As dusk shrouded Lower Manhattan in darkness last night, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum extended an 88-cannon salute to those whose lives were indelibly-changed by the events of September 11, 2001. Now in its 12th year, the Tribute in Light sent two high-intensity beams of light four miles up into the night sky in a poignant memorial marking the absence of the original Twin Towers. Several dozen onlookers including victims' family members and city officials watched the beams emanate from the top of a parking structure just blocks from Ground Zero in a solemn expression of remembrance. Last night's light show marks the second year the 9/11 Memorial has produced the Tribute in Light. "It makes total sense for us to be custodians of the memorial. It makes sense as a museum to curate this as a piece of our extended collection," said Ryan Pawling, assistant director for public programs at the 9/11 Memorial. "It's a symbol of New York and of the resilience of New Yorkers after the attack." The Tribute in Light concept was imagined immediately following the attacks in 2001 as a group of architects and artists organized by the Municipal Art Society (MAS) and Creative Time, a non-profit devoted to public art and was first displayed on the six month anniversary of the attacks. Designers included John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere, and Paul Myoda with lighting consultant Paul Marantz. MAS continued the show annually through the tenth anniversary in 2011. "Most people see the beacons from far away. Not a lot of New Yorkers know the high-tech design that goes into putting on the show," Pawling said. The technology behind the Tribute in Light and skill required to pull it off are as impressive as the display itself. During the previous week a team from lighting design studio Fisher Marantz Stone worked tirelessly to align the 88 Italian-made light cannons—each equipped with a 7,000-watt xenon light bulb—to create the dual beacons. While the official Tribute in Light was only one night, New Yorkers for miles around could see the beams at night as crews traveled ten to fifteen miles away in several directions to ensure the beacons were plumb. Pawling said each cannon had to be individually aligned—beginning with the corners of each of the squares—to ensure the light beams point directly skyward with one unified glow. The cannons were adjusted fractions of a degree using specialized mounting gear that miles up in the sky accounts for a wide berth. If the lights are not all in sync, the beacons would appear fuzzy from far away. The group brought in observers from the Audubon Society to help mitigate the effects of the lights on the migratory patterns on birds. Pawling said the time of year and New York's geography makes it a prime route for birds, and that while the city itself with its ample night lighting can cause problems for the birds, the Tribute in Light hopes to steer clear of the birds. For instance, Pawling said the light show was turned off last year for two twenty minute periods to allow flocks to pass through without distraction. By taking the reigns from MAS, the Museum was able to gain around $300,000 in funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to put on the Tribute in Light. LMDC's three-year grant, reallocated from unused transportation funds, extends through next year. With the LMDC phasing out its role in coming years, funding sources for the Tribute in Light will need to be found elsewhere, likely from private sources. Pawling said the museum has not begun exploring new funding options but will meet with various groups in the coming year to help determine the future of the display. All photos by Branden Klayko / AN.
Posts tagged with "September 11":
The streets of Lower Manhattan were especially crowded today as New Yorkers and tourists alike gathered around the World Trade Center site to mark the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. A national moment of silence was observed at 8:45 a.m. this morning—the time the first jet struck the World Trade Center—to reflect on the disaster and all who were touched by the devastation. Over a decade after the attacks, Lower Manhattan is in the midst of a strong recovery. With AN's offices only a couple blocks away from the World Trade Center site, we have been able to watch daily as construction continues at rapid speed. This year, AN is celebrating it's 10th Anniversary and we are thrilled to be part of the rejuvenating area around the World Trade Center. During that decade in print, we have covered the changes at the WTC site countless times. We published a feature in September 2011 marking a decade of progress as the site celebrated a major milestone. That same year, we covered in detail the emergence of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum with a feature discussing the museum and several detailed stories on the construction of the memorial and how the memorial plaza is being built above it. Last year, AN editors toured both SOM's One World Trade Center and Fumihiko Maki's Four World Trade Center during construction to gauge progress at the towers. The video above documents that moment in the towers' construction history. At the site today, the glass cladding on both One and Four World Trade is nearly entirely installed and Santiago Calatrava's transit hub and it's dramatic ribbed structure are going airborne in dramatic fashion. A podium on which St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church will be built is showing definition and the facade of Richard Rogers' Three World Trade Center—which looks like it will be built to its originally-planned full height after earlier concerns over the economy—is showing distinct progress at ground level. If you have been around New York recently, no doubt you have noticed the twin beacons of the Tribute in Light installation piercing the night sky. The September 11 Memorial & Museum has taken the reigns of the light show from the Municipal Art Society and will culminate the experience tonight from dusk until dawn tomorrow. AN will be on site tonight to observe the lights as they commemorate the important moment in U.S. history and all those who were impacted.
