National 9/11 Memorial in New York

Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
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Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Photo of National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York
Renderings by Squared Design Lab courtesy of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
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National 9/11 Memorial
Official name:National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center
Also known as:Reflecting Absence

World Trade Center, New York, New York, World Trade Center
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With the deaths of thousands of people at this site in the original World Trade Center bombing and the aerial attack eight years later, it was inevitable that a memorial would be established at this location. But what kind of memorial? In April, 2003 a global contest was launched to solicit the best ideas available. With thousands of entries from around the world submitted, a panel of judges whittled them down and declared "Reflecting Absence" the winner.

It is a memorial that takes the observer both to the site of the Twin Towers and below it. The footprints of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers are preserved through the memorial. It is a logical step that satisfies the deep emotional attachment many people have to the area. To millions of people this is sacred ground, especially considering that the remains of so many people were never found or identified. Some of those remains have been preserved and will be encased in a stone container in the footprint of the north tower. This container will touch the bedrock and at the same time have an opening to the sky. It will be in a private chamber where the families of those killed in the attacks will be able to mourn in solitude.

The more public areas below ground feature sheets of falling water that outline the locations of the twin towers. This subterranean element is intentionally sparse and gray to evoke a sense of mourning, while being open to the sky above as a symbol of hope for the future. This is in contrast to the area above ground. Before the attacks, this was a large plain of concrete. Now it will be transformed into a living space of trees, flowers, and grass. The landscaping is interrupted by the footprints of the twin towers, which are represented as waterfalls, recessed pools and ramps leading to the exhibition space below the surface. The descent below ground leads to a transformation of senses from the bright, loud, colorful city above to the solemn, dark, quiet area below the surface.

An ordinary memorial of this description would be magnificent enough. Consider that the twin towers were massive structures, so the footprints and the memorial is likewise massive. It helps convey the enormity of the sorrow the nation and the world felt that September morning.

Connecting the two footprints is a passageway. At its midpoint will be a place for reflection, gatherings, and memorial services. Its exact composition is still being determined, as are the artifacts that will be on display on the western edge of the site. This is an area known as the "slurry wall" which is part of the foundation of the original World Trade Center. Items being considered for this space include twisted steel beams, and a crushed fire truck.

Quick Facts
Notes
    > This memorial is in honor of both the victims killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center in September, 2001 and the victims of the World Trade Center bombing in February, 1993.
    > 5,201 memorial designs were submitted to the contest from 63 countries.
    > The names of the victims appear in random order.
    > 2004 - Major League Baseball and its players donate one million dollars to help build this memorial.
    > June 20, 2006 - Changes to the memorial are announced. Among them: The names of the dead will be raised above ground, waterfalls will cascade into the pools underground, most of the underground galleries have been eliminated, and visitors will no longer have to pass through a security screening area to see the 2,979 names of those killed in the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Quotations
    "We will never forget those we lost at the World Trade Center. But this memorial is not for us -- although we have been entrusted with its creation. It is for our children and grandchildren. It is so those who visit that sacred ground know what happened there and why so many people died to protect our freedoms. I believe that the design accomplishes that important goal and that the memorial will serve as a strong spiritual focal point in a revitalized Lower Manhattan." - Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York.
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Your Thoughts

There are 16 comments.

  Rudy Giuliani called for a "Soaring memorial" at the site. This hardly fits the bill. Two holes in the ground, with waterfalls leading to an underground memorial. I lost a friend in the attacks 0n 9/11, and I'm sure that he would want to see the Twin Towers rebuilt as the permanent "Tribute in light", not this pitiful excuse that in fact is a trophy to those who destroyed the World Trade Center.

Peter Walukiewicz - Thursday, December 24th, 2009 @ 9:03am  

  it was the best achitecture i've ever seen even though i've seen it thru the internet but its really really nice adn even if i've seen it on picutes i can still feel the solemnity of it.

