The New York Times reports family groups are puzzled by the massive Freedom Center which will block the memorial from Liberty Street and will not focus on the events of 9/11.
The image above shows the current plan for the Freedom Center as seen from the proposed new train station. It completely blocks the memorial from Liberty Street. You will also notice that with all the landscapers assigned to the memorial there’s only room for one row of trees on most sides!
“We’ve ended up with a memorial that’s underground, with a museum that’s hovering over the site,” said Mary Fetchet, the founding director of Voices of Sept. 11, who lost her son, Bradley, in the south tower.
Families are also concerned that visitors will be confused by the International Freedom Center. “You’re going to think that’s the 9/11 museum,” said Edie Lutnick, executive director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund. Because the program planned for the center will not be purely commemorative, some say it does not belong there.
She and others suggest moving the cultural institutions into the bases of the commercial buildings on the site.
“You’ve got 10 million square feet of unrented office space,” Ms. Lutnick said. “Put it there.” The development corporation has said this is not under consideration.
As the comment deadline has passed for the final plan for use of money for the project, the groups expressed upset with various aspects of the memorial.
“We feel it’s now or never,” said the executive director of the World Trade Center United Family Group, Anthony Gardner, whose brother, Harvey Joseph Gardner III, died in the north tower. “People are putting egos aside and we’ve come together again, because we feel the memorial concerns are being ignored. Originally the memorial was the heart of the site, and now it’s getting less and less important.”
Other criticism centered on the heights of buildings facing the street — set at 150 feet similar to those of the World Financial Center across West Street.
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