9/11 Memorial Assessment and Conservation

Clarksburg, WV

The 9/11 Memorial is comprised of a core structural member from one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York, New York, which were destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks. The hollow steel beam was recovered and stored in Hanger 17 at JFK airport along with other architectural elements salvaged from Ground Zero. Due to the amount of destruction at the site and the identical nature of the buildings, it is inconclusive which tower the beam originated from. However, the twisting and jagged nature of the end of the beam is a clear representation of the violence and destruction that occurred at the site on that fateful day. The beam was acquired by the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in 2011, which kept it in storage until early 2023.

We worked alongside the Alonso Group to perform a conditions assessment and conservation treatments on the beam in preparation for it to be incorporated into an outdoor Memorial Garden. The garden is being installed adjacent to the visitor center for the Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Conservation work began by having Somerset Steel Erection Co., Inc. weld a large cut made in the beam during its removal from Ground Zero in order to stabilize the piece and minimize chances of damage during installation. EverGreene conservators then cleaned the beam’s surface of corrosion and mineral crust. Any original marks left on the surface by metalworkers were consolidated for surface adhesion and preservation. The entire surface was treated with a protective coating to preserve the beam from the elements and slow future deterioration.

Our conservators then supervised the installation of the piece into its vertical position in the Memorial Garden. Minor cleaning and coating touch-ups were performed in-situ, and the entire beam was given a gentle final rinse.  Maintenance recommendations were provided to reduce future deterioration and increase the longevity of the conservation treatment.