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9/11 memorial construction appears unlikely

Meghanne Downes | Thursday, September 11, 2003

A year and a half after a design was selected for the Sept. 11 memorial competition, it appears as though the memorial will not be constructed.

University spokesman Matt Storin said the University never committed to build the memorial even though the School of Architecture sponsored a competition to design it in spring 2002.

“Since 9/11 there have been wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and it is uncertain what lies ahead in the way of fall out from the tragic events of that day two years ago,” Storin said. “I think the administration feels it would be best to wait a few years before determining the most appropriate way to honor those who have lost their lives in the period.”

Kara Kelly, director of communications for the School of Architecture, said Notre Dame never promised a memorial. However, the architecture school sponsored the competition and hoped the winning design would be considered for construction.

Then fifth-year architecture students Kevin Clark and Meg Kroener designed the winning entry which was a horseshoe shaped memorial surrounding the South Quad flagpole where the Sept. 11, 2001 Mass was held.

Storin said the University’s decision to wait to build the memorial is not unprecedented. The Clarke Memorial Fountain located in front of LaFortune honors those who died in the Vietnam War and was built in 1986, 11 years after the war’s conclusion.

” A memorial hopefully lasts forever and is permanent,” Storin said. “You want to have the proper perspective when you commit to building one.”

Storin did not rule out the possibility of the winning design being used in the future, though he did say if the memorial was built, it would be smaller than originally envisioned. Storin also said the proposed location of a memorial on South Quad would be a radical step, as the expansive space has no structures in its interior, except for the flagpole.