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Danny Meyer to Open Pavilion Café Inside September 11 Museum

Danny Meyer to Open Pavilion Café Inside September 11 Museum

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According to The New York Times, Danny Meyer will open a small restaurant inside the National September 11 Memorial Museum later this summer, called The Pavilion Café. The museum itself opens to the public Wednesday, May 21st.

The Pavilion Café will seat 80 people and serve “comfort foods like tomato soup, grilled cheese, and brownies,” and feature locally-sourced ingredients. The café will also serve breakfast pastries, New York draft beers, and American wines on tap.

The announcement of Meyer’s next venture comes on the heels of significant public outcry over the museum’s gift shop, the revenue from which will support the museum’s operating costs.

For some families of 9/11 victims, the idea of the museum “monetizing their families’ final resting places” has garnered some anger.

Jim Richies, whose son, a firefighter, died in the attacks, and is himself a retired member of the New York City Fire Department, told CNN that he considered the gift shop an inappropriate tourist attraction.

"Basically, they're making money off of my son's dead body. I think that's disgusting," said Riches.

In contrast, Lee Ielpi, a member of the museum board whose son, a firefighter, also died in the attacks, pointed out the necessity of establishing a reliable source of revenue to keep the museum open.

"Twenty years from now, we need to make sure the people that step foot on this plaza know where they're stepping and when they go into the entrance and go into the museum,” said Ielpi. “They need to know what they're going to see there."

In its coverage, The New York Post referred to the upcoming restaurant as part of the museum’s “appetite for crass commercialism,” and Steve Cuozzo, The Post’s restaurant critic, called the restaurant concept worse than the gift shop.

So we're getting a USHG cafe w/wine & beer in 9/11 Museum. Worse than gift shop. No wonder they kept it quiet until after press preview.

— Steve Cuozzo (@stevecuozzo) May 21, 2014

It’s worth noting, however, that the September 11 Museum will not be the first memorial space to include a restaurant. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for example, includes an adjacent cafe that is open for breakfast and lunch every day, “and snacks in between,” with kosher items prepared offsite.

The organization for Pacific Historic Parks serves four National Park Service sites and pays tributes to the events of World War II. The organization provides support for survivors, veterans, and their families, and operates an active online gift shop offering commemorative items. One of these sites, the American Memorial Park in Saipan, also includes public spaces with barbecue pits and picnic tables for public use.

In spite of the negative light cast on the Memorial Museum’s business ventures, the consideration of revenue sources is a crucial component of the memorial’s longevity. As a longtime New York City-based restaurateur, Meyer’s involvement in an important city landmark makes a certain amount of sense.

“We knew that people would need a place to rest, to reflect and hopefully to be restored,” Meyer told The Times.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

Restaurants and cafés

Outdoor dining is available at three locations within the Museum, weather-permitting, serving limited menus of light refreshments and drinks. The Garden Café (on the Sculpture Garden terrace of The Modern) is open Monday–Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Friday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. the Garden Bar (in the Sculpture Garden) is open Wednesday-Sunday 12:00–4:30 p.m, and the sixth-floor Terrace Café terrace is open Friday–Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Indoor dining at our restaurants is temporarily closed. Outside food and beverages are not permitted.

Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer is considered by many to be the dean of hospitality in the United States. Clearly a standout on the American dining scene, Meyer has a stellar stable of New York restaurants that have captivated the public for as long as 25 years. Meyer&rsquos Union Square Hospitality Group now is spreading its wings in new and exciting ways.

Take an up close and personal look at this remarkable entrepreneur and highly successful risktaker to find out why he was selected to kick off FoodChannel PRO&rsquos &lsquoLeader with Guts&rsquo series.

Title: Chief Executive of Union Square Hospitality Group, New York City

Restaurants: Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke/Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern (Café 2, and Terrace 5) at the Museum of Modern Art, Hudson Yards, a fine dining, full-service catering and sports and entertainment business, and El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites, both at CitiField

Newest Ventures: Maialino, which opened November 2009. This new Roman-style trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel is packing them in Designed by the Rockwell Group, Maialino features the cuisine of executive chef Nick Anderer and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The average check is $45 at lunch and $75 at dinner. The all-Italian wine list features 18 available by the glass. Maialino seats 92 in the dining room, 48 in the bar area and 22 in the private dining room.

Hospitality Quotient, a business dedicated to helping other businesses apply the transforming power of hospitality, was launched in March of 2010. HQ&rsquos offerings include courses held at Union Square Hospitality Group headquarters, as well as customized programming tailored to meet specific business objectives. This business stemmed from continuous consumer interest and demand.

Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.

