A 5-ton sculpture created from the steel wreckage of New York City’s World Trade Center is on its way to Oak Cliff. "The Gates," from North Carolina-based sculptor Jim Gallucci, is to be installed outside the Bank Tower Thursday. Installation will start at around 10 a.m., and Zang Boulevard will be closed until installation is complete three or four hours later, says Ralph Isenberg, the building’s manager.

Gallucci built the sculpture using some of the 16 tons of steel he got from the World Trade Center wreckage after 9/11. It is 20 by 20 feet at the base and 23 feet tall. The sculpture has a more hopeful feeling than mournful, Isenberg says. "It’s a gate. You can run through it, you can play on it, but it tells a story," he says.

Isenberg is bringing the sculpture to Dallas at his own expense — $20,000, he says — because "this is a very important piece of art, and it needs a home." Plus, it reminds him of lessons from his parents, German Jews who survived World War II, about remembering the past but always moving forward.

The sculpture has traveled to several cities since 2003, but Isenberg wants to keep it in Dallas, along with its mammoth twin, which Gallucci is still trying to finance.

More after the jump.

The second sculpture would weigh 80 tons and be about the height of a five-story building. Isenberg, who served on several city boards as an appointee of his friend, Laura Miller, has big dreams for this second sculpture, which would take up about one city block and cost at least $1.5 million to build. Call him optimistic. But Isenberg wants to bring these two sculptures into the design of the Trinity River Project and place them at some focal point in the planned Oak Cliff Gateway development. He envisions the "The Gates" on this side of the planned Margaret Hunt Hill and Margaret McDermott bridges, sort of as an addition to the site of the JFK assassination, another tragic moment in American history. "A proper forum of healing is art, and the public offering of art that gives you a different message. Maybe hope," he says.

The sculpture will be the focus of a short Patriot Day ceremony that will start at about 7:30 a.m. Friday.