Joseph Ryan Alexis A. Xavier - Thursday, September 11th, 2008 @ 4:34pm  

  Well, i've seen alot of the blueprints, this disinge is imposible, its gona morph from funding, but i would like to see the original disinge, the people from other contries i like your comments it gives people a outside look

Jacob - Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 @ 10:32pm  

  I didnt know anyone pesonally who died on 9/11 but I will NEVER forget the tragic day as long as I live. I think it it a bit of history my son should learn about he was only 1 yr old at the time that this happened. I am hoping to come and see this soon

Donna - Sunday, August 31st, 2008 @ 10:32pm  

  for those of you who choose to bash this memorial this is not a place for you. we are trying to prove that although we will fight for our rights we will also mourn the rights unknowingly taken from us so when you look at this with shame just think- why is it being built if not for the ones who died....

flowers - Monday, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:10pm  

  Its a wonderfull, futuristic and stylish building. The memorial is very touching. I do believe however, that the Freedom Tower should be the tallest in the world; its symbolism to how well the citizens of NYC as well as The United States get back up on their feet stronger than before.....nothing but the best for NYC!!!!

Faride Nur - Monday, March 31st, 2008 @ 8:19am  

  I had been in it once. I was planning on coming back to see it again. A friend of mine, and I were going to come there that weekend. I always knew New York when i saw them in the distance.

Tom - Monday, March 10th, 2008 @ 8:47am  

  I think it will come out with a different feel from the renderings. Solemn, or self pitying? Not sure, but I like the idea of the pools, greenspace, and the layout. I like the idea of retaining something old, but the tridents look accidental, forgotten, shoved out of the way. They should be integrated! Or perhaps one in each glade? A reminder, but also like a tree. Interior of the underground -- trying too hard, sorry. Too clever, too awkwardly angular. But I think things will turn out better in reality. There is a place for solemnity and remembrance, but not perhaps self-pity.

Swokm - Thursday, January 10th, 2008 @ 5:59am  

  I think it is a very negative memorial. All that water pouring into the central pits like a plug hole in a bath is like all those lives going down the drain, and the water falls are like the towers falling all over again. As the name suggests, this is not a tribute to courage or resilience, but to pain and loss. There is nothing uplifting here.

Louise - Sunday, August 12th, 2007 @ 2:36am  

  This is a great idea. 9/11 snapped us back into reality. The footprint idea will keep our heads out of the clouds. do not turn this into something marvelous; it needs to be recognized and remembered for what it was. it is a great way for to turn 9/11 into something real and powerful

casey - Saturday, April 21st, 2007 @ 5:21pm  

  The footprints remind us of what is not there; what once was. Since these foundations are enormous, it will further the enormity of Sep 11. About the freezing issue, could they add something to the water to keep it from freezing? And for Joshua, way to be a jerk about it, rate it zero? Maybe if your intelect was a bit higher you could understand that each part of the memorial has significance and plays a role in remembering both Sep 11 and Feb 26. The voids, water, names, are all arranged in such a fashion for a reason. Why don't you read a book or something.

Sunbir - Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 @ 11:30am  

  the best thing in the design is the negativity of mass. as we see huge massive structures around the site, and the holes in the footprints or towers makes us feel the pain we all felt on 9/11

madiha - Tuesday, June 27th, 2006 @ 6:24am  

  I wish I could rate zero. Above ground, all you get is a park and a pair of holes with waterfalls. Below ground, you get a drab and massive concrete tomb. The facades are not preserved; they are cut up and buried along with other remnants from 9/11. The fountains are vulnerable to splashing and also difficult to maintain and clean. In addition to all this, the price tag is set to reach $1 billion and beyond. This "memorial" makes no sense whatsoever.

Joshua - Monday, April 10th, 2006 @ 12:40pm  

  It is meaningful, poetic and a space that resonates with the event that it commemorates. Give it time and see how people interact with this monument before deciding that it is too gloomy or cold. Living in a country that is known for its ability to adapt to changing times, ideologies and much more, I have learned that you must allow your culture (the things you do) to act upon and respond to the space so that what results from that relationship becomes a living and ongoing commemoration of the awful thing that happened on 9/11...but also a celebration of the reasons why that price was not even too high to pay for liberty and freedom. I am neither pro nor anti American and objectively say that I salute your nation for many things, one of which is your resilience. I am looking forward to visiting the site in future.

Rhodian Meyer - Friday, August 12th, 2005 @ 11:26am  

  its very nice but there is one problem the public can only enjoy it during warm months of the year due that the water will freeze during winter months and logicaly will be shut down, there should be a working memorial 12 months of the year.,Also it is a bit cold it needs more Life!we should mourn but also be happy that we are alive and our spirit of freedom and democracy never fades and will be stronger to remember prosperity not sadness and destruction We proved the world that we are resilient We will go on.let stay on that track.

Wilbert NYC - Sunday, August 7th, 2005 @ 2:04am  

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