9/11 memorial’s fountains flow
The fountain, where the north tower of the World Trade Center once stood, was undergoing tests of the massive pumping systems that will blast 26,000 gallons a minute over the 30-foot deep black granite walls.
Daniels, who happened upon the test yesterday, said the sight of the water filling the 1-acre pool was awe-inspiring after years of planning and building.
Construction workers from around the site paused to look and listen during the tests as engineers below the memorial plaza monitored and adjusted the 16 pumps that will circulate 480,000 gallons of recycled water.
During the design phase of the memorial, there were concerns that the fountains might be too loud. But Daniels said the sound of the cascading water yesterday created “a nice, peaceful background, like the sound of the ocean.”
“It’s perfect. It’s not overwhelming at all,” Daniels said.
A second fountain over the footprint of the south tower will be ready for testing later this year. A spokesman for the Port Authority, which is overseeing construction of the $500 million memorial, said yesterday’s trial run went very well.
The two fountains together make up the nation’s largest manmade waterfalls, and are at the heart of the design of the memorial, called Reflecting Absence.
Paula Berry, a 9/11 family member who served on the 13-member jury that picked the memorial design by Michael Arad, was ecstatic about the test run.
“The presence of water is incredibly important at the memorial,” said Berry. “When you think of the memorial’s name, Reflecting Absence, you have to have the means to reflect and the water plays that role.”
But Berry said the sound of the water rushing over the sides of the fountains could very well be one of the most lasting impressions visitors take away.
Yesterday’s tests lasted a few hours, and will be repeated as needed.
Construction of the memorial remains on schedule for its planned opening next Sept. 11 — the 10th anniversary