Within the formation of the Task Force, a Design Committee was established to begin the process of conceptualizing a design for the 9/11 Memorial. Three designs were created by local, well-known designers/architects: Roger Blaho, Lauren Davis, Edmund Puches and James Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes and Ms. Davis collaborated on a design submission. The three designs were presented to the Boards of Cortlandt, Buchanan and Croton-on-Hudson. At the end of April, a unanimous decision was made to go forward with the collaborative design of James Rhodes and Lauren Davis: “Reaching Through the Shadow.”
The “Reaching Through the Shadow” Memorial, is now located along the Hudson River at Croton Landing, uses the presence of the World Trade Center steel as a witness, casting a shadow – a sundial - oriented towards Ground Zero. The twisted and scarred beam from the North Tower, seemingly out of balance, will reliably point to commemorative markers on the ground for every future September 11th.
Within the shadow of the steel beam is a lone heroic figure of a woman sculpted in bronze. She represents those lost, as well as those left to mourn. She reaches to touch the beam and at the same time appears to have the strength to bear the terrible weight of that day. She connects us simultaneously to our loss and our commitment to remain undaunted.
Supporting the beam is a single rock, a reference to site and community, taken from rock already present at the actual site. At its base, the rock is wrapped in the impenetrable wild rose which is found all along Croton Landing. The thorns and blood-red flowers and fruit of this rose symbolize the tragedy of that day. The ground is grey flagstone, reminiscent of ashen ground and uneasy enough to traverse to compel the visitor to tread carefully while approaching the Memorial. Radiating lines of red brick strike the sundial’s hour lines while incorporating commemorative names leading to the perimeter where bronze medallions in bas- relief depict events of that day in New York, as well as in Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The selected site for the Memorial is at the north end of Croton Landing where the view down river past Croton Point and Hook Mountain is the clearest. It is something of a pilgrimage, but rightfully so, in order to find relative solitude for reflection.