Dual Memory

Dual Memory
Brian Strawn and Karla Sierralta, Chicago IL

The memory of an individual and the combined memory of the community as a whole are embodied by the footprints of the former World Trade Center Towers and the new future for the area. On a personal level, and as members of our larger communities, we were all affected by the terrorist attacks on February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. The footprints serve as healing points for our great losses.

Elements of water reflect light and memory.
2,982 light portals shine over the “Individual Memory Footprint”, where the North Tower of the WTC once stood. Each light glows with individual intensity, honoring all of the victims who died. Elements of water embrace and reflect memories related to those we lost, those who survived and the selfless actions of those who aided in rescue, recovery and healing. The journey to the emotional center of the footprint is a personal experience. Evolving images are reflected as water flows down the walls that support the plane of water above. On glass and stone, the names are revealed. Here, as stories are shared, they become part of our collective. A final resting place for the unidentified remains embraces a private area for family members and loved ones. This space, at bedrock, becomes the most sacred.

Elements of earth create spaces that frame the sky.
92 Sugar Maples trees stand on the “Shared Memory Footprint”. The space, where the South Tower of the WTC once stood, is devoted to the shared loss of a community, a city, a country, and the world. These native trees of New York grow as a symbol of new life in the soil of each of the 92 nations brought together by the great tragedies. A shared path guides visitors through bands of nature that form around the emotional center of the footprint. Stone walls that carry messages of hope from each of the countries and a bed of wild roses surround this quiet space for meditation and contemplation.

The emotional centers of each of the footprints resonate at a different pace. The constantly evolving stories of the individual inform the more slowly developing shared perspective of the collective. These encounter one another, exchange their composition, and form landscaped patterns allowing for intimate and public gatherings. Although the intensity of the lights changes during the course of day, and the trees weather with the passing of the seasons, the footprints will act as a constant reminder.



Technical Fact Sheet 
DUAL MEMORY- Brian Strawn and Karla Sierralta 
Memorial elements:
• The memorial contains an “Individual Memory Footprint” where the north tower once 
stood, a “Shared Memory Footprint” where the south tower once stood, and a 
landscaped plane connecting the two. 
• The “Individual Memory Footprint” contains a floating plane of water over an enclosed 
pavilion, water memory walls, projected images and stories, and the victims’ names.   
• The “Shared Memory Footprint” contains 92 sugar maples, soil from 92 countries, wood 
benches, plantings, “messages of hope” from 92 countries carved on stone walls, 
seasonal art, artifact installations, limestone / gravel paving, and beds of wild roses. 
• The area between the two footprints allows for intimate and large public gatherings. 
Access to Memorial:
• The memorial ground plane is approximately 28 feet-38 feet below the adjacent 
sidewalks.  One can access the memorial from stairs at the Park of Heroes (Fulton 
Street), September 11 Place, Greenwich Street, or a ramp from Liberty Park North 
(Liberty Street). 
• One enters the “Individual Memory Footprint” and the “Shared Memory Footprint” 
from the memorial ground plane. 
• There is a window from the PATH concourse to the Individual Memory Footprint. 
* Recognition of each individual:
• There are 2,982 “portals of light” in a pool of water over the “Individual Memory 
Footprint”.  They project light upwards and downwards. 
• At the “Individual Memory Footprint”, individuals’ names are engraved on glass 
panels, in a random arrangement.  Individuals’ names, locations, and date of loss are 
also engraved on polished black granite panels, in a random arrangement. 
* Area for quiet contemplation and visitation:
• The center of the “Shared Memory Footprint” contains a quiet space with benches and 
grass for meditation and contemplation.      
* Area for families and loved ones:
• There is a private area for families and loved ones at the heart of the “Individual 
Memory Footprint”, at bedrock, near the unidentified remains.  A raised plane of granite 
and water reflects lights from above as well as the visitors peering into it.  The names of 
the victims are included in this area, shown on translucent onyx panels,  in order of 
* Resting place for unidentified remains:
• The resting place for the unidentified remains is adjacent to a private area for families 
and loved ones, at bedrock. 
* Delineation of footprints:
• The tower footprints are delineated by the “Individual Memory Footprint” structure and 
the “Shared Memory Footprint” garden. 
Access to bedrock:
• Family members have access via elevator to a special area in the north tower footprint, at 
bedrock, as described above. 
• The LMDC will ensure that access to bedrock at the footprints is provided.

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