Empty Sky: New Jersey 9/11 Memorial


"Empty Sky" remembers 744 New Jersey lives lost on September 11th 2001. As people gathered at Liberty State Park on the Hudson River to first witness the event, organize rescue efforts, and then remember and mourn, they found strength in their community. "Empty Sky" honors the memory of those lost and the special place they called home connecting two communities forever linked by the river that unites them: New Jersey and Lower Manhattan. The 744 names will appear randomly on the twin brushed stainless steel walls that face one another. Individuals' names (4 inches tall) are within reach and engraved deep enough for hand rubbing. The brushed stainless steel twin walls are 210 feet long, the width of each side of the World Trade Center Towers. They rise 30 feet, standing parallel to each other with a 12-foot wide paved path of bluestone between them. The walls are a grid of 3/8 inch, marine-grade stainless steel plates, measuring 4 feet by 8 feet. Like the World Trade Center, the stainless steel reflects the constantly changing light of day. The memorial invites visitors to literally and metaphorically look toward the empty sky in memory and look forward as a community. A gently sloped mound is channeled by a path that directs the sight line to Ground Zero, peeling back the earth to reveal this powerful perspective. A low, grassy berm softly rises to ten feet creating an amphitheater like incline that faces Lower Manhattan. Groves of dogwood trees will both buffer and beautify the site and in a cycle of strength and renewal, the dogwoods will distinctly reflect the changing seasons. Two types of lighting systems illuminate the memorial. On the interior, along the base, lights wash the names with a soft glow and atop the wallsâ€"metal halide lights generate twin beams that extend into the night.

Constructed, 2011