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9/11 memorial design contest called biggest ever

Organizers: 13,683 people registered to submit proposals

From Phil Hirschkorn
CNN

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The open, international competition to design a memorial at Ground Zero for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is the biggest design competition in history, organizers said Friday.

A total of 13,683 people registered to submit proposals before this week's deadline.

The hopefuls are from all 50 states and 94 nations. More than three-fourths are from the United States.

New York alone provided more than one-third of the total, with 4,598 registrants.

The totals were announced by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the city-state agency overseeing the memorial and rebuilding on the 16-acre World Trade Center site.

The memorial concepts are to be submitted between June 9 and June 30, but based on past competitions, only half of the registrants are expected to submit designs and pay the $25 fee.

Entrants will be kept anonymous before the jury.

Initial judging will occur this summer. Finalists will be named in September, and a winner announced in October.

The 13-person jury consists of a Lower Manhattan resident, a victim's widow, academics and fine arts professionals, including architect Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

The memorial schemes must fit on a 40- by 30-inch board that may include photographs of models, computer-generated images, hand drawings and paintings, and must be described in English.

"Above all else, be daring, be bold, be unconventional," LMDC interim President Kevin Rampe said to the designers.

The guidelines call for all 2,792 people killed both in the crash of two hijacked airliners into the 110-story twin towers and in the towers' subsequent collapse to be remembered individually and equally.

New York firefighters have argued that uniformed rescue workers -- such as the 343 firefighters, police officers and emergency medical responders killed in the line of duty -- should receive special recognition.

"The memorial must capture and convey the heroism that prevailed on September 11th, the selfless courage displayed that morning ... must be conveyed to future generations. Their story must be told," Rampe said.

The trade center memorial will also honor 224 people killed in the other September 11 hijacking crashes, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and six people killed in the trade center truck bombing in 1993.

The number of competition registrants is about 10 times more than the 1,421 who entered the Vietnam memorial competition that Lin won in 1980.

About 2,600 people and teams registered for the Pentagon's September 11 memorial competition, and nearly 1,200 submitted designs.

That competition was won this year by New York architects Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman, who will break ground this summer.

Oklahoma City's competition for a memorial to 168 people killed in the federal building bombing in 1995 received about 4,800 registrants and 627 submissions.

The trade center memorial is meant to fit onto a 4.5-acre parcel in the southwest corner of the site -- a setting created by architect Daniel Libeskind, whose master plan was chosen for the rebuilding project earlier this year.

"The names of victims need not be listed alphabetically or for that matter, even listed at all," Rampe said.

The Vietnam memorial lists the war dead chronologically. The Pentagon memorial will arrange benches for each victim by age. Oklahoma City's chairs are organized by the floors they worked on.

The competition guidelines are posted on the competition's Web site, www.wtcsitememorial.org.


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