"The radical act of the terrorists opens a space for us to think radically as well," Michael Sorkin, director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at City College, writing in a special issue of the Sunday mazagine section of The New York Times that was published on 11 November 2001.
According to the official story (pre-written and rushed into print in the mainstream media immediately after the events, together with the identity of the alleged culprit) the fires then caused the steel girders to melt and the towers to collapse. But [...] the towers did not collapse because of the plane impacts and the fires. Possibly (but not certainly) explosives were placed besides their structural supports in the upper levels of the towers, explosives which were detonated 45 to 90 minutes after the planes hit, bringing the towers down in controlled implosions, killing several thousand American citizens and others. The Twin Towers were designed to survive the impact of a large airplane. Had one of them collapsed, that would have been amazing. That both of them collapsed, quickly and completely into fragments, ash and dust -- with no remains of their central vertical steel columns left standing -- solely as a result of the plane impacts and the resulting fires, is, upon examination, unbelievable. [Emphasis added.]
Fire Department officials warned the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1998 and 1999 that a giant diesel fuel tank for the mayor's $13 million command bunker in 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story high-rise that burned and collapsed on Sept. 11, posed a hazard and was not consistent with city fire codes [...] Although the city made some design changes to address the concerns -- moving a fuel pipe that would have run from the tank up an elevator shaft, for example -- it left the tank in place. But the Fire Department repeatedly warned that a tank in that position could spread fumes throughout the building if it leaked, or, if it caught fire, could produce what one Fire Department memorandum called "disaster."
The analogy of the Chicago fire is important. What happened there is that a lot of wood structures burned down. And in their place, of course, wood structures were not put up. The city became a sort of testing ground, the laboratory for the development of the [steel-framed] American skyscaper. So let's imagine that New York can become a laboratory right now -- a laboratory of what?
the New York Psychogeographical Association
Originally written 30 November 2001
Revised 6 January 2002
Revisited 11 September 2002
Endorsed by Bill Weinberg 18 September 2002