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9/11 survivors: The Sphere, as well as a model of the famous WTC Plaza sculpture

The Sphere was at the center of the World Trade Center Plaza for decades, and survived the collapse of both towers with damage, but essentially intact. You can visit it today in Battery Park, where an eternal flame sits beside it.

One man who knows a thing or two about The Sphere is Guy Tozzoli, the Port Authority official who oversaw construction of the World Trade Center. We profiled him and his organization, the World Trade Centers Association, earlier this week. Read the stories here and here. I asked him whether anything from his 63rd floor North Tower office survived the collapse.

One thing did: A maquette, or model, of The Sphere, by German artist Fritz Koenig. We found it amazing that both The Sphere and its model managed to survive the destruction at Ground Zero.

Tozzoli shared a bit about the struggle to get the Sphere to New York from Germany.

"We had to transport Der Kugel an hour outside of the port, all the way out across the ocean ... and then, at night, took it through the Holland Tunnel," Tozzoli says, using the phrase Koenig's wife would use for the sculpture, German for "The Ball."

One of the best ways to find out more about the history of The Sphere is to watch the film, "Koenig Sphere," which details its creation, its arduous trip across the ocean, and its survival amid the destruction downtown seven years ago today.

-- Rolando Pujol


Photos by Rolando Pujol

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