Tribute in Light

John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi of PROUN Space Studio, artists Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda, architect Richard Nash Gould,
and lighting designer Paul Marantz.

March 11 - April 13th, 2002
The Manhattan Skyline
Images courtesy of,

Tribute in Light, a temporary art action, was conceived in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedies, as twin white beacons of light that would rise from Lower Manhattan. Designed as a gift for New York City and its public, Tribute in Light was a profound symbol of strength, hope, and resiliency, a reclaiming of New York City’s skyline and identity. It acted as a tribute to rescue workers and a mnemonic for all those who lost their lives. Located adjacent to the World Trade Center site in an empty Battery Park City lot, Tribute in Light neither interfered with nor detracted from recovery efforts, debris removal, and reconstruction. Rather, the installation was an immediate and temporary artistic gesture proposed to temporarily foster hope, unity, healing and, comprehension of the mass devastation suffered on September 11th by New York City and the world at large.

Shortly after the attacks, numerous creative individuals independently envisioned two beams of light rising from downtown New York. Finding support for their ideas, they joined forces in the spirit of the rescue and recovery effort downtown. The creative team consisted of architects, John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi of PROUN Space Studio, artists Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda, architect Richard Gould, and lighting designer Paul Marantz with the production support of two non-profit cultural institutions, The Municipal Art Society and Creative Time with the support of the Battery Park City Authority.

Thanks to the generosity of the Battery Park City Authority, the site for the project was secured on an empty construction lot adjacent to Ground Zero. This particular site was selected over others in order to avoid interfering with the recovery process and in an effort to be sensitive to Lower Manhattan residents. The “light cannons” needed for the project were all donated by the manufacturer. The project received approval and even endorsement from the FAA and, perhaps most importantly, the organization of widows of World Trade Center Victims.

After the initial appearance of an early rendering of the Tribute in Light on the cover of the September 23, 2001 issue of the New York Times Magazine, Creative Time and the Municipal Art Society called a press moratorium to concentrate on developing the details of the project. The project continued to receive immense laudatory press coverage, ranging from CNN and National Public Radio to Art in America and Newsday. The organizations also received and responded to over 12,000 letters of support from around the globe, which provided the producers with valuable insight into the public’s sentiments and opinions towards the project.

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