In memory of their 358 employees and consultants lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Marsh & McLennan Companies commissioned Providence artist Richard Fleischner to create a place of remembrance within the plaza outside their midtown Manhattan offices.
Fleischner responded by creating a permanent space for reflection that includes a granite platform, bench and steps, a cast bronze screen, two cast bronze monoliths, as well as planting, trees, and a perimeter fence. The focal elements is a freestanding glass wall, over ten feet high and twelve feet wide.
Fleischner brought in Malcolm Grear Designers to collaborate on the design of the glass wall. The names of the victims are carved into the second layer of glass in carefully typeset columns, and the signatures of each person are set into a deeper layer of clear glass while the surface around the signature is frosted.
The formal columns of names in type remain an elegant, constant identification of the victims, and the signatures suggest the unique humanity of each individual lost in the tragedy. As some have observed, the effect of this naturally illuminated wall of names and signatures is reminiscent of the somber rhythms of falling rain depicted in Japanese prints.
In honor of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the Providence Journal published an article about art devoted to the attacks. Fleischner's memorial was one of the featured pieces in the article. The Marsh & McLennan Memorial website includes more photographs and information about the memorial and those victims of the tragedy.