Inside the September 11th Memorial Museum

Friday, May 16, 2014

The 9/11 Memorial Museum entrance. The 9/11 Memorial Museum entrance. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

The National September 11th Memorial Museum opens its doors to survivors and victims’ families this week and to the general public next Wednesday. New York Magazine architecture critic Justin Davidson takes us through his conflicting experience touring the museum.

Comments [7]

Lou Sid from NYC

The greatness of the Vietnam War Memorial is in that it allows the visitor to shape their own response to a painful historical event. Officialdom hated it, but the monument transcended the forces of officialdom to become a reflection of the visitors feelings.

You know without going there that the 9/11 installation is the opposite. It's based on the Bush/Giuliani approved version of events. It's designed to not permit you to shape your own response to events, but recruit you into the official homogeneous chorus.

To me the memory of the victims has been amply desecrated by the vast and relentless opportunism exercised following upon this event. Maya Lin took great risks in her design, no risks taken here.

The propaganda that this event has made us stronger and resilient, is,
evidently nonsense, unless one interprets "stronger" as the development of a surveillance security state: The phenomenon of Ed Snowden and the NSA revelations are the most recent manifestations of this historical line.

May. 16 2014 05:09 PM
BLS Producer

Hey Tom in Astoria - here's a NYT piece about the only piece of art commissioned for the museum:

May. 16 2014 11:26 AM
LC from Manhattan

I'm a born and bred NYer. I've lived no where else. I'm 60 now. September 11th is my birthday. I watched the entire event from 2 blocks away, standing on Chambers Street, from the moment the first plane flew over and struck the first tower, to the second impact. I saw everything, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feelings of the crowd, which I was standing with. I work, and have worked very, very hard to erase from my mind what I witnessed that day, or more precisely, to manage the emotion. I'll never fully succeed. The challenge isn't "remembering." The challenge is to forget. I will most definitely not visit the museum. Why in gods name would I want to deliberately rip off the scab that I try so hard to form, swimming against the tide of the media that tries to resurrect the feelings and memories over and over? Why would anyone? I suppose the museum serves a purpose and I sincerely hope that it fulfills that purpose but I won't be visiting. My hope and goal is to try to move past what I saw that day, standing so close to the towers.

May. 16 2014 11:21 AM
oscar from ny

Here's one here, tom from Astoria

May. 16 2014 11:12 AM
khadija Boyd from Brooklyn

It was such a beautiful day. My husband dropped our son and I at the School of the Future. I walked to 23rd to catch a bus to go to work on 45th. I heard a plane flying too low and vowed to call the FAA as soon as I arrived at work. The rest, sadly, happened. Traumatic? deep, deep down.

May. 16 2014 11:12 AM
tom from astoria

Was there any art? As far as I know, there was no very capable artist there to put together the whole scene in images. I have seen the large format photographs, Do you think a great memorial picture, like Washington Crossing the Delaware, is needed to symbolize the event?

May. 16 2014 11:06 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I understand there was little mention of who did this. In any case, one note is that the WTC was built between 1968 and 1972, finished in December, 1972. This was just the time that abortion was being made legal in the states, and finally nationally (decriminalized). And there is a connection between the two - this was a warning. (For example, if one adds up the times the planes struck and the times the buildings fell, the sum is 3737, reverse abortion twice. And the number of people who died in Windows on the World was 73. Shelley Silver had stopped votes to end partial birth abortion twice in the late 1990s, and the WTC was in his district, etc.) Since we haven't ended abortion, but have moved decidedly even more in the other direction, we face further attacks. And next time, sorry to say, we might not miraculously only have 3,000 casualties.

May. 16 2014 08:15 AM

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