A Sketch in Time: Reflections at the 9/11 Memorial

Reflections at Manhattan’s 9/11 Memorial

Twelve years after the September 11th tragedy, I found time last week to reflect at the 9/11 Memorial, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker & Partners. The journey to the memorial was very personal for me. After arriving into the city by ferry, I went straight to the memorial preview site to get my pass. There were already people waiting, and standing in line with fellow New Yorkers as well as tourists from many countries around the world, and I felt emotional, remembering the impact of that day was felt across the globe.

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Due to the ongoing construction, the process of entry was incredibly controlled. As I slowly made my way down Church Street towards the memorial entrance, my first glimpse was of the tailbone of Calatrava’s Transportation Hub.

After finally making it through security, I arrived to the sound of rushing water, strong enough to drown out the noise of the surrounding city. The pools were breathtaking, and the simplicity of the gentle waterfall echoing the footprint of the fallen towers was a powerful monument to the 3,000 victims and their families. Standing there, feeling the mist of the water on my face, I was moved.

The constant influx of memorial visitors made me feel as though I were sketching in the middle of Manhattan traffic, but I found comfort relaxing among the white oak trees. From my post I could see the black border of names hovering over the pools through the trees, and their presence, surrounded by new construction and the hoards of visitors somehow eased my sadness. The weather turned a bit cloudy and cold, but I kept sketching because I wanted to remember.

All images courtesy FXFOWLE

This post first appeared on FXFOWLE’s blog, click here to read more.



Carol Hsiung, LEED, is an architect who has been happily designing and drawing with her pencil at FXFOWLE since 2000. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and 8 year old son who loves his pencil but not as much as the mighty computer.

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