.

    I can’t stop paying my taxes to show that I’m tired of Bush shills getting taxpayer money!

  • 55. lck


    nostalgia is BAD FOR YOU

    Look Forward to the West

  • 56. Narwhal

    Say whatever you may about The Donald, he didn’t get to where he is without knowing what other people want. This places him in sharp contrast with those who would try to dictate to us what we SHOULD want

    That cabal of little Ward Churchhills that runs the LMDC chose a creepy German expressionist solely on the baisis of his one and only archetectural work, the German Holocaust Museum, because they want to make the statement that we Americans are as guilty of causing 911 as the Germans were of causing the Shoah.

    They set up 7 straw entries against it and had the New York Times manufacture consent for the “contest” in the best Chomskyan tradition.

    I am glad that Freedom Tower is becoming a quagmire and hope it dies, because I know we can do a whole lot better.

    We didn’t try to build the Pearl Harbor Memorial while we were still fighting the war, and there is no shame in letting the ground lie fallow until we get a design that truly reflects the American spirit. Better to suffer a few whiners and naggards in the meantime than let the LMDC turn South Manhattan into the world’s biggest pity pit.

    I have been advocating the use of the Aegis system to defend our cities ever since 9-11. Placing the antennas atop the tallest possible building will greatly enhance both their range and their ability to engage low-level surface skimming targets.

    Much has been said about the inherent vulnerability of tall buildings by people who willfully ignore ten thousand years of military history which clearly shows that the “high ground” is the most defensible position to have, provided that you choose to defend it.

    The current regime in charge of “redevelopment” believes that New York, and by extension America, isn’t worthy of defending in either a rhetorical or physical sense.

    LMDC—You’re Fired.