Fritz Koenig’s iconic Sphere has moved to a new location overlooking the World Trade Center
The Sphere, which Koenig intended to represent peace and prosperity through world trade, was placed on the World Trade Center’s Austin J. Tobin Plaza between the North and South Towers in 1971. Greenwich Street now runs over the spot on which it stood.
Badly damaged on September 11th, the Sphere was removed from the World Trade Center during the first month of recovery work and moved to a temporary location in Battery Park. Since its installation there in 2002, it has attracted tourists and residents as an object of reflection and contemplation.
I am grateful to Fritz Koenig for not repairing this sculptural masterpiece, but rather, for letting the structure tell a different and more compelling and powerful story of resilience that will have a permanent place in our history.
– Joan Mastropaolo, Battery Park City resident
The Sphere has also been an object of controversy, as a series of petitions and rallies was launched by those hoping to see the Sphere returned to its original home on the World Trade Center. Fritz Koenig himself wanted to see the Sphere returned to the site. Koenig died in February of this year at the age of 92, and did not know of the decision to move the Sphere.
The Sphere, which was moved to Liberty Park a few weeks ago, has been covered with a large white tarp, and was unveiled on Wednesday, September 6, less than a week before the 16th anniversary of the attacks.
The unrepaired Sphere offers contrast to the tranquility of the 9/11 Memorial plaza, serving as a potent reminder of the devastation of that day. In a recent Facebook post, Tribute docent and board member and resident of Battery Park City Joan Mastropaolo said, “I am grateful to Fritz Koenig for not repairing this sculptural masterpiece, but rather, for letting the structure tell a different and more compelling and powerful story of resilience that will have a permanent place in our history.”