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Thread: WTC Memorial - by Michael Arad (Architect) and Peter Walker (Landscape)

  1. #166

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    I wasn't proposing some mathematical formula to determine the proper size of the WTC memorial, but to visually show that its size is significant when measured up against three other events in US history that involved loss of life.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake
    The most perfect memorial would've been a new WTC but since we can't build the memorial vertically we shouldn't constrict its horizontal size.
    What you seem to want is a memorial to the buildings, and is completely at odds with the wishes of those who want to "take back the memorial." Their perfect memorial is what is there right now.

    A smaller memorial would have permitted a more Libeskind approach, leaving the area in a raw state, but that is not possible over 6 acres. In the months after 09/11, I had access to the Red Zone around what was then properly called Ground Zero. The present memorial design holds no connection to that devastation.

    I have accepted the memorial size. What I object to is the influence that it threatens to project across the entire site. If the cultural center programs are inappropriate today, will the same hold true for the performing arts center (across the street) tomorrow?

  2. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    I have accepted the memorial size. What I object to is the influence that it threatens to project across the entire site. If the cultural center programs are inappropriate today, will the same hold true for the performing arts center (across the street) tomorrow?
    It's not just culture. The families are also making noises about the retail uses, which probably are even more important to the community. Expect to hear a lot more of "How can you build a Starbucks over my son's grave?" sorts of arguments as the retail get closer to being built.

  3. #168
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    It's not just culture. The families are also making noises about the retail uses, which probably are even more important to the community. Expect to hear a lot more of "How can you build a Starbucks over my son's grave?" sorts of arguments as the retail get closer to being built.
    The sad thing is that if you were to look inside these people and see the true motivation, you would see it to be rather greedy. A global acnowledgement of what was important in their own lives.

    All this talk about making it for them is bunk, if they are lucky thay are peat moss now, if not, just "dust in the wind". When I die, I do not care what happens to me, or for me. The only things that would be done are PURELY for the people around me, and I hope they remember that when I am gone one day.



    Now, one parting thought.

    Why are these memorials so ironically designed to help people forget? A big fountain does nothing for me compared to the one piece of a steel rivet I got off the site.

    That single rivet will mean more to me than the entire site. It will remind me of the hole through WTC (4?) all the way through to the foundation. The mountain of rubble that was WTC7 bouncing gently under my feet as I walked to the top as work crews cleaned up the piles elsewhere.


    Keep it simple, stupid.
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; August 8th, 2005 at 05:02 PM.

  4. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
    Side question, how big is the Pearl Harbor memorial? Where is that located? It is just the Arizona, built out IN the harbor over a sunken vessel?
    It's difficiult to compare the two, because the sites are so different. The Pearl Harbor Memorial is actually part of (or at least adjacent to) an enormous naval base on the outskirts of Honolulu. It consists of a visitor's center which is relatively modest in scale (much smaller, I am sure, than the 9/11 memorial museum will be) and a small dock, from which boats take you out to the sunken remains of the Battleship Arizona, which lies in the middle of the Harbor. Next to those remains is a small floating platform on which maybe 100 people can stand at any one time. The whole thing is very tasteful and very moving but, as you can see, not very large. Typically, you have to reserve a time in advance, because crowds are big.

    The biggest part of the memorial is actually the parking lot, which is akin to what you might see outside of a suburban Walmart. Oh, in recent years, the site has also come to include one or two mothballed (unsunk) battleships, but I do not really consider those part of the memorial itself.

  5. #170
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    How about two giant sculptures replicating boxes of Kleenex with fountains of water spewing out in every direction from the top to remind us of the tears of all of these eternally grieving family groups. (It must be identified as "Tears of Victim's Families" to everyone to ensure that they all know that no one else really had anything to mourn or to grieve.) But, the water needs to be aimed at innocent passerby and people not even visiting the memorial, so that they can be repeatedly reminded of the eternal grief these professional mourners are undergoing for the rest of their lives. If you get too wet, you can go to the visitor center, where they will issue paper towels (designed to look like million dollar bills) for people to dry off with.

    If you have time, you can visit the museum downstairs, but you can only view the exhibits while handcuffed to a family member - this allows the family members to maintain their sense of control, but also lets visitors have someone providing anguished cries of grief or an endless loop of sniffling and tear dabbing through out their experience. They can then head to the newly approved retail center where you can visit the kiosks, where family members will sell mementos of their loved ones and tell you about the angelic, perfect lives of the deceased (because not a one of them wasn't a saint). And, as an added bonus, you can buy copies of the Missing Posters issued on 9/12 for each person who has perished.

