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15 pieces of history

Concrete blocks from World Trade Center site find new home in St. James City

April 14, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Pine Island residents may have noticed a fleet of flatbed trucks carrying 15 huge concrete blocks to their new home Saturday in St. James City. The blocks come from the World Trade Center "Ground Zero" site.

Artist Sandra Priest has relocated her art studio to her home in St. James City, and brought the big concrete blocks with her.

"I found this property after a lot of searching," Priest said. "It's 2 acres and offers just the right amount of space for these pieces. There's about 16,000 pounds of concrete that I'm placing is a semi-circle I named the project 11-UP."

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The tractor-trailers carrying the blocks arrive at the property.

The concrete was originally part of a 7-story retaining wall built to keep Hudson River water outside the foundation of the World Trade Center. The large concrete blocks were saved after a part of the wall had to be cut out to bring in a new subway tunnel.

"These pieces were on land I have been renting in Fort Myers," Priest said. "That land went up for sale and I was lucky to find this property in St. James City. It's 2 acres and offers the space I needed for such a large project. And this is one of the most peaceful settings imaginable."

Priest is the owner of Art By San Studios creating sculptures and paintings. She has been involved in many notable projects: 9/11 Memorial 10-year anniversary sculpture in Bethlehem, Pa.; 9/11 Memorial Fallen Warrior Memorial Sculpture, Fort Douglas National Military Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah; A main grand hall large painting in the Charlotte County Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Fla.; and many others.

"I will be planning several future events," Priest said. "I'd like to invite school groups, civic organizations and other organizations to photograph and touch the 9/11 concrete. These are a part of our history and should never be forgotten."

The Cape Coral Police Department issued an alert for Saturday that it would be helping to escort the blocks convoy through Cape Coral. The convoy came across the Midpoint Bridge and along Veterans Memorial Parkway to Pine Island Road.



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