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New Jersey September 11 Memorial, “Empty Sky”

Jersey City, New Jersey

Client: New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Foundation
Memorial Designer: Jessica Jamroz
Architect: Frederic Schwartz Architects
Completion: 2011

“Empty Sky” remembers 746 New Jersey lives lost on September 11th, 2001. As people gathered at Liberty State Park on the Hudson River to first witness the event, organize rescue efforts, and then remember and mourn, they found strength in their community. “Empty Sky” honors the memory of those lost and connects two communities forever linked by the river that unites them: New Jersey and Lower Manhattan.

Twin walls transect a gently sloped mound anchored by a granite path that directs the viewer’s attention towards Ground Zero. The plinths stand parallel: rising 30 feet high and 210 feet long (mirroring the length of one of the sides of Yamasaki’s World Trade Center Towers), with a 12-foot wide bluestone path between them. The 746 names of the New Jersey residents that perished on 9/11 are etched into the interior elevations of the two brushed stainless steel plates at eye level. Recessed linear LED fixtures run the length of each wall and the vertical brush treatment to the steel surface creates an interreflection of light and shadow, casting continuous, yet ever-changing dimensional views of the surroundings.

The “Empty Sky” memorial unveiling ceremony took place at Liberty State Park in Jersey City on Monday, September 10th, 2012.

2012 Global Society for Environmental Graphic Design