Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2007.6.1
Dimensions: 82 in X 80 in X 48 in
Dimensions (Metric): 208.28 cm X 203.2 cm X 121.92 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Edvardo Giraldo, president and Sara Grijalva
Folk art sculpture titled Twin Towers created by artist, Sara Grijalva. The sculpture model depicts the World Trade Center Plaza with the Twin Towers, Koenig's Sphere, benches, lighting, and landscaping. A large arch extends above the model with the figure of a white dove suspended from the arch. The model is decorated with various other tribute elements such as dried flowers, patches, and ornaments. A small plaque in the lower left corner of the base includes text that reads: "In Memory of All the Victims | 9-11-2001 | By Sara Grijalva | Sponsor: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens."
Based on an earlier memorial design, local artist Sara Grijalva designed Twin Towers in 2003 at the request of Edward Giraldo, the President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Queens. Ahead of the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Chamber organized a traditional Colombian memorial procession to honor the Colombians killed. Thanks to an outpouring of generosity from many businesses and individuals, Giraldo was able to bring several Colombian craftsmen to New York City for the parade. Known as Silleteros, these men carried elaborate commemorative floral displays on their backs, in the tradition of the Flower Parades in Medellin, Colombia.
Silleteros traditions originated hundreds of years ago when each spring small-scale farmers traveled from their rural villages above Medellin to sell the beautiful flowers famous in the region. With few roads or cars, flower vendors carried their flowers to the city on their backs in big wooden frames called Silletas. This practice became a popular festival in Columbia that is still celebrated today.
Grijalva worked for three weeks to construct Twin Towers from materials including mesh, wood, plastic, dried flowers, and other organic materials. Her finished creation is a small-scale replica of the World Trade Center that stands 82" tall and rests on a 48" base. The model includes the Twin Towers, the Plaza, and the Koenig's Sphere in the center. She landscaped the plaza with small planters filled with dried flowers, small trees made out of organic materials, benches and the Plaza lighting. An arch frames the piece with a white dove suspended from the arch.
Grijalva proudly carried Twin Towers while marching in the memorial parade with other Hispanic community members, firemen, families of victims, and the Silleteros carrying the traditional Silletas. At the end, she placed her work near Ground Zero with the other floral wreath sculptures. Eventually, Twin Towers found a permanent home inside the Port Authority Family Trailer.