NEW YORK -- The eight finalist designs in the World Trade Center
memorial competition unveiled Wednesday remember the dead with quiet
gardens, reflecting pools, inscribed names and lights for lost
All eight designs, selected by a jury from a pool of 5,200, list
the names of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New
York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, as well as the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing. They are inscribed on granite walls, glass
panels and stone columns.
Some entries list the names alphabetically, others according to
where they died.
"We have sought designs that represent the heights of imagination
while incorporating aesthetic grace and spiritual strength," the
jury said in a statement.
The finalists, whose identities were made public for the first
time on Wednesday, range from local artists to international
John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation, which is overseeing the rebuilding of the site, praised
the organic connections shared by all the entries.
"Their designs draw upon the elements of light, water, earth and
life itself," Whitehead said at a news conference where the
proposals were unveiled.
One design proposes an open air structure with cathedral-like
vaults and a glass walkway overhead where thousands of lights
illuminate engraved names of the victims. It groups the rescuers'
names separately in a ribbon that loops through the other names.
Another suggests votive lights suspended over a reflecting pool,
"each one representing a life that was extinguished," the applicants
One entry contains a park that slopes from street level to 30
feet below, to "marry the urban with the sacred," the artists said.
It includes a garden within the south tower footprint and a
structure at the north tower footprint with a staircase waterfall.
The proposals include private areas for relatives of the lost and
a resting place for unidentified remains of people killed at the
trade center. One design envisions a blue light projected upward
from the place where the unidentified remains are entombed.
The remains of about 60 percent of the 2,592 people killed in the
twin towers attack have been identified.
All of the designs preserve the slurry wall that once formed the
trade center basement, the only surviving remnant of the original
The eight proposals, accompanied by videotaped interviews of
finalists talking about their designs, were displayed at the World
Financial Center's Winter Garden, near where the twin towers stood.
Whitehead said the jury "identified the best work of highly
creative individuals and teams from around the globe."
Family members of those who died said they mostly approved of the
"I thought they captured the essence of what the memorial should
be," said Christine Huhn-Graifman, who lost her husband.
But some said Tuesday that the plans did not provide enough
access to the bedrock level of the trade center site. As it stands
now, the redevelopment plan preserves the approximate circumference
of the towers, but infrastructure would encroach on the building
footprints at bedrock level.
Wednesday's viewing was the public's first chance to see the
eight proposals, picked by a 13-member jury, which will decide the
winning design by the end of the year.
The display was not part of the official selection process;
neither the jurors nor the competitors were present.