The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced today that the LMDC Board has approved $2.29 million in funding that will help realize core dynamic components of the planned visitor experience in the Museum.
The Museum will include exhibitions which will tell the history of 9/11, its context and aftermath, as well as a memorial exhibition, honoring the lives of each individual victim.
This funding will help support the planning, development and build-out of specific elements of the Museum's primary exhibition related to events of 9/11, as told by authentic voices of those who experienced and survived the attacks. A core component of the exhibition will feature firsthand accounts using audio recordings, including oral histories and testimonies. The stories will convey the extraordinary response, the resilience of New York City's residents and the experience of being in lower Manhattan after the attacks. These stories will also show the continuing impact of 9/11 and how the city, nation and world reacted, came together and recovered through acts of remembrance, rebuilding and renewal.
"One of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s chief responsibilities is to ensure the completion of a fitting memorial to those we lost on 9/11, a world-class space that ensures we never forget how the world was transformed that day," said LMDC Chairman Avi Schick. "Our friends at the 9/11 Memorial have designed an exhibit that will achieve this goal through the voices of those who were impacted by the tragedy. We’re pleased to provide the resources to make this poignant and creative vision a reality."
9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said: "Our mission has always been two-fold: first, to honor the innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks, and second, to educate future generations about what happened that day and its context in world history. The funds that our partner LMDC is providing today will enable us to tell crucial elements of the 9/11 history in a way befitting the 21st century museum we are building."
9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice M. Greenwald said: "We are especially honored that the LMDC has elected to support key elements of the Memorial Museum that will chronicle not only the shared witness to the horrific events of September 11 but the extraordinary compassion and dedication that were demonstrated time and again during the days, weeks and months following the horrific attacks. These components mirror LMDC's own commitment to remembrance, rebuilding and renewal, a mission we are proud to share with them."
Some of the ways these stories will be told will be through exhibits using specially-designed multimedia presentations like the introductory exhibition and the vigils and gatherings display.
Components of the introductory exhibit will include a choreographed soundscape of recordings from people remembering where they were on 9/11. As visitors walk through this exhibit, they will experience personal stories told by people from across the globe. The multimedia used for the vigils and gatherings will include a display recalling the spontaneous public gatherings and vigils immediately following the 9/11 attacks.
Through the display of monumental artifacts associated with the events of September 11, the Museum will present intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of September 11 and its aftermath. It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community.
Visitors will enter the Museum through the Museum Pavilion, designed by the Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta. Located between the two Memorial pools on the northeast quadrant of the Memorial Plaza, the Pavilion will provide information, general site orientation, ticketing services for the Museum, as well as security screening. From the Pavilion, visitors will access the Museum's lower-level lobby and public gathering space known as "Memorial Hall," which in turn leads to the exhibition spaces at bedrock level of the World Trade Center.
To reach the primary exhibition space, visitors will descend a gently ramped "ribbon," echoing the ramp that once was used by construction workers to help build the World Trade Center and was again used in the aftermath of the attacks for the recovery and clean-up of the site and by victims' family members to access bedrock on anniversaries of 9/11. From the ramp, vistas will be created, providing a sense of the vastness of the site and the scale of the original Towers. Visitors will be able to stand between the locations of the original Twin Towers and experience their scale, which will be referenced by two metal-clad, ethereal volumes.
LMDC was charged with assisting New York City in recovering from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and ensuring the emergence of Lower Manhattan as a strong and vibrant community. The centerpiece of these efforts has been the creation of a permanent Memorial remembering and honoring the thousands of innocent men, women and children lost in the terrorist attacks.
In 2003, LMDC launched an international design competition for a World Trade Center memorial. In what became the largest design competition in history, a 13-member jury selected "Reflecting Absence" by Michael Arad and Landscape Architect Peter Walker from over 5,000 submissions. The memorial features a lively landscaped civic plaza with two massive voids aligned with the footprints where the twin towers once stood. LMDC has allocated over $250 million in funds toward the planning, design and construction of the Memorial and Museum.