New York’s National September 11 Memorial Museum is hallowed ground…and a powerful experience. Located on the precise site of the immense tragedy, it is an innovative museum, memorial and final resting place for most of the victims. The museum’s exhibitions, found seven stories below ground at bedrock level, chronicle the attacks and honor the nearly 3000 lives that were lost. The combination of place, design, artifacts, and vivid sounds and images make a visit to the September 11 Memorial Museum a highly emotional experience.
September 11 Memorial Museum
The museum is located within the 911 Memorial, on the west side of lower Manhattan. Enter at the intersection of Liberty and Greenwich Streets.
Subway: A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, or 5 trains to Fulton Street, E train to World Trade Center, R train to Cortlandt or Rector Streets.
For detailed directions and a map, see the Memorial website.
The museum is open daily 9am – 8pm
Museum tickets are issued for specific dates and times and are non-refundable. Tickets can be purchased online in advance (highly recommended) or at the museum.
Admission: $24 for Adults, $18 for Seniors, U.S Veterans and College Students, $15 for Children 7-17.
Admission is free on Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with final entry at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available for online reservation two weeks in advance starting at 9 a.m. Same day tickets are available at the ticket windows starting at 4 p.m.
All visitors must pass through airport-style security screening.
Visitors must store large bags, backpacks or any large personal items at the museum coat checks.
The September 11 Memorial Museum is wheelchair accessible and offers a number of services and devises for visitors with disabilities.
Food and beverage are not permitted in the exhibition spaces. There is a café in the museum.
Non-flash photography is permitted in the museum, except specified exhibits (notably In Memoriam and the historical exhibit).
Because of the solemn nature of the site, the Museum asks visitors to behave with proper decorum. Any form of noise is inappropriate and speaking on cell phones is prohibited in the exhibition spaces.
The Information Desk in the Concourse Lobby offers museum maps, Audio Tours and programming information.
Guided tours of the September 11 Memorial Museum are available daily with tickets purchased in advance. The combined museum/tour tickets cost $42 for Adults, $36 for Seniors, U.S Veterans and College Students, $33 for Children 7-17. Given the nature of the subject, the 60-minute tours are primarily intended for adult and teenage visitors.
The free 9/11 Museum Audio Guide App provides themed audio tours with stories from the day of 9/11 and the recovery at Ground Zero. It also presents details of the Museum’s archaeological elements and architectural designs of the Memorial and the Museum.
Highlights of the September 11 Memorial Museum
- Two original World Trade Center Tridents beside the street-level staircase and escalators.
- We Remember Exhibition, a soundscape of voices recalling the experience of 9/11, and projected images of eyewitness reactions.
- The Survivors’ Staircase, the final means of escape for hundreds out of the North Tower.
- The long wall in Memorial Hall, featuring a poignant quote by Virgil surrounded by “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky That September Morning,” an installation of colored squares representing each of the victims. Behind the wall is the repository for 14,000 unidentified or unclaimed remains of those who perished.
In Memoriam – a contemplative space with walls covered by the faces of the 2,983 people killed on September 11th and the February 1993 attacks. The space includes interactive panels with biographical information and a central area offering audio and visual remembrances from loved ones.
- Two long mangled sections of steel that were the impact points from the North Tower. The steel’s twisted condition bears witness to the terrible violence of the assault on the building.
- Foundation Hall, a soaring space containing the slurry wall (created to hold back the Hudson River for the original World Trade Center’s construction) and the Last Column, the last piece of structural steel removed from Ground Zero. The metal pillar was decorated with loving tributes by rescue and relief workers.
- September 11, 2001 – the historical exhibition presenting the events of the attacks in great detail through photos, artifacts, recordings, and film. For many visitors the experience will be highly emotional and, in addition to available tissues, there are four extra doors for those who need to exit the exhibit. It also includes a section chronicling the events leading to 9/11 (including a controversial film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,”) and the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.
Have you visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum? If so, tell us about your experience and reactions in the comments below.