FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND BOROUGH PRESIDENT JAMES P. MOLINARO UNVEIL STATEN ISLAND MEMORIAL TO VICTIMS OF TERROR ATTACKS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro and architect Masayuki Sono in unveiling the memorial to the Staten Island residents who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design was selected from 179 proposals and was funded with $2.47 million in City funds allocated by Borough President Molinaro and $300,000 in capital funds allocated by Mayor Bloomberg.
“This beautiful memorial represents both the sacrifice and the hopefulness of the people of Staten Island,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It poignantly memorializes individual victims and provides a vivid reminder of their lives while challenging us to look towards and build a brighter future. I want to thank Borough President Molinaro for managing this process with dignity and compassion, and Masayuki Sono for his inspiring and brilliant design.”
Located on the St. George Esplanade adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, the memorial, entitled “Postcards,” features two 40-foot-high wing-like sculptures with granite plaques bearing the names of each victim, as well as their profiles in silhouette. The sculptures represent large-scale postcards to the loved ones who perished, and each of the 252 plaques erected thus far on the memorial signifies a commemorative stamp. When viewed from the esplanade, the two “postcards” frame the former site of the World Trade Center across New York Harbor, offering a dramatic tribute to the lives lost in the tragedy. The families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 attacks who lived on Staten Island were offered space in the design to memorialize their loved ones and so far 252 have participated.
“I hope and pray that Masayuki Sono’s magnificent memorial will bring some comfort to the families of the 271 Staten Island victims of the World Trade Center attacks,” said Borough President Molinaro. “Today, we are finally realizing our dream of a fitting tribute to these victims and a place of solace for those they have left behind. On behalf of the people of Staten Island, I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Economic Development Corporation for their sensitivity and support. I also wish to acknowledge the cooperation and dedication of my memorial advisory committee and Laura Jean Watters, executive director of the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, for all their efforts in making our dream a reality.”
“The concept for this memorial came from a desire to create something that would connect us all to the victims of this tragedy,” said Masayuki Sono. “I chose the symbol of the postcard because we all write to people we remember and miss. Set on the axis that frames the view towards the World Trade Center site, the memorial seeks to restore the tie between the community and its loss. At the same time it symbolizes hope for the future and the spirit of freedom.”
A 12-member advisory committee appointed by Borough President Molinaro and headed by Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. selected the design for “Postcards” in June of 2003. The panel, comprised of family members of the victims, elected officials, and community representatives from Staten Island issued a request for designs and received 179 submissions from 19 countries in January, 2003. The pool was later narrowed down to six finalists whose proposals were exhibited at venues throughout Staten Island
Throughout the selection process, the advisory committee engaged the public and solicited feedback on the proposed designs. At a public forum at the College of Staten Island held in June of 2003, the six finalists presented their proposals and answered questions from audience members and panelists. Family members of the victims also played a large role in the memorial planning process after the committee announced the selection of Sono’s design. In addition to providing the architect with information and photographs, families participated in working group meetings to discuss how their loved ones would be honored and approved final drawings before construction began. The City’s Economic Development Corporation provided assistance in managing the artist selection process, architectural and engineering design and construction and management services.
Masayuki Sono was born in Kobe, Japan in 1971 and spent ten years of his childhood in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He received his Masters of Architecture from the University of Seattle in 1996 and returned to Kobe to complete another Masters of Architecture in 1998. Over the years, he has participated in a variety of projects, including the renovation and addition to the Asia Society, the LaGuardia International Airport Control Tower and the World Trade Center Site Perimeter Enclosure. He works at Voorsanger & Associates Architects and lives in New York City.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Pat Wilks (BP Molinaro) (718) 816-2049