History of the Memorial
The tercentenary of the Salem Witch Trials provided a fitting occasion to create an enduring tribute to the victims of the trials and a reminder that among all people and nations a spirit of tolerance and understanding should prevail.
Designed by the architect/artist team of James Cutler and Maggie Smith, the memorial was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and has won national critical acclaim. It was dedicated on August 5, 1992, by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.
Twenty years later, an estimated six million visitors had visited the Memorial, leaving it in need of a comprehensive restoration. The Salem Award Foundation, in conjunction with the City of Salem and the Peabody Essex Museum, undertook this work, culminating in a rededication ceremony on September 12, 2012. Today the partnership continues, and there is a fund established to ensure the oversight and maintenance of the Memorial.