The 9/11 Tribute Museum in New York City will close its doors permanently next week. The museum, located in Lower Manhattan, opened in 2005. A group made up of families of victims of the terrorist attack turned a deli near Ground Zero into a place of remembrance for the nearly 3,000 Americans lost on 9/11. The museum focused on celebrating the lives of those who died in the attack with photos, videos, and personal stories. Fortunately, the museum will maintain its online presence. As a result, the work, care, and stories at its heart will go on.
At a Glance
- The 9/11 Tribute Museum will close on Wednesday, August 24
- The pandemic and financial difficulties forced the museum to close
- This is not the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at Ground Zero
- The museum’s collection will move to a new location
A Look at the 9/11 Tribute Museum
In 2004 a group founded by victims’ relatives came together to commemorate those they lost. The group decided to transform a former deli near Ground Zero into the 9/11 Tribute Museum. It officially opened its doors in 2005. At that time, the site of the Twin Towers was still a pit and construction site. However, people were already coming from miles around to pay their respects, according to The Hill.
Over the years, more than 5 million people have visited the 9/11 Tribute Museum. The heart of the museum was the person-to-person connection that visitors would get with those closest to the tragedy. They honored those who died on September 11 by sharing the personal stories of those who survived the attack and those who lost family or loved ones in the attack.
Most importantly, the 9/11 Tribute Museum focused on “the tremendous spirit of resilience and service that arose after the attacks.” They hoped to inspire visitors to “honor the legacy of that spirit through volunteerism and acts of kindness in their own communities,” according to the museum’s website.
Why the Museum is Closing
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opened its outdoor plaza in 2011. Then, in 2014, the massive underground museum opened to the public. These attractions dwarfed the 9/11 Tribute Museum. Tens of millions of people have come to the massive monument and walked through its museum. Unfortunately, this means that fewer people were visiting the Tribute Museum.
Then, COVID happened. The pandemic put a damper on tourism in general and indoor activities specifically. This only added to the 9/11 Tribute Museum’s financial hardships. After a petition failed to spur New York’s governor Kathy Hochul and New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams, to save the museum, the museum’s founders decided they had to shut down.
The 9/11 Tribute Museum’s Collection Will Live On
There are some silver linings to this story. The 9/11 Tribute Museum’s collection of photos, videos, and artifacts will be moved to the New York State Museum in Albany. However, there is no word on when it will be on display for the public.
Additionally, the museum will maintain its online presence to further honor those who died on 9/11 and the spirit of the survivors.