About 9/11 Museum | History, Facts, Inside & Much More
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was established as a tribute to everyone who lost their lives in this attack. A visit to this museum is the best way to learn about what happened on that fateful day. Pay respect to those who lost their lives and see how everyone coped with the aftermath of the attack. Read on to learn more about the significance of this eminent structure.
9/11 Museum: Quick Facts
Official Name: The National September 11 Memorial Museum
Location: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, United States
Construction Start: 13th Mar 2006
Opening Date: 15th May 2014 (to victims’ families), 21st May 2014 (to the public)
Architects: Michael Arad, Peter Walker, Davis Brody Bond
No. of Visitors: > 3 million/year
What is the 9/11 Museum?
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, also known as the 9/11 Museum, commemorates the attacks on the World Trade Center on 26th Feb 1993 and 11th Sep 2001. Both these attacks were some of the deadliest attacks of terrorism in the US that took the lives of thousands of people. The construction of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum started in 2006. Here, you can find over 40,000 images, more than 3,500 oral recordings, and over 500 hours of video footage that tell the story of these tragic events. Discover 14,000 artifacts as well to learn about how the events unfolded.
Why Visit the 9/11 Museum?
- Uncover the tragic history behind US’ biggest terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001.
- Find first-person testimonies, historical records and material evidence of the immediate and ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks.
- Discover more than 70,000 artifacts recovered from the site of the attacks.
- Explore the In Memoriam exhibition that commemorates all the 2977 individuals killed in the 9/11 attacks.
- Also visit the 9/11 Memorial nearby that also has the names of all the victims, including the plane attacks.
What is the Significance of the 9/11 Museum?
The 9/11 Museum in NYC is a museum to honor those who died in the horrific attacks of 11th September 2001 and 26th February 1993. That’s not all, this museum also honors the heroes who lost their lives while trying to save others during the attacks and displayed amazing compassion after the attack. There are several exhibitions, commemorations, and educational programs held here to remember all the victims and the brave people that bonded together to help heal from these tragic wounds to the US.
Brief History of the 9/11 Museum
- After the 9/11 attacks, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) was founded to plan the rebuilding of the Lower Manhattan area. On May 30th, 2002, the debris was finally cleared after removing more than 1 million tons of steel and concrete.
- On November 20, 2002, Larry Silverstein announced the plans for the first-ever rebuilding project for the 7 World Trade Center. After a competition, Daniel Libeskind's design was chosen for the 7 WTC which included a set of spiral stairs that connected the northwest corner of the site to the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
- On April 1st, 2003, LMDC announced another international design competition for the WTC Memorial Site. The final design of the museum and memorial were unveiled in December 2004.
- On March 13th, 2006, works began to remove the remaining debris which marked the beginning of the construction of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
- On September 11, 2011, the 10-year anniversary also marked the dedication ceremony of the memorial and museum. Various dignitaries including President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, Larry Silverstein and other officials along with the family members who lost loved ones gathered.
- In December 2011, construction works on the museum were halted temporarily over disputes on whether the Port Authority or the Memorial and Museum Foundation should cover the infrastructure costs.
- On 13th March 2012, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began discussing the issues. On 10th September 2012, the issues were resolved and the construction of the 9/11 Museum NYC resumed.
- Construction was finally completed and a dedicated opening of the 9/11 Museum was held on 15th May 2014 for the family members of the victims. Many dignitaries including President Obama, former President Bush, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and many more gathered.
- On 21st May 2014, the museum was officially opened to the public. A group of 24 police officers unfurled the National 9/11 flag, which was then taken into the museum for permanent display.
Design of the 9/11 Museum
After the 11th September 2001 attack, a memorial and museum were planned to remember and honor those who lost their lives. Designed by David Brody, the 9/11 Museum NYC has an area of 110,000 square feet and is about 70 feet below the ground. The museum can be accessed through a pavilion that features a deconstructivist design. The 9/11 Museum pavilion by Snøhetta resembles a partially collapsed building to describe the 9/11 attacks. There are two tridents in this pavilion that signify the Twin Towers and one of the museum walls is a slurry wall to show the Hudson river that remained intact through the attack. 9/11 Museum NYC has been designed to evoke memories of the attack without distressing the victims’ families and the first responders.
