Flight 93 Tower of Voices to be built by Altoona contractor
An Altoona contractor will build the Flight 93 National Memorial's Tower of Voices, the final phase of major construction of the Somerset County memorial's original design.
General contractor Leonard S. Fiore Inc. was awarded the construction contract by a partnership of the Families of Flight 93 National Memorial, the Friends of Flight 93 and the National Park Foundation.
The award marks a significant milestone in telling the story of the 40 passengers and crew whose actions on Sept. 11, 2001, thwarted a terrorist attack on the nation's capital, officials said in a news release.
The Tower of Voices is a musical instrument, designed as a visual and audible reminder of the passengers and crew. The shape and orientation of the 93-foot-tall tower are designed to optimize air flow through the tower walls to reach the interior chamber. Each of the 40 wind-activated chimes in the tower's interior will produce a musical tone that harmonizes with surrounding chimes.
Tower construction began in early October and will continue until winter weather restricts work, which will resume in the spring and continue until completion, officials said. A dedication ceremony is planned for September 2018.
The construction area is near the entrance to the national memorial on U.S. Route 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway. Visitors should exercise caution when entering the national memorial and obey posted speed limits, officials said.
Gordon Felt, president of Families of Flight 93, said the families of those who died “feel a sense of relief that our heroes' memorial is nearing completion.”
“We are grateful to our partners at the National Park Service, National Park Foundation and the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial for the opportunity to work hand in hand from the very beginning in order to create what we feel is an extraordinary memorial to the 40 heroes of Flight 93,” he said.
The design and construction — totaling nearly $6 million — is being paid for through a National Park Foundation grant. The contribution is in addition to the more than $40 million the foundation raised through its Flight 93 National Memorial Capital Campaign to fund reforestation of the park's landscape as well as design and build the park's Memorial Plaza, Wall of Names, 40 Memorial Groves, Visitor Center, Learning Center and Field of Honor, along with walking trails.
“This park is a shining example of the powerful impact that private philanthropy can have in our national parks,” said foundation president Will Shafroth. “Thanks to contributions from more than 110,000 individuals, foundations and corporations, we're able to help ensure that the heroes of Flight 93 will be remembered and honored into perpetuity.”