COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)- The Air Garden at the U.S. Air Force Academy now looks like it did when it was designed more than 60 years ago.
The restoration project at the Air Garden started more than a year ago alongside another big renovation going on at the campus.
"It was also meant to be the landscape counterpart to balance the Cadet Chapel being the iconic piece of architecture we have," said Duane Boyle, an architect.
In the 1970s, the garden was filled in with cement. Boyle says besides restoring the chapel, this was the other project he wanted to see through.
"So to see this back to the way it was originally, and it’s probably one of the most important pieces of modern landscape architecture in the world really is amazing," said Boyle.
The space brings cadets outside for class and offers a place for more statues and memorials. That includes a September 11th memorial. The statue is made of artifacts from the World Trade Center.
Those pieces were hand-picked and brought back to Colorado Springs by Don Addy. The statue had already been on campus but was moved to the Air Garden for more visibility.
"These cadets are our future in defending our country. Most of them here today were not alive on that day and had no real way of having an impact on their lives like it has for most of us. I felt like it's our responsibility. In fact, I think it’s our obligation, my generation, to move that memory forward just like what happened with Pearl Harbor. We need to make sure the memory of that day never dies, we will never forget," said Addy.
The restoration project cost $6.5 million, but the money was raised through fundraisers.