All brick-and-mortar closings tug at the heartstrings, but this one's particularly sad: NBC New York reports that the 9/11 Tribute Museum at 92 Greenwich Street by Rector Street in Tribeca will be closing for good tomorrow.
The museum, which opened back in 2006, cited pandemic-related financial difficulties and a sharp drop in visitors as the main reasons behind the shuttering.
“Financial hardships including lost revenue caused by the pandemic prevents us from generating sufficient funding to continue to operate the physical museum,” said Jennifer Adams, the co-founder and CEO of the destination, in an official statement.
Specifically, annual admissions dropped from 150,000 in 2019 to a mere 26,000 last year. The important venue was started by a number of New York City Fire Department (FDNY) widows in connection to the September 11th Families' Association, a nonprofit organization. Seeking to "tell the stories of those they lost in the September 11 attacks," the folks behind the cultural institution have also announced that they will be moving their endeavor online, hoping to offer "interactive engagement [options], including video stories of those impacted." Until now, in addition to physical exhibits, the venue offered tours of the rebuilt World Trade Center led by survivors, first responders and relatives of those who passed on that tragic day. Visitors have also been able to hear first-hand accounts from volunteers.
The physical collection that was on display at the museum—including "missing person" posters, artifacts, boarding passes from one of the hijacked planes and death certificates—will move to the New York State Museum in Albany and the former founders will coordinate with donors "to ensure that the exhibits and artifacts are handled properly and respectfully."
Given the imminent closure of the museum and the importance involved in remembering what happened on that devastating day, it’s critical to note that there are other tributes to the lives of those lost on 9/11 throughout the city: the National September 11 Memorial Museum is still up-and-running, for example, as are the memorial pools that sit right by it, where the Twin Towers once stood tall and proud.