This post is about the National September 11th Museum (a.k.a. the 9/11 Museum), how to reach it, and how to obtain tickets – as well as how to visit the museum for free! Below you can see a virtual tour created by the Museum to give you a sense of what you can expect on your visit. The museum offers pay-what-you-like Tuesday evening, but for all other times, you could purchase skip-the-line tickets. Also, the observatory on the top of the Freedom Tower is now open and is spectacular. Find out more at Freedom Tower Tickets and Tours.
The National September 11 Memorial Museum is located at 180 Greenwich Street, inside the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District. It is easily accessible by many train lines of the New York City subway system. If you are new to riding the subway, check out our posts Navigating the Subway and How to buy a subway MetroCard. Stations within walking distance are:
Free admission will be available for all visitors every Tuesday, from 5 pm to 8 pm (last entry at 7 pm). A limited number of advance tickets for these free Tuesdays will be available online, starting two weeks in advance of each Tuesday. A limited number of tickets are available at the box office every Tuesday on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 9/11 Museum was planned and designed to be the preeminent institution in the United States for honoring and remembering those who were lost on September 11, 2001, as well as the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. The museum weaves together individual stories about those who lost their lives on 9/11, as well as stories from those who escaped, those who lost a loved one, and those who risked their lives to aid in the rescue efforts.
The Museum’s 110,000 square feet of exhibit space includes a Historical Exhibition, detailing the facts and chronology of the events of 9/11, as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The “Wall of Faces” displays pictures of nearly every victim of these two events. There are also interactive exhibits where individuals are honored through stories, additional photographs, personal artifacts and audio recordings.
Worth noting is that the primary exhibition space is located below ground. Seven stories below ground, to be exact. The reasoning is unique. In the aftermath of 9/11, what remained of the original World Trade Center achieved federal landmark status. The 9/11 Memorial Foundation is legally required to preserve what remains of the original Trade Center and make it accessible to the public. The remaining elements are the foundation slabs of the original Twin Towers, parts of the exterior “box columns” of the Twin Towers, and the retaining wall that was built during the original construction. This was to keep the Hudson River from flooding the Trade Center. This wall, known as the “slurry wall,” held firm on 9/11, despite all of the chaos around. Architect Daniel Libeskind, who designed the master plan for the new World Trade Center, thought that the slurry wall was a symbol of the strength and endurance of this country and needed to be seen. Because of these factors, the Museum is built where visitors can best see these original Trade Center elements: underground.