Education: Degree in Political Science from Trinity College

First restaurant experience: Assistant manager at Pesca, a Italian seafood restaurant in NYC

Honors: 21 James Beard Awards, including first-ever Outstanding Restaurateur International Foodservice Manufacturer&rsquos Association Gold Plate honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University

9/11 Museum Will Drop Restaurant Plan

The Post's Steve Cuozzo reports, "The mezzanine-level cafe inside the tears-inducing museum was supposed to open this summer with a seasonal, savory menu including grilled cheese and salmon confit — plus liquor. Instead, museum officials said, the cafe operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will serve only pastries, tea and coffee when it launches later this month."

Cuozzo had written in May that the subtext of placing a restaurant in the museum was "Never forget . . . to pig out!":

I can go for tomato soup and grilled cheese after staring at Picassos for a few hours. My appetite isn’t the same after a tour through hell.

Memorial/museum president Joe Daniels argues that such solemn sites as Gettysburg and Israel’s Yad Vashem have restaurants, too. But Gettysburg was fought 151 years ago, and Yad Vashem is not at the site where the Holocaust took place. The 9/11 Museum is where the terrorist attack took place a mere 13 years ago — and where remains of 1,115 unidentified victims are stored.

Today, Cuozzo says, "A museum spokesman declined to give a reason for the recent decision to serve only pastries, coffee and tea, at least for now. He said the eatery — no longer to be called the Pavilion Cafe, but simply The Cafe — will open with about half of the 80 seats originally planned, although the rest would eventually be added." However, it's unclear if the museum will continue to offer private parties with alcohol.

Back in May, a sign proclaiming the Pavilion Cafe would be opening this summer (Jen Chung/Gothamist)

Well, folks can always buy some fast food and chow down at the Memorial itself—people do it, even though it's not allowed!

Survivor Families Voice Anger As 9/11 Museum Gets Set to Open 80-seat Restaurant

First it was a tasteless gift shop, then a VIP soiree, now plans are in place at the 9/11 museum for a 80-seat restaurant to be opened within the solemn grounds to the memorial site.

The Pavilion Café, which will be run by restaurateur Danny Meyer, is scheduled to open this summer inside the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The menu is expected to offer "an array of local, seasonal fare in a relaxing and comfortable environment" according a notice in the official museum guide.

Some of the proceeds would be ploughed back into the museum.

"We're not doing this for crass or commercial reasons", Meyer told the New York Post.

The latest development is a "final insult" to survivor families who complained recently at 8,000 unidentified remains being stored near a gift shop of the museum.

It also follows families and first responders who were turned away from the museum while a black-tie VIP party was being held before the museum's official opening this week, which reportedly had Bloomberg and Condé Nast executives and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg among its guest list, noshing on crab cakes and shrimp cocktail hors d'oeuvres.

One employee, who did not want to be named, said: "They were drinking, eating and laughing when this is pretty much a gravesite."

"This small gathering was done respectfully and in recognition of our supporters who helped to build the memorial and museum," spokesman Michael Frazier told the New York Daily News.

"Among the attendees were 9/11 family members."

Families of victims walk into Ground Zero during ceremonies marking the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center site in New York September 11, 2007. Reuters

John Feal, a Ground Zero volunteer and activist for 9/11 first responders, said: "To have a festive occasion on human remains, it's repulsive, it's repugnant."

Sally Regenhard, the mother of firefighter Christian Regenhard, who was killed on 9/11, said: "This is a prime example of why the remains must be removed immediately from this building — from this site of commercialism, parties, drinking, catering.

"This is a destination spot. This is a place they've turned into a social place for gatherings and festivities."

She added: "This is the final insult and desecration of these 9/11 remains."

The opening of a gift shop at the museum, selling World Trade Center-printed ties and other tasteless trinkets, was also considered offensive to family members where 8,000 unidentified remains are located nearby in the basement.

"Here is essentially our tomb of the unknown. To sell baubles I find quite shocking and repugnant," Diane Horning, who lost her 26-year-old son Matthew in the attacks, told the New York Post.

Sally Regenhard, whose son, a firefighter, was killed in the World Trade Centre attack, said: "I am so angry. I am outraged.

"The human remains of my son and all of the victims should be in a beautiful and respectful memorial, not in the basement of a museum."

Bacchanal and Bâtard Open

A generous U-shaped bar done in copper and leather, with wine storage cases at each end, dominates this restaurant. Not surprisingly, given the name, libations are an important element here. But food will also share the stage, with Scott Bryan as the chef. “But it has to be wine-friendly food,” he said. And the wines, said Peter Poulakakos, who will own the place with Dave Oz, are mainly food-friendly Old World varieties. The dining room has a subdued, vintage look, with some rough plasterwork and iron details. (Opens Wednesday): 146 Bowery (Broome Street), 646-355-1840,

