The outdoor symbolic memorial that was created in downtown Oklahoma City at the site of the April 1995 bombing is an amazing place of healing and remembrance. I learned from locals that on that day, even miles away the blast could be felt and everyone feared that something was terribly wrong. The City was deeply affected and set back drastically by the tragedy.
A local group organized funds to commemorate and create a memorial in the late 90s. Hans and Torrey Butzer, young architects along with Sven Berg submitted the winning design among 624 entries. Hans and Torrey dedicated themselves fully to developing their vision and created a beautiful, healing place honoring those who were killed, those who survived and those who were changed forever on that day. I had the fortune to assist the design team in preparing the construction documents while working a summer in Boston in 1998.
Torrey and Hans immersed themselves in the community in every way, personally connecting with the families. They even moved there to raise their family. Fifteen years later when I finally visited the site, I was struck by the grace and beauty of this sacred place. The spaces created, healing waters, the symbolic chairs and every detail create a moving experience. I admire Oklahoma City and the strength they have shown. Their downtown is dynamic and vibrant, and continually improving. Bricktown, the canal, Myriad gardens, and the boathouse district are just a few examples of their strong spirit demonstrated in the last decades.
To see more amazing photos and aerial views that show the position of the memorial at the site of the Murrah building click here!