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A Huge Reflection of Sept. 11's Real Hero

July 30, 2002

Re "We Want It Bigger, Better and With an Attitude," Commentary, July 25: I fully agree with Norah Vincent's statement that when considering a replacement for the World Trade Center, size matters. In the mid-1930s, Frank Lloyd Wright was proposing a mile-high building in Chicago, a city where I have lived and practiced architecture for most of my life. Although it was never built, Chicago has never shied away from the skyscraper, its own invention.

Today, New York is "America's City" and should think big. I would propose a 150-story building, 1,750 feet high, about one-third of a mile. Its long axis should run east and west and it should be clad in mirror glass, with visually minimum divisions--one large mirror, which would reflect the real hero of Sept. 11, New York City itself.

Mell Hemmer

Santa Barbara

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Some questions for Vincent: If the World Trade Center towers were rebuilt, who would lease space in them? Who would apply to work there? What insurance company would insure them? Rebuilt towers would be perceived as a challenge, and the challenge would be accepted. Next time, the terrorists will smuggle in a suitcase nuke to bring them down.

Perhaps after our government becomes serious about taking out terrorists we can begin to think about what to build there. After scores of terrorists die, brought down by unknown assassins. After the nations that support terrorism no longer exist. After our borders are secured. After the dozens of terrorist cells still operating in this country are wiped out. After we stop issuing visas to citizens of terror-supporting nations, and after we revoke the visas of all citizens of those nations.

James F. Glass

Chatsworth

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