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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Architecture Professor Studying New Jersey 9/11 Memorials

Karen Franck

Karen A. Franck, an environmental psychologist and a professor in the College of Architecture and Design at NJIT, has an interest in memorials.

For the past year, she and Philip Speranza, an architect, now at University of Oregon, visited thirteen 9/11 municipal and county memorials located throughout northern and central New Jersey. The pair will present their thoughts and observations during a conference on Sept. 16, 2011 on the Manhattan campus of St. John’s University in a program entitled “Making Meaning of 9/11: Ten Years After.”   

The talk, “Remembering Those Who Did Not Come Home; September 11 Memorials in New Jersey,” can be heard at 1:45 p.m. Memorials to be highlighted both in discussion and with photographs are located in Hazlet, Old Bridge, Westfield, Rutherford, Closter, Westwood and Monroe. Although memorials in Roselle Park, Livingston, Clifton, South Amboy, Union County and Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange were visited, those sites will not be mentioned.    

In New Jersey, more than 300 memorials have been dedicated to the memory of NJ residents who were killed in the World Trade Center attack, said Franck. The scale, look and material used in these memorials vary widely.  Memorials may include the dedication of buildings and athletic facilities; plaques affixed to boulders or stone makers; flagpoles, benches, and clock towers; sculptures and World Trade Center artifacts; groves of trees; and designed spaces which people may enter.

“Given our inherent interest in architecture and urban design, we decided to focus on this last type of memorial—a designed space, which we call a spatial memorial,” said Franck.     

Depending upon location and design, these memorials are oriented to pedestrians, to drivers or to both. They may be located close to train stations. Very often they take the form of a circle.   Materials, daylight and artificial light may be prominent features of these designs. Often a separate stone marker is dedicated to each town resident killed. These serve as individual memorials within the larger memorial setting where friends and relatives leave flowers and other items. To learn more about Franck, please visit: http://design.njit.edu/people/franck.php.

One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.