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September 11 WTC memorial...your ideas

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Okay, fast forward a year from now when all the debris and wreckage is cleaned up and so forth.

You know that the site where the twin towers stood is going to eventually have some sort of memorial built on it.

I'm curious to know what some of you envision or would think would be a fitting design and look?

Either desribe it in words, or for the more artistic among you, do some sketchings or Photoshop mockups or renderings (or whatever your software of choice is).

I was watching the news earlier tonight and Mayor Giuliani was saying that the site represents the single worst attack on America in a one day period, but also the most selfless, heroic acts of bravery as well.

Plus, it's the actual site where so many people died (and are still there), not to mention what the day and the site represents, regarding the nation and our new, post September 11 frame of mind.

In other words, it's completely right for some sort of dramatic, permanent memorial or marker of some sort.

Personally, I can't imagine one NOT being there eventually.

Thoughts? Ideas? Let's hear/see 'em...

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: pscates ]</p>
post #2 of 31
I think the best thing to do as far as making a memorial and showing out nation's strength would be to completely rebuild it and make it look exactly like before (with structural upgrades of course). it would teach them not to fuck with us and they could dedicate several floors to a 911 museum
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post #3 of 31
A giant hand giving the finger.
post #4 of 31
Well, that area of Manhattan is prime real estate, so the new skyscraper will be the memorial. They'll probably reassemble a piece of "the potato chip" from the original's outer skeleton and have it the centerpiece of some sort of memorial plaza in front of the new building(s).
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post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yeah, being where it is and all, I figure a new building will be erected. That's pretty much a given.

But within the building, or built into it, or simply down on the ground surrounding it will obviously be something serving as a memorial to what happened.

I never expected them to just leave it flat and unused. You're right...prime real estate.

But it'll be a popular place, I'm sure. Major tourist destination and a national landmark, like the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor I imagine.

I think having the memorial down on the ground for all to see and visit is better than having it tucked away up inside the building somewhere, although as a couple of you said, the building itself will inevitably be seen as a memorial itself.

Personally, I like things like this that are simply and downplayed.

Four years ago, when I was living in northern Virginia, my wife and I went up to D.C. and saw all the memorials and touristy places. I was like "yeah, yeah, yeah..." on most all of them.

Then we walked over this little rise and down a sidewalk and came to the Vietnam Memorial and I just looked up and saw that LONG piece of black wall. And as I got closer, I started seeing those names. All those names.

Man, that REALLY affected me that day. I stood there for a good hour, just walking it from end to end, looking at the names, watching the people gathered there, etc.

That's a very powerful thing to see. And I don't even know anyone who was killed there or am in any significant way affected by Vietnam and it brought tears to my eyes, so I can imagine what it must be like to someone who was there or someone who lost a loved one there and to see their name.

Whatever goes at the WTC site is going to be something like that. You'll probably see it and just because of everything it immediately conjures up, it'll totally take your breath and away and leave a huge lump in your throat.
post #6 of 31
I'd like to think that whatever goes there will, in fact, be a building of some sort. Not just a park/memorial.

Memorial at plaza level, no doubt. Can it incorporate the severed head of Osama Bin Laden in a plexiglass enclosure?
post #7 of 31
Apparently they have set aside several sections of the building to be used in a memorial. I think they will build a garden of some kind, but honestly at the moment nothing can erase the shear emptyness of the site and skyline in my mind.

Chris
post #8 of 31
Yah there will definitely be a new building(s) there, but also a given then, would be a memorial plaza that sits in front of the buildings...perhaps a small park-like area.

As for the memorial itself, I'm picturing something along the lines of a marble wall with the names of those lost...and some kind of statue in the foreground...but I have no idea what that statue / sculpture would look like. I just hope whatever it is, modern art will not be in the planners' vocabulary. This needs to something we can all relate to and be proud of.