    Follwing the initial first year of opening, the retail center will promote a "victim of the week" - which will allow that victim's family to put up a bigger picture than everyone else and run home movies of that person from exiting the birth canal to the last birthday party. Before you leave the Kiosk area, you will have to pass through the taxation center, where you will be forced to pay a 10% NYPD/FDNY tax on any purchases - because their lives were more valuable and, if the civilian victim's families are going to get any money for their loved ones being at work on 9/11, then the FDNY and NYPD certainly deserve more money for being at work - because they were working with an expired contract. Those complaining about the tax will be personally beaten up by PBA President, Patrick Lynch, or taken to an Irish bar by UFA President, Steve Cassidy, where he will hit them over the head with a chair.

    Oh, oh, oh, and wait - before leaving the perimeter of the former WTC and the memorial itself, all visitors will have to spit into a giant glass spitoon, because the dust and particles in the air you are breathing at the site aren't actually molecules of air, they are miniscule, pulverized remains of the victims and you must be purged of this "property" of the victim's families before leaving the site. Each day the 86 gallons of saliva and phlem will be taken to Fresh Kills landfill where it will be raked through for personal items and identification.

    Thank you for visiting the "New York Wailing Wall". And remember, the Victim's Families Love New York more than you and are more American than apple pie.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; August 8th, 2005 at 07:48 PM.

  6. #171

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    This is a hoot. I plan to send it around.

  7. #172

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    Best post ever!

    Let's call it 'Grief Zero'.

  8. #173

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    August 18, 2005
    9/11: Light a Candle or Party On?

    By JODI KANTOR

    ON Sept. 11, 2001, Americans stationed themselves in front of their televisions, where they tried to absorb the horror of what had taken place. On Sept. 11, 2005, the Fox network hopes that Americans will once again turn to TV, this time for N.F.L. opening Sunday, followed by the season premieres of four comedies, including "The Simpsons" and an episode of "American Dad" that revolves around masturbation jokes.

    When choosing the date for the comedy debuts, "I didn't make any connection" to the terrorist attacks, said Preston Beckman, who is responsible for the network's schedule. "People laugh, people cry, life goes on," he said, speaking from Los Angeles. On the eve of the anniversary, the network will give a premiere party for another new series, "Kitchen Confidential," a little more than a block from Ground Zero.

    But Barrie Mandel, a senior vice president of the Corcoran Group, the real estate company in New York, feels compelled to mark the event: she is refusing to conduct open houses on Sept. 11, even though it falls this year on a Sunday, the holiest selling day of the residential real estate week. "Commerce and business as usual and profit motives don't belong on that day," she said.

    In the first year after the attacks, the question of how to observe Sept. 11 was barely even a question. Fox and other television networks devoted their entire lineups to recollections of the day; schools held solemn assemblies; dinner parties and golf outings would have seemed in ludicrously bad taste. But now the black circle around the calendar date is fading, leaving ambivalence and awkward disagreement as to what is and isn't appropriate to plan. A birthday party? Sporting events? How about a wedding, a back-to-school picnic, a pop concert or a cruise departure?

    Sept. 11 is a strange, unclassifiable presence on the calendar. It is not an official holiday, and yet it is a day that arouses emotions far more powerful than the half-remembered sentiments behind Columbus or Labor Day. Congress and President Bush have named it Patriot Day, a designation that almost no one seems to know about or use. Officially, Sept. 11 carries no more weight than, say, Grandparents Day, another presidentially mandated occasion that happens to fall on Sept. 11 this year. The president has also called for an annual moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time, when the first plane hit the first tower. But the ritual hasn't quite caught on: when it occurs, the West Coast is still mostly asleep.

    The confusion is compounded by the anniversary's observance on a date rather than a day of the week. Each year it has fallen on a different day, making it difficult to set social precedent or settle into familiar routines of remembrance.

    Which may be why so many people just do not know what to say when confronted with a Sept. 11 invitation. Benjamin Pierce of Evanston, Ill., proposed that his annual golf gathering with his high school buddies - an event that usually involves a high ratio of beer to greens time, he says - take place on Sept. 11. "Is this year going to be 'A Tribute to Heroes'?" one of his friends joked awkwardly. The men settled on another date, Mr. Pierce said, but only for reasons of convenience.

