I figured this deserved a separate post. I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial site today and while I could not visit the museum, since it was closed, walking around the site was sobering and uplifting at the same time.
The two pools in the footprints of the two towers have a fascinating design, as described on the website.
The focal points of the Memorial are two pools, each nearly an acre in size, that sit in the footprints of the former North and South Towers. The pools contain the largest manmade waterfalls in North America, each descending 30 feet into a square basin. From there, the water in each pool drops another 20 feet and disappears into a smaller, central void.
According to the architect, Michael Arad, the pools represent “absence made visible.” Although water flows into the voids, they can never be filled. The sound of the cascading water makes the pools a place of tranquility and contemplation separate from the bustling noises of the city.
The deep blue skies allowed for a spectacular view of the memorial, and the buildings surrounding the memorial, reflected in the water, made both a beautiful picture, but also reinforced the loss of the buildings.
I did find the sound of the waterfalls soothing. Names of the victims are engraved all around the edge, and some had white roses in them. I thought at first that they were placed by family members, but it’s the Memorial organization that places them on the birthday of the person. Very touching.
The “Oculus” is the entrance into the shopping area and subway station. I loved the design of this. I could not decide if it represented an airplane or a dove. I especially admired the bravery of the window cleaners!
The new One World building, topping out at 1776 feet, is the tallest office building in the western hemisphere. It is a striking design and can be seen from so may places in the city. They are building the second one now.
An added footnote that we found just as we left. This Callery pear tree is called the “Survivor Tree”. It was found over a month after the attacks among the rubble, with some life left. The tree was removed and nursed back to health and replanted in 2010. It stands as a symbol of perserverance and resilience. I’m sure it’s full of blossoms in the spring.