The restaurateur Drew Nieporent has created a less sit-up-straight setting in the space that used to be his more formal Corton, with Paul Liebrandt in the kitchen. The embossed plasterwork on the walls has been burnished to pale copper, the tables are bare and the floor is wood. The less-demanding menu nudges the concept closer to Montrachet, another of Mr. Nieporent’s restaurants in this same space. The name of the new restaurant is short for the Burgundy wine Bâtard-Montrachet. The chef, Markus Glocker, who is also a partner, brings touches of his native Austria to bear, with a savory linzer made with roasted beets, a stunning octopus terrine garnished with pig’s trotters, ocean trout graced with cured cucumber and sour cream, and baked turbot strewn with salted pumpkin seeds. Mr. Glocker said his rabbit “bouillabaisse” was inspired by an Alsatian chef, Eckart Witzigmann. John Winterman, a former maître d’hôtel at Daniel, is another partner. (Wednesday): 239 West Broadway (White Street), 212-219-2777,

BAR PRIMI Named for the Italian midcourse, this two-story restaurant has more than a dozen pastas on the menu, seasonal and made in-house. It’s Andrew Carmellini’s latest, with Sal Lamboglia, 29, as the chef and a partner: 325 Bowery (Second Street), 212-220-9100,


BLENHEIM Morten Sohlberg has turned one of his Smorgas Chef restaurants into this rustic showcase for products from the 150-acre farm near the town of Blenheim in the Catskills that he owns with his wife, Min Ye. Justin Hilbert, formerly of Gwynnett St. in Brooklyn, is the chef: 283 West 12th Street (West Fourth Street), 212-243-7073,

CLAUDETTE Provençal with a whiff of North Africa is the approach taken by the chef, Koren Grieveson, formerly of Avec in Chicago. The restaurant is the third for Carlos Suarez, who owns Bobo and Rosemary’s nearby, this time with a partner, Mark Barak. The space is adorned with hand-painted tile work. (Sunday): 24 East Ninth Street, 212-868-2424,

CONTRADA The bistro Calliope has become this trattoria, with Jason Audette, who worked at Del Posto and Maison Premiere, placing some emphasis on seafood Italian-style: 84 East Fourth Street (Second Avenue), 212-260-8484,

FONDA Roberto Santibañez has added a third location for his Mexican mini-chain: 189 Ninth Avenue (21st Street), 917-525-5252,

RED STIXS The chef at this high-end Beijing-style restaurant, Skinny Mei, worked at Philippe in Manhattan. It features satays and Peking duck. (Friday): 1020 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, N.Y., 631-726-6200,

SIENNA RESTAURANT & ULTRALOUNGE Donatella Arpaia has set up shop in the Hamptons, opening this Italian restaurant in a clubby location that was home to a steakhouse last season: 44 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton 631-604-6060,

SWEET CHICK This spot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for fried chicken and waffles is opening a Manhattan restaurant, with chicken-fried short ribs, mashed potatoes and beer gravy, and even Greek yogurt cheesecake and peach iced tea with bourbon. Reclaimed and vintage stuff fills the rustic space. (Thursday): 178 Ludlow Street (East Houston Street),

Looking Ahead

THE PAVILION CAFE Union Square Events will open a small restaurant inside the National September 11 Memorial Museum this summer with about 80 seats and a subdued, seasonal, mostly vegetarian menu. “We knew that people would need a place to rest, to reflect and hopefully to be restored,” said Danny Meyer, chief executive of Union Square Hospitality Group, the parent company. The menu, developed with John Karangis, executive chef for Union Square Events, incorporates comfort foods like tomato soup, grilled cheese and brownies ingredients from local farms and appetizers designed to be shared, like ricotta with peas salmon confit and red lentil hummus. There will also be breakfast pastries, New York-made draft beers and American wines on tap. — JULIA MOSKIN

Chefs on the Move

EMILY ISAAC, who owned Trois Pommes bakery in Park Slope, Brooklyn, will be the chef at Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish stores and Murray’s Bagels in Chelsea.

9/11 Memorial Museum Visitor Information

I just wanted to post this re my visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum today as it has opened to the public. I thought it may answer some questions that may or may not be 100% clear on the website.

-My scheduled time slot was 11:00am. I arrived at appr 10:30 and was let in at about 10:35. So just like the Memorial, it looks as if they will let you in early based on how many people are already inside.

-I heard/saw a few people walk up to the ticket booth right outside while I was on line. I heard the attendant say that the earliest scheduled slot available was for 3:00pm. So same day tickets are possible, but I would recommend booking in advance. I would also not count on same day tickets.

-Security was airport style(metal detector/jackets, bags & belts/etc in the bin.) I did not have to take my shoes off. That process took appr 3 minutes. But be prepared for longer lines.

-The entire facility is equipped with elevator and escalators. Ramps are also throughout the building so you do not need to use the stairs. It is fully wheelchair accessible and manual ones are available onsite(at the coat check-first come, first served.)

-There is a small cafe inside(Pavilion Cafe.) I didn't purchase anything from there but I am guessing that they have water/coffee. Outside food and beverage is not permitted.

-DSLR cameras are allowed inside. I didn't notice anyone with a "pro style" setup. The limitation is that there is no photography allowed inside the September 11, 2001 Historical Exhibition which in inside/part of the Museum.

