Michael Arad 9/11 Memorial papers
Language of Materials
This collection contains material from the records of the architect Michael Arad (1969- ), primarily related to his design of the National September 11 Memorial in New York City, which opened to the public on September 11, 2011.
Biographical / Historical
Michael Arad (1969- ) is an Israeli-American architect who designed the National September 11 Memorial in New York City. Arad, an Israeli citizen, was born in London, where his father Moshe Arad worked as a press attache. Arad later lived in New York City, Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and Mexico City. He also served for three years in the Israel Defense Forces.
Arad received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, and a master's degree from Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture. He moved to New York City in 1999 and practiced architecture at the firm of Kohn Pedersen Fox for three years. At the time he submitted his design to the competition for the World Trade Center site memorial, Arad was working for the New York City Housing Authority, designing neighborhood police stations.
Michael Arad's design for the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site, titled "Reflecting Absence," was selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation from among more than 5,000 entries submitted in an international competition held in 2003. In April 2004, Arad joined the New York firm of Handel Architects; at this time, the LMDC also chose landscape architect Peter Walker, and the firm of Davis Brody Bond LLP to work with Arad in the realization of the design for the memorial.
The 9/11 Memorial was conceived and designed as a tribute to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, at the crash site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993. Arad's design, "Reflecting Absence," features twin waterfall pools situated in the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The pools are each surrounded by bronze parapets that list the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. They are set within a plaza planted with more than 400 swamp white oak trees. The National 9/11 Memorial opened on September 11, 2011. In 2012, Arad was awarded the AIA Presidential Citation for his work on the National September 11 Memorial.
N.B. When the project was originally conceived by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, it was called the World Trade Center Site Memorial. Currently, the formal name is the National September 11th Memorial, and it is informally known as the 9/11 Memorial. Alternately, it is sometimes referred to as the World Trade Center Memorial, the Ground Zero Memorial, or the Twin Towers Memorial.
This collection is arranged in 8 series:
Series I: Architectural Drawings
Series II: Digital Material
Series III: Ephemera and Other Media
Series IV: Images - Photographs and Prints
Series V: Names Parapet
Series VI: Office Files
Series VII: Site Models and Objects
Series VIII: Other Projects (not WTC)
This collection contains material from the records of the architect Michael Arad (1969- ), primarily related to his design of the National September 11 Memorial in New York City. Arad's design for the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site is titled "Reflecting Absence," and was selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation from among more than 5,000 entries submitted in an international competition in 2003. The collection includes architectural drawings, photographs and prints, office files, correspondence, proposals, presentations, memorabilia, models, digital files, and other media that document the design and construction of the memorial, which opened to the public on September 11, 2011.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact the Print Room Reference Librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your research visit to coordinate access. Keep in mind that it will take between two (2) and five (5) business days for collections to arrive, and you should plan your research accordingly.
Some formats, such as CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and certain digital files, may not be accessible due to file corruption or because the library does not have the equipment or proprietary software necessary to make the information they contain accessible. While some media may no longer be used as originally intended, they may be of interest as archival objects.
Models are restricted due to their fragility. Special permission to view the models must be received from both the curator and the chief conservator. All requests must be made in advance and in writing.
Conditions Governing Use
Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.
Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, email@example.com.Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.
Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions
This collection should be cited as the Michael Arad 9/11 Memorial Papers, PR 422, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Michael Arad, 2020
About this Guide
This collection was processed by archivist Marybeth Kavanagh and digital archivist Margo Padilla in 2021.