September 8, 2006

Margaret Donovan, Twin Towers Alliance - 212-568-0207
Richard Hughes, Rebuild-the-Towers - 212-781-1816
Robin Heid, Team Twin Towers - 310-295-9864 /951-283-0739
Louis Epstein, WTC Restoration Movement - 845-225-4848 / 845-225-3234

New York, NY - A grassroots alliance of people who advocate rebuilding the Twin Towers weighed in on the latest proposed additions to the WTC redevelopment with one question: "What's the point?" Margaret Donovan, Director of the Twin Towers Alliance - - asked "Why would we litter the site that means so much to so many with an odd collection of novelty buildings? Why would we build anything but new and improved Twin Towers? Why would we want a lot of designer labels slapped onto the redevelopment of our World Trade Center? Do we really want to show the world that we are as shallow as they say we are?"

The organization has a rally planned for Sunday, September 10th, 4 PM, at the Central Park Bandshell. "A British documentary crew will be on hand to capture what they term 'the American Spirit' and they'll get plenty of that." The event is intended to trumpet the group's conviction that it is not too late to put the Twin Towers back in place and that to do anything less does nothing to promote real healing. "In fact," she insisted, "it takes us in the other direction. It's as if New York's two front teeth had been punched out and we're putting four jagged caps in their place. Why?"

Donovan went on to add that during the "Aftershock" symposium held at Pace University in Lower Manhattan this week a gentleman in the audience asked why rebuilding the Towers was never one of the options presented to the public. The question was answered by Stefan Pryor, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, who praised the Libeskind plan saying it had come out of the "public process" and said that rebuilding the Twin Towers didn't allow for the "imperative" of restoring the street grid.

In response, Donovan said: "The Twin Towers Alliance would like to go on the record that anyone who suggests that the process that gave us the Libeskind Master Plan was responsive to the public is, at best, ignorant of the facts and certainly not serving the public good. As the late, great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, we're all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. If only his inimitable clarity and common sense were still with us, the Towers would be halfway up by now."

She stressed that "the notion that anyone other than so-called experts, critics, and planners consider restoring the former street grid to that little corner of this city an 'imperative' is outrageous and absurd. The imperative is to make New York New York again. They have no right to make these decisions for us. They are the sort behind the wanton destruction of Pennsylvania Station, a Beaux Arts masterpiece, forty years ago to put up what Senator Moynihan termed 'a basketball court with a hole under it.' And now we are going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with that blunder. God save us from experts. Better yet, let's save ourselves."

She said that invitations have gone out to celebrities and guest speakers, but that it is "anyone's guess" who will be there, and added: "It is an uphill battle to convince people to try to see beyond the extraordinary spin campaign that has been launched to make the public think it has no choice." But, she contends that the event will be a success by any standard "because people want to know why the rebuilding has been so mishandled and what we can still do about it - and that is what they will learn." After the rally, a candlelight tribute will shine through the evening around a stunning 12' stainless steel model of the Twin Towers that was crafted by Ed Schramling of Columbus, PA in 2002.

Donovan concluded: The only way to truly honor the heroes, the victims, and the American spirit is to rebuild the Towers and a noble memorial. The simple question we are proposing is not can that be done or will that be done, but should that be done? And if the answer is "yes" then everything else will fall into place. We CAN have the World Trade Center we deserve. It's not wishful thinking; it's just common sense. And it's not too late."

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