The WTC Memorial Finalist That Wasn't

Fred Bernstein's Twin Piers Memorial, Feb 2002, image:

[via Archinect] Fred Bernstein's proposal for a World Trade Center Memorial has been online for a while. (I first saw--and posted about-- it when Timothy Noah featured it on Slate way back in Feb. 2002.) . Back then, it was an unexpectedly restrained, welcome alternative to the maudlin or ludicrous ideas that were being floated at the time. (Remember that Max Protetch show in January? I'm sure most of the participants now hope you don't.)

Now it turns out Bernstein's Twin Piers was the ninth finalist in the official WTC memorial competition. It was disqualified because, although it was submitted under a friend's name, it was readily identified as his idea, and he'd already submitted another entry. Interestingly, according to the NYPost, it was the "no two entries" rule, not the "publicly identified" rule that led to its exclusion.

For a poignant flashback and a realization of all the possibilities that have since been foreclosed for the WTC site, the city, the country and the world, read Bernstein's November 2001 NY Newsday article, "United Nations should move to World Trade Center Site." Those were the days.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: November 10, 2003.

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