Doesn't EVERYONE want to do the "right thing" for the memorial? You don't get sole credit for that one!;)Quote:
Originally Posted by infoshare
Doesn't EVERYONE want to do the "right thing" for the memorial? You don't get sole credit for that one!;)Quote:
Originally Posted by infoshare
Is a little respect for "social station" too much to ask? I include this as items mentioned relate to WTC Memorial discourse.
From the NY Times: April 17 2006
For a Price, Final Resting Places That Even Tut Could Appreciate
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...um.xlarge1.jpg Oscar Sosa for The New York Times
Ed and Hilda Peck at their mausoleum in Daytona Beach, Fla. Mr. Peck says he decided he did not want to spend eternity underground.
By GUY TREBAY
Published: April 17, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ed Peck is in no hurry to get there, but when the time comes for him to go to eternity, he wants his last earthly stop to be consistent with his social station.
Oscar Sosa for The New York Times
Nancy and Lowell Lohman own a number of Florida cemeteries and funeral homes. A mausoleum can convey significance, Ms. Lohman said.
So Mr. Peck, a real estate developer who made his fortune in Florida condominiums in the 1970's, not long ago joined a small but growing number of Americans who have erected that most pharaonic of monuments to life-in-death, the private family mausoleum.
A Greek-pillared neo-Classical style structure of white granite, Mr. Peck's mausoleum has a granite patio, a meditation room, doors of hand-cast bronze and a chandelier. The family name is carved and gilded above a lintel that in the original sales model carried the legend "Your Name."
Developed just over two years ago to accommodate a growing demand for mausoleums like the one Mr. Peck bought, which including its lot has a retail cost of $400,000, the Private Estate Section at the century-old Daytona Memorial Park here has 15 lake-view lots. Six have been sold.
"The mausoleum says, 'I'm really significant in this world, I think I'm really significant to my family,' and this is one way to communicate that to the community," said Nancy Lohman, an owner along with her husband, Lowell, of this and several dozen other Florida cemeteries and funeral homes.
Mr. Peck, 87, an Atlanta native with a sonorous voice and a laconic manner, framed a similar thought more modestly. "It began to occur to me that I did not want to be in the ground covered with weeds and whatnot and totally forgotten," he said. "I don't like the idea of dirt being dumped on me."
Six feet up and not six feet under is increasingly the direction in which people want their remains stored when they die, representatives of the funeral industry say. In addition to custom single-family mausoleums, community mausoleums for both coffins and cremated remains are also gaining popularity; in classical or contemporary styles, these often have room to hold hundreds of niches for coffins or urns.
The Cold Spring Granite Company, among the country's largest makers of cemetery monuments, sold 2,000 private mausoleums last year, up from about 65 during a good year in the 1980's. Prices range from $250,000 to "well into the millions," said Michael T. Baklarz, a vice president of the company.
The development is perhaps logically to be expected of those at the leading edge of the baby boom generation, which forms the bulk of the market. The progression seems natural for the folks who gave the world blocklong, gas-hogging sport utility vehicles and lot-hogging 40,000-square-foot suburban homes.
"It's in keeping with the McMansion mentality of boomers," said Thomas Lynch, an author and funeral director in Michigan. "Real estate is an extension of personhood."
The market for the custom structures is greatest on the coasts, although exclusive estate sections have recently been set aside for private mausoleums at cemeteries in Atlanta, Cleveland and Minneapolis.
Some mausoleums echo the temple of the goddess Fortuna Virilis in Rome. Some are hefty, rusticated stone barns. Some have more square footage than a good-size Manhattan studio apartment, their interiors fitted out with hand-knotted carpets, upholstered benches and nooks for the display of memorabilia. In late 2004, a Southern California family ordered a mausoleum with room for 12 coffins, 20 cremation niches and a patterned marble vestibule.
Commonplace in the 19th century, when both newly prosperous immigrants and robber barons vied to stake claims on American soil by investing in the only real estate that is "permanently valuable," as Mark Twain famously remarked, the mausoleum seemed to have lost favor in recent years.
More people were choosing to be cremated — industry experts say that more than a quarter of the 2.3 million people who died in 2004 were cremated — and some opted for new forms of interment like the "green burials" that flickered onto the cultural radar after a character from the HBO series "Six Feet Under" was buried unembalmed and without a coffin, in an unmarked grave protected by a nature preserve.
