September 11 Memorial Museum to open to the public

In total, the project cost $700 million
May 14, 2014 04:10PM

The National September 11 Memorial Museum is scheduled to open to the public next week. The museum is intended to offer visitors an in-depth look at the events of that day — and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, as seen through personal artifacts.

Two large fountains sit at the heart of the museum, filling the footprint where the Twin Towers once stood, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The memorial’s collection includes large, bent pieces of steel that were once part of the buildings. Another item on display is a handwritten note, pleading for help. Voices of victims’ family members can be heard talking about the attacks.

The opening of the museum follows years of delays due to political fighting and lawsuits. Officials continue to ask Congress for funding to help with the operating costs of the museum.

All told, construction of the museum cost $700 million, with about $390 million coming from tax-funded grants.

General admission to the museum is $24 for general visitors. Admission is free for victims’ family members, first responders and recovery workers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, ticket sales and concessions will likely pay for about two thirds of the annual operating budget, which comes out to about $63 million. That means about $20 million in annual costs will have to be covered by private donations. [WSJ] — Claire Moses