-There is a coat check/"bag" check. I don't think this means that they want you to do a load of shopping and then leave the bags there while you visit the Museum. This looks like it is for knapsacks, etc. The coat/bag check is inside after you go through security.

-There are bathrooms throughout the facility. You must have a ticket to go inside and utilize the bathrooms. There are still no bathrooms on the grounds of the 9/11 Memorial.

However, there is a Burger King down the block on Trinity/Liberty and Century 21 is also right next to the Memorial.

-There are first aid technicians also within the Museum.

-There is an auditorium where a film is shown(appr 15 minutes.) I had on a jacket, but note that the air conditioner was on HIGH in that area.

-There are audio tours available. You can arrange this via the welcome desk inside. Tours can only be provided by Museum staff.

-The use of cellphones is prohibited. Touching of any of the artifacts is prohibited. Proper decorum should be followed.

-There is no "dress code"..but proper decorum is recommended.

-There is a gift shop. I won't really comment on that.

I won't attempt to give my feedback re the Museum except to say that it was VERY moving and emotional for me. I also won't attempt to say how long one should spend at the Museum. I left after about 3 1/2 hours. I also didn't bring my camera and only took 1 picture with my phone.

My visit was sponsored by Conde Nast, the NYC based publishing company and one of the tenants that will move into One World Trade when complete.

9/11 Museum abandons plan to serve fancy food, booze inside the sacred site of 2001 World Trade Center terror attacks

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum has backtracked from a controversial plan to serve fancy food and alcohol after World Trade Center activists slammed the idea of partying on victims' graves.

The planned Danny Meyer-run cafe inside the otherwise funereal museum was slated to offer menu items such as ricotta with peas and salmon confit, plus craft beers and wines — but now will only offer coffee, tea and pastries when it opens later this month.

The backtrack comes after the museum was pilloried for hosting a pre-opening event in May featuring VIPs noshing on crab cakes, shrimp cocktails and alcoholic beverages.

"They were drinking, eating and laughing when this is pretty much a gravesite," an employee told the News.


Planning Edit

  • Remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
  • Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss.
  • Recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours.
  • May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.

Formerly the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum was formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to raise funds and manage the memorial's planning and construction. Its board of directors met for the first time on January 4, 2005, and it reached its first-phase capital-fundraising goal ($350 million) in April 2008. This money and additional funds raised will be used to build the memorial and museum and endow the museum.

In 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation launched the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, an international competition to design a memorial at the World Trade Center site to commemorate the lives lost on 9/11. Individuals and teams from around the world submitted design proposals. [9] On November 19, 2003, the thirteen-member jury selected eight finalists. [9] Reflecting Absence, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, was chosen as the winning design on January 6, 2004. [10] It consists of a field of trees interrupted by two large, recessed pools, the footprints of the Twin Towers. The deciduous trees (swamp white oaks) [11] are arranged in rows and form informal clusters, clearings and groves. The park is at street level, above the Memorial Museum. [12] The names of the victims of the attacks (including those from the Pentagon, American Airlines Flight 77, United Airlines Flight 93, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) are inscribed on the parapets surrounding the waterfalls [13] in an arrangement of "meaningful adjacencies". [14] On January 14, 2004, the final design for the World Trade Center site memorial was unveiled at a press conference in Federal Hall National Memorial. [9]

As mandated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation owns, operates and finances the Reflecting Absence Memorial and the Museum. John C. Whitehead, chair of the LMDC and the foundation, announced his resignation in May 2006 and was replaced at the LMDC by former president Kevin Rampe. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg replaced Whitehead as chair of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Foundation executive committee chair Thomas S. Johnson said on May 9, 2006:

The decision was made to not actively pursue new fund-raising efforts until complete clarity can be achieved with respect to the design and costs of the project. Cost concerns emerged publicly last week with the disclosure of an estimate by the construction manager, Lend Lease Group, that the memorial and museum would cost $672 million and that it would take a total of at least $973 million to fully develop the memorial setting with a cooling plant, roadways, sidewalks, utilities and stabilized foundation walls. An estimate earlier this year put the cost of the memorial and memorial museum at $494 million. [15]

On May 26, 2006, Gretchen Dykstra resigned as president and chief executive officer of the World Trade Center Foundation. [16] Joseph C. Daniels was appointed as president and CEO in October 2006. [17] The memorial projects were toned down, and the budget was cut to $530 million. [18] Construction of the memorial began in August 2006 [ citation needed ] and, despite delays, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum was confident that it would be completed by September 11, 2011. [19]

