Windows On The World Restaurant
Windows on the World, the restaurant on the North Tower’s 106th and 107th floors, opened in April 1976. It was developed by restaurateur Joe Baum at a cost of more than $17 million. As well as the main restaurant, two offshoots were located at the top of the North Tower: Hors d’Oeuvrerie and Cellar in the Sky . Windows on the World also had a wine school program run by Kevin Zraly, who published a book on the course.
Windows on the World was closed following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. When it reopened in summer 1996, the Greatest Bar on Earth and Cellar in the Sky replaced the original restaurant offshoots. In 2000 , Windows on the World reported revenues of $37 million, making it the highest-grossing restaurant in the United States. The Sky Dive Restaurant on the 44th floor of the North Tower was also operated by Windows on the World.
Swamp White Oaks And The Survivor Tree
Throughout the memorial are several hundred swamp white oak trees, which, according to the 911 Memorial website, were chosen for their durability as well as their variety of heights and leaf colors.
However, there is one particular tree that stands out. Among the rubble of the fallen towers, an 8 foot Callery pear tree was found alive, but just barely.
Removed from the rubble, the tree was nursed back to health and replanted in the plaza. It has since flourished and has grown to 30 feet in height.
The tree embodies the story of survival and resilience important to the history of the World Trade Center and 9/11.
From the Survivor Tree, walk towards the glass atrium of the museum where you can view the Tridents.
The National September 11th Museum
Read more about the museum here.
Placed inside the Museum, but visible from the Memorial Plaza, are two 70-foot high, 50 ton steel beams that were part of the base of the North Tower.
These beams, salvaged from the wreckage of the fallen towers, are known as tridents because of their three-pronged tops .
How To Buy 9/11 Memorial Museum Tickets
If you only plan on visiting the outdoor 9/11 Memorial, you do not need to purchase tickets. While it once required a reservation, the memorial is now free for public viewing.
Those who wish to view the exhibits inside must purchase 9/11 Memorial Museum tickets. To do so, you can either purchase tickets on-site or online. I recommend purchasing your tickets online in advance. Not only can you take advantage of discounts, but youll also be guaranteed entry and skip the line. Make sure you print your tickets or have the barcode readily available on your phone so the museum staff can scan them for entry.
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The museum tickets operate on a schedule and your ticket will have a specific time for entry. If you purchase tickets day-of, you may not have an entry time until later in the day depending on crowds.
In addition, you can also obtain free 9/11 Memorial Museum tickets on Tuesdays starting at 4:00 pm. These tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Way N : Take A Guided Tour Of The Statue Of Liberty And 9/11 Memorial And Museum
Another cool tour is the one that goes to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where you visit the Immigration Museum. After that, you go to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
This guided tour costs $104 and lasts 5.5 hours it includes the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and back from there you will walk around 800 meters to the Memorial tickets for the 9/11 Museum and Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island National Park fees. You can opt for an upgrade if you want to access the Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty. You can buy the tour here.
Way N : Take A Guided Tour Of The Memorial Museum And World Trade Center Observatory
Another great way of getting tickets that is inclusive of all the most significant places linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks is a guided tour that also goes to the World Trade Center Observatory and the Memorial.
During the tour, you also go the World Trade Center Observatory, on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors of the Freedom Tower the tallest building in the USA with its 417 meters .
Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 am they last 5 hours and cost $109. You can buy yours here.
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How Much Time Do You Need
Although a quick trip can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, some guests may want to set aside a little more time to experience the memorial.
There are also several additional monuments nearby that are directly related to the events of 9/11, so you may want to ensure that you have at least 1 hour to see everything.
This is the exact time it will take you to complete our audio walking tour of the memorial and surrounding area.
The 9/11 Museum is located right between the two monuments and you will require tickets for entry.
This location includes several exhibits covering the history before, during, and after the events of September 11th.
For more information, make sure to read our post about visiting the 9/11 Museum.
If you want to take things a step further, you should also consider visiting One World Trade Center.
Located right across the street from the 9/11 Memorial, this is one of the tallest buildings in the world and it has observation decks providing some of the best views in New York City.
