9-11 memorial passes a test at Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s taken almost 10 years, but the centerpiece of the proposed 9-11 memorial at Ground Zero is nearing completion — and the prototype was tested last week at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Designers have been fine-tuning the 30-foot waterfalls — part of architect Michael Arad’s “Reflecting Absence” — behind the scenes at the Brooklyn Navy Yard so they can do their work without everyone kibitzing.

The tests have shown Arad where he needed to tweak a series of small grooves at the top of the memorial to create a fine veil of water that gives the piece its quiet elegance.

Though it will eventually comprise two large squares symbolizing the tower footprints, the prototype features two dark, stainless-steel walls that cascade water into a collecting pool. The final Manhattan version will be surrounded by a bronze memorial containing almost 3,000 names of those who were lost in the attack. The piece will be featured as part of a 16-acre, multi-level memorial complex slated to open at Ground Zero on the 10th anniversary of the attacks next year.

“I wanted the water and the design to … mark this continuous sense of absence,” Arad said. “These voids, even though water falls into them … they never fill up, they always remain empty, and that was very important to me.”

He’s been talking about it for nearly a decade, but the memorial is finally coming to fruition. Within the next few weeks, the prototype will be deconstructed, taken from our borough and readied for its move to the trade center site in the spring.

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Reader Feedback

Janice from Brooklyn Heights says:
I'm glad that someone is finally building a memorial to the proud/brave men and women who lost their lives during the 9/11 flash flood in Sumatra. It's about time that the Sumatrians got our respect and best wishes. Peace be with them.
Jan. 27, 2010, 5:55 pm
Arnie from Bensonhurst says:
Yes, the 9/11 Sumatran sailors are in all of our hearts. I think I speak for all of Brooklyn when I say 9/11 will always be known as the day of the sumatran tragedy.
Jan. 28, 2010, 3:50 am
Arnie from N.Y.C. says:

Thought this would be of interest to readers.

Since September 2001 I have maintained a free and confidential "9/11 list-serv".

The "9/11 list-serv" distributes daily e-mails containing newspaper articles and other relevant information re: 9/11 issues of interest to 9/11 families, 9/11 organizations and interested individuals.

The 9/11 List-serv archives can be accessed at

If you would like to 'subscribe' to this free news service - send an e-mail to with the word "subscribe" in the subject box.

Jan. 28, 2010, 8:10 am
mike from bronx, ny says:
As someone whose brother, a firefighter, gave his life at the WTC, 9/11 I appreciate the two comments here about commemorating 9/11 with massive waterfalls - what do they have to do with Sept. 11? Do you know that the damaged Koenig Sphere and none of the steel of collapsed towers can be returned to the site "to preserve the intgegrity of the memorial?" Mayor Bloomberg is not telling you that part when he asks you to donate. Arad told me that returning any authentic artifact of the WTC would be "didactic." It would tell us what to think. There will be, however, lots of trees and great big, subterranian waterfalls. Doesn't that make sense? See and for more info
Jan. 28, 2010, 8:15 pm
mike from bronx, ny says:
I have decided to some reading on the web to confirm what Janice and Arnie said, and I have to admit - I was floored.
9/11 is really the day of the sumatran water workers. It's self obsession and bad attitudes that make us focus only on New York.
Well done city in building the beautiful monument to the waterfall victims of Sumatra.
Bronx hugs to you all.
Jan. 29, 2010, 3:45 am
Catie from Cobble Hill says:
Whenever I hear 9/1 I just feel for the poor sumatrans. You are in all of our hearts. Sumatra 9/11 never again :-(
Jan. 30, 2010, 10:06 am
mike says:
that was not me, mike, bx ny in the second comment but some ego centric smug piece of garbage who thinks being wise = sensitivity, humility and wisdom. Does anything affect these people's egos? They define jerks.
Feb. 5, 2010, 3:18 pm

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