In an exposition of his architectural work, Stanley Saitowitz, winner of the competition to design the New England Holocaust Memorial, presented his plans for the six-tower memorial at the Graduate School of Design last night.
The University of California professor and Eliot Noyes visiting scholar said he plans to create a monument of six glass towers to commemorate the Holocaust. The columns will be etched with numbers from zero to six million.
Saitowitz compared this to the 59,000 names on the Vietnam Memorial. "When you walk into the glass towers, you will be tattooed with numbers of light," he said.
As for the towers, they can represent "six candles, a menorah, six towers of spirit, six million Jews, six pillars of breath and six chambers of gas," Saitowitz said.
Saitowitz said he is trying to follow the advice of Frank Lloyd Wright to "pick the most difficult and awkward sites because they have the most potential." The memorial will be located near Boston's City Hall.
Design School students, however, were critical of the design. They said the use of numbers belittles the significance of the tragedy.
"The etched numbers only reinforced the idea that people are numbers," said Carolyn Bemis, a third-year student at the GSD. "At the Vietnam Memorial, you can see all the names. Here, number 243 is 300 feet above you."
"The Memorial seemed focused only on Jewish deaths," said Rosa Maran, another GSD student. "Other deaths should have been recognized."
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