Memorial help

Memorial help
: I need help.

I’m working on a proposal for a World Trade Center memorial and, to get right to the point, I can’t draw. I need someone to help me create a few visualizations. They won’t be fancy; my concept isn’t really architectural. So my need is to convey that concept more than a design. And as this very page proves, I’m no designer.

Lemme know if you’re willing.

: Greg Allen reports that there will be more than 13,000 submissions to the memorial jury (and RenewNYC reports that they come from all the states and from 90 nations). That is simply amazing. I know what it takes to make my humble suggestion. There are 13,000 people who feel compelled to bring their creativity, imagination, intelligence, effort, and probably prayer to the effort to create an appropriate memorial for September 11th.

I believe that Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Memorial, said there were 1,300 submissions to that competition.

: Late last week, Greg brought together a half-dozen people who plan to submit proposals: an architect, an couple of artists, an interior designer, and me, a two-left-thumbed journalist. (I was waiting to blog this until he did; he just did.) I multiply the care I saw around that table by thousands and I’m even more impressed.

The night before, three of them attended a session for the public to meet the jury and hear their many concerns and agendas (firefighters’ families who want to make sure the names of firefighting colleagues are listed together… neighbors who don’t want to have to get around a sunken memorial…). This is going to be a terribly difficult decision for this jury to make: thousands upon thousands of heartfelt proposals weighed against hundreds of special needs and concerns. And, as Greg points out, the design above ground is not easy to work with. A memorial will have to be subtle, for the new WTC design is not.

But I am glad that the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. insulated this process somewhat from all the pressure and set down clear rules. Their hope, clearly — and the proper outcome — is for a memorial of clear and striking vision to stand on its own, not as a product of a committee or politics but as a product of inspiration and genius.

: I’m hardly saying that my proposal is genius. That’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it because I have to. Recent visitors to this site (especially those of you drawn by the promise of nude stewardesses, below) won’t know that I started this weblog out of September 11th, because I was there and survived and reported on the attacks.

Proposing a memorial is part of giving back, part of healing, part of moving on — pick your psychocliche, they’re all true.

By the way, I cannot, unfortunately, share my proposal with you here (until it loses); the rules of the competition are clear that entries must remain anonymous.

wtcjpg2.jpg: Note the geometry we all have to deal with. That’s just a cleaned up version of the map the LMDC gave us. It is an odd polygon for a landmark.

: Here is the original siteplan for the World Trade Center.

: About a week ago, I went back to the site to take it in; part of my design process.

I was amazed at the construction. The new PATH station is set to be ready in November. WTC 7 is being rebuilt. The rebuilding is impressive. I thought it might bother me, but quite to the contrary: I can’t wait for life to return to that place.

The site is cleaner and quieter in other ways. The wall of tribute on the fence by the cemetery is gone. But people still need to leave their memories and prayers and praise and so they found a wall of painted plywood and there, they leave tokens and words.

The memorial is already being built.