Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Nova Scotia Bank Vault
RICH GARLOCK: Some currency vaults owned by Citbank and Chase were badly damaged or burned in the fires that raged for 20 hours after the attack. The Nova Scotia bank vault, however, built inside the old Hudson-Manhattan terminal under WTC 4, was perfectly intact, albeit wet. FEMA's Miami Task Force marked the vault as searched on the 13th of September. We didn't go in to retrieve the metals until late October when we were able to clear a truck ramp with access to the area below WTC 7.
A Treasure in Silver and Gold
RICH GARLOCK: The vault was huge — two levels, 3,000 square feet each. When they opened the door, I realized why it was so big: there was a lot of gold and silver. The silver bars were like large loaves of bread, only they weighed about 70 pounds. The gold was smaller, but also very heavy, about 28 pounds each. It was around Halloween and I joked that I was going to come dressed as a Brinks guard. The team did a test run with the Brinks truck to make sure that it had the clearance, driving it up and then back out. The next morning the New York Post reported the vault had been emptied. In fact, it took a week to remove. The police said, "Hey, we couldn't have better publicity."
Extracting PATH Cars
RICH GARLOCK: The Port Authority wanted a PATH car for a future memorial or museum piece. The cars were beneath structures that needed to be demolished. We worked really hard with the contractors figure out demolition sequences to protect the cars.
RICH GARLOCK: Removing the PATH cars was like surgery. It took about a month because we had to take great care to demolish and remove the structure around it, without causing progressive damage. We patched a rail on the track and then pulled the train into the clearing where it could be lifted out.
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Koenig Sphere Memorial
RICH GARLOCK: Repairing the sphere for a temporary memorial was rewarding from an engineering standpoint. We worked together with iron workers and even Fritz Koenig, the sculptor, showed up to advise us. It came together very quickly to be ready for the March 11th deadline for the dedication of the memorial.
A Place for Reflection
RICH GARLOCK: The sphere could be a symbol of what happened that day. It was the first place, other than the site, where we knew people could come to reflect, to mourn. And it represented another way for the engineers, contractors and ironworkers to contribute, constructively. Our nature is to create, not to deconstruct.