By Connor Beach
A massive steel beam from the World Trade Center has been placed in a Cold Spring Harbor park on the corner of 25A and Shore Road as part of a memorial to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. The steel, which stands about 10 feet tall and weighs over half a dozen tons, is one of the last remaining pieces from the World Trade Center buildings.
The Cold Spring Harbor Fire Department acquired the steel after a request was made to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The effort was spearheaded by the department’s 9/11 memorial committee and its Chairperson Tom Buchta. Members of the committee said after their request to use the steel in a memorial was approved, the massive steel beam was moved on May 26, 2016 under police escort from a hangar at J.F.K Airport in Queens to the Huntington Recycling Center for storage.
Over a year has passed since Cold Spring Harbor took possession of the steel, and after a number of different site proposals and structural plans, the beam was cemented into the ground on Sept. 9. Cold Spring Harbor Fire Chief Dan Froehlich said it took countless hours of work by members of the department and the community to reach this stage of the project.
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the Town of Huntington, the various companies, and the Cold Spring Harbor residents and civic association to construct this monument in memory of Sept. 11 and those who lost their lives that day,” Froehlich said.
The majority of the work required to construct the monument was done on a volunteer basis by several local companies, according to Cold Spring Harbor resident and former fire department member Tom Hogan.
“The companies donated their time and materials because they knew the meaning and significance of this memorial,” Hogan said. “Everyone is very excited to help and feels like a big part of the project.”
The family business of LaMay and Sons Construction in Huntington Station excavated the site in the park and installed the steel, and architect Peter Albinski of Locust Valley provided the final structural design.
“The design is wonderful because the location invokes the serenity of the waterfront, but the raw concrete and steel are a reminder of the horror of the event,” Hogan said.
Froehlich said work on the monument site, including the installation of a plaque and lighting, is still ongoing, but the department plans to hold a formal dedication ceremony in the spring.