Read our post about the Freedom Tower for more details.
Anyone who is considering a trip to the memorial, the museum, and the One World Observatory should set aside at least 5-6 hours for the entire trip.
Youll also want to purchase tickets in advance to make sure that you can get in when you want and avoid having to wait in line.
If youre planning on spending the day in this area, consider dropping into Brookfield Place to grab a bite to eat.
Controversies Surrounding The Museum
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. The cornerstone of St. Joseph’s Lebanese 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. 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,” arguing that it was important to memorialize the multiethnic character of “Little Syria.” The old Christian Syrian neighborhood was demolished in the 1940s due to the construction of the BrooklynBattery Tunnel.
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.
Placement of unidentified remains
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The 9/11 Survivor Tree And Memorial Glade
Also standing in the memorial is the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree recovered in the wreckage of the towers and brought back to health. Today, it stands beside the South Pool as a symbol of strength and resilience.
Behind the tree is the Memorial Glade. In the years since 9/11, thousands of people have passed due to sickness or toxin exposure related to the attacks. This memorial is dedicated to those people as well as the many recovery and rescue workers who risked their health in order to help the city.
The Memorial Glade pathway features six stone monoliths, embedded with World Trade Center steel remnants.
The National September 11th Memorial Museum
Unlike the Memorial, you must purchase tickets to enter the Museum.
Through interactive technology, archives, narratives, and a collection of artifacts, the Museum recounts the events of 9/11.
To see a preview of what your visit will be like, here is a virtual tour of the museum.
Hours: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm. The last entry time is at 7 pm.
Tickets: Tickets are “timed-entry” meaning you must select a specific date and time when you make your purchase. Tickets can be purchased up to three months in advance.
You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
Several tour companies combine a walking tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero with tickets to the 9/11 Museum. Learn more.
TIP: Admission to the museum is included for free with the purchase of either the New York Pass, the Explorer Pass or the CityPass booklet. Read our post comparing the different tourist attractions passes in NYC.
- $28 Adults
Free admission will be available for all visitors every Tuesday, from 5 pm to 8 pm .
A limited number of advance tickets for these free Tuesdays will be available online, starting two weeks in advance of each Tuesday.
A limited number of tickets are available every Tuesday on a first-come, first-served basis.
Get more detail on this cost-saving opportunity at our post – Free Admission 911 Museum.
Join us for our Tuesday World Trade Center and 911 Memorial Tour from 1 pm till 3 pm, after which you can pick up tickets for free entry.
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The Highlights Of 9/11 Museum And Memorial
The main sight at 9/11 Memorial is the twin reflecting pools representing the footprints of the Twin Towers. These are the largest man made waterfall of North America. In the same place, youll also find the plaques with the names of those who died in the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks.
Other spots you shouldnt miss are the FDNY Memorial Wall, a tribute to the firefighters who died in the aftermath of the attacks and the Sphere, a sculpture by German artist Fritz Koenig that is meant to represent world peace through trade and that was actually recovered after the terrorist attacks.
Americas Response Monument, known to tourists as the Horse Soldier Statue is a tribute to the first soldiers sent to Afghanistan in the aftermath of the attacks.
Finally, make sure to go to the Survivor Tree, a series of white oak trees that line up the Memorial and to the World Trade Centers Cross.
The National September 11 Museum are the Historical Exhibition will take you through the 9/11 facts. It is divided into 3 parts: the Events of the Day Before 9/11 and After 9/11 the Memorial with the photos of the more than 3000 victims photos by French photographer Stephane Sednaoui, who witnessed the incidents from his place in Lower Manhattan Rebirth at Ground Zero, a 270-degree panoramic media installation Sports After 9/11, an exhibit on how sport and sport personalities worked to cheer the nation after the tragic events.
Guided Tour Of Memorial + One World Observatory
Some parents may not want to take their kids younger than ten years to the 9/11 Museum because a certain maturity and understanding are needed to comprehend the events of 11 September.
If you are in New York with young kids, this tour is suitable because you only explore Ground Zero, the Memorial, and the One World Observatory.
