Naval Manument Tripoli Fieldguide to U.S. Public Monuments and Memorials Cabrillo
 
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Introduction
1)
Title
Double Check 1.1 Zuccotti 9/11 WTC
2)
Town, State
New York, NY
3)
ID #
1904
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
September 13, 2011
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
September 13, 2011
6)
Site Worked Last
April 10, 2012
Description
In the aftermath of the devastating terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, a nearby modern sculpture called Double Check saw its traditional artistic role expand into an unexpected, to say the least, sculptural memorial. Its representation of a seated businessman with an attaché case on his lap has for many Americans, especially New Yorkers, evolved into a portrait of post-9/11 U.S. societal and personal perseverance. It memorializes a physical site and human behaviors we will likely want to recall for both strength and endurance: like the man with the briefcase, we’re still here – and feeling a little lucky but perhaps not a little guilty. Installed in Zuccotti Park (formerly, Liberty Park), cater-corner to the World Trade Center site, this piece of art in a public space had by early September 11, 2001, evolved into a frequently visited downtown New York City symbol, the well regarded and easily related to man in a suit sitting on a bench just prior to his, obviously, heading across the street to take a meeting. But, came that clear, sunny Tuesday morning, after terrorists crashed two jetliners, their passengers and on-board airline crew into the trade center towers, killing almost 3,000 people, life in this lower Manhattan neighborhood changed, radically, and so too did Double Check’s. After the attacks first responders discovered him, knocked from his park bench and onto the ground. Seemingly doubled over, covered with debris and dust, some responders believed he was in need of rescuing. But after realizing he was not a him but an it, rescuers set him upright– scooping up in the process a small amount of good news amidst the many thousands of tons of human and building wreckage. Soon responders, mourners and others began placing on and around the sculpture remembrances, tokens -- hard hat, candles, teddy bears, crosses, fire hose, flowers, written greetings -- until the figure had come to resemble a makeshift memorial. One might picture, for example, the fences in front of St. Paul’s Chapel, New York, and/or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, following the attacks.

• Sculptor J. Seward Johnson, Jr., created and owns Double Check, his businessman seated on a circular granite bench, bent over his briefcase. The investment company Merrill Lynch commissioned the original of this bronze sculpture, unveiled in 1982; then, the big brokerage firm’s offices were across the street from where the sculpture rested on a metal bench in Liberty Plaza Park, on Liberty Street between Broadway and Church Street. Some six weeks after the trade center attacks, Johnson brought the exposed work back to his Hamilton, New Jersey, workshop, and once in studio assessed its scrapes, scratches and bruises, so to speak, and cleaned up the sculpture, coated with contaminated dust. Prior to this restoration, however, the sculptor recreated all of the randomly attached mementoes, fastened them to a Double Check twin and bronzed and finished a second Double Check memorial. He styled this the “makeshift memorial.” (In this database, see ID #1769, titled Double Check Makeshift Memorial 9/11 WTC, situated in Jersey City.) Seward Johnson (b. 1930) is a notable artist -- first a painter, then a sculptor also, and in, around and between it all, an arts supporter, developer and manager. His interests and accomplishments have been written about and otherwise documented extensively. From the Links section of this database, below, one can visit several websites the artist has established to communicate about his work. In conjunction with New York city government and the park’s owner, Johnson returned Double Check, now the sculptural memorial, to its new, but also former, home in memory of the catastrophic 9/11 events.

• The statue is situated at the northwest corner of Zuccotti Park, near the intersection of Liberty Street and Trinity Place, lower Manhattan. Privately financed, the 30,000-plus square-foot park is also a public space. A lone London plane, a large deciduous, tree shades Double Check, while nearby 54 honey locust trees cover this urban retreat and its tables, seats, planters and pavement, granite all. (At the park’s southeast corner – its “fall-line,” if you will, courses southeast-by-northwest -- stands a 70’ sculpture of steel, welded and bolted, painted red and entitled “Joie de Vivre.” It is a popular work by long-time Manhattan resident and artist Mark DiSuvero.)

