Volume 16 • Issue 37 | February 13 - 19, 2004

An idea for Hoboken’s 9/11 victims

Two Downtown designers who have made their mark in Lower Manhattan are among the four finalists to design a memorial to the 57 Hoboken residents who died in the Sept. 11 attack.

The two designers, architect Frederic Schwartz and artist Brian Tolle, say their design, “Portraits of Hoboken,” pictured below, “frames two communities forever linked by the river that unites them: Hoboken and the skyline of Lower Manhattan.”

Schwartz, who lives and works near Canal St., designed the restoration of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal which will open later this year and was part of the team that designed Towers of Culture, the runner-up master plan for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. Tolle, a Village resident, designed the Irish Hunger Memorial, which overlooks the Hudson River in Battery Park City.

Their Hoboken design, a 45 by 100-foot rectangular-shaped memorial, would frame the view of the area where the Twin Towers once stood and where the site’s new buildings are expected to begin rising later this year. Visitors could enter the frame in Hoboken’s Pier A Park and walk up ramps covering the exact height of one of the W.T.C. towers. The names and ages of the 57 people who died would be engraved in the handrails.

Schwartz said the design would be visible in Lower Manhattan along the river and from commuter ferries which stop right near the park. It would stay open in the winter, but would have to close on particularly windy days, he said.

Pier A Park is the site where hundreds of people gathered on 9/11and will be the site of the memorial, expected to cost $500,000 and be funded through donations. Michael Estevez, a spokesperson for the Hoboken September 11th Memorial Fund (www.hoboken911.com), said some of the teams are still revising their designs and he would not discuss any of the other plans until they are unveiled the first week in March. He said individual designers are not forbidden to make their plans public, as Schwartz did. The seven-member memorial jury, which includes two people who have played active roles in Lower Manhattan planning, Ray Gastil, executive director of the Van Alen Institute and Ann Buttenwieser, an urban planner and veteran of city government, will pick a final design by the end of March.

The other finalists are the FLOW Group, comprised of artist Janet Echelman, who has produced wind-activated sculptures, aeronautical engineer Peter Heppel, who worked on the Millennium Tower in Glasgow and has worked with NASA, and lighting designer Domingo Gonzalez, who worked on the N.Y.C. Police Memorial in Battery Park City and the George Washington Bridge; architect Ralph Lerner, who designed the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi, and landscape architect Kate Orff, an assistant professor at Columbia University; and artist Krzystztof Wodiczko, known for his large-scale projections on public buildings and Julian Bonder.


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