Like many others, I lost friends on Sept. 11, 2001. As a museum professional and historian dedicated to the study of objects and their role in culture, I am pleased to highlight the September 11 Memorial and its new museum that recalls that historic day.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum debuted with ceremony and remembrance recently. The Memorial & Museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan. The Memorial, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and Feb. 26, 1993. The Memorial consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Tower buildings.
Designed by lead architects Davis Brody Bond of New York City, the National September 11 Museum is sited belowground and displays artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while telling the stories of loss, compassion and recovery of the 2001 and 1993 attacks. This is achieved through displays, multimedia and interactive exhibits.
Davis Brody Bond is the lead architect on the Museum project sited below the Memorial plaza. Architect Steven Davis, FAIA, said, “The magnitude of the historic importance of the site and its symbolism made it essential for us to find a balance between the collective and the individual experience.”
The architectural firm was established in 1952 by Lewis Davis and Samuel Brody and became Davis Brody Bond in 1990. Today, it is one of the leading architectural firms in America. Over the years, Davis Brody Bond has designed buildings for prestigious universities such as Cornell, Northwestern, Princeton and Columbia. Also, they designed museum buildings, including The Frick Collection and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Before the public opening of the National 9/11 Museum, there were a few days set aside when the museum hosted 9/11 families, President and Mrs. Obama, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, survivors, and residents of lower Manhattan. The museum was kept open for 24 hours to host these individuals in the same way that rescue and recovery personnel worked continuously at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy.
The Museum opened to the general public on May 21, 2014. Admission is $24 for adults with discounted rates for seniors, US Veterans, US College students and youths. Admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 pm. Visit www.911memorial.org.
The Museum boasts 110,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, which features interactive, multimedia displays, personal narratives and impressive monumental and uniquely personal artifacts. The breathtaking “In Memoriam” exhibition remembers the people and reminds visitors of 9/11. A three-part, mainly historical exhibition leads visitors through the background of the attacks, the events of the day and the aftermath.
“The Museum tells heartbreaking stories of unimaginable loss but also inspiring stories of courage and compassion. Its opening honors the commitment we made to 9/11 family members and to all future generations: That we would never forget those we lost or the terrible lessons we learned that day,” said Michael Bloomberg, Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and former New York City Mayor.
Museum donations came from people from across the country and around the world, including New York City school children who donated their pennies to the project. It is anticipated that the museum’s inaugural summer of 2014 will be a busy one with visitors coming to the memorial and museum from all parts of the world. I urge you to visit, learn and remember.
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author and award-winning TV personality Dr. Lori Verderame hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s hit TV show, “Auction Kings.” Visit www.DrLoriV.com/Events, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call 888-431-1010.