New York City architect Frederic Schwartz, who designed two 9/11 memorials and developed a proposal for the new World Trade Center site, has died from cancer. He was 63.
Schwartz spent years working for Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and ran their New York office before founding his own firm. He designed the new Staten Island Ferry Terminal and was selected by the New Orleans planning commission to re-plan one third of the city following Hurricane Katrina.
But it is his post-9/11 work and ideas that brought the Berkeley and Harvard graduate to the forefront. Schwartz formed THINK, a group that included Rafael Viñoly, Shigeru Ban, Ken Smith, David Rockwell, and others to design a master plan for Ground Zero.
The team proposed two soaring open latticework structures built above and around the footprints of the original World Trade Center towers. The new buildings would include a memorial, museum, a performing arts center, and a conference center. The proposal lost to Daniel Libeskind’s design.
Schwartz went on to design two 9/11 memorials. In New Jersey, “Empty Sky” comprises brushed stainless steel walls facing each other. At the Westchester County site, 109 intertwined steel strands — each representing a life lost in the terrorist attacks — rise 80 feet from the ground and reach upward to the heavens as part of “The Rising.”
Schwartz is survived by his wife, Tracey Hummer; his mother, Charlotte Schwartz; and sister Barbara S. Glicksman.