Empty Sky

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

On June 29th, 2011 we traveled across the Hudson River on the ferry with architect Frederic Schwartz and Tracy Hummer of Frederic Schwartz Architects to visit the New Jersey’s 9/11 Memorial.  Named “Empty Sky” the design was selected by a committee composed of family members of victims of the attacks on September 11th 2001. It sits near the waters edge at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The presentation of the victims’ names will be the largest of any memorial in the world.  At the end of the two walls, which represent the Twin Towers falling, will be a WTC Steel Artifact.  Seven hundred and forty six names of New Jersey residents killed on 9/11 rest at the memorial.

Architect Frederic Schwartz knows where each name is engraved on the reflective stainless steel panels. He spent almost ten years making sure the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial came to fruition.  Through budget cuts and controversy, he believed those lost deserved a memorial.

Screen shots from the documentary, The Art of Memories, currently in production:

The first stainless steel panel with names of the New Jersey victims of 9/11 etched upon it is lowered into place.

Architect Frederic Schwartz sees himself reflected in the stainless steel for the first time.  This reflective quality is an integral part of the design of “Empty Sky”.

A few names of victims of 9/11 are revealed as the plastic protective coating is removed for the first time.

Tracy Hummer contemplates the relationship of “Empty Sky” with the empty space left by the destruction of the Twin Towers in the New York Skyline.

Architect Frederic Schwartz snaps a photo of the progress of the NJ 9/11 Memorial before heading back to his office in NYC.

On the ferry ride back to Manhattan, both Fred and Tracy are focused on the view of the NJ 9/11 Memorial and its current state of construction. “Empty Sky” will be dedicated on September 10th, 2011.


In the spirit of keeping those we love close, it was my daughter’s birthday that day and I wish her many, many more and I hope that she will never have to live through another 9/11 in her lifetime.  I hope that none of us do.




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