Designing a memorial for a space that not only is sacred but also is bounded by buildings that don't exist, was no easy
task. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) also put forth many rules and requirements that had to be followed. This
made the task even harder. I also have to admit, that even though I've designed theatrical sets, I am not an architect nor
an artist, so creating a presentation board was the ultimate challenge. Being a writer, first and foremost, I believe I relied
too heavily upon the written word to describe my entry.
Be that as it may, I didn't make the finals but have no regrets. I had never entered a memorial contest so this gave
me an opportunity to experience a new creative challenge. I spent a large amount of time gathering all the information I could
as to what the families and loved ones of the 9/11 victims wanted in a memorial (I even listened to the whole three hour open
forum that was held at the end of May). I felt I covered all the bases in regards to their wishes and from the reactions to
the 8 that were finally chosen, I know I had the right ideas down.
So let me start out by presenting what the LMDC required of all entrants. Then I will give you my design statement (an
abbreviated version, since the entry had to refer to numerous items on the drawings which I can't reproduce here). And finally
my ground plan and sketches.
The LMDC Requirements
THE MEMORIAL MISSION STATEMENT
Remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks
of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss.
Recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion
of all who supported us in our darkest hours.
May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect
for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.
PROGRAM GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The memorial is to:
* Embody the goals and spirit of the mission statement;
* Convey the magnitude of personal and physical loss at this
* Acknowledge all those who aided in rescue, recovery and healing;
* Respect and enhance the sacred quality
of the overall site and the space designated for the memorial;
* Encourage reflection and contemplation;
* Evoke the
historical significance and worldwide impact of September 11, 2001;
* Create an original and powerful statement of enduring
and universal symbolism;
* Inspire and engage people to learn more about the events and impact of September 11, 2001 and
February 26, 1993; and
* Evolve over time.
5 physical program elements
The memorial should:
Recognize each individual who was a victim of the attacks 
* Victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New
York, Virginia and Pennsylvania
* Victims of the February 26, 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center
space for contemplation
* An area for quiet visitation and contemplation 
* An area for families and loved ones
of victims 
* Separate accessible space to serve as a final resting-place for the unidentified remains from the World
Trade Center site 
Create a unique and powerful setting that will
* Be distinct from other memorial structures
like a museum or visitor center
* Make visible the footprints of the original World Trade Center towers 
appropriate transitions or approaches to, or within, the memorial
Convey historic authenticity
The memorial or its
surrounding areas may include:
* Surviving original elements
* Preservation of existing conditions of the World Trade
* Allowances for public ceremonies and celebrations
My design statement
September 11 created not only the Pit but a vortex, an epicenter of sorrow and grief, that will be felt down through
the generations. No human memorial will ever be able to contain it for this epicenter is comprised of the thousands of souls
dying, crying in anguish as the towers fell, and the thousands who survived carrying the memory of loss with them for all
time. At best, human hands can only try to modify this barren landscape with images that speak to the memory space of
a collective consciousness that was there, saw it, felt it happen. And pass on to the next generation, like pieces of itinerant
DNA, the strands of what had occurred in this hallowed space, now known as Ground Zero.
For that reason, I have made an effort to base my design and incorporate as many elements as possible taken from
Ground Zero over the last 21 months. I have also looked over and been inspired by photos I have taken and images I have collected
in relation to 9/11. These images showed me that without prompting, without conscious planning, we have already created memorials
that speak to the heart of our pain. They, too, have been my inspiration. We also have images of objects, that in just one
glance, bring back the horror of the first 24 hours and the desperation and despair of the following months. Who can ever
forget the South Tower façade, rising from the rubble like some defiant gothic cathedral, or the crossbeam cross raised above
the pile inspiring hope and fueling the recovery team with faith?
I have also realized that any design must also take into account an angle of viewing not normally present to a memorial
space. The location of the 4.6 acres deep within clusters of proposed buildings will make it possible for people to view the
memorial from above. Something that they view from this bird's eye location must also speak to them, in a quick shorthand
way. Therefore, I have created a plaza in the large open space between the proposed buildings, the tower footprints and the
Liberty St entrance ramp as a unifying symbol that can be viewed from above. Like rays of the sun, pathways will emanate from
a central area of concentric circles within which is mounted the Crushed Globe. This is Survivors' Plaza, named for the survivors
who tie together all the other memory spaces, all the other architectural dialogs within this site. It is also a symbol of
hope, the globe survived against all odd, as did those human survivors, who now walk forward in time and continue to recount
the story as it unfolded that day.
SPEAKING TO THE MISSION STATEMENT AND MEMORIAL PROGRAM PRINCIPLES
How does one "remember?" Memory is a process of connections. It is what we have contained within minds along with stimulus
from the outside. To remember the thousands of people who died in the horrific attacks of Feb 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001
they each must be placed in their proper context. My decision has been to locate the names in different areas of the site,
not to be misconstrued as establishing any sort of hierarchy, but as an aid for those who visit to learn more about them then
just their names.
The endurance of those who survived is represented by the crushed globe at the heart of the Survivors' Plaza. The
courage of those who risked their lives to save others, the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours will be
portrayed in the Helping Hands mural.
The plaza pathways radiating from the Crushed Globe will be emblazoned with great and famous quotes. Quotes that will
reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.
At the center of each tower footprint will be a beacon to represent the sprits of those no longer with us. The North
Tower's will be an Eternal Flame placed in the center of the Enshrined Debris. The South Tower's will be an intense spotlight,
focused heavenward and located dead center surrounded by the Walls of Names.
How can a design convey the magnitude of the personal and physical loss that occurred at this location? The Crossbeam
Cross and the Tower's façade are the two images we have come to identify with this horror. They will have a prominent position
in this design.
Along with the numerous walls of names, and the Enshrined Debris, wanderers into this space will have their memory touched
and jolted by these symbols. Joined with these symbols, will be a Grieving Space for the friends and families of the missing,
these all will convey the magnitude of personal and physical loss at this location.
A space in the South Tower footprint near the proposed waterfall will be set aside for reflection and contemplation.
It will have an area screened off by foliage, another area where one can sit and look outward onto the plaza, and a third
area where one can view a history of the WTC.
To evoke the historical significance and worldwide impact of September 11, there will be a Wall of Flags of each nation
placed on the side of the ramp facing the slurry wall. With each flag will be placed a plaque that lists the number of citizens
To learn more about the events of Feb 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 there will be at the south side of the South Tower
footprint a series of panels similar to the ones now mounted on the viewing wall. They will start with the history of the
WTC and then describe the events of those two attacks. On the Liberty Wall, will be panels describing the events that took
place outside of the World Trade Center acreage: in the air, in Pennsylvania and in the Pentagon.
(c) 2004 Leona M Seufert