Steel Shots: 9/11 Memorial Museum Opens

9-11 Museum

Visible not only from inside the building but also from the memorial’s plaza, the two 70-ft-tall steel tridents installed in the museum’s entry pavilion serve as a visual reference to the original World Trade Center—and actually stood next to each other on the eastern facade of the original North Tower—as well as a symbol of endurance. Photo: AISC

President Barack Obama joined Sept. 11 survivors, victims’ families and rescue workers yesterday to commemorate the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. It opens to the public next Wednesday.

The Museum’s 110,000 sq. ft of exhibition space tells the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, personal narratives and a collection of monumental and personal artifacts. The space includes two core exhibitions at the archeological heart of the site: the memorial exhibition, called “In Memoriam,” and a three-part historical exhibition that explores the day of the attacks, what led to them and their aftermath.

More than 8,000 tons of structural steel was used in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which was designed by Davis Brody Bond. The entry pavilion, designed by architect Snohetta (Adamson Associates was the architect of record) and structural engineer Buro Happold, uses 1,200 tons of steel, fabricated and erected by AISC member/AISC Certified Fabricator/Advanced Certified Steel Erector W&W/AFCO Steel.

“The magnitude of the historic importance of the site and its symbolism made it essential for us to find a balance between the collective and the individual experience,” said Steven M. Davis, FAIA, founding partner of Davis Brody Bond. “We relied on four principles to guide our work: memory, authenticity, scale and emotion, hoping to provide the most sensitive, respectful and informative experience for visitors.”

Added Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snohetta: “As a reflection of the present, the Museum pavilion we designed serves as a bridge between the memory of past events embraced by the Memorial design and the trust in the future, signified by the neighboring office towers.”

The article “Trident True” from the January 2014 issue of MSC provides additional details about the towering tridents. To learn more about the 9/11 Memorial Museum, visit

Earthcam has also released a time-lapse video of World Trade Center Plaza in conjunction with the dedication of the Memorial Museum. In the video, webcam images collected over the past 10 years are assembled to document the rebuilding and construction of the site.