Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

German Proposal Chosen for Memorial

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

German Proposal Chosen for Memorial

Article excerpt

The blast that rocked Oklahoma City two years ago reverberated around the world. Donations, words of sympathy and compassion poured in from people far and wide.

Tuesday, in the wilting heat of an Oklahoma summer day, those affected most by the bombing announced they had again reached across the world to select a memorial design honoring the 168 dead and hundreds of survivors.

In what was described as a unanimous vote by both the selection committee involved and the families of the victims and survivors, a memorial designed by three Germans will be constructed on the site, considered hallowed ground by residents and visitors alike. The design is called "9:03" by some, because its entrances are framed by a structure on one side that reads "9:01," while at the opposite end of a reflecting pool a twin gate reads "9:03." In between, where countless lives were changed, is "9:02," the time the bomb exploded. "The design is timeless, preserving the sense of loss shown by the chairs in the actual building footprint, the spirit of change reflected in the water and the hope the survivor tree gives to those who come here," said Robert Johnson, chairman of the Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation. "We watched Oklahomans and the world respond to this horrible tragedy from afar," said designer Torrey Butzer of the team. "This is our way of giving something to honor the victims, survivors and heros. This design will tell the story of all of us changed forever." Other members of the team include Hans-Ekkehard Butzer and Sven Berg. The group's design was chosen in a worldwide competition that saw 624 entries from all 50 U.S. states and 23 countries. Hans-Ekkehard Butzer is an architect and partner of Locus Bold Design in Berlin. He was educated at the University of Texas and founded the design firm in 1990. Torrey, an architect and partner in the firm, also was educated at the University of Texas. …

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