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USGNN Original StoryGlass Plays Central Role in Boston Airport 9/11 Memorial

The recently dedicated Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial, designed by Moskow Linn Architects Inc. in Boston, is a place of reflection and remembrance for those affected by the events of September 11, 2001.

In 2003, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) identified a 2.5-acre site at the airport and held a public design competition to create the Airport 9/11 Memorial. A committee comprised of representatives from the airlines, families of crew members, local design professionals and Massport chose The Place of Remembrance submitted by Moskow Linn Architects as the winning design.

From the point of entry for the memorial, visitors follow one of two winding walkways that recall the flight paths of the two aircraft. The paths pass through a grove of ginkgo trees that become more densely planted near the glass and steel sculpture, The Place of Remembrance, to create a protective enclosure and to represent how individuals came together, finding strength in the support and help of others that day and after. Once at the glass and steel sculpture, visitors can walk inside it and view two 11-foot-tall glass panels.

On the side of the panel facing out is the departure time of each airplane. The side facing in is etched with the names of the passengers and crew of each flight.

As visitors gaze upward through a prism, the sky appears fractured by glass panels suspended from stainless steel cables. At night, the sculpture is illuminated serving as a beacon for all to see. Visitors exit the memorial by returning to the point of departure, where the words "Remember this Day" are etched in granite.

Ipswich Bay Glass in Rowley, Mass., the glazing contractor for the project, installed the 9/16-inch tempered laminated glass, supplied by Viracon. According to project manager Mike Sloan, the glass is ¼-inch clear tempered on both the inboard and outboard lite with a .060 PVB interlayer. The #2 surface features a custom graduated silkscreen.

"Our goal was to create a place at the airport for personal reflection, a place for comfort, and a place of remembrance for anyone whose life was forever changed on September 11, 2001,'' says architect Robert Linn.

"As architects, when bringing a project from conception to reality, we always attempt to maintain as much of the original concept in the finished project as possible given the realities of site, budget and materiality. In this case, we are extremely pleased that the finished product turned out very close to the original concept we presented to the design review committee,'' he adds. "It was a challenge and a privilege to work on a project that is so meaningful to so many people."

The site at the heart of the airport acknowledges the events of 9/11 and honors the passengers and crews of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, both of which departed Logan Airport that morning for Los Angeles. The memorial also commemorates the dedication of the Logan Airport community and the contribution they made in restoring the aviation system to full operation.

"September 11 will remain with all of us-especially those who lost loved ones that terrible day and those of us who work in aviation," says Thomas J. Kinton Jr., Massport chief executive officer and executive director. "As the airport operator, our intention was to build a public memorial at Logan Airport that acknowledges the tremendous loss for all who had loved ones on those flights, both the heroic flight crews and the passengers as well. We believe this memorial accomplishes that. This memorial tells the story of an event that took people we loved away from us-147 of them-whose names are inscribed in the glass sculpture sitting on the highest point of the site.''

"Massport is grateful to representatives from Boston's design community who gave their time and expertise to advise us on this project, especially David Dixon, of Goody Clancy Associates, and Bill Taylor, of Carol R. Johnson Associates, who served as co-chairs of the 9/11 Memorial Design Advisory Committee,'' adds Kinton.

The $4-million memorial is prominently located near the inbound roadway and the walkway from Terminal A to the central garage and next to the Hilton Boston Logan Airport Hotel, which donated a portion of its leased land for the memorial. The hotel also redesigned some of its landscaping to complement it.

The memorial is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

CLICK HERE for more information on the project.

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