What’s Inside the 9/11 Museum?
As the visitors access the exhibits of the 9/11 Museum via a ramp, they will come across a historic remnant called the Survivor’s Stairs. This staircase helped hundreds of people to flee the site during the 9/11 attack. After the attack, these stairs were going to be destroyed but were saved after the federal review process termed them as a historical asset. Visitors arriving at the main exhibition and the educational level follow these stairs that saved the lives of hundreds of survivors.
Memorial Hall, located between the prints of the two Twin Towers, houses two artworks. Inside the Memorial Hall, you will find a quote forged by Tom Joyce from the steel of the recovered WTC. The quote ‘No day shall erase you from the memory of time’ talks about the 9/11 Museum’s promise to remember the thousands of lives lost during the 9/11 attack and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. The artwork by Spencer Finch surrounds the quote which is a panoramic mosaic of colored paper panels.
Foundation Hall is the largest space in the 9/11 tribute museum that is located beside the North Tower footprint. This hall features a slurry hall that holds the Hudson River. It symbolizes strength and resilience as this wall didn’t break during the 9/11 attack too. At the center, you will find a 36-feet steel Last Column that was the final part of the World Trade Center to be removed after the attack. This column is now covered with mementos, signatures, and inscriptions as a remembrance.
Controversies Surrounding the 9/11 Museum
Little Syria was a neighborhood in New York City that housed Christian Arab immigrants and was located to the south of the World Trade Center. Adjacent to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the cornerstone of St. Joseph’s Lebanese Maronite Church was discovered buried under the rubble. Several activists brought attention to this neighborhood and tried to persuade the 9/11 Museum to include a permanent exhibit about this site. They argued that thousands of visitors visiting the 9/11 Museum NYC should understand the patriotic role of immigrants from the Ottoman lands in U.S history.
When the museum was opened, the victims’ families and first responders raised concern over the 9/11 museum tickets priced at $24. Many were also angered to learn that several souvenirs in poor taste were being sold at the museum for funding. On 29th May 2014, a U.S-shaped cheese platter was removed from the list of souvenir items. Also, it was decided that the victims’ families would review the souvenir items for sale.
Placement of Unidentified Remains
On the morning of 14th May 2014, the remains of 1,115 unidentified victims were transferred to Ground Zero. They were placed in the space of the bedrock 70 feet below the ground inside the 9/11 Museum. There was a divided reaction to this move and a silent protest was held by those against it. The protestors thought it to be disrespectful to the victims and their families for unidentified remains to be placed in the basement of a museum and not a beautiful memorial.
Plan Your Visit to the 9/11 Museum
Wednesdays to Mondays: 10 AM to 5 PM
Frequently Asked Questions About the 9/11 Memorial Museum
A. In order to honor the thousands of lives that were lost in the devastating 9/11 and 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the National September 11 Memorial Museum was constructed and opened in May 2014.
A. Yes, you can enter the museum for free every Monday between 3:30 PM to 5 PM.
A. The 9/11 Museum is open every week from Wednesdays to Mondays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
A. The 9/11 Museum tickets are booked in slots to ensure that it’s never too crowded. However, a lot of people visit between 12 PM and 3 PM, so avoid these hours if you want to avoid crowds. It also gets quite crowded on Mondays during the free entry timings.
A. A great tragedy struck the US on September 11, 2001, when a group of terrorists crashed two aircrafts into the World Trade Center. Thousands of lives were lost and this museum was constructed in order to honor the lost lives and first responders.
A. Even after all these years, the tragedy of 9/11 is remembered as though the wounds were quite fresh. The museum receives millions of visitors every year.
A. Apart from many of the recovered items from Ground Zero, you can also see the Last Column that survived the attack, some dedicated artwork, the Survivor’s Stairs that the victims used to escape the collapsed building, and many other symbols that allow one to remember the tragic day.