Skip to comments.Architect Offers Changes to 9/11 Memorial
Posted on 09/14/2005 4:54:48 PM PDT by jimbo123
The architect of the memorial to a plane downed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, said Wednesday he would work to satisfy critics who complained that it honors terrorists with its crescent-shaped design.
Designer Paul Murdoch said he is "somewhat optimistic" that the spirit of the design could be maintained.
"It's a disappointment there is a misinterpretation and a simplistic distortion of this, but if that is a public concern, than that is something we will look to resolve in a way that keeps the essential qualities," Murdoch, 48, of Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview.
Murdoch's design, "Crescent of Embrace," was selected last week during a meeting of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission from five narrowed down from 1,011.
The recommendation of the 15-member jury consisting of design professionals and family and community members still needs to be approved by the Interior Department.
Its shape is a circle broken by the flight pattern of the plane, which supporters have said follows the topography of the crash site.
Chris Martin, spokesman for Flight 93 National Memorial, said Wednesday family members and federal advisory commission members turned to Murdoch for assistance.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., sent a letter Tuesday to National Park Service Director Fran Mainella saying many have questioned the shape "because of the crescent's prominent use as a symbol in Islam and the fact that the hijackers were radical Islamists."
Will Adams, spokesman for Tancredo, said Wednesday Tancredo would be happy with the changes only if the crescent shape is removed.
Murdoch said he's not sure exactly what changes he would make.
The memorial also consists of a chapel with 40 metallic wind chimes one for each victim. It would include pedestrian trails and a roadway to a visitor center and the actual crash site. At the site would be a crescent-shaped cluster of maple trees and a white marble wall inscribed with the victims' names.
"We called it a crescent because it was a curving land form. We called it 'Crescent of Embrace' because of the symbolic gesturing of embracing this place," Murdoch said. "There's no desire to make this a divisive memorial."
Gordon Felt, of Remsen, N.Y., whose brother Edward Felt was killed on Flight 93, said he called Tancredo's office and said Tancredo should have held off on his criticism.
"I wish he would come out to Somerset and see topography of the land," Felt said.
Felt said it is natural for the design to evolve.
"I think the topography of the land would really dictate there would be some kind of arc," Felt said.
Flight 93 was flying to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., when it was hijacked and crashed 65 miles outside Pittsburgh. The official 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed it as passengers tried to take control of the cockpit.
The new design will be a crescent with a star.
Not good enough. We don't WANT to "keep the spirit of the design."
I personally didn't take issue with the design, but I did have a problem with the name. But Flight 93 families are involved with the design, so in my view their votes are the ones that really count.
Good! I wonder what he's going to change it to?
I think he knew perfectly well what it looked like, and in fact I read an interview with him where he described his wretched insult of a design as a "sign of reconciliation." And all the Muslim organizations from CAIR on down have rushed forward to support him. Sorry, the innocent act doesn't work.
Let's see what he comes up with first.
Darn hoi polloi.....daring to criticize their more intelligent superiors!
I don't think the families matter, quite frankly. They probably have varying opinions on it, in any case.
This is an American monument to American people who did something very important in a time of crisis. The monument is for us to remember them, not for their families or their families' memory of them.
BTW, the "Chapel" was exactly where a star would be...
Blogosphere and pajama people strike again:)
I doubt this clown will remove the crescent. He's better than us. He's an tax funded artiste!
I agree with you. It is too obviously an Islamic symbol for him to act ignorant.
Make it a pentagon minus one side.
You beat me to it...us "simpletons" just don't get the sophistication. How telling is THAT?
Wanna put some money on that???
That is wrong--a red crescent by accident? I think not.
This architect thought he'd sneak in his sick joke for all his artist friends and it didn't work.
Whether or not the symbolism was intentional, it will still be seen as an Islamic overtone, particularly in the radical Muslim world. I don't want any sort of honor, recognition, or memorialization of the hijackers or their ilk, intentional or not. I don't want any celebrations in the hearts of the proponents of this twisted philosophy.
a broken circle can symblolize a lot of things. fuhgawdsake, too many cooks spoil the broth. just rebuild the freaking thing -- assuming, of course it makes sense to economically. I'm sure the replacement cost of those towers is astronomical and probably couldn't repaid at reasonable rents were it not for concessions and subsidies. so, maybe it should be a park for a few years, until there's demand for the space again. right now it seems like they can't give away office space in the financial district.