The new Greenwich, Connecticut September 11th Memorial was dedicated at a 9AM ceremony on Friday, September 11th 2015. Sponsored by the non-profit Greenwich Community Projects Fund and paid for with private contributions of over 1000 citizens, the new Memorial was designed by Charles Hilton Architects and Doyle Herman Design Associates to honor the 33 men and women with ties to the Greenwich community lost on that tragic day, as a place for gathering and reflection for family members and friends, and as a place for education and teaching of future generations.
The Memorial is sited on a hilltop overlooking the water in the new Cos Cob Park. Pin Oaks, Kousa Dogwood trees and Bayberry shrubs were used to create privacy within the park and direct a visitor’s focus toward the Memorial and the stunning views overlooking Cos Cob Harbor. The hilltop site was seeded with native grasses and flowering perennials to create a meadow designed to be in bloom every fall. At the center of this landscape is a granite terrace whose paving is an abstraction of the original World Trade Center plaza. From its center radiate 3 pavement markers, one pointing to New York, one to Washington, DC, and a third marker pointing to Shanksville, PA. At the end of the NYC marker sits a piece of steel from the World Trade Center site. The focal piece of the design is two large glass towers that attempt to capture in material form the very powerful and ethereal Towers of Light Memorial at ground zero while representing America’s patriotic response with a flag motif and honoring those from Greenwich in the inscriptions. The victim’s names are listed on the North and South towers according to where they were lost and a separate adjacent pavement marker bears the name of the sole Greenwich victim lost on flight 93 in Shanksville, PA.
A crowd, estimated at nearly 700, joined dignitaries for a ceremony which included the ribbon cutting followed by invocations, dedication presentations, the reading of the victim’s names, and musical renditions of “God Bless America” and “To Where You Are”. Greenwich Community Projects Co-President James Ritman thanked the architects, Charles Hilton and Nicholas Rotondi, saying “Your design is truly genius. When I look at this Memorial I’m in awe at what you’ve created. I think one town resident summed it up best when he said ‘there are no words to describe how beautiful this Memorial is.’ ” He was followed by family member Demi Ferraris who observed “We did not have a place to visit, reflect, and remember….. Today, 14 years later, these two towers are up and provide a place to visit and honor our loved ones.” First Selectman Peter Tesei spoke next adding “This beautiful monument, with its use of transparent architectural design and symbolism will forever shed light on what was a dark day in our country’s history.” The final speaker was Senator Richard Blumenthal who said “Thank you to the Town of Greenwich for showing us what is important about America…. As beautiful and eloquent as this Memorial is, it is more than just a place, more than glass and brick and mortar, it is a spirit. The terrorists who struck on 9/11 hit the World Trade Center, and they hit the Pentagon, but they missed America”.
Cos Cob Park is located of I95, exit 4 and is open sunrise to sunset each day. Charles Hilton Architects is a Greenwich, CT architectural design firm. Charles Hilton has designed projects located across the country, with the majority of his work being located in Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY. He has received design recognition from the Connecticut American Institute of Architects, as well as numerous trade publications and industry associations. Charles’s work has been featured regularly in architecture and shelter publications, as well as in many books. The firm’s work can be viewed at www.HiltonArchitects.com, www.facebook.com/CharlesHiltonArchitects, or www.houzz.com/pro/charleshiltonarchitects/charles-hilton-architects.