The Battery Park City Authority formed two committees in 1989 in order to create a “memorial fountain.” The memorial committee composed of various NYPD groups, chose the location of the future memorial. The design committee culled the 180 submissions from an open competition down to thirty entries, at which time the two committees jointly chose five finalists. Each finalist was asked to develop their proposal and construct a model design. The contract was awarded to architect Stuart B Crawford in September of 1990. Mr. Crawfords’ description of the memorial appears below.
The life of the police officer is represented by a fountain and a flume. The fountain represents the rookie police officer’s first day and serves as the genesis of the memorial. The linear flume acts as the time line and flows over the split face bottom. The water then passes through a slot in a granite wall, representing the day of death, and falls into a shallow pool.
The LBA has a fresh wreath placed at the memorial every Friday during the summer
The death of the police officer is commemorated in an outdoor room defined by two parallel granite walls and depressed thirty inches below the esplanade. This helps to isolate a ‘place’ which elicits contemplation and reflection from the more active nature of the surrounding context. A wall along the western edge holds the names of the officers and dates on which they were killed. Constructed of green granite, the stone is rendered with a split face finish facing outward and polished surface facing inward reinforcing the sacred nature of the space. The north-south axis is defined by a bench at one end and niche with dedication plaque at the other. The Water in the pool has a temporal quality, as the water is drawn down, the pool floor is revealed as a series of granite cobbles laid out in a radiating pattern. Outside the room three flagpoles stand as sentinels.
The Police Memorial is located at Liberty Street and South End Avenue. Please stop by the next time you are in the area!