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Design of state’s 9/11 monument revealed

When he first saw the three beams of twisted steel from the World Trade Center in New York, Steve Ziger said he was overcome with emotion.

“They pulled the tarp off, and it was lying there with an arc,” said Ziger, a local architect, of the 5,000-pound beams

“It was very moving. It was a powerful, twisted, tormented part of the North Tower. What resonated with us was how powerfully transformed this artifact had been in the events of 9/11. You can sense the force it took to impact the columns.”

From that first impression grew plans for the winning design in a competition for a memorial to the 63 Marylanders who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.

The memorial will be located at Baltimore’s World Trade Center on Pratt Street and will feature the name and birth date of each Maryland victim etched into a part of the 50 blocks of Vermont marble that will form the base.

It will cost $1.5 million — raised from private donations — and will be dedicated at 3 p.m. on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks this year.

The beams originally stood between the 94th and 96th floors of the North Tower, the first tower hit by hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 at 8:46 a.m. It collapsed 102 minutes later, at 10:28 a.m., and it is believed that there were no survivors from the 91st floor or above. The tower had a total of 110 floors.

As the terrorist attacks unfolded on 9/11, another hijacked airplane hit the South Tower, at 9:03 a.m. In Washington, a hijacked plane hit the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. A fourth hijacked airplane crashed into a field in rural Shanksville, Pa., at 10:03 a.m. following a struggle aboard between passengers and hijackers.

A total of 2,977 people died in the attacks. The list of Maryland victims was originally 43, but 20 names were recently added after they were identified as having ties to the state.

A majority of the Maryland 9/11 victims died at the Pentagon, said Hannah Lee Byron, assistant secretary for the division of tourism, film and the arts for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. One Maryland resident perished in the plane crash in Shanksville.

The Maryland memorial monument will be constructed by Whiting-Turner this summer through a partnership between Ziger/Snead, Mahan Rykiel Associates for landscaping, Robert Silman Associates for structural engineering and Brandston Partnership for lighting.

When completed, it will read: “Together we remember the people of Maryland who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.”

“We wanted to create a place with symmetry with what’s in the plaza,” said Douglas Bothner, an architect with Ziger/Snead, who added the memorial will be surrounded by hedges of interlocking Hornbeam trees and limestone artifacts from the Pentagon. An artifact from Shanksville is also expected to be placed in the plaza.

Bothner said part of the memorial’s design was created to interact with the long shadow of the local trade center. The marble base will hold etchings of the exact times that planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, rendered on the memorial like a sundial mark with a small notation. Each year, on September 11, that morning shadow will align with the marks.

“Every memorial is about time and memory,” Bothner said. “You will be able to touch the artifact at the point where the names are engraved in the stone. It felt like we owed it to the artifact to have people interact with it.”

Ziger said the steel beams will rest on top of the design, another tribute to the fallen. A wax coating will be added to help preserve the metal, yet the white marble is expected to hold a patina from the beams as they weather the elements.

Nearby, limestone artifacts from the Pentagon and an expected artifact from Shanksville will also be a part of the memorial in the plaza, located near the steel beams.

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