10. The Footprints of the Twin Towers
There were over 5,200 entries in the World Trade Center Memorial Design Competition in 2003. The winning design, “Reflecting Absence,” came from architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker, and retained the exact footprints of the original Twin Towers. Each reflecting pool is about an acre in size, with 30 feet of granite walls over which 26,000 gallons of water flow a minute. Taken together, the two pools constitute the largest man-made waterfall in North America.
According to the Memorial Jury that chose the winner, the design “fulfills most eloquently the daunting but absolutely necessary demands of this memorial. In its powerful, yet simple articulation of the footprints of the Twin Towers, ‘Reflecting Absence’ has made the voids left by the destruction the primary symbols of our loss.
“By allowing absence to speak for itself, the designers have made the power of these empty footprints the memorial. At its core, this memorial is anchored deeply in the actual events it commemorates-connecting us to the towers’ destruction, and more importantly, to all the lives lost on that day….”