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Koenig Sphere (

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Remnant from the World Trade Center

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Financial District
Public Art, Gathering Place

Nominations

Michael Burke (Save the Sphere)

The last remaining intact remnant of the World Trade Center (WTC), destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It stood in the center of the Trade Center plaza for thirty years as a symbol of world peace. Though severely damaged (a piece of on of the hijacked jetliners tore through it), it miraculously survived the collapse of the towers. It was thus embraced as a symbol of hope and triumph. It was moved to Battery Park during the reconstruction of the site and now, because it would remind visitors of the attacks, it is banned from the 9/11 WTC memorial. During the tenth anniversary commemorations, it was forgotten and neglected. Now park pigeons roost in it; bird droppings cover its base. The current plan is to relocate it on Liberty Street, outside of the WTC site, in the middle of a pedestrian thoroughfare, where it never was, thereby diminishing its meaning and significance.

The 45,000 ton bronze sculpture. designed by Fritz Koenig, was moved to Battery Park, but there is no physical or practical reason why it cannot be returned. Indeed the only reason ever offered is because it would infringe upon the "integrity" of the memorial design. In public forums on the final eight memorial design choices, the overwhelming consensus was to return the Sphere to the site and include it in the memorial. "Its just sitting down at Battery Park when it belongs here." Over 7,300 people have signed an online petition, "Save the Sphere."

My brother, Capt. William F. Burke, Jr., Engine Company 21 FDNY, gave his life at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (December 2011)


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