AAA Editor Notes
National September 11 Memorial Museum is bound by Liberty, Vesey, Church and West sts., with the entrances on Liberty St. at jct. Greenwich St., Liberty St. at jct. West St., and West St. at jct. Fulton St. Encased within the museum's glass atrium and visible to visitors to the memorial are two steel tridents from the exterior of the North Tower; each stands 70 feet tall.
The tour of this underground 110,000-square-foot museum begins with a 70-foot descent to the foundation of the museum alongside the Survivors' Stairs, used by many fleeing the disaster. Exhibits are held within the foundations of both towers, outlined by the box column remnants still anchored in the bedrock.
The Historical Exhibition, within the North Tower foundation, depicts how Sept. 11, 2001 unfolded, followed by displays about events leading up to that day and ending with exhibits demonstrating the effects of 9/11. This very striking exhibit is full of images, audio recordings, videos and artifacts—some personal. Visitors who may become emotionally overwhelmed can leave the space through special escape doors without passing through the remaining displays.
Within the South Tower foundation, In Memoriam houses photos of the victims along with some personal artifacts and audio histories from those who were close to them. A 10-minute time-lapse film is also shown within the South Tower space portraying the rebuilding effort. The expansive Foundation Hall holds the slurry wall, which retained the waters of the Hudson River, as well as the 36-foot-high Last Column, which stood on the site for 9 months and is swathed with inscriptions, mementos and missing-persons posters.
A small portion of the permanent collection, including oral histories, photographs, recovered personal effects and wreckage, can be viewed at 20 Vesey St.
Tickets are required in advance and can be purchased online, by phone or at the ticket window at 180 Greenwich St. Museum tickets include access to the memorial.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 3 hours minimum.