On a lighter note, MacAgent, you should've seen the picture one of my buddies sent me in the days after the attack. It was the Statue of Liberty looking out to sea, giving the finger...was definitely irreverant (and probably disrespectful to those who immigranted here via Ellis Island), but also kind of funny at the time. Everyone was so gripped with anger and sadness at that time. The picture kind of made me burst out laughing; was the last thing I expected. Shock value humor that works (unlike Howard Stern, the douche).
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post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
I like the idea of something with everyone's name on it (see my above Vietnam Memorial story). That's very powerful and it honors the victims by giving them names. And the sheer number of them will really make a statement.

I'd like to see it on white marble, shaped like a semi-circle, bowing inward, with some sort of statue in the center?

On the statue, something traditional and strong and in-your-face patriotic or stirring. No abstract tulip-shaped, artsy "statement" that no one will get. I'm getting really tired of that shit.

If I had it my way, perhaps a statue of firemen, police and emergency personnel, surrounded by rescuees (is that a word) of different genders and nationalities, all looking very heroic, defiant and proud.

Or even simply one fireman carrying a body and an American flag draped over him or something.

Stuff like that.
post #10 of 31
[quote]Originally posted by G4Dude:

<strong>I think the best thing to do as far as making a memorial and showing out nation's strength would be to completely rebuild it and make it look exactly like before...</strong><hr></blockquote>

They'd never, in a million freaking years, be able to rent the upper floors.
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post #11 of 31
The whole "wall with names" has been done. It's a little pasé. Vietnam should have been the last of it. How bout names of only the people they never find. After all if youre found you have a grave marker and are named there. Otherwise the site is your grave. Of course then the families of people who were IDed will get pissed off .... lawyers get hired .... unions get involved .... (watch for heavy union influence in whatever memorial goes there)

I guess an eternal flame is out of the question?

How about an known solder type of memorial. One tomb to represent all the people. You have a different group change the guard/put flowers each time. Complete with gift shop. I kind of like that idea.
post #12 of 31
Oh also...

There should only be ONE "thing" there. One memorial for everyone. No separate marker for FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, Private Security Guards.....

If anyone's been to the new FDR memorial you'll know what can happen when memorial makers try to do it all. A long meandering museum of a memorial. It sucks.

They all died together. They all get one marker on the site.
post #13 of 31
[quote]Originally posted by pscates:
<strong>I like the idea of something with everyone's name on it (see my above Vietnam Memorial story). That's very powerful and it honors the victims by giving them names. And the sheer number of them will really make a statement.

I'd like to see it on white marble, shaped like a semi-circle, bowing inward, with some sort of statue in the center?

On the statue, something traditional and strong and in-your-face patriotic or stirring. No abstract tulip-shaped, artsy "statement" that no one will get. I'm getting really tired of that shit.

If I had it my way, perhaps a statue of firemen, police and emergency personnel, surrounded by rescuees (is that a word) of different genders and nationalities, all looking very heroic, defiant and proud.

Or even simply one fireman carrying a body and an American flag draped over him or something.

Stuff like that.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I like this idea most so far. The statue could be something like the pictures taht comae out after the attacks of a firefighter and police officer standing side by side maybe carrying victims to safety. That would get me choked up if done right...
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post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I too am not interested in a "Transgendered Women of Color" memorial and an "Asian handicapped children" victims statue or "Gay Irish Firefighters" gazing pool or whatever.



That's divisive and insulting. Not to mention incredibly lame.

As for the "names on a wall" thing, you either do it with all or none. You're right...total hell would be raised if some people, for whatever reason, had their names NOT included ona memorial.

All or none.

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: pscates ]</p>
post #15 of 31
one would think that they would rebuild towers there

Guiliani and the widows union or whatever they call themselves are come out strongly against rebuilding there. they just want a huge park.

