NYC’s 9/11 Tribute Museum is closing

August 16, 2022

Image of the 9/11 Tribute Museum via Wiki Commons

The museum which told the stories of September 11 survivors is officially closing its doors. The 9/11 Tribute Museum will close on August 17 due to financial hardships stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, as NBC New York first reported. The museum will shift to a fully online format to continue telling victims’ stories and support those affected by the attacks.

Courtesy of the 9/11 Tribute Museum

The 9/11 Tribute Museum opened to the public in 2006, created by the September 11th Families’ Association and housed within a former bodega near the more well-known 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

In 2017, the museum moved to a larger three-floor, 36,000 square-foot space on Greenwich Street, The new location cost $8.7 million and was funded in part by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owners of the World Trade Center site.

The Lower Manhattan museum was devasted financially by the pandemic, which cut off its main source of income: international tourism. According to NBC New York, admissions dropped to 26,000 last year compared to 150,000 in 2019. But even before the pandemic, the museum was struggling. According to a 2019 report by Crain’s, the property lost $90,000 in 2016 and $1.1 million in 2015.

“Financial hardships including lost revenue caused by the pandemic prevents us from generating sufficient funding to continue to operate the physical museum,” Jennifer Adams, co-founder and CEO of the museum, told NBC New York.

The museum offered tours of a rebuilt World Trade Center led by first responders, survivors, and relatives of those who were lost. Displayed throughout the space were artifacts, including “missing person” posters, death certificates, and boarding passes from one of the hijacked airplanes, amongst other relics.

Exhibitions explored Lower Manhattan’s history, the first moments after the attack, and included first-hand accounts from volunteers and photographs to remember victims.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, the museum has trained more than 1,000 survivors, first responders, and residents to share first-hand experiences with visitors.

The museum will continue to educate and spread awareness of 9/11 through its online presence, including interactive resources and videos. After closing, the museum’s collection will be transported to the New York State Museum in Albany.

“The main story we’re telling is not that of the attacks—that’s the purpose of the Memorial Museum down the street—but rather how in this nightmare people stepped up to help other people, both in the direct aftermath and gradually over time within their communities,” Lee Skolnick, principal of LHSA+DP and lead architect of the 9/11 Tribute Museum, told 6sqft in a 2017 interview.

[Via NBC New York]


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