    "When I said to my friends, I'm thinking of having a party Sept. 11 - silence," said Katherine Hazan of Armonk, N.Y., who is planning a birthday celebration for her two children on that date. "They looked at me bug-eyed."

    In 2001 Ms. Hazan lived in Manhattan near Union Square and volunteered at a nearby firehouse after the attacks. "I can't tell you how many times my husband and I sat there saying, 'Should we have it on Sept. 11, or should we not?' " said Ms. Hazan, who ultimately chose the date because other weekends were crowded. "It was difficult even printing the invitations."

    Immediately after the attacks, politicians insisted that life should, wherever and whenever possible, return to normal. At that time, defying the smoky air or the constant drone of television coverage for a restaurant meal or a ballgame seemed like an act of determined, life-affirming resistance. But now it's hard to find any practical difference between bravely returning to normal and simply ignoring the day.

    Still, a kind of Sept. 11 etiquette, a list of common wills and won'ts, is forming. Back-to-school shopping, with its brisk air of necessity, will go ahead, in part, some parents say, because they aren't ready to explain the horrors of the day to young children. Sporting events adapt themselves brilliantly to the occasion: after all, where else do most Americans sing "The Star-Spangled Banner"?

    Last year both the N.F.L. and the U.S. Open scheduled important games on the anniversary, and this year they are doing the same. Both events will be veritable pageants of patriotic feeling: before the men's tennis final James Taylor will sing "America the Beautiful," and the N.F.L. will hold a similar pregame ceremony. Last year tennis fans misted up when the women's finalists, both Russians, walked onto the court wearing baseball caps emblazoned with the N.Y.P.D. and F.D.N.Y. logos.

    "It's easy for them to cope," said a public relations executive of organizers of sporting events and how they adapt them to 9/11; he did not want to be identified for fear of sounding crass. "You have someone throw out the first ball, you do a flyover, and you're on the money."

    Nor does the day's specter of violent loss seem to diminish anyone's appetite for fine wine and elaborate desserts. According to OpenTable, which handles reservations for more than 3,300 restaurants nationwide, dining out has not dipped at all on recent anniversaries. The Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns popular New York spots like Gramercy Tavern, experienced a surge in business during the second week of September last year, including heavy bookings of private dining rooms on the anniversary itself. Broadway shows will go on as usual, and if last year is any indication, with healthy sales.

    But curiously, the same is not true of pop shows. Many of the season's biggest acts, including Coldplay, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Alan Jackson, are taking the night off. "So many artists are looked at as spokesmen and icons," said Marty Diamond, Coldplay's North American agent, explaining that performers may not want to bear the burden of choosing a Sept. 11-appropriate message to deliver that evening. ( An exception is Clint Black, who will be performing in an event organized by the Defense Department on the Washington Mall, following an "America Supports You Freedom Walk" from the Pentagon.)

    And while restaurants may not suffer, catering comes to a dead stop. "It's just not a celebration sort of night," said Jon Gilman of Taste Caterers in the West Village. Most of those interviewed for this article had arrived at a kind of not-in-my-living-room consensus, agreeing that they would happily attend parties but did not feel comfortable enough with the date to hold their own. Many brides and bridegrooms are still spooked, preferring not to celebrate a lifetime of wedding anniversaries on what some of their friends and neighbors consider the grimmest day of the year.

    Observance of Sept. 11 feels particularly confused in New York, where there were far more victims - and now, victims' families and friends - than anywhere else. Just a few hours after mourners gather at ground zero, the fashion industry will converge in Bryant Park for the third day of spring 2006 shows, including those of Diane Von Furstenberg and Bryan Bradley of Tuleh. New Yorkers do seem to observe the day more closely than others: according to automobile research firm CNW car sales in New York last Sept. 11 were down by nearly 50 percent, though they stayed nearly level nationwide.

    Polly Onet, a New York party planner, said that locals are especially mortified at the thought of offending those whose loved ones perished. "If someone is giving a party, there might be 2 or 4 out of 500 that lost someone that day," she said. Indeed, the resumption of activities carries a risk of upsetting mourners.

    "I wouldn't promote a product" on that day, said Monica Iken, who lost her husband, Michael, in the attacks and has since become an advocate for victims' families. She believes that "using that day to do anything other than reflect honor" is disrespectful.

    THERE is one overwhelming reason why both New Yorkers and Americans at large carry on with normal activities on Sept. 11: they simply don't know what else to do. "Nobody wants to sit home and just reflect," said Ms. Hazan, the mother planning a birthday party for her children, who says she is at a loss as to how to observe the day or recreate its original sense of solidarity. (In that spirit a nonprofit organization called One Day's Pay has been working to establish Sept. 11 as a national day of voluntary service).