National tour Edit

In September 2007, the Memorial & Museum began a four-month national-awareness tour of 25 cities in 25 states, and thousands participated in tour activities. [20] The tour began at Finlay Park in Columbia, South Carolina, ending at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Highlights included an exhibition of photographs, artifacts from the site and a film with firsthand accounts from individuals who had directly experienced the attacks. At the opening ceremony in South Carolina, the students of White Knoll Middle School (who raised over $500,000 in 2001 for a new truck for the New York City Fire Department) were honored and retired New York City police officer Marcelo Pevida presented the city with an American flag which had flown over Ground Zero. [21] The main attractions of the 2007 national tour were steel beams, later used in the construction of the memorial, for visitors to sign. [22]

Fundraising Edit

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum conducts a "cobblestone campaign", in which a contributor may sponsor a cobblestone which will line the Memorial plaza. Donors are recognized on the Memorial's website. [23] Donors are able to locate their cobblestone by entering their name at a kiosk on the Memorial plaza. [24] In 2008 the Memorial conducted two holiday cobblestone campaigns: the first for Father's Day, and the second for the December holiday season. [25] [26]

On September 9, 2011, Secretary Shaun Donovan of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development said that the department had given $329 million to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum through HUD's Community Development Block Grant program. [27] According to CNN, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey dropped its claim that the 9/11 Memorial & Museum owed it $300 million in construction costs in return for "financial oversight of the museum and memorial". [28]

Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii sponsored S.1537, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Act of 2011, which would provide $20 million in federal funds annually toward the Memorial's operating budget (about one-third of its total budget). The legislation was presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on October 19, 2011. [29] In return for federal funding S.1537 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to accept the donation by the memorial's board of directors of title to the National September 11 Memorial, contingent on agreement by the board, the governors of New York and New Jersey, the Mayor of New York and the Secretary of the Interior. On October 19, 2011, William D. Shaddox of the National Park Service voiced concerns to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources about the agency's ability to provide the funds required by S.1537, testifying that NPS ownership of a property over which it would not have operational and administrative control (as stipulated by S.1537) was unprecedented. [30]

Construction Edit

On March 13, 2006, construction workers arrived at the WTC site to begin work on the Reflecting Absence design. Some relatives of the victims and other concerned citizens gathered to protest the new memorial that day, saying that it should be built above ground. The president of the memorial foundation said that family members were consulted and formed a consensus in favor of the design, and work would continue as planned. [31] [32] In May, estimated construction costs for the Memorial were reported to have risen to over $1 billion. [33] Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "There's just not an unlimited amount of money that we can spend on a memorial. Any figure higher than $500 million would be inappropriate." [34]

In 2006, at the request of Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki, builder Frank Sciame performed a month-long analysis which included input from victims' families, the lower Manhattan business and residential communities, architects and members of the memorial-competition jury. The analysis recommended design changes which kept the memorial and museum within a $500 million budget. [35] [36]

In July 2008, the Survivors' Staircase was lowered to bedrock, making it the first artifact to be moved into the museum. By the end of August, the footings and foundations were completed. On September 2 construction workers raised the 7,700-pound (3,500 kg) first column for the memorial, near the footprint of the North Tower. [37] By then, about 70 percent of the construction contracts were awarded or ready to award. A total of 9,100 short tons (8,300 t) of steel were installed at the memorial site. [38] By April 2010, the reflecting pools were fully framed in steel, and 85 percent of the concrete had been poured. By April 22, workers had begun installation of the granite coating for the reflecting pools. By June the North Pool's granite coating was completed, and workers had begun granite installation in the South Pool. In July, the first soil shipments arrived at the site, and in August workers began planting trees on the memorial plaza. The swamp white oaks can reach 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 m) at maturity, live from 300 to 350 years, and their autumn leaves are gold-colored. The "Survivor Tree" is a callery pear which survived the devastation and was kept for replanting. [39] In September, workers reinstalled two "tridents" salvaged from the Twin Towers.

In November 2010, workers began testing the North Pool waterfall. [40] Construction progressed through early 2011: installation of glass panels on the museum pavilion's facade began in March, and workers began testing the South Pool waterfall two months later. Most of the memorial was finished in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, with the museum planned for completion the following year. By September 2, 243 trees were planted at the site and eight more were planted in the days before the memorial opened. By then, both pools were completed and the waterfalls were tested daily.

On September 12, 2011, one day after the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the memorial opened to the public with a lengthy set of rules and regulations approved by the foundation's board of directors. The period from September 11, 2011 to May 25, 2014 was known as the "interim operating period", when the memorial was surrounded by construction of neighboring World Trade Center projects the fence was taken down on May 25, 2014. [41] Three months after its opening, the memorial had been visited by over a million people. [42]

In January 2004, Reflecting Absence, by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, was selected from 5,201 entries from 63 countries as the winner of the LMDC's design competition. Two 1-acre (4,000 m 2 ) pools with the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States comprise the footprints of the Twin Towers, symbolizing the loss of life and the physical void left by the attacks. The waterfalls are intended to mute the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary. Landscape architect Peter Walker planted many parts of the memorial with white oaks. [43] More than 400 swamp white oak trees fill the Memorial plaza, enhancing the site's reflective nature. [44]

