Artist, Architect Create Unique 9/11 Memorial for TX Fire Department

Aug. 20, 2018
Local artist Millie Giles and Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio collaborated for a 9/11 memorial outside a Denton fire station.

DENTON, Texas – August 16, 2018 – When Denton Firefighters returned from New York as part of Texas Task Force One after helping at Ground Zero, they brought back a piece of history with them. With the help of a local artist, Millie Giles, and a local architect, David M. Robinson of Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio, a new memorial was created for the piece of I-Beam from the World Trade Center, as well as a monument to the fire service as a whole. 

The monument is also home to a historic bell from 1884 that once rang at one of the department’s original stations. Then Fire Chief Paulsgrove mentioned wanting to find a home for the bell to the artist, which then inspired Millie’s bell tower design to host both the bell and the I-beam in front of Denton’s Central Fire Station. The Central Station is also home to the Denton Firefighter’s Museum. 

The tower itself stands at 30-feet to stay congruent with the windows of the Central Fire Station. When looking at the monument from the direction of east or west, you can see the homage paid to the Twin Towers standing side by side. If you enter the monument on the inside, you’ll find the text ‘Courage, Dedication, Service and 343’ as a memorial to those  343 firefighters who gave their lives at Ground Zero. The bronze bell hangs from inside the top of the monument, and itself is almost two-feet tall and weighs in at 500 lbs. Part of the restoration efforts were to allow it to still chime daily, so that Dentonites may still hear that “Middle C,” just as they did in the 19th century. 

Millie Giles, a member of the Public Art Committee, and a retired faculty member at the University of North Texas, was approached by the fire department about finding a higher profile method to display an I-Beam. David M. Robinson later joined the team to take Millie’s ideas from sketches to an engineered reality. 

When talking with Millie, she said that she is proud of this piece, but most of all, she is happy the firefighters like it.

David had this to add, “First and foremost, we’d like say how thrilled we were to be invited to be a part of this team. We’re honored that Millie chose us to help make her vision into a reality. This represents not only Denton’s history, but our nation’s history, and the sacrifices our first responders make every day. We’re glad when we can help convey the significance of their sacrifices to the public. ” 

The fire service holds a special place in the heart of David and the architecture studio as they have designed multiple fire stations throughout the region, including the Central Station, as well as four other stations for the Denton Fire Department. 

About KAS

Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio is a commercial architecture firm, located in downtown Denton and was established in 1978, by president emeritus and founder, James R. Kirkpatrick. The firm has designed buildings across Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Mexico, including multiple fire stations in recent years. KAS remains dedicated to bringing functional fire stations to departments throughout the region from its headquarters in Denton and its branch office in Norman, Oklahoma. While much of his time has been dedicated to designing for the fire service, David M. Robinson continues to serve clients in the municipal, industrial, religious and financial sectors. Above all else, KAS is known for their hands-on approach and customer service on all projects regardless of square-feet and location. For more information, visit

About David M. Robinson

David earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Southwestern University before earning his Master of Architecture at Texas A&M University. His early architecture career included time at both 3C-I and Gensler before joining Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio in 2004. As an architect and LEED Accredited Professional, while he has designed a myriad of municipal buildings, his primary focus in recent years has been fire station design as well as sustainable architecture. With twenty years of architectural experience, David directs the design process of every project while leading the members of the design team as Managing Director of the Studio. 

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