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Federal Courthouse Design: The Terrorists are Winning

White_model_ese_45_1 A rocket has landed in the backyard of 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s residence. A bomb has destroyed part of the core of Manchester; suicide- and terrorist bombers strike with regularity in Israel. Yet fiercely democratic England and Israel, long targets of terrorist acts, do not react with sweeping measures that, if implemented, would undermine the citizens, cities, and civic life they would protect. Things are done differently in the United States, where a set of post-9/11 federal building guidelines, heaped on top of post-Oklahoma City guidelines, is already changing the way Buffalo looks, functions, and feels, and not for the better. It is happening across the country. Indeed, a writer for The Financial Times of London recently observed (after the London Underground bombings of July) how the American overreaction to 9/11 itself threatens civil life itself.

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