The Sphere once graced the middle of Austin Tobin Plaza, nestled between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. On September 11th, as the Twin Towers fell in thunderous collapses, the Sphere emerged from the black dust and ashes, not intact but not destroyed.
After being in Battery Park for many years, the Sphere, still marked by disaster, with jagged edges peeling back from a large hole, has been relocated to Liberty Park (the new elevated park south of the 9/11 Memorial).
Officially titled Große Kugelkaryatide (Great Spherical Caryatid) by its creator, German sculptor Fritz Koenig, the Sphere is 25 feet high and cast in 52 bronze segments.
The piece was commissioned by the owner of the World Trade Center, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in 1966.
The Port Authority’s original choice was for a sculpture by Henry Moore, but Koenig was chosen after architect Minoru Yamasaki saw some of Koenig’s work at the Staempfli Gallery in Manhattan.
Koenig, who passed away in 2017 considered it his “biggest child.”