The Maryland 9/11 Memorial is a key feature of the plaza of the World Trade Center in Baltimore, Maryland, honoring the 63 Marylanders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. The Memorial’s inspiration is drawn from the wreckage of the Twin Towers – a 22-foot-long steel artifact, consisting of three twisted and torn amalgamated steel columns. While the steel artifact inspired the Memorial, Marylanders were in fact lost at all three 9/11 sites, and each of these sites is represented. Limestone pieces from the Pentagon’s west wall are integrated into the design, and though artifacts cannot be obtained from the Flight 93 site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, that important site is represented at the Memorial with three large pieces of polished black granite.
Silman provided structural engineering services for the design and construction of the new memorial. Due to the immense weight of these artifacts – the entire section weighs approximately 5,000 lbs – Silman was tasked with the challenge of designing extra structural support into the memorial to compensate for a 30-foot-wide tunnel running under part of the plaza. The structural solution involved balancing the concrete plinth on two points coinciding with two of the existing plaza columns below.
The marble plinth acts as a sundial on the plaza, marking the passage of time as the morning sun crosses the sky, creating a shadow from Baltimore’s World Trade Center that intersects with the memorial, marking the events of 9/11. A portion of the marble plinth always remains in sunlight to signify a glimmer of hope during terrible times.