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9/11 Anniversary Will Mark Rise of New Buildings, But No Museum

Monday, September 10, 2012

WNYC
The National September 11 Memorial Museum, which remains unopened, rises behind a reflecting pool at The World Trade Center (wallyg/flickr)

Some family members of the victims of the September 11 attacks are angry that The National September 11 Memorial Museum will not have its planned opening on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the attacks. Construction of the building has been halted since last December, when a multi-million dollar dispute broke out between the museum and the Port Authority, the site's owner.

Bill Doyle, whose son Joseph died in Tower One, says the fight over money is causing an inexcusable delay. "How long did it take to build Pearl Harbor? How long did it take to do the Vietnam War Memorial? Why — ten years, eleven years later — it's still not done?" he asked.

The Port Authority of NY-NJ, headed by Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, says the private foundation running the museum owes hundreds of millions of dollars in construction costs. The foundation, which is chaired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, disputes the claim.

Museum spokesman Michael Frasier said that although there is no opening date for the museum, the staff continues to collect artifacts for display. "We're gathering photos from victims’ family members, badges and equipment from first responders, items like that," he said.

He added that the memorial site, with reflecting pools, has drawn 4.5 million visitors since it opened last year on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, exceeding projections by 1.5 million.

Building continues on the site. One World Trade Center is scheduled to take its place as New York's tallest building next year. It'll be joined by Tower Four on the site's southeastern corner.

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