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Shanksville: The Latest Architecture and News

93-Foot-Tall “Tower of Voices” to Commemorate 9/11 Victims with Wind Chime Soundscape

Sixteen years after the tragic events of 9/11, the final major element of the Flight 93 National Memorial has been revealed.

Located in rural in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the memorial commemorates the 40 passengers who sacrificed their own lives to wrest control away from the hijackers of United Flight 93, preventing the plane from hitting its intended target of the United States Capitol Building.

In 2009, Paul Murdoch Architects, in collaboration with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Arup Engineering, was selected to design the national memorial at the crash site. Employing a reverent masterplan that traced the airplane’s final movements, the architects designed a series of reflective elements as a solemn reminder of the day’s events. All of these elements have since been completed, with the exception of the plan’s most sensory landmark, the 93-foot-tall “Tower of Voices.”

Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects

Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects © Eric Staudenmaier
Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects © Eric Staudenmaier

United Airlines Flight 93 was one of the four planes hijacked during the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. It was on this flight that 40 passengers and crew members courageously gave their lives to thwart a planned attack on the Nation’s Capital. Tragically, the plane crashed in Western Pennsylvania with no survivors.

To honor these heroes, Congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act in 2002 and launched a two-stage, international design competition in 2005. A Jury of planners, landscape architects, architects, designers, government representatives, family members and community representatives chose Paul and Milena Murdoch’s proposal, which treated the 2,200 acre former coalmine as a memorialized national park where visitors embark on a sequence of experiences that leads them towards the crash site of Flight 93.