News

Admission Price Remains Up In The Air For 9/11 Museum

Museum Will Not Ask For A Suggested Donation
The Survivors' Staircase (covered) was the last standing remnant of the World Trade Center. (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

The Survivors’ Staircase (covered) was the last standing remnant of the World Trade Center. (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is slated to open next spring, but there has been no word on how much it will cost to get in.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, as workers push toward the opening next year, museum officials have been running the numbers on the admission fee. Museum President Joe Daniels said there will be no government funding.

“This museum will need to provide revenue to run both the museum and the memorial,” he said.

There has been talk of a charge of between $20 and $25, but Daniels said no decision has been made. Some museums ask for a suggested or recommended donation rather than requiring an admission, but the 9/11 museum will not work that way.

“I think the institutions that have the flexibility to do suggested donation often times have endowments behind it,” Daniels said.

A decision on the admission fee will be made by the end of the year.

Haskell got a preliminary tour of the museum this week.

He reported that the first relics that visitors will see are two massive pieces of structural steel that rose from the base of the North Tower. Now the rusty red columns soar above ground into the sunlit glass atrium that encloses the entrance to the museum.

The cavernous, dusty space also currently houses a large bent and twisted piece of steel from the World Trade Center.

Daniels also showed reporters a section of the “slurry wall” that held back the Hudson River after the attacks and a column that was the last piece of steel to be removed from the site.

But perhaps the most chilling part of the museum, in its current form, is a battered staircase that leads down to bedrock, where the exhibits will be displayed. Sandwiched between an escalator and a staircase that will be used by museum visitors, the “survivors’ stairs” provided an escape route for hundreds of people who fled from the towers.

“You’re literally following the same pathway that hundreds followed on 9/11 to survival, to safety,” said museum director Alice Greenwald. “In some respects, what we’re saying to our visitors is, we all live in a world now that was defined by this event. And in that sense, we’re all survivors of 9/11.”

As CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the museum will also feature a display showing grappler claws lifting tangled steel and debris from the pile at ground zero. Engineers would use the claws to pick up debris out of the ground while workers searched for human remains.

When completed in the spring, the museum will transport people through time from events leading to the 9/11 attacks all the way to the current events of today. And even when its doors open, the museum will always remain a work in progress.

The 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks arrives on Wednesday.

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