The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced today that it will join with the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, and New York New Visions to launch a series of workshops on the future programming ideas for the Memorial Museum dedicated to the events of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. Each workshop will feature a presentation on the preliminary programming concepts developed as a result of recommendations provided by the public. The workshops will offer stakeholders the opportunity to discuss their expectations for the Memorial Museum and to comment on the preliminary concepts. The public can also offer input on the LMDC’s website at www.RenewNYC.com.
“These workshops will allow the LMDC to share the preliminary concepts for what will be a very powerful museum dedicated to telling the stories of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. The concepts are the result of a public process forged with the assistance of historians, preservationists, curators, victims’ family members, residents, survivors, and first responders who gave of their time and themselves to serve on the Advisory Committee and Resource Group, offering their expertise, perspective, and insight to help create the Memorial Museum. The Memorial Museum will exist on the very site where the devastation took place, and will ensure that both artifacts and memories from that fateful day can be preserved. We hope individuals from around New York, the nation, and the world will again participate to help us achieve our collective goals,” said LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead.
“The Memorial Museum will tell the stories of those difficult days: stories of lives tragically cut short, and stories of heroism and selflessness. Some of the objects the Memorial Museum will contain are extremely powerful in themselves, and when placed in an historical context those evocative pieces will visually and emotionally document the ongoing story of all that was lost. We are offering family members and other stakeholders an additional opportunity to help guide the process and ensure that the Memorial Museum tells the countless stories of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. We encourage individuals to attend the workshops or comment on the LMDC website,” said LMDC President Stefan Pryor.
“This workshop series is an important part of developing the Memorial Museum which will describe the events of the day, tell the stories of lives lost and recount the greatest rescue effort in American history,” WTC Memorial Foundation President Gretchen Dykstra said. “We hope that the public will share their thoughts on how the Memorial Museum can best inform and educate future generations about September 11th. The Foundation looks forward to building partnerships with historians, planners, family members, survivors, and many others as we move forward with the development of this Museum. I want to thank the Civic Alliance and New York New Visions for hosting the workshops. ”
Robert D. Yaro, President of Regional Plan Association and Chair of the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, said, “The attacks at the World Trade Center affected every New Yorker and every American, and we’re committed to providing meaningful opportunities for public input and dialogue on how these tragic events should be memorialized.”
Rick Bell, Executive Committee member of New York New Visions and Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, said, “New York New Visions and the AIA New York Chapter are pleased to host the first workshop presentation pertaining to the programming of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum. The relation of artifacts, bedrock and slurry wall to the over 100,000 square foot space adjacent to the World Trade Center Memorial will be better understood through this timely presentation, as will the relation of the Memorial Museum to the WTC Memorial itself. The AIA’s Center for Architecture is predicated on open discussion of planning and design issues. We expect that comments on exhibition programming and its relation to site planning will provide input to LMDC and Memorial Foundation decision-makers.”
The outreach series will provide the public with an opportunity to offer input on the preliminary programming concepts that have been developed by curatorial planners Howard+Revis Design Services, Inc., institutional planning consultant LORD Cultural Resources Planning and Management, Inc., and the LMDC. The programmatic concepts are a preliminary realization of the recommendations developed by victims' family members, residents, survivors, first responders, historians, preservationists, and curatorial representatives, as well as through public comment. The comments received will help guide the programming of the Memorial Museum under the direction of a Museum Director to be hired by the LMDC and WTC Memorial Foundation.
The Memorial Museum will educate, inform, and inspire visitors by telling the individual stories of the victims and the contributions from around the world toward the rescue, recovery, and relief efforts. Artifacts in the Memorial Museum will range from personal objects marking everyday life in the Twin Towers to steel rescued from the wreckage of the site – from witnesses’ accounts of the devastation to historic elements of the site. There will be an account of the events of the day, as well as exhibitions showing the personal stories of victims, survivors, families, and New Yorkers. The Museum will also accommodate a resource center, temporary exhibitions, and educational programs.
Currently, three events are scheduled. New York New Visions and the AIA will host a kick-off forum on September 15th at 6:00 pm at the AIA Center for Architecture. This forum will include a presentation and panel discussion. Two subsequent workshops, to be held on September 19th and October 11th at 6:00 p.m., will take place at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (Woolworth Building, 15 Barclay Street), and will offer attendees the chance to break into smaller groups and share and discuss their thoughts on the preliminary programming concepts. The workshops will offer the same program on both evenings. All desiring to participate in the September 19th and October 11th workshops must register on-line via the LMDC or Civic Alliance website or contact the Civic Alliance RSVP telephone line at 212-253-2727 x317. All RSVPs must be submitted by September 16th as space is limited.
In April 2004, the LMDC formed the Memorial Center Advisory Committee to develop recommendations for the Memorial Museum. The Advisory Committee – comprised of victims' family members, survivors, residents, first responders, historians, preservationists, and curators –visited the WTC Memorial site and Hangar 17 at JFK Airport, where many artifacts from the World Trade Center are being stored. The Committee also met with professionals to learn from their experience in creating exhibitions, and reviewed an expansive list of archives and resources relating to the attacks. Through a series of facilitated meetings, the Advisory Committee produced a set of Draft Recommendations for the Memorial Museum. These recommendations were released for public comment on June 2, 2004.
During the public comment period, the Draft Recommendations were available to be downloaded from the LMDC website, along with a comment form that could be completed on-line or mailed to the LMDC. The LMDC also sent the Draft Recommendations and comment form to over 5,000 family members and performed additional email outreach to available family databases. In addition, the LMDC presented the Draft Recommendations to the LMDC Families Advisory Council, which consists of representatives from several family organizations that actively work to include their respective constituencies in the public process. The Draft Recommendations and comment forms were also sent to local elected officials, area community organizations, and other established outreach partners to disseminate throughout the area. Public comment was accepted through July 1, 2004, and LMDC prepared a Summary Report describing this response and analyzing its substance.
On July 20, 2004, the Memorial Center Advisory Committee convened to discuss the public comment on the Draft Recommendations. Changes were made to the Draft Recommendations and are reflected in the Final Recommendations. The Final Recommendations, along with the complete record of the public comment, have served as a resource for the institutional planners, the LMDC, and the World Trade Center WTC Memorial Foundation in developing the Memorial Museum’s preliminary program.
The Memorial Center Advisory Committee’s Final Recommendations are available on the LMDC website at www.RenewNYC.com/memorial, and the forum presentation on the Memorial Museum will be available starting September 15th. The LMDC will accept comment on the preliminary program concepts through November 15, 2005, and will also continue to provide the public an opportunity to consistently comment on redevelopment efforts. Registration is necessary for participation in the workshops and is available at www.civic-alliance.org or www.RenewNYC.com.
The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York is a broad-based coalition formed after 9/11 to provide an “umbrella” for civic planning and advocacy efforts in support of the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. The Civic Alliance promotes ongoing participation by the public and the civic community in the rebuilding process, and advocates public accountability and sustainable and equitable development.
New York New Visions is a coalition of 21 architecture, planning, and design organizations that came together immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. These national and local organizations, representing over 30,000 individuals, have pooled the collective resources and technical expertise of over 350 New York based professionals and civic group leaders in a pro-bono effort to address the issues surrounding the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.