- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2003

NEW YORK — The eight finalists in the competition for a memorial at the World Trade Center were made public yesterday, each of the designs tracing the footprints of the original buildings and the names of the more than 2,750 people who lost their lives.

Using water, space and light, the architects marked the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993, with reflecting pools, suspended votive lights and patches of green that invite remembering the worst attack in America’s history.

“Our aim was to identify a memorial design that would do justice to New York and its spirit by becoming a symbol of resiliency,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corp. of New York, and a member of the jury that will choose the winning design by the end of the year.

Officials of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced the finalists at an elaborate videotape presentation attended by hundreds of officials and reporters in the Winter Garden Atrium at the World Financial Center, just across the street from where the twin towers stood.

Starting in April 2002, a 13-member jury, which included the wife of a man killed in the terrorist attacks, winnowed down the eight finalists from 5,201 submissions representing 63 countries and 49 states.

The eight selected are: “Votives in Suspension” by Norman Lee and Michael Lewis; “Lower Waters” by Bradley Campbell and Matthias Neumann; “Passages of Light: The Memorial Cloud” by Gisela Baurmann, Sawad Brooks and Jonas Coersmeier; “Suspending Memory” by Joseph Karadin with Hsin-Yi Wu; “Garden of Lights” by Pierre David with Sean Corriel and Jessica Kmetovic; “Reflecting Absence, a Memorial to the World Trade Center Site” by Michael Arad; “Dual Memory” by Brian Strawn and Karla Sierralta; and “Inversion of Light” by Toshio Sasaki.

The selection of the proposals, surrounded by secrecy until yesterday, reflected a key concern of the family and survivors that the footprints of the buildings struck down by terrorists be preserved as a spiritual grave of those who perished. All of the designs incorporate the names of the dead, including those who perished at the Pentagon and aboard United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on September 11.

The “Passages of Light” plan includes a repository for “unidentified remains.” Of the 2,752 persons killed in the twin towers, about 60 percent of the remains have been identified.

In addition to the names engraved in glass and stone, the eight designs also preserve the “slurry wall,” the stone partition that formed the basement of the World Trade Center. It was the only part left of the original structure after it was struck by two planes hijacked by terrorists.

Family members of the dead saw the unveiling of the eight designs at a private showing Tuesday night. Most of the survivors seemed pleased by the jury’s decisions.

LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe said the designs for the 16-acre site honor that hope. For more than 18 months, he said, the selection process was guided by an effort to ensure that “future generations will always know where the towers once stood.”

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