Architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker today unveiled their refined design for a memorial at the World Trade Center site, Reflecting Absence, honoring all those lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 and February 26, 1993. They were joined by Governor George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the 13-member jury that selected the design. The presentation took place in historic Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan, where the first US Congress met and wrote the Bill of Rights, and George Washington was inaugurated as President.
Governor Pataki said, "All that we do in Lower Manhattan is in memory of those we lost on September 11th and in the 1993 bombing. The entire 16 acre site will be a living memorial with 'Reflecting Absence' as its centerpiece. This memorial will be a special place to remember the thousands of lives cut short and recall the spirit and love of freedom which prevailed. Future generations will be able to reflect upon the enormous loss and understand our pledge to never forget the heroes from the tragic events. I want to thank the members of the jury and the LMDC for their tremendous dedication to the memorial selection process, as well as Michael Arad and Peter Walker for their truly inspirational design."
Mayor Bloomberg said, "I applaud the selection of the design by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, and I am proud that Michael is a New York City employee who works as an architect with the Housing Authority. 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."
John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the LMDC said, "A great number of dedicated people have worked hard and long to make this dream a reality, a beautiful and fitting memorial and the centerpiece of the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The jury of talented professionals must be especially thanked for their untiring efforts. Generations to come will gather here and remember and cherish our heroes lost but never forgotten."
LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe said, "The distinguished jury has done great work and selected what will be a tremendous memorial that will make our nation proud. The LMDC will ensure the entire 16 acre World Trade Center site evolves as one living memorial, remembering loss and reaffirming life in the aftermath of terror. The Freedom Tower will reclaim our skyline with a proud new symbol of our nation's resilience. The museum will tell the countless individual stories of lives cut short and the unprecedented heroism we witnessed. The performing arts center, the transportation hub, the commercial buildings, will restore culture and commerce - and life - to the site in defiance of terrorism."
Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development and Vice Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, "I have always maintained that the memorial is the priority for the site, and now with a design chosen, we have a better understanding of this priority. The choice of 'Reflecting Absence' is yet another step forward for the Recovery of Lower Manhattan. The openness of the memorial competition is something New Yorkers should take pride in. We should also take pride in the fact a New Yorker has won the competition."
Marisel Morales, HUD Regional Director for New York and New Jersey said, "In my opinion, I cannot help but think that all those who visit 'Reflecting Absence' will be deeply impacted by the message it delivers. The powerful simplicity of the design evokes conflicting emotions: a strong reminder of what was lost those fateful days and optimism and hope for the future."
A description of the design by Michael Arad and Peter Walker is attached, along with a statement from the jury and biographies of both the designers.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation launched the international World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition in April 2003. Guidelines for the competition were developed based on the memorial mission statement and program. The mission statement guides the creation and evolution of the memorial, while the program provides specific elements to be included within the memorial, without dictating how they should be incorporated or inhibiting creativity. The guiding documents were developed by two separate volunteer committees, comprised of family members, residents, survivors, first responders, arts and architecture professionals and community leaders. The documents were shaped by thousands of public comments generated at public meetings in every borough, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as comments received from around the world through letters and the LMDC's website.
In what became the largest design competition in history, 5,201 submissions were received from 63 nations and 49 states. All 5,201 proposals were evaluated by a 13-member memorial jury comprised of individuals representing various points of view, including world renowned artists and architects, a family member, a Lower Manhattan resident and business owner, representatives of the Governor and Mayor, and other prominent arts and cultural professionals. The jury evaluated proposals in a two stage process based on how well each design expressed the mission statement and program, as set forth in the competition guidelines.
The design, animation, bios and all relevant information about the World Trade Center Memorial Competition can be viewed at www.WTCSiteMemorial.org. The design and accompanying model will be on display in the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center.
The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has been created to raise funds for the memorial and will be formally launched later this month. Donations, made payable to the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation, can be sent to:
- World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 5024
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5024
The competition and exhibition are made possible by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.