Page 60 - The Hunt - Summer 2018
P. 60

By Sharon H. Silverman
  The 9/11 Memorial & Museum:
 A day trip worth taking
  Vacation time allows us to explore, relax and indulge. Sometimes, though, it’s important to visit places that are sobering and serious. Flanders Fields. the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. the Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial. While it is painful to recall violence
and carnage, it is part of our human responsibility to honor the dead and to be unrelenting in our search for truth and a meaningful path forward. Ideally, we can learn from the events commemorated at
the sites, and can also find hope in stories
of compassion and resilience. the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in
New York City is such a destination.
As its name implies, the site has two parts: the memorial, out- doors at the plaza level, and the museum below. The memorial’s two recessed pools, each almost an acre in size and located within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood, are poignant reminders of what was lost. Water cascading down the perimeter, then disappearing down a square hole in the center, is a metaphor for the lives and structures that drained away on 9/11. A low wall is inscribed with the names of everyone who died in the 2001 and
Memorial Pool.
1993 World Trade Center attacks. Offsetting the beautiful yet somber pools is a park-like expanse. Trees, including the “Survivor Tree” rescued from the site and restored to health, are living sym- bols of renewal.
The first artifacts on view are in the glass pavilion that serves as a bridge between the plaza and the museum. These two 80-foot-tall steel columns once formed part of the exterior façade of the North Tower. About five stories up, each column branched into three prongs—tridents—then continued up the full 110-story height of the buildings.
In the museum proper, “The Ribbon” leads down a wide ramp that turns as it descends 70 feet. “The gradual procession down to bedrock is intended to be a contemplative experience,” says Davis Brody Bond’s Carl F. Krebs, architect and partner-in-charge for the Museum design. “Wood on the floor gives warmth to the large space, while foamed aluminum cladding on the opposite wall has an indefinite aspect that makes it almost ethereal.”
For Krebs, the project was personal. “Growing up in the Phila- delphia suburbs, New York was a place we went often,” he says. “We felt like the city and the Towers belonged to everyone.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, Krebs was living just four blocks from the World Trade Center. He watched the fires from the roof of his building, reassuring a neighbor that the Towers couldn’t possibly fall. And then they did. “We were left with a feeling of profound shock and absence,” he recalls. “For many of us, working on the project was a way to handle the loss.”
I recommend experiencing the Exhibition Level of the

   58   59   60   61   62