Adult ticket : $69Youth ticket : $59Infant ticket : Free entry
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Sightsee From The Sky
Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Edge or Summit? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.
- Empire State Building – Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
- Top of the Rock – Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
- One World Observatory – Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
- Edge – Highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building
- Summit One Vanderbilt – Opens Oct 2021, all glass elevator, indoor and outdoor decks and glass terraces off the side of the building
Get A Museum Membership
There are various levels of membership to the 9/11 Museum, and they all include free admission for at least one adult for the entire year.
The base level of membership is $75 and in addition to the free admission for the cardholder, it also includes two complimentary passes for guests accompanied by a member.
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Witness At Ground Zero
Stephane Sednaoui is a French photographer and director who witnessed the attacks and subsequent collapse of the World Trade Center from the roof of his building in lower Manhattan. Following the tragedy, Sednaoui was one of many who used his time to volunteer in the rescue efforts. When not searching through the rubble, Sednaoui captured more than 500 pictures between September 12th and 16th that reveal a deep sense of community that rose from the ashes of such tragedy. You can see his photos on display at the Witness at Ground Zero exhibition.
Establishment Of The World Trade Center
The idea of establishing a World Trade Center in New York City was first proposed in 1943. The New York State Legislature passed a bill authorizing New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey to begin developing plans for the project, but the plans were put on hold in 1949. During the late 1940s and 1950s, economic growth in New York City was concentrated in Midtown Manhattan. To help stimulate urban renewal in Lower Manhattan, David Rockefeller suggested that the Port Authority build a World Trade Center there.
Plans for the use of eminent domain to remove the shops in Radio Row bounded by Vesey, Church, Liberty, and West Streets began in 1961 when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was deciding to build the world’s first world trade center. They had two choices: the east side of Lower Manhattan, near the South Street Seaport or the west side, near the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad station, Hudson Terminal. Initial plans, made public in 1961, identified a site along the East River for the World Trade Center. As a bi-state agency, the Port Authority required approval for new projects from the governors of both New York and New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Robert B. Meyner objected to New York getting a $335 million project. Toward the end of 1961, negotiations with outgoing New Jersey Governor Meyner reached a stalemate.
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Top Of The World Observation Deck
Although most of the space in the World Trade Center complex was off-limits to the public, the South Tower featured a public glass-enclosed observation deck on the 107th floor called Top of the World and an open-air deck with the height of 110 stories. The observation deck was operative since December 1975 and the opening times were from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and from 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. . After paying an entrance fee, visitors were required to pass through security checks added after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. They were then sent to the 107th-floor indoor observatory at a height of 1,310 feet by a dedicated express elevator. The exterior columns were narrowed to allow 28 inches of window width between them. The Port Authority renovated the observatory in 1995, then leased it to Ogden Entertainment to operate. Attractions added to the observation deck included a theater showing a film of a simulated helicopter tour around the city, and a 750 building model of Manhattan is offered. The 107th-floor also featured a subway-themed food court that featured Sbarro and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.
On The Surrounding Community
The original World Trade Center created a superblock that cut through the area’s street grid, isolating the complex from the rest of the community. The Port Authority had demolished several streets to make way for the towers within the World Trade Center. The project involved combining the 12 block area bounded by Vesey, Church, Liberty, and West Streets on the north, east, south, and west, respectively. 7 World Trade Center, built on the superblock’s north side in the late 1980s, was built over another block of Greenwich Street. The building acted as a physical barrier separating Tribeca to the north and the Financial District to the south. The underground mall at the World Trade Center also drew shoppers away from surrounding streets.
The project was seen as being monolithic and overambitious, with the design having had no public input. By contrast, the rebuilding plans had significant public input. The public supported rebuilding a street grid through the World Trade Center site. One of the rebuilding proposals included building an enclosed shopping street along the path of Cortlandt Street, one of the streets demolished to make room for the original World Trade Center. However, the Port Authority ultimately decided to rebuild Cortlandt, Fulton, and Greenwich Streets, which were destroyed during the original World Trade Center’s construction.
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