The LMDC and Port Authority today opened the viewing wall at Ground Zero to the public allowing visitors from around the world to pay their respects. The viewing wall was unveiled earlier in the week for victims’ family members.
The first portion of the wall displays panels bearing the names of the more than 2,800 people who died at the site on September 11, 2001. Additional portions explain the history, design and urban scale of the WTC site; the creation of two temporary memorials, Fritz Koenig’s “The Sphere” and the Tribute in Light; and provide an overview of the rebuilding process.
The completed portion of the wall is 500 feet long and located along the west side of Church Street from Fulton to Cortlandt Streets. The wall will eventually surround 1,800 linear feet of the site’s perimeter, from the northeast corner at Church and Vesey Streets, extending south to Liberty Street and ending at Liberty and Washington streets.
The wall features several alcoves, each about 40 linear feet long, where visitors can stop and reflect while pedestrian sidewalk traffic continues unimpeded. To ensure a safe environment, the wall will be monitored at all times by the Port Authority Police and is illuminated from sundown to dawn with fluorescent lighting and streetlights.
"As we continue to rebuild at Ground Zero, we recognize how important this site has become -- not just to New Yorkers -- but to people throughout the world,” Governor Pataki said. "We will never forget the thousands of heroes lost on September 11th, and this new wall will allow families and visitors to safely and respectfully view the site and reflect on that fateful day."
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "In the past year, millions of our friends and neighbors have come here and stood united as one. This viewing wall will continue to bring us together and continue to unite us as we move forward."
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Lou Tomson said, "The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was honored to play an important role in bringing together families, residents and small business owners -- all of whom worked hard to develop a concept for the viewing
wall that accommodates visitors to the site and is appropriate and respectful."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, "The staff of the Port Authority, along with our consultants and contractors, worked around the clock for months because they knew how important this viewing wall will be for the millions of people who visit this site. These hard-working individuals have again demonstrated what dedication and teamwork can accomplish."
Approximately 25,000 people visit the World Trade Center each day. By looking through the viewing wall, visitors will have an opportunity to reflect on the enormity of destruction at the 16-acre site, and safely witness the activity of memorial development and site construction over the years to come. Visitors are asked not to leave items by the viewing area as they will be removed daily.
The LMDC and Port Authority worked closely with New York New Visions to develop the special viewing wall, with assistance by the architectural firm Voorsanger and Associates, the structural engineering firm Severud Associates, and the graphic design firm Pentagram Design.