No free admission for 9/11 museum visitors
NEW YORK — Faced with hefty operating costs, the foundation building the 9/11 museum at the World Trade Center has decided to charge an admission fee of $20 to $25 when the site opens next year.
The exact cost of the mandatory fee has not yet been decided.
Entry to the memorial plaza with its twin reflecting pools will still be free.
The decision to charge for the underground museum housing relics of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks has been greeted with dismay by some relatives of 9/11 victims.
“People are coming to pay their respects and for different reasons,” said Janice Testa of Valley Stream, whose firefighter brother, Henry Miller Jr., died at the twin towers. “It shouldn't be a place where you go and see works of art. It should more be like a memorial place like a church that there's no entry fee.”
Testa was visiting the memorial on Saturday with relatives from Florida.
The memorial plaza opened in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks, but disputes over funding have pushed the museum's opening back to spring of 2014.
With the cost of operating the memorial and museum projected to be $60 million a year, the memorial foundation voted at its board meeting last week to charge a mandatory admission fee for the museum.
“This is something that is going to be important and is going to be worth the expenditure,” Joseph Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said Saturday.
Daniels said the museum will be free during certain hours every week and will offer student and senior discounts.
Foundation officials had considered an optional donation but rejected the idea.
“We decided that it's more fiscally prudent to have a straight ticket charge,” Daniels said.
Debra Burlingame, a foundation board member whose brother was the pilot of one of the hijacked planes, said the trade center site is expensive to build on and to protect.
“The World Trade Center site remains a target of interest among terrorists, so the security has to be robust and relentless,” Burlingame said in a phone interview. “There's a big price tag on that.
“Would we like to be able to say this is free? Absolutely,” Burlingame added. But she called it “irresponsible to hope that year after year we have donations that will cover an expense like security.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- GAO seeks more drinking water safeguards
- Cellphone users can soon declare freedom from wireless carriers
- Ebola only a plane ride away from U.S.
- House bill lets airlines advertise pre-tax fares
- Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B
- $17B remedy for VA pitched
- Obama mulls large-scale move on immigration
- Powerful tornado surprises area near Boston
- Jury picked for trial of former Virginia governor, wife
- ‘Pawn Stars’ store owner plans nearby shopping plaza
- Medicare finances improve as health care inflation slows, trustees say