Best little-known 9-11 memorial (2008)


It didn't cost a billion dollars (or half a billion either), it didn't spawn wrenching criticism by family members of victims, and it's been open for almost two years already. It's also simple, moving, and serenely located on the pastoral waterfront lip of the north shore of Staten Island, overlooking New York harbor and the skyline where the twin towers once soared. Called Postcards (the name is based on a concept that doesn't quite work, but that's unimportant), the memorial consists of a pair of 40-foot-tall sweeping white wings, fashioned from steel and fiberglass, into which the names and silhouetted likenesses of 271 Staten Island residents who perished in the attack have been chiseled. Located just west of the ferry terminal and a long fly ball's distance from the Staten Island Yankees ballpark, the memorial rests on the edge of the new St. George Esplanade. Its designer, Masayuki Sono, a 34-year-old Japanese-born architect, won a citywide competition with his entry. Too bad no one told George Pataki and his own WTC memorial committee how it could be done before they tied themselves in knots.


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