• Brookfield Properties, New York, New York, owns the park. Immediately post 9/11, it was used for many months as a key emergency staging area. Following this emergency use, Brookfield assisted with its fix-up and funded the makeover of its original, late-60s/early-70s, design. Cooper Robertson & Partners, a New York City firm delivering architectural and urban design services, provided the creative planning for the park’s extensive repairs and revisions. Memorial and park were re-dedicated June 1, 2006. The unveiling ritual featured a most influential guest list, officials civic and private, active and retired, including: New York Governor George Pataki, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, former mayor Ed Koch and many other civic, commercial and New York construction leaders. Attending too – perhaps standing by as inconspicuously as necessary at these kinds of events -- was John Zuccotti, the U.S. chair of Brookfield Properties (and, among other things, Real Estate Board of New York chair as well as former first deputy mayor of the City of New York) – for whom during the ceremony this park was renamed. Apparently the bestowing of this honor came as a surprise, though evidently not an unpleasant one.
Content
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1)
Loss & perseverance
3)
Not Applicable
5)
Caucasian
6)
Not Applicable
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Under Consideration
3)
Statue(s) w/wo pedestal
5)
Average (life-size)
6)
Under Consideration
7)
Under Consideration
8)
Under Consideration
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
2700-750.1, 2700-750.2, 2700-750.3, 2700-750.4, 2700-750.5, 2700-750.6, 2700-750.7, 2700-750.8, 2700-750.9
10)
Design Preservation
Good
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
Yes
11.1)
Parallel Description
Not applicable
11.2)
Parallel Preservation
Not applicable
11.3)
Parallel Scale Inscription/Text
Not applicable
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Johnson, Jr., J. Seward
12.2)
Designer 2
Artist/Artistic Group: Cooper Robertson & Partners
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Known
13.1)
Fabricator/Builder 1
Johnson Atelier 
13.2)
Fabricator City
Mercerville 
13.3)
Fabricator State
NJ 
13.4)
Fabricator Country
United States 
Setting
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1)
Park/Garden/Lawn/Field
3)
Appearance/Setting
Completed
3.1)
Appeal of the Item
5 Good
3.2)
Setting appears appropriate
5 Good
3.3)
Traffic near for access, distanced for appreciation
4 Satisfactory
3.4)
Visualization and panorama
5 Good
3.5)
Opportunity to view, to enjoy the item
7 Exceptional
3.6)
Overall Averaged Score
5.2 Good (Given a 1.0 - 7.0 Range)
To calculate comparative appearance estimates, CLICK HERE
4)
2001
5)
June 01, 2006
6)
Not Entered
7)
Not Entered
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Satisfactory
12)
Local government , Business/Commerce/Organization
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
No Perceived Theme Match
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
No Perceived Theme Match
Demography
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1)
File Number
50E
2)
Town/City
New York
3)
County
New York
4)
District
Manhattan
5)
State
NY
6)
Zip
10007
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
40.7094980000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-74.0116830000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
Liberty St
11)
Intersecting Street 2
Trinity Place
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Zuccotti Park
13)
Additional Identifier 2
15)
Man-made
16)
Business/businesses
17)
2001-current
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
September 13, 2011
19)
19.1)
Site Survey
19.2)
Government Materials
19.3)
Newspaper
19.4)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
Not Entered
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
STORY SUBJECTS/OBJECTS: Thing -- Sculpture
DEVELOLPMENT DATES: The year 2001 is assumed to be the Start; the artist removed the original sculpture from the Ground Zero area in mid-October and brought it to his studio in New Jersey.
SITE MAINTENANCE: Local government -- City of New York; The Sculpture Foundation, Hamilton, NJ
SPONSOR(S): Business/businesses -- Brookfield Properties, New York, NY; The Sculpture Foundation, Hamilton, NJ
SOURCES (1): Gayle and Cohen, Guide to Manhattan’s Outdoor Sculpture, p. 28; SIRIS; AskArt.com: Seward Johnson biographical entry, retrieved 9/16/2011.
SOURCES (2): From The New York Times: Stuart Miller, “A Second Chance for ‘Double Check,’” January 16, 2004; Glenn Collins, “Return Engagement for a Ground Zero Oasis,” July 23, 2005; Michael Pollak, “A 9/11 Survivor,” September 11, 2005; David W. Dunlap, “Familiar Figure Reclaims His Seat, and He’s Not Moving,” June 2, 2006;
SOURCES (3): Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center: (http://www.lowermanhattan.info/) – “Damaged Downtown Statue Restored to Honor 9/11 Victims,” June 17, 2005; “Liberty Plaza Park Turns Over a New Leaf,” July 25, 2005; “Liberty Plaza Park,” October 1, 2005; “Zuccotti Park Opens at Broadway and Liberty Street, June 1,” 2006.
COMMENT: “Joie de Vivre” – In his piece in The New York Times, see Sources(2), above, David W. Dunlap provides the following pedigree: “Originally exhibited in Paris, Mr. di Suvero’s sculpture was moved in 1999 to the Holland Tunnel exit plaza in Lower Manhattan and then to Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, N.Y. Its permanent home is now Zuccotti Park, as a gift from Agnes Gund, the president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, and her husband, Daniel Shapiro.” Also, in a press release, see Sources(3), above, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center noted that the “di Suvero sculpture will be a marker along Broadway, easily seen from City Hall and down adjacent streets. It will complement the giant, red “Noguchi’s Cube” across the street at 140 Broadway.”




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