Pedestrian simulations tested the memorial's design. The pedestrian-modeling program Legion was used to simulate visitor utilization of the space, and its design was tweaked to prevent bottlenecks. [45] The fountain was engineered by Delta Fountains. [46]

Arrangement of the victims' names Edit

The names of 2,983 victims are inscribed on 152 bronze parapets on the memorial pools: [47] 2,977 killed in the September 11 attacks and six killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The names are arranged according to an algorithm, creating "meaningful adjacencies" based on relationships—proximity at the time of the attacks, company or organization affiliations (for those working at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon) and in response to about 1,200 requests from family members. Software by Local Projects [48] implemented the arrangement. [49] All names are stylized with Optima typeface for a "balanced appearance" [50]

The names of the employees and visitors in the North Tower (WTC 1), the passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 11 (which struck the North Tower), and the employees and a visitor of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are around the perimeter of the North Pool. The names of the employees and visitors in the South Tower (WTC 2), the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175 (which struck the South Tower), the employees, visitors, and bystanders in the immediate vicinity of the North and South Towers, the first responders who died during rescue operations, the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 (which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania) and American Airlines Flight 77 (which struck the Pentagon), and the employees at the Pentagon are around the perimeter of the South Pool. [51] Company names are not included, but company employees and visitors are listed together. Passengers on the four flights are listed under their flight numbers, and first responders with their units.

The process for arranging the names was finalized in a 2006 agreement, replacing an earlier plan to arrange the names randomly. According to Edith Lutnick (executive director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund), "Your loved ones' names are surrounded by the names of those they sat with, those they worked with, those they lived with and, very possibly, those they died with." [52]

The six adult victims of the 1993 bombing are memorialized on Panel N-73 at the North Pool. [53] The phrase "and her unborn child" follows the names of ten pregnant women who died on 9/11 and one who died in the 1993 attack. [54]

The Survivor Tree Edit

A callery pear tree recovered from the rubble at the World Trade Center site in October 2001 was later called the "Survivor Tree". [55] [56] When the 8-foot (2.4 m)-tall tree was recovered, [57] it was badly burned and had one living branch. [55] The tree had been planted during the 1970s near buildings four and five, in the vicinity of Church Street. [58] Then-Memorial president Joe Daniels described it as "a key element of the memorial plaza's landscape". [55]

In November 2001, the tree was moved by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to the Arthur Ross Nursery in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for care. It was then replanted in the Bronx on November 11, 2001. [59] The tree was not expected to survive, but it showed signs of new growth the following spring. [56] Although the memorial planning team intended to include the Survivor Tree, its permanent location was unknown at the time. [59]

Still under the care of the Bronx nursery, the tree was replanted without significant damage in March 2010 after it was uprooted by a storm. [58] After the replanting, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "Again, we and the tree refused to throw in the towel. We replanted the tree, and it bounced back immediately." [55]

The Survivor Tree has become a symbol of hope and rebirth according to Arthur Ross Nursery manager Richie Cabo, "It represents all of us." [56] In an August 29, 2011 Port Authority press release (after Hurricane Irene), Daniels said: "True to its name, the Survivor Tree is standing tall at the Memorial." [60] Keating Crown (a survivor of the attacks) said, "It reminds us all of the capacity of the human spirit to persevere." [56] A Place of Remembrance: Official Book of the National September 11 Memorial describes the tree as "a reminder of the thousands of survivors who persevered after the attacks". [61]

In December 2010, the tree, then 30 feet (9.1 m) tall, [56] was returned to the World Trade Center site in a ceremony attended by Bloomberg, city officials [57] (including Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Port Authority executive director Chris Ward), survivors and rescue and recovery workers. [56] [57] Although the tree is a prominent part of the memorial, [62] six other "survivor trees" have been planted near New York City Hall and the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge. Of these survivor trees, three are callery pears and three are little-leaf lindens. [63]

Memorial Glade Edit

In May 2018, plans were revealed for a path through a "memorial glade" at the National September 11 Memorial. The glade and path honors first responders who later got sick or died after inhaling toxins at the World Trade Center site. According to 9/11 Memorial & Museum president Alice Greenwald and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, the path was to be located on the southwest side of the memorial plaza, at the approximate site of a temporary ramp that first responders used during the cleanup effort. The path includes six large battered stones that, in the words of Michael Arad, "appear to jut up and out of the plaza as if violently displaced, and convey strength and resistance". Several pieces of debris from the original World Trade Center were also placed along the path. [64] [65] The glade opened on May 24, 2019. [66] [67]

