Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Photo Tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

by Wendy Perrin | June 23, 2014

Many of us who were living in Manhattan on September 11, 2001, feel no urgent need to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum that opened last month. In fact, a neighbor of mine in New Jersey whose son perished in the attacks has literally not gone into Manhattan since (although it’s a 45-minute train commute made by thousands of people every day).  I have not made it to the Museum yet but my husband, Tim Baker, did last week.  “I didn’t feel compelled to go,” he says. “What more about 9/11 did I need to know or see? Wendy and I lived through it, and I worked on The New York Times’ picture desk for the one-year anniversary edition on the attacks. But a friend visiting from California happened to have an extra ticket. And isn’t that always the way we end up seeing things in our own backyard?”

For those of you who can’t make it to New York City soon, here’s a sneak preview, courtesy of Tim:

The 9/11 Memorial's South Pool

The 9/11 Memorial’s South Pool     Photo: Tim Baker

This pool is on the footprint of the World Trade Center’s South Tower. A twin pool is on the footprint of the North Tower.  The Memorial Pools are the size of each tower’s footprint. Water cascades over the sides into a black square.

9/11 Memorial Pool Names

Names of the victims ring each pool.     Photo: Tim Baker

Thomas R. Clark grew up in the New Jersey neighborhood where we now live.

9/11 Memorial Museum Escalator

The escalator takes visitors from street level to the museum exhibits several floors underground.     Photo: Tim Baker


9/11 Memorial Museum Steel Beam

This steel beam was one of the last to be removed from the site and was “tagged” by first responders.  Photo: Tim Baker

At left is the slurry wall that holds back the Hudson River from inundating the original World Trade Center site. It survived the attacks unbreached.

9/11 Memorial Museum Footings

Several floors underground lie the original footings for the Twin Towers.  Photo: Tim Baker


9/11 Museum Blue Tiles

2,983 blue tiles honor the 2,983 people who died in the 2001 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Photo: Tim Baker


9/11 Museum Blue Tiles

The blue tiles are said to represent the color of the sky on the morning of the attacks.  Photo: Tim Baker

Nobody can quite remember the color of the sky that morning. Thus the 2,983 different tints.

9/11 Memorial Pool Walls Underground

The walls of the Memorial Pools extend underground. Below each pool are the exhibits.     Photo: Tim Baker

Under the South Pool are the victims’ portraits and stories. Under the North Pool are memorabilia and exhibits, including parts of the planes and thousands of other artifacts related to the day.

9/11 Museum Bent Steel Beam

This massive steel beam bent over onto itself when the Towers fell.          Photo: Tim Baker


9/11 Museum NYFD Ladder 3

NYFD Ladder 3. The cab was crushed, and the ladder frayed, by falling debris.        Photo: Tim Baker


9/11 Museum Twin Steel Beams

Twin trident steel beams rise to a position closely resembling their original position.        Photo: Tim Baker


9/11 Museum Gift Shop

The gift shop is itself a subject of controversy: Should such a memorial even have a gift shop?      Photo: Tim Baker


Liberty Tower

The 1,776-foot Liberty Tower looms over the Museum and Memorial Pools.       Photo: Tim Baker


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  1. Beth Walter

    I am 71 years old and I live in the Southern U.S. now but I worked in the Wall Street area when I was 21 & 22.
    I loved this part of New York but I had to move on and get back to school and get a degree. I like millions of others was getting dressed for work and had the news on and watched what happened from the beginning. I couldn’t believe it was real and kept waiting for someone to say it wasn’t true but a Movie. Every time I think about it I tear up and think of the thousands who died. I will go to the museum but not for awhile yet.
    The pictures are wonderful and I appreciate your sharing them more than you know.

  2. Jeff Dobbins

    As a New Yorker who lived through that horrifying day, I too was reticent about visiting the museum. While portions were disturbing and a highly-emotional experience, I am glad I went. It was good to be reminded of the extraordinary heroism and sense of community after the attacks.

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