Press Release Article


Date: May 26, 2010
Press Release Number: 30-2010

Major Milestone Expected this Summer with Planting of First Cluster of Trees on Memorial Plaza

100% of the Memorial Structural Steel Now Installed

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum today announced the creation of an interactive 3D model of the 9/11 Memorial that online users can visit and explore through Google Earth.   As part of the announcement, the 9/11 Memorial and Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced that an initial cluster of trees will begin to be planted on the Memorial Plaza later this summer—before the 9th anniversary of 9/11. The project has achieved a major benchmark of progress with 100% of the structural steel for the Memorial now in place.

“With the new Google Earth 3D model, the public can now take a virtual tour of the Memorial,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial. “It provides a preview of the Memorial in the context of the rebuilt World Trade Center site and an idea of what it will mean to the future landscape of our city.”

“Google’s 3D model gives the public a chance to explore the Memorial within its lower Manhattan setting,” said Joe Daniels, 9/11 Memorial President. “I want to thank the Google team for dedicating resources to provide the public with this interactive experience.

“With the structural steel now fully installed and 85% of concrete poured, we are well on our way to meeting our goal of opening the Memorial in time for the 10th anniversary. Working together with the Port Authority, the project’s construction manager, we are seeing real momentum at the site. The first set of trees will be planted in late summer – the start of transforming the Memorial site into a new green space in the heart of the World Trade Center,” Daniels said.

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "We are seeing real progress and momentum at the World Trade Center site every day, including our work to build and open the 9/11 Memorial Plaza by the 10th anniversary. This partnership with Google will give the public a sneak peek behind the fence on how things are progressing as we work to complete this important project.”

"The ability to visualize the memorial in its geographic context even before it is constructed is key to understanding its place in New York City's landscape.  Google is proud to provide the tools that make that possible,” said Bruce Polderman, Product Manager, Google, Inc.

Using Google Earth, the public can now explore the Memorial within the context of the surrounding landscape of lower Manhattan. Google Earth, a satellite imagery-based mapping program, creates a virtual look at the World Trade Center site by introducing a new, dimensionally accurate 3D model that replicates key components of the Memorial and other planned projects at the 16-acre site.

With the integration of the Google Earth plugin, visitors to the 9/11 Memorial Web site are now able to pan over the planned Memorial pools, plaza and its nearly 400 oak trees. They can peek through the glass atrium of the Museum Pavilion to see two seven-story steel “tridents” that will greet future visitors of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

With a few clicks of a computer mouse, users may get a clear visualization of key design elements. They can glide over the two signature memorial pools – each about an acre in size – and experience the 30-foot waterfalls that will flow within the original footprints of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. Visitors can easily zoom in and scan the Memorial plaza, seeing the intricate details of each cobblestone or zoom out and hover over the entire site for an unobstructed view of the Memorial and the other planned WTC projects, including the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center. Users can also access information about key design elements of the memorial through informational “balloons” overlaying the model. 

The Google Earth model can be accessed through the 9/11 Memorial’s Web site,


Late this summer a major milestone is expected to be reached with the installation of the first cluster of trees on the Memorial Plaza. Approximately a dozen trees will be brought in before the 9th anniversary of 9/11 and the planting of the trees will continue in stages. Work is now beginning to prepare the Memorial Plaza for the nearly 400 swamp white oak and sweetgum trees. The plaza will be raised approximately six feet from its current level to create a suspended paving system containing soil and irrigation for the trees. The Memorial Plaza will be one of the most sustainable, eco-friendly plazas every constructed. The project is pursuing the Gold certification under the LEED for New Construction program of the U.S. Green Building Council.  For now, the trees are being stored at a New Jersey nursery and are currently 32-feet tall. They are expected to grow an average of two feet per year.

Google’s 3D model will depict the plans for the completed Memorial.  Presently, the site has been marked by major construction progress, including:

  • Steel installation completion
  • 85% of concrete poured
  • 80% of granite stone for the North Pool installed
  • Mechanical pumps for waterfalls installation underway
  • Memorial trees preparation
  • Bronze names panel fabrication underway

Granite installation has started in the North Pool of the Memorial. Stones were precut into panels measuring roughly two and a half feet by five feet with each weighing about 420 pounds.  When completed, 3,968 of these panels will line the North Pool. Approximately, 3,170 panels have been installed to date.

Sixteen mechanical pumps will power the 30-foot waterfalls in the Memorial’s North and South pools.  Eight will be assigned for each pool, creating 40 pounds of pressure that will help recycle water at a rate of 52,000 gallons per minute. The pumps are already on site and are currently being installed. 

The pools of the Memorial are fully framed in steel.  100% percent of the steel has been installed for the project. Once complete, the total amount of steel will equal 8,151 tons or more than what was used to build the iconic Eiffel Tower. To date, more than 85% of the concrete has been poured. The total amount of concrete will be 49,000 cubic yards, equaling twice the volume of the Macy’s building in Herald Square, New York.


The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, raise the funds, and program and operate the Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site.  The Memorial and Museum will be located on eight of the 16 acres of the site.

The Memorial will remember and honor the nearly 3,000 people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001.  The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees. 

The Museum will display monumental artifacts linked to the events of September 11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 attacks and the aftermath.  It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community.

Donations can be made through and more information can be found at the 9/11 Memorial’s Web site,

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