Yet the brief buzz about eco-burial, executives from America's nearly $15 billion funeral industry say, may obscure the larger reality that, as in seemingly every other facet of contemporary life, the taste for personalization has touched the funeral industry in time to provide an otherwise static business with an opportunity for growth.
Nobody wants a cookie-cutter burial anymore," said Robert M. Fells, the external operating officer of the International Cemetery and Funeral Association, the industry's leading trade group. At the group's annual convention in March in Las Vegas, the resurgent interest in building private mausoleums was striking, Mr. Fells said.
"The private family mausoleum used to be considered a high-ticket, upscale item that only the wealthy could afford," Mr. Fells said, and there is no reason to amend that impression given that $250,000 is the average base price to build a private family tomb. "The pendulum is swinging back to people being willing to spend money for things that are meaningful to them," he said.
The need to create "new concepts in the death care industry," said Christine Toson Hentges, vice president of a company that owns three cemeteries in Wisconsin, has helped increase the appeal of private estate sections.
"We've reversed the traditional way of selling," Ms. Hentges added. Traditionally, funeral directors or cemetery owners began their post-mortem pitch to families by quoting the most affordable options. "But now we're going top-down and starting with private buildings," she said, "because there is this influx of people who are financially successful and who are thinking about these issues and how to have a structure that tells the story of their lives."
At the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, a spokesman said that there had been no marked increase in private mausoleums lately, but last year the cemetery completed a five-story, $16 million crypt mausoleum for 2,500, replete with skylights and waterfalls.
"All of this is recent," said Herbert B. Klapper, president of Cedar Park Cemetery, a 300-acre site in Paramus, N.J., that offers burials in mausoleums where crypt space is priced the way urban real estate often is, by neighborhood and floor. (From the ground or "prayer" level, crypt prices ascend to the "heart" level and then to "eye" and are reduced again for the harder-to-reach berths at a tier called "touch.")
Yet the most grandiose niche in Paramus is humble compared with the granite extravaganza erected at Daytona Memorial Park to house the mortal remains of L. Gale Lemerand, a Florida philanthropist who founded a residential insulation company that he sold in 1995 for an estimated $150 million.
Two $4,000 Medjool date palms shade Mr. Lemerand's red granite mausoleum, which cost $650,000 and has ample space, as the cemetery co-owner Lowell Lohman explained, to accommodate Mr. Lemerand, 71, along with his family.
A granite balustrade flanks the doorway and from it one can stand and gaze across a palm-fringed lake, where two swans named Ed and Hilda glide, adding to the pastoral landscape an almost inevitable touch of Evelyn Waugh. On the far shore is Ed Peck's family tomb.
"People who are going to be buried here can well afford it, so money is obviously not an issue," Mr. Peck said on an afternoon of blustery winds that propelled an armada of fleecy postcard clouds across the Florida sky. "It's a very pleasant place to be. As pleasant as it could be, considering."
9/11 museum's proud defiance
BY RICH SCHAPIRO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
April 20, 2006
A controversial memorial to the victims of 9/11 will send a defiant message to terrorists who committed "indiscriminate mass murder," museum director Alice Greenwald said in her first in-depth interview.
Appearing before the Daily News Editorial Board, she said yesterday, "This is about the indefensibility of terrorism as a response. Period. To take innocent lives in this way ... is unacceptable."
On the job just since Monday, Greenwald acknowledged she had stepped into a highly charged role as the director of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum. But the former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington said she is eager to assemble her staff and begin a series of "big-thinker conversations" to address the needs and concerns of everyone connected to the 9/11 disaster.
"Because this is a memorial institution ... we have to be very careful not to step over boundaries that could offend people who are most closely affected by this history," Greenwald said.
The museum will display dramatic artifacts such as badly damaged fire trucks and a recovered facade from one of the towers that shows the cut made by a plane's wings.
But Greenwald said the museum will not simply display items recovered from the attacks. It will be designed to help visitors get through the grieving process and inspire discussion among them.
The new director also discarded the idea that it might be too soon after the tragedy to build the museum, saying, "It's the kind of memorial you build, not when you build it." And on the issue of an admission fee, Greenwald said she would prefer the museum to be free, but without significant federal and private aid, that may not be possible. In describing what drew her to the controversial project, Greenwald said, "In my lifetime, this was the cataclysmic event." But, she added, "If we learn nothing from it, I think all is lost."
