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For immediate release
June 19, 2002
NPR:Jenny Lawhorn,

Mohawk Ironworkers Who Built the World Trade Center Profiled on Lost & Found Sound's Sonic Memorial Project

WASHINGTON DC - On Monday, July 1, NPR's All Things Considered® presents Walking High Steel: Mohawk Ironworkers at the World Trade Center, a Lost & Found Sound Sonic Memorial Project feature produced by Jamie York and The Kitchen Sisters-Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson. The Sonic Memorial Project, a series about the life and history of the World Trade Center and surrounding neighborhood, airs selected Mondays from June to September 2002 on All Things Considered.

Walking High Steel delves into the 120-year history of a small community of Mohawk Indian ironworkers, renowned for their ability to work high steel. They helped shape the Manhattan skyline, contributing to the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and the World Trade Center. Six generations of Mohawks framed the nation's skyscrapers and bridges, "booming out" to cities across the U.S. - to California to build the Golden Gate Bridge; to Chicago to build the Sears Tower. In September 2001, after the fall of the Twin Towers, their sons and nephews returned to lower Manhattan to dismante what their elders had helped to build.

The Sonic Memorial Project, a seven-part radio series with additional Web-exclusive content, commemorates the life and history of the World Trade Center and its neighborhood through rare recordings, historical records and personal stories. In addition to the Mohawk ironworkers who helped build and later disassemble the Towers, the series will look at little-known chapters in the Towers' history, such as the young co-eds and the PR man who helped sell the Towers to the public (July 29); and the thousands of sounds and voices that lived inside the Towers (August 26). NPR will present three additional Sonic Memorial Project stories on September 9, 10 and 11, rounding out extensive NPR News coverage of the anniversary of September 11, 2001.

The Sonic Memorial Project features material submitted by people across the U.S. who contributed personal recordings, stories and remembrances by calling NPR's Sonic Memorial Hotline at 202-408-0300 or e-mailing

Spearheaded by NPR's Lost & Found Sound and The Kitchen Sisters - Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, The Sonic Memorial Project is a national collaboration involving more than 50 independent radio producers from New York and around the country, NPR News, WNYC New York Public Radio, Picture Projects, Radio Diaries,, Sound Portraits, Creative Time, The Museum of Television & Radio, KQED San Francisco and numerous archivists, scholars and organizations. The project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation.

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