Governor George E. Pataki today was joined by New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey to announce plans for construction of a state-of-the-art viewing wall at Ground Zero that will allow visitors from around the world to pay their respects while safely viewing the World Trade Center site.
The first portion of the wall will display panels bearing the names of the more than 2,800 people who died at the site on September 11, 2001. The wall is being constructed by the Port Authority and will open on the west side of Church Street, along with a new, 40-foot-wide sidewalk, by September 11, 2002.
\"As we continue to rebuild at Ground Zero, we recognize how important this site has become -- not just to New Yorkers -- but to people throughout the world,” Governor Pataki said. \"We will never forget the thousands of heroes lost on September 11th, and this new wall will allow families and visitors to safely and respectfully view the site and reflect on that fateful day.\"
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, \"The viewing wall is a welcome opportunity for the families of victims and America to reflect upon the tragedy of September 11th and the memorial site. I thank Governor Pataki for his leadership in constantly ensuring that the interests of victims’ families are paramount.\"
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, \"In the past year, millions of our friends and neighbors have come here and stood united as one. This viewing wall will continue to bring us together and continue to unite us as we move forward.\"
The specially designed wall will surround a large portion of the site’s perimeter, from the northeast corner at Church and Vesey streets, extending south to Liberty Street and turning the corner to the south side of the site at Liberty and Washington streets -- about 1,800 linear feet in all. Along the length of the wall, fiberglass panels will be inscribed with the names of the fallen heroes. There will also be panels that will describe the history of the site before, during and after September 11.
The viewing wall will feature several alcoves, each about 40 linear feet long, where visitors can stop and reflect while pedestrian sidewalk traffic can continue unimpeded. By looking through the viewing wall, they will have an opportunity to reflect on the enormity of the destruction by viewing the 16-acre site.
The first portion of the viewing wall will open next month, along Church Street from Fulton to Cortland Streets. The new sidewalk and the viewing wall will be lit at night by photo-cell-activated lamps. The remainder of the viewing wall will open in phases as sections are completed throughout the remainder of the year. A new, 40-foot-wide sidewalk also is being constructed along Church and Liberty streets at the site.
Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, \"The viewing wall will allow us to reflect and help us to heal, by providing a new vista on the site and by incorporating inscribed panels that will list the names of our September 11 heroes.\"
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, \"As visitors come to the World Trade Center site and view this area where so much tragedy took place, it’s important that they also see firsthand he evidence of our determination to renew and rebuild.\"
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"The staff of the Port Authority, along with our consultants and contractors, worked around the clock for months because they knew how important this viewing wall will be for the millions of people who visit this site. These hard-working individuals have again demonstrated what dedication and teamwork can accomplish.\"
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Lou Tomson said, \"The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was honored to play an important role in bringing together families, residents and small business owners -- all of whom worked hard to develop a concept for the viewing wall that accommodates visitors to the site and is appropriate and respectful.\"
Diana Balmori, who led the New York New Visions team that designed the wall in an intensive workshop earlier in the year, said, \"This fence answers our best hopes for the perimeter of Ground Zero and it has been the result of the joint work of many -- an NYNV team that worked intensely over a weekend, the LMDC, and the Port Authority’s Design Department. It accommodates both the larger public as well as smaller groups who seek to visit the site. It accepts people\'s need to visit, see and bear witness.\"
Christy Ferer, whose husband, Port Authority Executive Director Neil D. Levin, was killed on September 11, 2001, said, \"The families who lost our loved ones are grateful that visitors will have a dignified setting to reflect on the suffering and the heroism that will forever be associated with this site. It is fitting that the names of those who died will be displayed here, to live on in visitors’ thoughts as they live in our hearts. And of course the families will continue to have their own private viewing area at 1 Liberty Plaza. I am grateful to Governor Pataki, Governor McGreevey, Mayor Bloomberg and the Port Authority.\"
Click here for a virtual tour of the Viewing Wall