To Our Colleagues in the Building Industry:

We sat in horror as the first tower fell from the sky, then within the hour its sister also succumbed to the ferocious blast. These two mighty buildings were destroyed by an event unthinkable. The human loss is indefinable. The years of planning, the team effort to create these towers and the personal focus the design, construction, and management firms put into these buildings vanished. Our profession creates places for people to work safely, to conduct business, to make friendships. Our creations become more than buildings... they are visions of our success, homes for countless businesses, and symbols of our culture.

Many a civilization is built on the foundations of our forbears. To build on such foundations is to rise again with new vision and strength of purpose. Our ability to create built symbols for our culture where we live, learn and work, rejoice and reflect, must continue as our highest mission as design professionals.

For the many who lost colleagues and friends in this tragic event, let our larger community console you with our thoughts and prayers. Let us also share our resources to help rebuild and relieve the burden of this loss. As we refocus on our normal routines, let us continue our effort to bring out what is best, what is beautiful, what is functional and what is safe for our clients, our communities and our nation.

As the need for emergency aid in New York City and Washington grows, the desire of all of us to respond in some useful way intensifies. Most of us no doubt have noted the newspaper and e-mail lists of organizations such as the Red Cross and The Salvation Army that are collecting donations of money, clothing, food, medical supplies and other resources.

Several BSA members have expressed the desire to coordinate a response; the BSA is doing that now.

If you and/or your firm would like to join a building industry effort to raise funds to benefit those devastated by the past week's events in New York City and Washington, you are invited to send contributions to the BSA September 11 Fund; we will maintain comprehensive records of individual and corporate donors and will forward 100% of all donations received to appropriate social service and emergency response organizations on behalf of the architectural community and building industry.

The BSA, in collaboration with the AIA Chapter in New York City, will identify the most appropriate organizational recipients of financial contributions and will provide you and all other individual and corporate donors with e-mail reports on this effort.

If you wish to participate in this coordinated effort, contributions should be made payable to the BSA September 11 Fund at 52 Broad Street, Boston, MA 02109. With your donation, include your name, e-mail address, and US mail address. If you wish to make donations in your firm's name, provide your firm name and its US mail address and the name and e-mail address of all individual donors so we can acknowledge each person's contribution.

With questions and ideas for other forms of assistance, write Richard Fitzgerald at the BSA (rfitzgerald@architects.org).

Thank you.

Robert Brown, IIDA, AIA
President
Boston Society of Architects/AIA