I'm sorry but that just seems dumb to me, obviously you have to respect their opinion, they lost their loved ones, but I see no good reason why not rebuild bigger stronger and better than ever.

even the WTC site owner doesn't want to rebuild big. he wants 4 50 story buildings.
post #16 of 31
I'd like a memorial with names, but not subdivided into groups. They can put FDNY or NYPD next to some names, but just do a big list in alphabetical order. I don't doubt for a second that the emergency personell were heroes, but the fact is, many of the regular workers there did everthing they could - including passing up chances to leave when they could have simply walked out and away from the towers. (Joseph DeMartino, for example, the WTC construction manager who sent his wife out of the tower but refused to leave himself - he was too determined to help save as many as he could)

As for the buildings themselves, don't build anything yet. You can build a bunch of small buildings there next year, but in 15, 20, 30 years they will only serve as reminders of our (well justified) fear after the attacks.

Wait a while. Build a couple towers when the time is right, when people aren't terrified of going up high again. It may take 15, 20 years, but I'd rather wait and see it done right, then have some dinky little towers there that are "just another office building".

Let the WTC rise again, but when we are all ready to deal with it.
post #17 of 31
"Or even simply one fireman carrying a body and an American flag draped over him or something."

Ugh, sorry, no way. That is entirely too gaudy and jingoistic for such a memorial. This was the site of the World Trade Center, not the USA Trade Center.

I don't want to see any statues carrying bodies. There's probably some unwritten rule about statues and dead bodies...of course the person being carried doesn't necessarily have to be dead, but it's hard to simulate life in a statue.

In addition, firemen and rescue workers weren't the only victims and heroes here.

What I had in mind was a Maya Lin type of memorial with names. The names would be placed on two walls shaped like the twin towers and act as a corridor to a larger plaza, where a giant piece of the original WTC's outer skeleton would be placed. No barrier. People should be able to walk right up to it and touch it, or leave itmes at its base.
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post #18 of 31
Nothing. Leave it. No park. No Buildings. Nothing. Clean it a little. Make it safe for people to traverse, but leave it stained. Not forever mind. But for a few years at least. NY can work without that space. I think they ought to build out onto the water (obviously not on that location) something with the aspect of the half submerged towers in AI, buildings that seemingly drop straight into the water, connected by bridge structures, like pods to each other, and to the mainland. Perhaps an artificial Island complex off-shore, that has parks and shops, etc... to compliment NY history, and the other islands, and possibly to relieve congestion by moving all those people of the island and onto the water.

It's potentially a much bigger project than rebuilding the towers -- which equals an even bigger economic boost -- and takes advantage of an opportunity to correct some logistic problems too.

We can get back to the WTC site later, when some real thought has gone into it. For now I think it's good for people to see it.
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post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Those are good ideas, Eugene.

But when it's all said and done, it DID happen here, in AMERICA.

I don't think that fact can be completely ignored or not spoken to. Nor should it.

Perhaps not in a heavy-handed way like my earlier thoughts, but the monuments and stuff around D.C. have a distinct American bent to them...for obvious reasons.



And of course, more than fireman and police acted heroically that day, but you can't make a statue or sculpture depicting every goddamn race, gender, occupation, etc. that the towers housed.

Besides, firemen have seem to become a bit of a symbol and - right or wrong - are garnering the bulk of the attention, praise, press, etc.

I doubt many people would be offended or distraught at the likeness of a fireman being used in some sort of memorial.

Unless, of course, you're NYPD.



I don't know. In the back of my mind, I know what they're probably going to do and it just irks me a bit. It'll be something so abstract and "sensitive" and try to be all things to all people and it'll suck because that's impossible to do.

Besides, a little jingoism won't hurt anyone. If terrorists flew 747s into Buckingham Palace or Big Ben, it wouldn't bother me in the least to see a British flag or a plate of fish and chips worked into the design of the memorial.