Controversies surrounding the Memorial Edit

Mohammad Salman Hamdani Edit

Although victims'-family groups agreed that names would be grouped by workplace or other affiliation, NYPD cadet Mohammad Salman Hamdani was not included with the other first responders or the other victims whose remains were found in the wreckage of the North Tower. His name appears on the memorial's panel 66 for World Trade Center victims (next to a blank space along the South Tower perimeter), with those who did not fit into the groups created by the memorial committee or who had a loose connection to the World Trade Center. Hamdani's mother, Talat, has campaigned for the Memorial to acknowledge her son as a police cadet and first responder. [68] Hamdani received a full police-department funeral after his body was found (months after the attacks), and the street on which he lived was renamed in his honor. [69]

Arabic-language brochures Edit

Although the memorial's brochures were initially translated into at least ten languages, these languages did not include Arabic. [70] The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) questioned this decision in letters to memorial directors, and ADC director of communications and advocacy Raed Jarrar said: "Our fear is that there is a political intention behind the exclusion". [70] A memorial representative told the New York Post, "As Arabic-speaking visitors currently represent our 25th-largest group, Arabic translations are not yet among the initial foreign-language editions." [70]

In 2015, the ADC made an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which had given hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to the September 11 Memorial through block grants to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The committee stated that the Memorial's decision to not publish Arabic-language brochures violated HUD's Limited English Proficiency rules for grantees. In December 2017, the ADC announced that the Memorial had signed a settlement agreement whereby its commemorative guide would be translated into Arabic and made available. [71]

The September 11 Museum was dedicated on May 15, 2014, [72] [73] [74] and opened to the public on May 21. [3] [75] Its collection includes more than 40,000 images, 14,000 artifacts, more than 3,500 oral recordings, and over 500 hours of video. [3]

History Edit

The underground museum has artifacts from September 11, 2001, including steel from the Twin Towers (such as the Last Column, the last piece of steel to leave Ground Zero in May 2002).

In December 2011, museum construction halted temporarily due to disputes between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation over responsibility for infrastructure costs. [76] [77] On March 13, 2012, talks on the issue began, [78] [79] and construction resumed on September 10, 2012. [80] [81] After a number of false opening reports, it was announced that the museum would open to the public on May 21, 2014. [82] [83] [84]

The museum was dedicated on May 15, 2014. [72] [73] [74] In attendance were a range of dignitaries, from President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to former mayors David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg and current mayor Bill de Blasio. During the hour-long ceremony LaChanze sang "Amazing Grace", which she dedicated to her husband Calvin Gooding, who was killed in the World Trade Center attack. [2] During the five days between its dedication and the public opening, over 42,000 first responders and family members of 9/11 victims visited the museum. [85]

An opening ceremony for the museum was held on May 21, [3] [75] during which twenty-four police officers and firefighters unfurled the restored 30-foot (9.1 m) national 9/11 flag before it was brought into the museum for permanent display. [86] [87] [88] The gates surrounding the museum were then taken down, marking their first removal since the attacks. [88] Opening-day tickets quickly sold out. [89] Despite the museum's design to evoke memories without additional distress, [90] counselors were available during its opening due to the large number of visitors. [85]

Design Edit

Designed by Davis Brody Bond, the museum is about 70 feet (21 m) below ground and accessible through a pavilion designed by Snøhetta. [91] The National September 11 Memorial Museum encloses 110,000 square feet (10,000 m 2 ) of publicly accessible space. [92] The pavilion has a deconstructivist design, resembling a partially collapsed building (mirroring the attacks), and houses two "tridents" from the Twin Towers. One of the museum's walls is an exposed side of the slurry wall retaining the Hudson River, which remained intact through the September 11 attacks. [93] [94] About half of what Daniel Libeskind originally wanted to preserve of the wall is visible in the museum. [95]

Other Ground Zero artifacts include wrecked emergency vehicles (including a fire engine deformed from the collapse), pieces of metal from all seven World Trade Center buildings, recordings of survivors and first responders (including 911 phone calls), pictures of all victims, photographs from the wreckage and other media detailing the destruction (including the crashes, collapse, fires, those who jumped and the cleanup). [96] The museum is designed to evoke memories without additional distress, particularly to first responders and the families of victims. [90]

The Huffington Post wrote that "walking through the museum is like being transported back to the turmoil, destruction and anguish of 9/11. Exhibits express the disbelief and heartache of New York and the nation." [97]

Controversies surrounding the Museum Edit

Little Syria Edit

A neighborhood that was once called Little Syria, a center of Christian Arab immigrant life in the United States beginning in the 1880s, once existed just south of the site of the World Trade Center. [98] [99] The cornerstone of St. Joseph's Lebanese Maronite Church was found under the rubble, next to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 157 Cedar Street, both congregations were founded by Christians who had fled Ottoman oppression in the Middle East. [98] Activists lobbied for the Museum to include a permanent exhibit about the neighborhood to "help the thousands of tourists who visit the site to understand that immigrants from Ottoman lands have played a patriotic role in the country's history," [100] [101] arguing that it was important to memorialize the multiethnic character of "Little Syria." [102] The old Christian Syrian neighborhood was demolished in the 1940s due to the construction of the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel. [98]

