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Thread: WTC Memorial Designs Go on Display in NYC

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    WTC Memorial Designs Go on Display in NYC

    Wednesday, November 19, 2003

    WTC Memorial Designs Go on Display in NYC


    By AMY WESTFELDT
    Associated Press Writer


    NEW YORK- After a preliminary viewing Tuesday night, relatives of victims killed in at the World Trade Center said all eight designs for a memorial preserve a slurry wall, the only surviving remnant of the complex.

    They said each includes sanctuaries for grieving families, repositories for unidentified remains and displays of victims' names. The proposals treated the names differently, family members said, with some in the form of an alphabetical list and others arranged by where the victims died on Sept. 11, 2001.

    One design also featured a vast lawn accessible only to family members for the next 20 years, said Nikki Stern, who lost her husband, Jim Potorti.

    The memorial will commemorate the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

    The eight proposals, accompanied by videotaped interviews of finalists talking about their designs, were to be displayed Wednesday at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, near where the twin towers stood.

    Family members interviewed said they mostly approved of the designs.

    "I thought they captured the essence of what the memorial should be," said Christine Huhn-Graifman, who lost her husband.

    But some complained that the plans did not provide enough access to the bedrock level of the trade center site. As it stands now, the redevelopment plan preserves the approximate circumference of the towers, but the infrastructure would encroach on the building footprints at bedrock level.

    Wednesday's viewing was the public's first chance to see the eight proposals, picked from a pool of 5,200 by a 13-member jury. The jury will decide the winning design by the end of the year.

    The display was not part of the official selection process; neither the jurors nor the competitors were to be present.

    Although the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has planned no formal public comment process on the proposals, the Municipal Art Society announced Tuesday that it would gather opinions at public workshops and then send its findings to the agency.

    ---

    Associated Press Writer Jennifer Friedlin contributed to this report.

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    Designs Leave Many Unhappy, Some Inspired

    By GLENN COLLINS

    Victims' families yearned to touch the bedrock where the World Trade Towers stood. Firefighters had to see their buddies' names listed together. New Yorkers hoped for an expression of the essential horror of the tragedy, and the spirit of the city that endured.

    And so, the announcement of eight finalists in the memorial design competition at ground zero yesterday had many constituencies to please. And many were unhappy, although some wanted more time for contemplation and others found inspiration in the proposals' creativity.

    "These plans are impersonal and generic, there is nothing about them that is unique to the tragedy that happened down there," said one of the disappointed, Debra Brown Steinberg, a lawyer with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft who has done much pro bono representation of victims' families.

    She added: "Where do they capture the spirit of what happened there that day? These plans could be in any park, or any memorial, for any purpose."

    Ms. Steinberg was joined by a chorus of other critics after the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation unveiled its plans before some 200 guests and a live television audience in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center, adjacent to the ground-zero void.

    "Uniformed rescuers gave their lives on 9/11, and it's not too much to ask that there be a simple acknowledgment that they gave their lives while saving lives," said John Finucane, 59, a retired New York Fire Department lieutenant who heads a group that opposes listing the victims' names in A-to-Z fashion.

    Rosaleen Tallon, 32, whose 26-year-old brother, Sean Patrick Tallon, died while rescuing victims of the terrorist attacks, said that 14 families of Fire Department victims were ready to remove their relatives' names from the memorial if they were listed along with civilians. "They shed their blood knowingly as they went to their deaths," she said.

    The plans also drew the ire of groups expressing anger that as much as 70 percent of the footprint of the south tower, and 10 percent of the north, could be impinged upon by ground-zero construction.

    The Coalition of 9/11 Families held a post-announcement news conference to issue a "Memorial Design Finalists Report Card" that gave each of the proposals an F. "All these designs have failed because none really incorporate the historic remnants of the towers," said a spokesman, Anthony Gardner, whose brother, Harvey Joseph Gardner III, died in the north tower.

    "As it is, I have had no access to the south tower footprint, and now I may never have access," said Mary Fetchet of the advocacy group, Voices of Sept. 11, whose son, Bradley James Fetchet, died in the south tower and would have been 27 on Monday. She said the tower footprints at bedrock, and their surviving support columns, are a powerful memorial for nearly half of all the families who have received no victims' remains.

    "Preserving the footprints maintains authenticity and reverence," she said, "just as the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor does.

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