Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Design for Charleston attack memorial draws on pain, strength and forgiveness

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Kevin Sack
Curving, high-backed benches and a fountain are features of the proposed memorial at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., seen in an artist’s rendering. Credit Dbox for The Mother Emanuel Nine Memorial/Handel Architects
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Three years after a racist blood bath in its fellowship hall — and 200 years after its defiant founding as one of the South’s first black congregations — Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., unveiled designs on Sunday for a contemplative memorial to the nine victims and five survivors of the horrific attack. As envisioned by the architect Michael Arad, who also designed the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, sections of the church’s parking lot would be transformed into two meditative spaces, one a stone memorial courtyard, the other a grassy survivors’ garden. Together they would speak to the suffering and resilience of a church that has outlasted two centuries of persecution through its practice of faith and forgiveness. The focal point of the memorial is a pair of sleekly curving high-backed pews, carved of white marble, that would welcome visitors from Calhoun Street like outstretched arms. [More]
A rendering shows the fountain at the center of the memorial, bearing the names of those killed in the massacre at the church in 2015. Credit box for The Mother Emanuel Nine Memorial/Handel Architect