Photo credit: Michael Hnatov
Accession Number: C.2021.58.12
Dimensions: 40 in X 28 1/4" X 1 1/2"
Dimensions (Metric): 101.6 cm X 71.12 cm X 2.54 cm
Credit Line: Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, Courtesy LMDC
Foam core submission board designed by sculptor and artist Fritz Koenig (1924-2017) for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, 2003. Koenig’s entry (no. 790580), Untitled, was one of 5,201 submissions that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation received. This competition board features an artistic rendering of memorial spaces outlining the Twin Tower footprints, as well as Koenig’s The Sphere sculpture raised atop a granite base. Text outlining the symbolic significance of Koenig’s proposed memorial site accompanies the renderings.
The descriptive text on the board reads:
The projected memorial at Ground Zero responds with monumental clarity to the irreplaceable loss of human life and the WTC’s Twin Towers. The creation of the sunken plain of the memorial, freed from debris, contrasts starkly and deliberately with the bustle of Manhattan street life. Focusing on the rescued fragment of the fountain sculpture and a strict reduction in the materials used, the wound in the fabric of NYC makes a lasting impression.
Wide, structured concrete ramps open up the area to the South for visitors. The wall that retains the area towards the Hudson is not affected.
The center of the memorial site is v [sic] Fritz Koenig’s “Kugelkaryatide NY,” erected at the WTC Plaza in 1971. Damaged but not destroyed, the sculpture survived the September 11 catastrophe protected under the rubble. As a symbol of destruction and triumph over destruction, the sculpture shall be moved from its temporary home in Battery Park back to its original location. The sculpture will be stabilized and will be able to revolve mechanically. It will be erected on a disk-shaped base of polished black granite, on whose sides all the names of the victims of the WTC attacks are chiseled. The sculpture, as it did in its original location, links the square bases of the Towers in spatial unity. As one nears the Sphere, the black base of it causes the surroundings to fade away; one’s focus is concentrated on the infinite list of names. A space between the base wall and the floor has been allotted, allowing mourners to place flowers and candles there.
Bordered by pit walls, the expanse of the square is uniformly paved with grey granite; and the raised footprints of the Twin Towers, both of whose monumental gravestones are identical, impinge on the visitors’ field of movement. The human remains of the unidentified victims are symbolically manifested in these stone cenotaphs which cannot be walked upon Only a narrow path provides access to the interior, which is screened off from the surroundings by the immense expanse, and which thus can be used as a place of retreat for prayer, reflection, and meditation.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) administered the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition. Through this competition, the jury selected a design for a single memorial that remembers and honors all loss of life on September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. The LMDC received an enormous global outpouring of ideas representing 63 nations, with 13,683 registrants and 5,201 Memorial submissions meeting the entry criteria.