Museum operation Edit

General admission tickets to the museum are $24, a price which has raised concerns. Michael Bloomberg agreed, encouraging people to "write your congressman" for more federal funding. [103] [104] [105]

When the museum opened to victim families and first responders on May 15, 2014, anger by some that it was profiting from souvenirs considered in poor taste was widely covered. [106] [107] [108] [109] [110] [111] Souvenir proceeds would fund the museum and memorial. [112] [113] On May 29, 2014, a U.S.-shaped cheese platter was among items removed for sale, and it was announced that all items sold would be reviewed by victim families for suitability. [114]

Families were further angered after a May 20, 2014 black-tie, VIP cocktail party for donors at the museum. Among the 60 attendees were former mayor Michael Bloomberg and representatives of Condé Nast. Family members objected to a party near unidentified remains the sister of victim Robert Shay, Jr. tweeted, "Did you enjoy having drinks on top of my brother's grave last night?" Shay and dozens of other visitors were angered that first responders were turned away from the museum the previous day while staff prepared for the party. She said, "I am outraged that I can't visit my brother's final resting place without an appointment but people like Mike Bloomberg can wine and dine there whenever they want. This memorial and museum is sacred ground and last night it was desecrated." A retired FDNY fire marshal said, "You don't have cocktail parties at a cemetery." [113] [115] [116] A mid-2014 proposal to open a Danny Meyer cafe in the museum's atrium was criticized. [117] [118] [119]

Placement of unidentified remains Edit

In an early-morning ceremony on May 10, 2014, the long-unidentified remains of 1,115 victims were transferred from the city medical examiner to Ground Zero, where they would be placed in a space in the bedrock 70 feet (21 m) below ground as part of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Reaction from the victims' families to the move was divided, with some supporting the decision and others calling the location inappropriate. Among the latter was FDNY Lt. James McCaffrey, the brother-in-law of 9/11 victim and firefighter Orio Palmer, who called a ground-level tomb a more dignified location: "The decision to put the human remains of the 9/11 dead in this basement is inherently disrespectful and totally offensive." McCaffrey said that the remains deserved a prominence equal to that of the Memorial's trees and pools, and that the ceremony was held early in the morning because of opposition to the decision. [120]

Two centers were proposed and withdrawn from the World Trade Center Memorial plan in 2005:

  • The International Freedom Center – a think tank intended to draw attention to battles for freedom throughout history. World Trade Center Memorial Foundation member Deborah Burlingame wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the center would have a mission with no direct connection to the events of September 11 and might criticize American policy. [121] Right-wing blogs and commentators heavily criticized the center until Governor George Pataki withdrew support for it. [122]
  • The Drawing Center Art Gallery at the World Trade Center – an art gallery that was in SoHo at the time.

Plans called for the Freedom Center to share space with the Drawing Center in a building known as the Cultural Center. Of the dispute over the proposed centers, one New York Times editorial stated not only that the IFC's opponents make trivial and unconvincing suggestions that both the IFC and the "cultural component" of architect Daniel Libeskind's plans would somehow diminish the scope of the Memorial Museum, but also that the proposal for reducing the size of one of the centers had failed to consider the emotional impact of the space. [123]

North Pool with construction of One World Trade Center, September 2011

South Pool with construction of the museum, April 2012. Tower 3, Tower 4, and Tower 7 are in the background.

Remnant of the original Slurry Wall in the Bathtub at the museum

White rose at the memorial

North Pool at night panel N-76, showing the name of
Berry Berenson

South Pool at night panel S-66, showing the name of Bill Biggart

South Pool panel S-29, paying tribute to the Jersey City Fire Department

South Pool at night panel S-17, showing the name of Peter J. Ganci, Jr.

South Pool panel S-68, showing the name of Todd Beamer

South Pool panel S-67, showing the name of Mark Bingham

South Pool panel S-67, showing the name of Jeremy Glick

South Pool panel S-68, showing the name of Tom Burnett

North Pool panel N-73, with the names of the victims of the 1993 bombing

In addition to the one at Ground Zero, a number of other memorials have been built by communities across the United States. Many are built around remnants of steel from the Twin Towers which have been donated by a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey program over 1,000 pieces of World Trade Center steel have been distributed. [124]

21 Club

The fate of the fabled Big Apple institution is the biggest reopening riddle. Owner LVMH announced in December that it was closing the beloved ‘21’ for good “in its current form.” It booted the staff and removed 35 iconic jockey statues from the stoop and railings. At the time, LVMH hinted at an eventual reboot to achieve a “distinctive role in the city’s future.” This week, LVMH subsidiary Belmond told The Post, via a spokesperson, “The company is exploring potential opportunities that will allow 21 Club to remain a viable operation in the long term while retaining its distinctive character. We are not ready to announce any final concept or timeframe.”