I will never forget that morning when I was getting ready for school and heard that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Watching it unfold over the rest of the day was horrifying, and it is one of those days that will stay with me for the rest of my life. On a recent trip to New York, I got the opportunity to visit the memorial and museum, and I have to say that it is one of the best museums I have ever been to as every room is packed with emotion. Add to that the beautiful memorials outside the museum, and you will be spending at least a few hours taking it all in. Here is all the information so you can check it out for yourself.
- Cost: $24 for museum
- Memorial is free
- Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM
- Location: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007
It is easy to find this area of New York as it is in lower Manhattan and you can see the massive One World Trade Center Building displayed prominently in the New York skyline.
When you arrive, I recommend buying a ticket for the museum first. The tickets are time specific so you can visit the memorials after seeing what ticket time you are able to get. Also, there are ticket vending machines on the outer walls of the museum opposite the ticket windows. It is much better to buy at one of these than to wait in line at the ticket window.
If you have to wait for a little while, then head over the memorials first. There are two, to represent the two towers, and they are stunning. The memorials form a square, right at the base of where the buildings were, and they have water flowing into the middle.
Along the exterior of the memorials are the names of the people that lost their lives etched into the metal.
On the person’s birthday, you will see a rose sitting in the etched holes of their name, it is beautiful. Both of the memorials are the same, but I recommend taking some time at each.
Also, pay a visit to the survivor tree when you are at the memorials. You will see a person who works for the museum standing by the tree, so you know which one it is. This tree is called the survivor tree because it was the only one that lived through the attacks. It was replanted here after the museum was finished.
The museum is one of those rare places that spotlights a recent time in history, so it has access to an incredible variety of media to tell the story.
Through the multiple levels, you will hear audio quotes from the people on the plane, videos of the towers collapsing and photos showing the aftermath.
I cannot stress how emotional this museum is and how well they did in creating it. I was close to tears at many times during my visit.
Here are a few of the stand out exhibits.
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky
This art piece was created by one artist who asked people to paint the color of the sky on that day. He took all of those colors and displayed it on one wall of the museum with a quote that read, “No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory of Time.”
The pillar that you see in the Foundation Hall is one of the last pillars that was left standing after the attack and clean up. It was decorated by the people that worked on that cleanup.
No pictures were allowed in here, but this area told the story of the entire day, minute by minute, through audio, visuals and written word. There were timelapses, photographs and more stories than you can read. It was incredibly hard to see but beautiful at the same time.
You could easily spend a half day in this exhibit if you take the time to read and explore it all.
As you can see, this is a pretty special place to visit in New York City. I was moved by my time here, and I highly recommend you add it to your list. Let me know what you think in the comments.