FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR DESIGN OF FLIGHT 587 MEMORIAL
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin and Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares today announced the six finalists being considered for creating a memorial to honor the memory of the 265 lives lost in the Flight 587 tragedy on November 12, 2001 in Belle Harbor, Queens. The artists/creative teams were selected through a panel process involving representatives of the families of the victims, the community, arts professionals, City agencies and other civic officials. Selections were made from the 68 submissions the City received in response to the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued on May 6th. Finalists are now charged with developing their conceptual design proposals, which they will formally present to the panel in late August. A final design selection will be announced in early September.
"The creation of a memorial that reflects the depth of this tragedy and honors the lives of those who perished in the crash of Flight 587 is a priority for our Administration," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As a result of our collaboration with the families of the victims of Flight 587 and the residents of Belle Harbor, we have selected six talented artists from 68 submissions to design an appropriate memorial that will be a powerful place for us to share our grief and remember the legacy of those who were lost."
"The sentiments of the families and communities affected by the tragedy have been the guiding force in this process to accomplish a memorial," said Commissioner Linares. "We look forward as a City to gathering at a permanent symbol of love and reverence for the lives lost on Flight 587 and on the ground."
"We are confident that the selection process will result in an excellent design that is sensitive to the complexities the project poses in terms of both subject matter and site," said Commissioner Levin. "The finalists offer an impressive range of approaches to designing a public space that will memorialize the victims of this tragedy and serve as a beautiful public place of remembrance and reflection."
Panelists evaluated artists/creative teams based on the following criteria: artistic excellence, as shown in past work; appropriateness of the general conceptual approach to designing this memorial, and successful experience with comparable projects, including past projects that demonstrate respect for the subject matter.
The selected site for the memorial is at the ocean end of Beach 116th Street, near the entrance to the beach. As part of this project, the existing cul de sac and the beach entrance will be reconfigured to suit the memorial and improve beach access. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Transportation will be responsible for the design and construction of the site, including plantings and the memorial's foundation. The approximate budget for the memorial is $2 million. The City is raising both public and private support for this project. Tribute Park, honoring those who perished on September 11, 2001, is being built on a site at the opposite end of 116th Street, on the bay side of the peninsula.
Flight 587 was headed to Santo Domingo when the crash occurred at 9:16am on November 12, 2001, shortly after it took off from JFK International Airport. Many of the passengers were flying together in family groups, either returning to the Dominican Republic after a visit to New York, or were beginning a visit home. All passengers and crew perished along with five people on the ground. The event created a profound loss for families in the United States, the Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, Israel, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, and particularly for two New York City neighborhoods, Washington Heights and Belle Harbor. The second deadliest aviation accident in American history brought together New York's Dominican Community and the residents of Belle Harbor in the Rockaways. The memorial will be a place of remember how much those lost meant to the families, their communities and the City.
The following are the finalists:
Donald Lipski and David Meyer
In his 20-year career as a licensed landscape architect, David Meyer has directed the design and execution of many prestigious and award-winning projects, including the Sony Center in Berlin, the Munich Airport Center and Puerta de Europa in Madrid. Mr. Meyer has also worked on the Maryland World War II Memorial in Annapolis and the Plains Indian Memorial in Little Bighorn National Park, Montana. He is an adjunct professor at the University of California in Berkeley and a winner of the 2000 Rome Prize in landscape architecture.
Krzysztof Wodiczko and Julian Bonder
Born in New York City, Julian Bonder was raised in Argentina and returned to the United States in 1995. He is currently an Associate Professor at Roger Williams University's School of Architecture in Rhode Island. As a practicing architect, he has worked on the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires, a memorial for AMIA/Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina in Buenos Aires, a project for the Camp Meigs Memorial (Civil War Memorial for the training site of the Massachusetts Regiments) and a Memorial for the Victims of States Violence in Buenos Aires.
Mr. Bonder's work has also been presented in the Bienal of Architecture in Buenos Aires, the Trienale of Architecture in Milan, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires and the The Boston Society of Architects Gallery.
Edward Skyler/Silvia Alvarez (212) 788-2958
Sara Rutkowski (Cultural Affairs)
Erica Gonzalez (Immigrant Affairs)