© 2006 Daily News, L.P.
That "defiant message" will be, if you knock down our buildings and slaughter our citizens, we will never rebuild. We will leave holes in the ground to mark your handiwork for posterity.Quote:
Originally Posted by lofter1
Originally Posted by BPC
And we will take our SWEET TIME DOING IT TOO!!!!
Back to the drawing board???
Security Concerns Raised About Memorial at Ground Zero
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
April 21, 2006
Gov. George E. Pataki's senior adviser for counterterrorism has concluded that the design for the memorial at ground zero leaves it vulnerable to a terrorist attack and has called on the architects to consider revising several critical aspects.
Calling the 9/11 memorial a potentially attractive target, the adviser, James K. Kallstrom, expressed concern in a recent letter about the threat of bombs or a chemical release on the ramps or in the two immense open-air voids at the heart of the memorial. Thousands of people are expected to gather every day within the tower footprints.
Mr. Kallstrom's findings were laid out in a confidential letter to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, dated March 3. A copy of the six-page letter was mailed anonymously to The New York Times and received this week. There was no way to assess the sender's motives.
"The memorial complex possesses an elevated level of risk and target attractiveness, as a result of its international stature and large public assembly capacity," Mr. Kallstrom wrote.
Noting the value of a design that "encourages and engenders public interaction," he added that it was "these very elements, which constitute vulnerabilities from a security perspective, which are not adequately addressed in the current design documents."
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Kallstrom, a former assistant director of the F.B.I., expressed displeasure that the letter had been disclosed, declined to elaborate on the specific design suggestions and said they "were not formal recommendations but reflective of the thinking by the security team of where the recommendations could end up."
Much discussion lies ahead about their merits, complexity and cost. The budget for the memorial and memorial museum officially stands at $490 million but is likely to go up in the next few weeks when the construction manager completes its own assessment.
Mr. Kallstrom's letter could present a new hurdle in the repeatedly delayed and politically volatile effort to redevelop the site of the World Trade Center.
Indeed, the letter raises fundamental questions: Can the public be protected without creating a formidable, bunker-like atmosphere? Are the suggested changes consistent with a memorial intended to be open and permeable, knitting ground zero back into the city's fabric?
Mr. Kallstrom has not proposed undoing the basic concept of a tree-filled plaza punctuated by two voids. "I don't anticipate any major design changes," he said in the interview. "We're not looking to put a fence around the plaza or close it down. The beauty and spirit and heart of it can be maintained."
This is not the first time that safety and design concerns have collided at the site. Last year, in response to the New York Police Department's security concerns, the plan for the Freedom Tower was radically revised, yielding a structure with an almost windowless, 200-foot-high concrete base. But a security-inspired redesign of the World Trade Center PATH terminal preserved the openness of its glass-filled main hall.
In the case of the memorial, it seems almost inevitable that some changes, if they were to be put in place, would sharply affect a visitor's experience. As many as 2,000 visitors at a time might be gathered in the open-air galleries, 27 feet below street level, around the pools at the base of the voids. Dozens more would be on the open-air ramps.
In the letter, Mr. Kallstrom asked that the memorial designers consider the use of "secure-access portals, which would create a set number of dedicated pathways by which pedestrians can access the area of the plaza containing the void openings and ramp entry zones."
He also urged that the number of people on the ramps be kept as low as possible and suggested that the designers look into partitioning the ramps "to segregate exiting and entering personnel" and make evacuation, rescue and recovery easier.
Around the voids, he suggested "architectural design elements that significantly reduce the opportunity for a satchel charge explosive or airborne contaminant dissemination device to be cast, or a suicide attempt to be made into the void."
Mr. Kallstrom asked the architects to explore means of segregating "an airborne contaminant event within the ramp" and "segregating below-grade occupancies from plaza-accessible areas when security conditions so dictate."
While he said he did not foresee moving the screening station from its current planned location, at a switch-back midway along the entry ramp, he said it should probably be enlarged to allow room for more thorough searches and an area for detaining people.
