New Yorkers and tourists say the same thing. It looks like a construction site. And it is. Sixteen acres of cranes, jackhammers, and workers, all occupying hallowed ground in Lower Manhattan.
But the former World Trade Center Site isn't as shapeless as it might seem at first glance. NBCNewYork recently got unprecedented access to the footprints of the fallen Twin Towers -- square sections which will soon be reflecting pools in the official World Trade Center Memorial.
"We're in the final stretch," says architect Michael Arad, whose design for the tree-lined plaza and pools was chosen from dozens of entries six years ago.
Family members, like Monica Iken, whose husband Michael died on the 84th floor of the South Tower, are encouraged by the progress.
"We're getting there," she says. "I couldn't take him home. I don't have any remains. the place that I wanna go is the site where he took his last breath, his last step. That's gonna be a proud day for me when I can say I'm here for you, Michael."
The Memorial, which cost more than $500 million, is scheduled to open on September 11, 2011.