In September 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, leading to an estimated 4,600 deaths on the island. Given New York City’s large Puerto Rican population (1.113 million in 2017), and the role Puerto Ricans have played in NYC’s history and culture, the Caribbean island has often been called “the sixth borough.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has plans to install a Hurricane Maria memorial in Battery Park City to honor victims and survivors, as well as the Puerto Rican community’s resiliency—and has called on artists and architects to submit their proposals.
Proposals can be submitted online by Monday, September 9, before 11:59 p.m, and will be reviewed by the Hurricane Maria Memorial Commission—established by Cuomo last September—overseen by several elected officials including Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Congressman Jose E. Serrano, Assembly member Maritza Davila, Assembly member Marcos Crespo, and New York secretary of state Rossana Rosado.
“Hurricane Maria claimed thousands of lives and destroyed countless homes in Puerto Rico, yet the resilience of the Puerto Rican community has shown the world anything can be overcome when we all stand together in solidarity,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “We want this spirit of strength and community to be reflected in the Hurricane Maria Memorial, and we look forward to seeing how the experts capture it in their designs.”
Since there are two options for the monument’s location—The Esplanade and the Chambers Street Overlook—designers can submit one design for either site or one for each, but only one will be selected, Cuomo’s office says.
“We are honored to site the Hurricane Maria Memorial in Battery Park City, made especially poignant as we proceed with our own resiliency infrastructure projects, designed to combat and overcome the threats presented by extreme weather,” B.J. Jones, Battery Park City Authority president and CEO, said in a statement.
Click here for more information about the design competition.