Mr. Kallstrom said he was writing on behalf of the Lower Manhattan Counter-Terrorism Advisory Team, a multiagency group that includes the Police Department, and its private security consultants, Science Applications International Corporation. He also said the firm Ducibella Venter & Santore helped identify areas of vulnerability.
Although the letter repeatedly uses the phrase "L.M.C.A.T.'s recommendation," Mr. Kallstrom said yesterday that it was intended more as a heads-up to the architects and engineers about possible security considerations. Bids from contractors for the memorial's structural foundations are due next month.
"My concern is that we didn't have to go back and jackhammer things out," Mr. Kallstrom said.
The letter was addressed to Stefan Pryor, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, with a copy to John P. Cahill, secretary to the governor. It was distributed on April 5 to senior executives of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, which will build and operate the memorial.
It is striking for its explicit references to terrorist threats. Officials are typically much more circumspect in public remarks. Mr. Kallstrom would clearly have preferred to keep it that way. "I'm going to recommend that we have an investigation to see who disclosed it," he said.
Ridiculous. Could any existing park or museum in NYC withstand a similar level of security scrutiny? Must any new park or museum resemble Fort Knox? And why would the terrorists want to bomb the memorial anyway, when it so perfectly preserves their handiwork? If they destroyed the memorial, then who knows, redevelopment officials might actually try rebuilding on the site instead.
"DESTROY OUR MEMORIAL!!!!!?! WE WILL SHOW YOU YOU CANNOT HAMPER AMERICAN MEMORIALIZATIONATUIDTY!!!!!!
WE WILL BUILD A COMMEMORATIVE SPORTS ARENA TO SYMBOLIZE OUR BATTLE FOR FEEEDOM.
FREEDOM AND NACHOS FOREVER!!!!!"
Let's hope so.
Originally Posted by lofter1
Residents clash with 9/11 families
By Ronda Kaysen
The rift between 9/11 family groups frustrated with the direction of the redevelopment and Downtown residents eager to see their neighborhood rebuilt just got bigger.
A group of Downtown residents and business leaders have voiced their opposition to a lawsuit lobbed by the Coalition of 9/11 Families that would halt the construction of the World Trade Center memorial.
“The fear is that the site will be mired in perpetual litigation and nobody wants to see that happen,” said John Dellaportas, chairperson of the West Street Coalition, a neighborhood group that intends to sign onto a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Port Authority. The lawsuit argues that the memorial will not adequately preserve the footprints of the original World Trade Center towers and calls for an injunction to block the construction until an alternative can explored.
The memorial design, Reflecting Absence, was selected in 2004 from more than 5,000 applicants by a panel of jurors as part of a memorial competition. The public had the opportunity to speak to the jurors before the jury saw the designs and to weigh in on the memorial finalists.
“It’s not appropriate for people who dissent from the outcome of a public process to go to court and basically overturn that process,” said Jeff Galloway, a commercial litigation lawyer whose firm, Hughes, Hubbard and Reed, is representing the various community groups. “No one stakeholder should have the ability to dictate what goes on at that site.”
Galloway, a Battery Park City resident, is also a member of Community Board 1, which will sign the brief, if the city’s Corporation Counsel permits it. Two business groups – the Downtown Alliance and the Tribeca Organization – and Battery Park City United, another residential group, may also sign the brief.
The Coalition of 9/11 Families filed the lawsuit in March against the L.M.D.C. and the Port Authority, claiming the design process did not take into account historic preservation laws protecting the footprint of the North Trade Center tower.
“We’re just trying to get the L.M.D.C. to do what is required of them by law, which is to find alternatives to their plan and find ways to minimize the damage to the remnants,” said Anthony Gardner, an executive board member of 9/11 Families and a plaintiff on the lawsuit. Gardner’s brother, Harvey, died in the Trade Center disaster.
L.M.D.C. insists it has consistently followed historic preservation law when building the memorial. “We have taken into account historic sites, which are being preserved, with great expense and great enthusiasm,” L.M.D.C. president Stefan Pryor said in a telephone interview. “To suggest that the memorial plans ought to be jettisoned for additional historic preservation objectives that have already been discussed seems to be extreme.”
This week, C.B. 1 passed a resolution calling for the memorial to be built “without further delays” and urged the mayor, the governor and City Councilmember Alan Gerson to “support the rebuilding.”