[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: pscates ]</p>
post #20 of 31
got to disagree with you guys. the uniformed service men/women who lost their lives SHOULD be seperate from the rest. this biggest single loss of firemen ever. I hate saying this and you may take it the wrong way but they don't "deserve" to be just thrown in with 3,000 other names on a wall.
post #21 of 31
"Besides, a little jingoism won't hurt anyone. If terrorists flew 747s into Buckingham Palace or Big Ben, it wouldn't bother me in the least to see a British flag or a plate of fish and chips worked into the design of the memorial."

Haahahahhahaa

but seriously, I can't think of any monument that is distinctly 'American' in DC. In fact, the architecture is simulated Gothic and Greek as I see it. The Washington Memorial? It's a giant obelisk! Even the Statue of Liberty wasn't originally a symbol of America...It was designed by Mr. Eiffel in France and not originally meant for us...

I forgot to add one thing. There should be specific nods to the NYPD, FDNY and also the Port Authority. Large badges from each authority each with its own mini-monument.

Or perhaps head-dresses instead of badges.
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post #22 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yeah, design-wise, borrowing from Greek and Roman stuff, I guess.

But you see eagles and so forth and the words inscribed and it's come to be taken as a certain "look".

To me, anyway.

I don't know.

Perhaps that big bronze 20' middle finger doesn't seem like such a bad idea now...hmmm.
post #23 of 31
Please no "wall with names". It's tiered and old and been done. Lets get back to simple monuments.
post #24 of 31
I don't think it's tired. The point is not to make a cutting-edge statement, but to place a somber reminder there of all who perished. The wall wouldn't be the whole of it in my mind, just part of the memorial park / frontage thing.

As far as the buildings, to be honest, I wish they would build new 100 story towers that look similar to the WTC style-wise...only build three of them and not two or one - simply as a way of saying "fu*k off" to the backwards ass scumbags who fault this country for its wealth and success and want to tear down our symbols as much as anything else.

In addition to a tasteful and somber memorial, the buildings ought to be the "kiss our collective ass" part. And that part should definitely be there IMO.

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #25 of 31
#1 Best Idea....

Have two specially made gigantic flood lights stationed "pointing up" from the grounds as a memorial and a permanent symbol of the remaining "Spirit" of the american peoples UnWillingness to back down and "give in" to the attack.

At night two huge beams of light would stand high into the sky... reminding everyone of why we fight this battle and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again...

E PLURIBUS UNIX
-----------------------------
post #26 of 31
First, build new towers. The number doesn't matter, only the quality; they need to build the most advanced, most unique, most innovative, most American towers the world has ever seen. The towers themselves need to send the message that no matter what so-called power the mystics of death think they have, we ultimately have the power to create and live.

As to a memorial, I think it should be something tasteful and simple. I'll make you one wager, though -- someone, or some group, is going to lobby to have the suicide terrorists listed along side the civilians, firemen, an policemen killed in the attacks.
post #27 of 31
This would take me hundreds of hours. I hardly know where to begin.

One thing not to do: ignore what happened. I have a real problem with the schemes that try to act like nothing ever happened, as some sort of "ultimate defiance."

OK, let's expand a bit: I do not like the idea of more-of-the-same becuase, like it not, for better or worse, America changed that day. Like Guiliani said, there was not only terrible tragedy, but incredible heroism. To ignore the vent by covering it would be to ignore those great people. As another pair of architects said, "don't erase the erasure."

I wouldn't say that a Vietnam memorial-style piece is passé, just that it's not unique to the circumstances. While Maya Lin's work and her Civil Rights Memorial are incredibly powerful, they are becoming "commodities" as everyone wants to make the next big minimal statement, diffusing the impact of the originals. That's not to say I'm for some neo-neo-Classical memorial either. Let the idea determine the aesthetic.

My first murky thoughts about it is to build a kind of anti-memorial. The original "anti-memorial" was erected to mourn the event of WWI. it was a column set in a deep bed of sand. As people walked and stirred over the sand, the sand under the column shifted, and the column slowly sank and eventually disappeared into the sand bed years later (ideally it was supposed to take as long as the war).

