official proposal

the logic

From the time it was constructed, the World Trade Center wove its way into the fabric of life in New York, coming to reside as a symbol of the American Spirit. It should be remembered this way: as a supreme expression of human ingenuity and vision as well as the container of countless profound moments of friendship, love, heroism and dumbstruck awe.

the idea

We propose weaving the outline of the shadows that would have been cast by the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 in a thin steel band across the city landscape. The silver thread, seven inches wide, would be woven into the surface of our city as it cuts, flush, across streets and sidewalks, darts up the sides of buildings, crosses over rooftops, draws across plazas and intersections. The shadow selected would have stretched across lower Manhattan at 2:52 p.m.

the time [2:52]
• Marks the moment on September 11th when the towers’ shadow would have stretched the exact 1368 and 1362 feet that Towers One and Two soared into the sky.
• As Studio Daniel Libeskind's "Wedge Of Light" offers tribute to the specific moments of attack, "Thread Of Remembrance" offers tribute to every other moment of the calendar year. Just an ordinary minute in the course of the day, it reminds us of the precious nature of each instant of life and every moment shared with those we lost.
• Evokes the physical presence of the towers still standing in our hearts, our memory and
our mind’s eye.

the location

We have aimed for a memorial that highlights the interwoven nature of lives lived in this great gathering called New York. The twin towers did not merely reside atop their foundational footprint but formed a backdrop and focus throughout the whole of this international city, from the Rockaways to the hills of Staten Island. As such, we envision a memorial that is woven into the urban texture and is non-localized.


the encounter

The little metal band could be encountered privately, unawares, blocks away from the site of the original towers and give pause in just the same way that the World Trade Center had the ability to jolt one with awe upon suddenly catching a glimpse of it when rounding a corner.

The tracing could also be apprehended on an entirely different scale. The full design could be perceived from the air, from surrounding skyscrapers or, ultimately, from the viewing platform of Studio Daniel Libeskind's 1776 foot tower designed for the new site. In fact, as with the enormous Nazca geoglyphs of Peru, the privileged viewing position would imply a Gods’ eye view - a drawing designed for the heavenly viewing of those family members, friends, lovers, coworkers, visitors and fellow subway riders whose loss we grieve.

the installation

The ‘Thread of Remembrance’ could be installed by those among us in need of processing grief by the use of our own hands. Thusly, it could be an internationally recognized icon of the repair of the New York Spirit.

We propose extending an open invitation to victims’ families, survivors, rescue workers and citizens throughout the world community to join - under professional contractor’s supervision - in the necessary labor of shoveling earth, hauling material, inlaying and constructing the ‘Thread.’ In this democratic exercise, our injured community could come together from its disparate locales the world over to physically reconceive the towers and the humanity they embody. This shared installation could impart the purpose of the ‘Thread’ as that of a silver lining, a living memorial in which everyone could see themselves reflected.

the future

A memorial honoring a calamity for the ages should provide us with solace and offer future generations an active means with which to find meaning in events beyond mortal understanding. With ensuing generations making the necessary adjustments to accommodate new development and new life, the ‘Thread Of Remembrance’ would live as an architectural eternal flame.

official proposal

Created by artists Mark Roth and Janna Olson
Words and Images ©Copyright tinsquo - Feb/2002