    At the time, many of the most satisfying commemorations were spontaneous ones, the handmade signs, the heaping piles of flowers, the neighborly gatherings at firehouses. But these gestures, by their very nature, were one-time events. Even Jordan Schuster, who as a 19-year old student at New York University led the transformation of Union Square into the site of a mass vigil, no longer marks the date in any particular way. "I didn't want my life to be 9/11 for the next 10 years," he said.

    Those who try to explain the observance of the anniversary inevitably cite history, but in contradictory ways: as precedent for slowly forgetting the date, and yet also for slowly re-remembering it. The first camp argues that disaster inevitably dissipates with time. Memorial Day is now a festive occasion, marked more by vigorous sales of charcoal briquettes than by parades. Franklin D. Roosevelt called Dec. 7, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, "a date which will live in infamy," but today it no longer feels particularly infamous. Letitia Baldrige, who was chief of staff for Jacqueline Kennedy in the White House, said the date stopped being a sacred one in the 1970's, and that "now it's not even a topic of conversation."

    But Dr. Eviatar Zerubavel, a professor of sociology at Rutgers, argues that as the years pass, the 9/11 commemoration will grow stronger. "You need to take some time away from it to make it historical: you can't put yesterday's newspaper in a museum," he said. It wasn't until 15 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that his birthday became a holiday. And after a summer of terrorist attacks in London and new revelations about American intelligence failures, it may be that no one needs a special day to mark the event.

    "I don't always think about what happened on Sept. 11 on Sept. 11," said Jodi Plass, a financial analyst in Chicago who is having a bridal shower on that date. "You think about it watching the news every day."

    Elissa Johansmeier, the Fox publicist who is organizing the premiere party near ground zero, says she is more worried about attracting guests on a Saturday night than offending anyone who might be observing Sept. 11. "Literally no one's even brought that up, I'm not kidding you," she said. "Some people are asking, can I bring a guest?"

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  9. #174
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Read the first 4 paragraphs or so....skip skip skip.....


    OK, my thoughts? I think it is fine to go on with this kind of thing. You do NOT have to change your life for an act that was INTENDED TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

    You should be respectful and not dishonor the day directly (you should not have a street party on 9-11 right by WTC plaza), but at the same time criticising American Dad (and deliberately pointing out that the jokes are about masturbation) is just petty.

    The black circle should have never BEEN there in the first place. It should have been a flag reminding us to KEEP DOING WHAT WE NORMALLY DO, but keep in mind what other people think of our freedom.

    The worst thing we can do is stop what we normally do for the day an act was committed to do just that.

  10. #175

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    I believe the memorial panel made a big mistake when it caved into Maya Lin and adopted a memorial featuring "a park and two pond holes."
    BPC, I think most victims' family members and most New Yorkers would strongly agree with your comment above. I certainly do.

  11. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    In the months after 09/11, I had access to the Red Zone around what was then properly called Ground Zero. The present memorial design holds no connection to that devastation.
    ^ I agree with ZippyTheChimp. IMHO, "Reflecting Absence" falls far short and should never be built.

  12. #177
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    All they need is the old globe statue placed in a glass box on an obsidian pedestal with the names of the people who were lost engraved on it.

    The statue should be placed where it was, with a small park aound it with a few benches and places to put flowers and such.


    Keep it simple stupid.

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  14. #179
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    What if we were to take the two fountains and make them round? Then instead of having them set into the ground with water running into them, we turn them upside down and have water squirtung out of them. Like two giant breasts. We could call it "Reflecting Ta Ta's" or something.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; August 18th, 2005 at 06:39 PM.

  15. #180

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan_Hakala
    ^ I agree with ZippyTheChimp. IMHO, "Reflecting Absence" falls far short and should never be built.
    The territorial demands by family members guaranteed that we would wind up with this sort of memorial, one that had to be buried to allow for any development on the site.

    The result will be a mourning place for victims' families, but for everyone else, there will be no connection to the physical devastation. And as the decades pass and relatives of the victims die or leave the area, the relevance of the memorial will diminish.

    Contrast this with the USS Arizona Memorial. It is a cemetery where family members can visit, but those not connected at all to the event can still get a sense of the devastation - simply by getting close to an artifact of the attack.

    There was no need to include all of battleship row in the memorial.

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