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NEW YORK CITY-”The Freedom Tower should not be allowed to be built,” said developer Donald Trump during a press conference this morning where he touted an effort for a “better, stronger” Twin Towers rebuild with the buildings rising one story taller than the original ones. “The Freedom Tower is nothing more than a skeleton. The only good thing from an architectural standpoint is its name.” He called the design for the site, the “worst pile-of-crap architecture I’ve ever seen in my life.”

The plan is not new. It was put together by a team led by structural engineer Kenneth Gardner as early as last year. “It’s not a unique concept,” Trump said. “It’s what the people want.” Trump said he’s using his “power of persuasion, but that can be powerful” to urge that the private and public partnership in charge of the WTC redevelopment process reconsider the Freedom Tower plan.

Trump addressed security and economic concerns as well and said if companies don’t want to take space in the new buildings, it’s possible that the entire site should become a memorial. “You’re possibly going to have an economic problem with people moving in. I would take space. There is a possibility people don’t want to be in a building on the site.” He stressed that Gardner’s concept was more structurally sound than the Freedom Tower. The effort still needs to be priced out, but Trump estimated it would be not as much as the Freedom Tower, but in the same range.

Last week, Gov. George Pataki said he expected a redesigned Freedom Tower would be unveiled next month and that preliminary plans had been approved by the New York Police Department, which had raised security concerns over the original plan. Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Larry A. Silverstein, the World Trade Center site developer, said, “Donald Trump is both a friend and a respected colleague of Larry Silverstein, and Larry is always interested in what Trump is thinking. However, Larry Silverstein’s only concern right now is designing a safe and spectacular Freedom Tower in keeping with the well-established master plan for the site.”

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