The Forward 50

Michael Arad

Michael Arad

Culture

In 2004, when Michael Arad won the competition to design the memorial at Ground Zero, he was an unknown architect working for the New York City Housing Authority. As several newspapers detailed, the path between his proposal and its realization was anything but smooth.

However, despite the hurdles of spiraling costs, logistical difficulties and personality clashes that had to be overcome, the

memorial officially opened on September 11, 2011 to universal acclaim. The two reflecting pools on the footprints of the former World Trade Center towers are exquisitely fashioned and, in their elegant unobtrusiveness, are a fitting memorial to those who were killed there on 9/11.

Using the principle of “meaningful adjacencies,” the names of the victims are engraved on walls surrounding the pools, near to the names of those they might have known or worked with.

Arad, 42, a dual Israeli-American citizen, arrived in Manhattan only two years before 9/11, after having served in the Israeli army and completed his schooling at Dartmouth University and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture. He was born in London while his father, a former Israeli ambassador to Mexico, was on mission there.

As the centerpiece of the yet-to-be-opened memorial museum, Arad’s “Reflecting Absence” will be the focus of 9/11 pilgrimages for decades to come. It is a construction that, like Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to which it is often compared, will only grow in stature over time.

Plus One

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, the Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.