Remembering the Oklahoma City Bombing
The devastation that was witnessed on April 19, 1995 will never leave the minds of Americans. 168 people perished in the aftermath of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and we remember those lost to this act of terrorism.
When Ross Barney Architects was selected to design the new Oklahoma Federal Building, we toured the site with the General Services Administration including the parking structure under the Murrah Building that survived the blast. We were led by the GSA Property Manager who was in the building the morning of the blast and had survived with grievous injuries. He took us to a protected and isolated corner of the garage. In a makeshift museum, he and other survivors had saved personal items found in the rubble.
It was that moment, in that leftover place, that we understood that the new design was not only about protection, but the new Oklahoma Federal Building while a state of the art defensive design, had to rekindle a sense of community; of open and free government for all people. The new design was about trust, remembrance and above all healing.