The National September 11 Memorial & Museum Wednesday recognized the completion of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, upholding a commitment to honor the heroes, remember the victims and preserve the history of the 9/11 attacks, their precursors and aftermath for generations to come.
A tribute-filled, days-long Dedication Period, which includes a ceremony and Museum previews, begins tomorrow and lasts through May 20 for 9/11 families, 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, active duty first-responders, survivors and lower Manhattan residents and business owners. Keeping the Museum's doors open for 24 hours during this period will also serve as a small tribute to the thousands of Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers who worked around the clock in the aftermath of 9/11 as the city, the nation and the world supported them. The Museum then opens to the public on May 21.
An important milestone
“The opening of the 9/11 Museum is an important milestone for our city and our country,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Philanthropist and Mayor of New York City from 2002-2013. “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. So many people from across the country and around the world made the Museum possible -- including New York City school children who donated their pennies -- and they all have my deepest gratitude."
“The 9/11 Memorial Museum is here for the world to come reflect on one of the most pivotal moments in history. Ultimately, this Museum will express what those who attacked us did not understand--that the ties that bind us strengthen in the most extraordinary ways when we are faced with the most unimaginable
circumstances,” said 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels. "Tomorrow’s 9/11 Memorial Museum dedication marks a historic moment, and sharing this institution first with those so deeply a part of 9/11 history is a tremendous honor for all involved in the Museum’s creation. Thank you to the thousands of men and women who have made this Museum a reality."
“Throughout the development of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, we have very consciously applied the idea that an emotionally safe encounter with difficult history, experienced through the lens of memory, can inspire and change the way people see the world and the possibility of their own lives,” said 9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald. “We are proud that this Museum fulfills our obligation to tell the story of what happened on September 11, examine the historical context that led up to the attacks and chronicle what followed in their wake, including the extraordinary response from uniformed rescue personnel, recovery workers, New Yorkers, Americans, and the world community.”
“We kept our promise to build a museum that honors the loved ones we lost, that speaks to our collective response in the face of barbaric actions and that will be a place where future generations can come to hear how we found hope in a time of unimaginable loss,” said Pat Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
110K square-foot space
Davis Brody Bond is the lead architect on the Museum below the Memorial plaza. The Museum’s entry pavilion was designed by Snøhetta. The Museum’s 110,000 square feet of exhibition space tells the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, personal narratives and a collection of monumental and personal artifacts. The space includes two core exhibitions at the archaeological heart of the site: the memorial exhibition, called “In Memoriam,” and a three-part historical exhibition that explores the day of the attacks, what led to them and their aftermath. The exhibition designers include Thinc, Local Projects and Layman Design.
“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,” said Steven M. Davis, FAIA, founding partner of Davis Brody Bond. “We relied on four principles to guide our work: memory, authenticity, scale and emotion, hoping to provide the most sensitive, respectful and informative experience for visitors.”
“As a reflection of the present, the Museum pavilion we designed serves as a bridge between the memory of past events embraced by the Memorial design and the trust in the future, signified by the neighboring office towers,” said Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta. “Visitors are connected by the many reflections of themselves, of others, and the surrounding architectural features emphasizing the value of the present moment in time. Its unique reflective façade and dramatic atrium seem to grow light providing orientation to all those who visit the site and a sense of optimism for the future.”
“The stories and objects we’ve encountered in designing the exhibits connect us to a breadth of experience that touches something deeply human in ourselves,” said Tom Hennes, principal of Thinc Design. “Opening the Museum finally makes this material available to everyone in a place to reflect on this history and thoughtfully engage with the world that is its result.”
"This is a Museum that listens and shares the stories of 9/11 with visitors. Whether survivors, witnesses or those who felt the impact around the world, visitors will come to this hallowed site and hear the story of 9/11 from those who made history on that day," said Jake Barton, media designer and principal of Local Projects. "Throughout the space, visitors will find opportunities to engage with the exhibit through interactive technology tools that bring the stories to the fore - from remembrances of victims by their families and those of first-responders - and provide opportunities to leave their personal 9/11 story behind and make it a permanent part of the Museum."
“Standing on sacred ground in the footprints of the Twin Towers, the Museum begins its mission to bear witness to 9/11. This place of violence is resurrected into a place of peace; a safe gathering place to mourn, comfort, heal and think,” said David Layman, founder and principal of Layman Design. “The Museum will allow us to look back and remember. It will also serve as an essential vantage point from which we will be able to look forward.”