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Sites of Memory
Who among us knew that pirates were once hanged from the gallows on the island where the Statue of Liberty now stands? Or that the disastrous 1904 sinking of the General Slocum steamship near the East River’s treacherous Hell Gate was the largest single-day loss of life in New York City until 9/11?
These stories and countless others like them stubbornly hang around their old neighborhoods, though many of the places are long gone — the waterfront filled in, the buildings torn down, characters long since dead and buried. But the narratives endure, and tales that unfolded decades or even centuries ago can still resonate with our lives today in unexpected ways.
Supported by a grant from the AOL Artists 25 for 25 program
, writer and art director Angela Riechers recently launched Sites of Memory
, a map-based website accompanied by smartphone tours that reattach the stories of New York City’s forgotten dead to the urban landscape. With audio narration by Kurt Andersen, Lewis H. Lapham, and Luc Sante, Sites of Memory
links separate locations around the city into larger stories about remembrance, mortality and forgetting as it connects our modern selves to the shared history of our great metropolis.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
OBlog is our editors' blog — with contributions by Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, Julie Lasky, Betsy Vardell, Nancy Levinson, and Josh Wallaert.