I think about the beacon that the towers were (though frankly they weren't so good on the sky line) and the idea of the towers as a symbol of power. I think about how the towers were over-scaled, actually scale-less. I think about how scale-less the event was - immesurable.

One one hand we want to mourn our loss. On the other we want to celebrate our strength. I thought about the idea of a deep square hole in the earth -- a tower in a negative. It could symbolize what we have lost, what the place was reduced to, a well of souls, the abyss of our sorrow. But I wonder of something to symbolize life like water would enter the memorial. I thought about a tower of water, life, hope, fortune.

Maybe the spirit of heroism could change the source of mourning, like how rocks erode under water. Not erase it, just change it, transform it into the effect of our spirit as the rest of the site grows again instead of leaving it as the source of our mourning.

Maybe the tower of water could sit next to the anti-tower, and the water could change the profile of the empty well next to it as it falls and runs off into the it.

On second thought, the water could spring directly out of the well (I was thinking twin-monuments there), which would make more sense.

But this only took 20 minutes. Better ideas would come with more thought and time, and with more talented minds.

--------------

There seem to be two or three types of memorials proposed:

1. The actual "memorial" in the true sense of the term (meaning a depiction of people, fire fighters, police, citizens, etc.)

2. The monument that associates itself with the form of the towers: paired, vertical or actual office towers (this can verge on the purely formal, not much content, and I'm not a fan of burying the thing in the regular monotony of corporate America, and "innovative" towers are really hard to come by)

3. The monument that has no specific form related to the former towers (could lose its visceral connection to the event, possibly needing a kind of "cheat sheet" to explain itself, possibly not contextual to the scale of the site, city or time)

[ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]

[ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]

[ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]</p>
post #28 of 31
[quote]Have two specially made gigantic flood lights stationed "pointing up" from the grounds as a memorial and a permanent symbol of the remaining "Spirit" of the american peoples UnWillingness to back down and "give in" to the attack.<hr></blockquote>

Already gonna happen.

Unless plans have changed, the image of two ghostly towers will be projected up from the memorial into the night sky.

[ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: DoctorGonzo ]</p>
post #29 of 31
I 100% guarantee the flood lights will not happen. The enviro-nicks are fighting any type of flood lights in every city based on the "fact" that it confuses migratory birds.

The "names on wall" thing is passé. It seems that every memorial these days is "names on ______". Is this the "prefect" memorial? Should we just repeat it forever?


Heres an idea. I think the towers should be rebuilt. Let some architect do whatever they want. Have trust in them they are not dumb. Just don't get SOM. Now the towers were kitty corner to one another. Why not build the new ones on the other corners. That way its like having the same arrangement but not having to build on the same place. It's not quite replacing them but still rebuilds. Where the towers were you put some kind of memorial. I would like to see something simple. You have to remember that people live and work down there. So you can't just rope off the place and make it into a memorial. It has to exist in a living city.
post #30 of 31
The Maya Lin list of names motif may not be appropriate for all things, but it is definitely appropriate here. There's no questioning who the victims were. Arguably you can question how influential certain Civil Rights leaders were.

The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial is an appropriate example, and I think the WTC Memorial would be as well.

And regarding the suicide-hijackers. They were victims in a sense too. They were victims of convoluted dogma. Of course they were also mass-murderers...In the end, I think it's a matter of expectancy. If you were expecting to die...expecting to kill that day, you do not deserve to be remembered in such a memorial. If somebody wants to erect his own private memorial to those people, he is free to do so.
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post #31 of 31
It should be something that evokes those sections of what was still standing after the towers came down.

The towers when they were standing were not so much a beacon but a point of reference. And now, in a strange way they still are. The memorial should remind us of what was lost. The names perhaps could be etched in the bottom of a reflecting pool - just out of our reach like they were in the last hours of their lives.
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