Memorial failure

Memorial failure
: Greg Allen says now what I said the other day: None of the memorial proposals for the World Trade Center is sufficient. He calls for throwing them all out and starting again. And he sends us to Clay Risen‘s story in the Observer, which argues that the proposals are all too influenced by Vietnam Memorial designer Maya Lin and do not have an adequate sense of the place.

Nor is there any attempt to tie the site into its surroundings, either the rest of Ground Zero or lower Manhattan as a whole…. Then again, context wasn

  • mario

    Hello, Jeff!
    I’m a devout reader of your blog. Love it!
    Thought I’d choose this topic to drop you a line:
    1) I agree with Allen regarding the designs.
    They should scrap everything and start all
    over from scratch. There should be an outcry
    about this. Unfortunately, there is not.
    I guess this will be the Maya Lin Show all
    the way. Although the reflecting pools DO
    have their charms.
    2) The memorial with the two “islands” of tower- shaped columns is overly reminiscent of the
    headstones at Omaha and Utah Beaches. Creepy.
    I liked it at first, but then came to agree
    with you. It IS offensive.
    3) Isn’t it about time that the good-old-
    fashioned memorial STATUE came back?
    4) None of the designs really compliment the
    Liebeskind blueprint. That, at least, is my
    5) They’ll probably end up choosing the
    the “Reflecting Memory” design. It is the
    most “abstract” and “minimalist” of all.
    6) What the commitee needs is a person with enough
    willpower to push through a concrete, unified
    vision with ONE message, but who at the
    same time is able to incorporate suggestions
    from us the “common people” into the ultimate
    design. Architectural, yet not architectural.
    Appealing to the aesthetic, rarified sense of
    architects yet populist enough to speak
    to everybody in an universal, non-elitist
    way. Combine the simplicity of the Vietnam
    Memorial with the grandeur and durability
    of the Great Pyramid. That would be a VERY
    hard task to accomplish, yet the victims,
    their families, and posterity deserve no
    7) BTW, I’m in agreement with other bloggers
    —-your design would have rocked.

  • KMK

    After looking at the 8 finalists only one word came to mind – ethereal. When I think ethereal I think Stonehenge, Ayers Rock, etc. not WTC memorial. I was hoping for physical rather then ethereal forms. I just don’t feel they took into account the area or the material they had to work with. IMHO. I still like your idea the best. Too bad we couldn’t get an artist and a designer to work together.

  • everyone should read Tom Wolfe’s devasting take on Lin in his latest essay collection.