“The memorial needs to get on track and it needs to get built and we don’t feel there can be any delay,” said C.B. 1 chairperson Julie Menin, a member of the 9/11 memorial jury.
With much of the rebuilding effort bogged down in a political quagmire, construction on the memorial is one of the few projects actually moving forward. But even without the recent lawsuit, the memorial has had its problems. The Memorial Foundation has only raised $130 million in private funds for the $490 million memorial, which the mayor said could actually cost as much as $1 billion.
Last summer, plans to build a cultural building near the memorial were derailed by a group of 9/11 family members who said the museums at the site – the International Freedom Center, a museum dedicated to freedom, and the Drawing Center – would offend visitors.
Residents and business leaders have become increasingly impatient with 9/11 family groups that they say throw one monkey wrench after another into the rebuilding effort. When Gerson held a hearing last month to discuss the memorial, he evoked the ire of some Downtown residents who said Gerson did not come out strongly supporting the views of the residents and spent too much time considering changes to the memorial design.
The hearing “did strike those of us who testified as somewhat unbalanced,” said Pryor.
The recent lawsuit against the memorial is just one of several lawsuits filed by family groups that affect the rebuilding process. Last October, 9/11 Families filed suit against the Port Authority to stop construction of the Calatrava PATH station at the Trade Center.
Last August, another group, WTC Families for a Proper Burial, sued the city to bring W.T.C. debris buried at Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island back to the Trade Center site because they argue it contains human remains.
But the lawsuits are not intended to stall the rebuilding effort; they’re intended to make sure the final result is a good one, say family members. “We’re not just wackos that are filled with grief,” said Bruce De Cell, a 9/11 Families member and plaintiff on the memorial lawsuit. De Cell’s son-in-law died in the Trade Center disaster. “We’re just trying to make sure they do the right thing so years from now people don’t look at this country and say, ‘What a piece of crap.’”
It is impossible to anticipate what people — including the critics — will actually think of the final outcome, said Galloway of Hughes, Hubbard and Reed, recalling criticism that preceeded Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Many veterans groups chafed at the prospect of a memorial that did not include epic statues of soldiers and American flags. But in the end, the memorial was hailed as one of the nation’s greatest. “I’m not a memorial expert, but I don’t think that any one of us is necessarily able to say with any authority that something is bad or is good until they actually see it,” said Galloway.
The security memo that was leaked was part of the internal analysis of the site to ensure that issues were addressed as well as possible. Rather than showing there are problems, it primarily shows that the LMDC is aware of the problems and are finalizing details to make it safe. While the issues mentioned are emotional, they aren't anything new.
The issue is that the memorial will be a gathering place for people, who are then a crowd and a possible attack target. No surprise there. The same could be said of every crowd in NY. If a terrorist wanted to do damage today, they would just have to pick the right time to get standing WTC tourists and the commuters along Church Street. The current location of boards is for more exposed than the Arad memoria will be. People would also be more vulnerable in a memorial which accumulated crowds at ground level without a ramp as a control on access.
But who leaked it? The people mentioned in the LMDC wouldn't. Most of them get burned enough by undisciplined press criticizm. They want to handle this quietly. I don't think it's a family member. They don't have access, except for a few on the Memorial Foundation. But as in all things WTC, follow the money. The Foundation has to pay for this thing, and they aren't making much progress. Would a little leak get the attention off the foundation?
I think they should put Dunlap in prison till he talks. This is, after all, a national security issue! :)
Re: Security / possible attacks in NYC ...
I was at MoMA yesterday and left just about the time when they started letting people in for the "Free Friday Nights". Out front the line stretched down the block -- it was being watched over by half a dozen cops with automatic weapons drawn and ready.
If heavily armes police officers are protecting Moma, why aren't they down at the de-facto memorial at the WTC. On weekends, the full width of the street is consumed with people standing and gazing at the pit. It's impossible to walk through . . . i.e. it's a highly vulnerable to an attack. Why aren't the families demanding more protection for the site?
From what I've seen these heavily armed patrols move about the city -- last week there was a squad outside the PABT.
Last night about 8PM a caravan of ~ 30 NYPD / FCNY cars, SUVs busses and vans zipped down Broadway towards City Hall / WTC area with sirens blaring.
Seems that this is all part of NYPD's Operation Atlas.