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Thread: WTC: Memorials Without a Memory

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    WTC: Memorials Without a Memory

    Updated: 11-28-2003 01:28:20 PM

    WTC: Memorials Without a Memory

    An Editor by the Founding Editor of Firehouse Magazine


    DENNIS SMITH
    Firehouse.com Contributor


    There is an emergency in New York as confrontational for all firefighters as anything that has happened in the last twenty-six months. In trying to find an adequate way to memorialize the immensity of Sept. 11, 2001, our leaders have failed.

    After four months of meetings so secret that even the members of the CIA would be impressed, the eight designs selected as finalists were released on November 19th, and it is clear that the foundation of what we thought should be has collapsed before the first contract is signed.

    In considering these designs that are supposed to memorialize the tragedy and the heroism of Ground Zero, the striking aspect is their dull sameness. They are like huge weeping-room chapels set aside in a modern convention center.

    The jury, 13 good and faithful human beings, volunteered long hours to study more than 5,000 submissions, but their choices show a limited imagination and no understanding of how the fire service feels about that day. We are used to difficult times and many disappointments in the fire service, and perhaps we shouldn

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Losing Entrants Knock Judges' Closed Door

    LOSING ENTRANTS KNOCK JUDGES' CLOSED DOOR

    By GEORGETT ROBERTS and CYNTHIA R. FAGEN



    December 7, 2003 -- Some 60 people, including a 6-year-old boy, who were among the 5,000 entrants who submitted Ground Zero memorial designs, and lost, met in lower Manhattan yesterday to protest the closed-door judging process that produced the eight finalist proposals.
    The group ranged from a New York heart surgeon to a first-grader.

    Contestant Douglas Belgorod, 6, of Manhattan said he used his Lego building set to construct the two towers and had pulled out the blocks to leave a space where the hijacked planes hit. His father then hired an architect to comply with the competition entry rules.

    "It reminds me of the towers when they were there. It's in my skyscraper book. I can look [in the book] and bring it back," Douglas said inside NYU's Kimmel Center.

    Most of the contestants were angry over the closed-door finalist-selection process, including William Stratas, who sponsored yesterday's event and had met most of his fellow "losers" on his Ground Zero memorial Web site.

    "We are going to try and form a declaration that will express how we feel as a group, that this process should move forward [before the final design is picked] on the theme of disclosure and openness and to show the entire 5,200 entries," Stratas said.

    "The people want to understand how the results were arrived at," he said, adding that the public should have more say in picking the winner.


    LaDonna Alexander, 47, a medical administrator flew in from Dallas.

    "The day I read they were having a competition, it was like a spiritual passion," she said.

    Her design was of a memorial garden with artwork from 63 countries.

    "I felt I had to contribute something. I was a child when JFK was shot in Dallas. I look at it in the same light, a big American tragedy."

    Brian McConnell, 33, an engineer from San Francisco, said he was glad he made the effort to see other people's work.

    "It's pretty good stuff. I'm impressed. It's a pity we didn't do this before" the final announcement, he said.

    New York heart surgeon Robert Jarvik, 57, said the finalists lacked passion and imagination.

    "This isn't about architecture, it's about a symbol of perseverance, freedom and strength," he said.

    His design includes uniformed honor guards, firefighters and cops watching over a tomb in defense of the nation.

    "I think what is being done is a disservice to freedom and democracy," Jarvik said. "I'd like to see a wide variety of creative styles among the entrants."


    http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/12797.htm

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    Forgettable memorials

    Forgettable memorials
    None of the 8 finalists recalls the scars of Sept. 11

    Dec. 8, 2003 12:00 AM


    Remember, rebuild, renew.

    The three-word motto of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. sums up, with inspiring simplicity, its task in the aftermath of Sept. 11. The joint state-city corporation is coordinating the reconstruction of the area shattered by the attack on the World Trade Center. At the top of the list is creating a memorial for the site.

    Eight finalists have been chosen from the proposals for the memorial. What a disappointment they are. Not one has the eloquence and inspiration of the agency's motto.

    They use lots of water: trickling down walls, dropping in waterfalls, sitting in pools. They use light: hanging votive lamps, portals for natural light, a translucent "cloud" of 10,000 vertical conduits for light.

    These seem more like design features for a shopping mall, not a memorial. And some elements are outright embarrassing. The "Dual Memory" design includes 92 sugar maples symbolizing nations brought together by the great tragedies, surrounded by a stone wall with "messages of hope" from these countries. "Inversion of Light" calls for a blue laser light to shine into the sky.

    But don't take our word for it. You can see the eight finalists at The Web site itself is terrific, with animated "tours" of the designs. http://www.wtcsitememorial.org/finalists.html

    And there was certainly a great enough effort to gather proposals. This was the biggest design competition in history, with 5,201 submissions.

    It's not clear why the finalists are so weak and bland. Perhaps the wound is too fresh: There's been little time to distill our emotions.

    Maybe the competitors were constrained by requirements developed by committee. The designs had to conform to a mission statement and program that emerged from meetings with family members, survivors, first responders, community leaders and arts and architecture professionals.

    Critics of the ground zero designs, and there are plenty, point to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as an example of the powerful design we should expect.

    Maya Lin had exactly the right vision when she came up with the idea for that memorial: a scar cutting into the earth, where the grass is healing cover, but the wound remains visible in the polished rock.

    No one who visits that memorial can fail to be moved. The emotion is at the forefront, not the design.

    We need that clear, unflinching focus for the ground zero memorial.

    We need a design that conveys to future generations the enormity of the loss and our unshakable determination not to let terrorism prevail

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...08mon1-08.html


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