For the eleventh anniversary of September 11, The Architect's Newspaper has been reviewing progress at the World Trade Center site. Last Thursday, AN visited SOM's One World Trade to survey the view from the 103rd floor and check in on construction of the tower's spire. Friday, a trip to the top of Fumihiko Maki's Four World Trade on Friday showed the less-publicized view of the site. From both vantage points, the hum of activity—both from construction crews and visitors to the memorial plaza—was readily apparent. Of particular interest were substantial developments at the Vehicle Security Center, where a new entryway on Liberty Street will send security measures beneath a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It was heartening to read in today's New York Times that the conflict between Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg over the Memorial Museum, reported here last year, was resolved in time for ceremonies this morning. For all the talk of delays, an extraordinary amount work has been accomplished. As a tribute, AN has compiled a video montage showing continued progress at the site on this historic day.
It must have been a rough day at MVRDV's Rotterdam offices after their newly unveiled Cloud tower set to be built in Seoul, South Korea went viral in a bad way. MVRDV envisioned two towers shrouded in pixelated mist, but others saw the image of a plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York, half a world away. MVRDV released the following statement on their Facebook page along with an early conceptual drawing showing the inspiration for the tower, in a much more literal cloud:
A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse. MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11, it was not our intention. The Cloud was designed based on parameters such as sunlight, outside spaces, living quality for inhabitants and the city. It is one of many projects in which MVRDV experiments with a raised city level to reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper. It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, the design was not meant to provoke this.Check out all of the renderings over here. What do you think? Is this too reminiscent of the Twin Towers? Do you see a cloud or an explosion frozen in time?
Alan Gerson, the City Council rep for Lower Manhattan, issued a major statement today along with the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committee, which he chairs. The statement lays out 17 demands the committee feels will ensure the timely opening of the memorial plaza by Septmber 11, 2011. It opens with an imposing if realistic appraisal of the challenges dogging the project so far:
The World Trade Center site is one of the most technically complicated modern construction projects ever undertaken: the building of five high rise towers, concomitantly, on a sixteen acre site over two train lines; issues of unprecedented toxicities and missing human remains; all in the middle of a bustling residential and business district. The architects, engineers and workers on the ground deserve credit for the performance of a difficult task, and interruptions, unexpected technical problems and delays should have been anticipated from its inception.Gerson said that with the economy faltering, some might want to scale back or delay the project further, but he sees it as a WPA-style infrastructure opportunity, which can create jobs and infrastructure, which will be crucial once the economy rebounds. Gerson finished by asking Mayor Bloomberg, the Port Authority, and the LMDC to come together to finish the project on-time and in-line with Gerson's recommendations. An LMDC spokesperson said that the agency welcomed the advice but had the various projects under control. "It doesn't really look like anything new," the spokesperson said. And, according to today's Times, the disparate parties overseeing Ground Zero have come up with a new plan to finish the memorial and much of the site by the tenth anniversary. Update: Bloomberg spokesperson Jason Post responds: "We have different views. Council member Gerson thinks we need to add another layer of bureaucracy, the administration thinks we need to remove one." A list of Gerson's recommendations and a link to the full statement after the jump.
1. Appoint an auditor general to monitor all Lower Manhattan redevelopment projects 2. Reaffirm the 9/11/11 deadline for permanently opening the Memorial Plaza 3. Modify PATH train mezzanine to achieve simple elegance with columns 4. Within 90 days, the MTA must re-issue bid specifications for the Fulton Street Transit Hub with specification changes aimed at lowering costs by at least $200 million 5. Fully fund Fiterman Hall’s reconstruction 6. Reaffirm the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the proposed location, with the 1,000-seat theater in a Gehry designed building, with the Joyce Theater as the anchor tenant 7. The Port Authority must issue a timeline for the turnover of Tower 2 to Silverstein Properties immediately and issue a status report and timetable, with benchmarks for the completion of any outstanding infrastructure work on the sites for Towers 2, 3 and 4 8. Immediately convene a Memorial access planning group 9. The LMDC must release design specifications 10. NYPD and FDNY must conduct and release a full security and fire safety audit of plans for the underground museum 11. Produce a Lower Manhattan bus plan within nine months 12. The LMDC must immediately issue a detailed status report and timetable on 130 Liberty Street and provide regular updates 13. Close Vesey Street between Church Street and West Broadway, but only if the Port Authority meets the burden of demonstrating that to do so would materially save time or provide for greater safety 14. Continue the Steering Committee recently established by Port Authority Executive Director Ward 15. Continue the Port Authority briefings for Family Members and Community Leaders in Lower Manhattan 16. Integrate the Tribute Center permanently into the Museum Entrance Building 17. Create a mechanism to strengthen construction site safety and Lower Manhattan’s livabilityRead the eight-page statement, with details on all 17 points, here.
During an unrelated call earlier today, Craig Dykers, head of Snohetta's New York office and the man behind the 9/11 memorial pavilion, divulged that he was rather disappointed with the renderings that the city released last week to widespread fanfare. It's bad enough that the design has been scaled back--like everything else on the site--but Dykers said that officials also went behind the firm's back to have the renderings done. He was then kind enough to send along some model shots he greatly prefers. Check 'em out after the jump.