August 16th, 2011 the air in Saratoga Springs, New York was heavy with the weight of the day. It was the day a Saratoga Springs City Council meeting would decide the fate of the Saratoga Arts Council’s 9/11 Memorial project, “Tempered by Memory.” After losing their location in front of the City Center, the sculpture’s newest location in front of the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center, was being protested. If the project goes to “committee” it is unlikely they will make the installation deadline of September 11th, 2011 for a dedication ceremony to be held on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11.
Press and the town gathered around the key players throughout the day and attended the Council Meeting that night to await the decision made by Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson and the City Council.
Screen shots from the documentary, The Art of Memories, currently in production:
Sculptor Noah Savett interviewed by Torie Wells of Fox News in front of “Tempered by Memory” – a modern sculpture made from WTC Steel. The controversy over the piece’s final location gained it notoriety far outside of the state of New York.
In his office later, Noah Savett shares with us news articles recently published on the controversy of the location of Saratoga Springs’ WTC Steel memorial.
Elizabeth Dubben, Exhibitions Coordinator at the Saratoga Arts Center, prepares for the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting that will decide in favor or against locating the WTC Steel sculpture and 9/11 memorial “Tempered by Memory” on the Saratoga Springs Visitors Center’s front lawn.
Tension is in the air in the packed room of the Saratoga Springs City Council Chamber that overflowed out into the hallway as area residents wait in line to give their opinions on “Tempered by Memory.”
Saratoga Springs resident, Kyle York, demonstrates what he sees as the dangers of the WTC Steel with a rendering placed on top of an extended tri-pod. He refers to the torn pieces of the WTC Steel as “meat hooks”.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson listens to a seemingly never ending line of Saratoga Springs area residents speaking out either against or in favor of the WTC Steel being located at the Visitors Center in downtown Saratoga Springs. In the end, the Council decides to form a committee to decide the fate of the 9/11 Memorial.
Art Historian James Kettlewell, Ironworker Pete Menatowski and Sculptor John Van Alstine can’t hide their disappointment at the turn of events. James and Pete both spoke for the project at the Council meeting. Pete worked as a volunteer constructing the WTC Steel for the last six months and John Van Alstine has spent a year on the project.
Both Joel Reed, Director of the Saratoga Arts Council and Center, and Elizabeth Dubben, Exhibitions Coordinator at Saratoga Arts, see their dream of a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary dedication ceremony for their WTC Steel project disappearing with the formation of a committee. The committee will first need to be appointed and then may take months to reach a decision about the final location of “Tempered by Memory”.