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One Way to do New York – Memorial Edition

Welcome to this the  fourth of my offerings of a ‘One Way to do New York’ which in this edition covers visits to the National September 11 Memorial, Museum and the One World Trade Centre & Observatory.

 

As an added bonus I have included a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tramway which we recently found  time to take in.

Both the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial Museum are located at the World trade Centre site in Lower Manhattan which is easily accessible by a number of Subway lines…

 

 

For those visitors and passengers who may be crossing from Brooklyn, and the Red Hook Cruise Terminal, it is also within 20 minutes walking distance from Pier 11…

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2017/09/25/new-york-brooklyn-transfers-update/

On the day of our visit we arrived by Subway and alighted at ‘Rector Street’ station. Directions were excellent…

 

…and walking along Greenwich Street gave us the opportunity to see the Greenwich Street NYFD Memorial Wall…

The New York Firefighters Memorial Wall is located at the corner of Liberty and Greenwich Streets. This expansive bronze bas-relief reads, “Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on… May we Never Forget.” and is dedicated to the 343 members of the NYC Fire Department who lost their lives.

The Memorial and the Museum are located at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan at 180 Greenwich St. Visitors can currently access the Memorial at the intersection of Liberty Street and Greenwich Street, at the intersection of Liberty Street and West Street and at the intersection of West Street and Fulton Street.

The 9/11 Memorial Plaza is a free to access 8 acre park of remembrance and contemplation…

 

Central to the Plaza are two sunken pools, each set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers and  each roughly an acre in size.  Both sunken pools have the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States…

The names of every person who perished in the terror attacks of February 26, 1993 & September 11, 2001 are honored in bronze around the twin Memorial pools.

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The September 11 Museum also stands in the plaza adjacent to Greenwich Street…

The entrance to the museum is on the right of the next photograph, directly opposite the Oculus on the left…

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The entrance viewed from the Oculus…

The museum is open daily  between 9 am to 8 pm: last entry time is at 7 pm.

Tickets carry a  “timed-entry” meaning you must select a specific date and time when you make your purchase. They  may be purchased up to three months in advance, either online or at the museum ticket office.

The museum tells the story of 9/11 through interactive technology, archives, narratives and a collection of artifacts. There are two core exhibitions with supporting areas that cover some  110,000 square feet of museum space.

On entry to the museum there are rigorous security checks in the entry pavilion area and once completed there is an escalator and stairway decent to the first underground level. To set the scene note the two steel ‘Tridents’ that tower above the escalator…

Some 70 feet tall they were originally set into the bedrock of the North Tower

On this level there is  a very helpful information centre…

A good tip here is to enquire as to the schedule of the ‘Live Experience’ presentations which are held in a purpose built theatre…

Also from this level there is an overview of the Slurry wall segment lower level which illustrates the sheer size of the preserved areas of the museum…

Making one’s way to the lower levels the vast underground expanse soon becomes apparent…

Descending to the next level one passes what are known as the ‘Survivors’ Stairs’…

 so called because they provided a means of escape for hundreds of survivors. They were originally  on the outside of the tower leading down to Vesey Street. They were preserved and now occupy a prominent place in the museum.

No one visiting this museum can fail to experience the poignancy and moving displays that make up the journey through the museum: from the steel foundation footprints…

…to the ‘Impact Steel’ display…

 Looking more like an abstract sculpture, it really is a disquieting artistic piece reminding museum visitors of the carnage. Originally part  of the facade of the north tower, the girders  were located at the point of impact where hijacked Flight 11 pierced the building, between floors 93 and 99. The jet was carrying 10,000 gallons of fuel and was traveling at about 465 mph when it tore into the tower.

As one navigates the vastness of this museum many murals  display how the dreadful events of that September morning unfolded…

 

Other displays illustrate the resulting carnage of the attack including  the wrecked NYFD Fire ladder No 3

…the North Tower Radio and TV Mast...

…the River Water Line Valve…

..part of the workings of the underground refrigeration plant for the WTC’s air-conditioning systems.  After the collapse of the Twin Towers, engineers concerned about the risk of flooding searched for the valves underneath the wreckage and closed them as a precautionary measure.

…and the ultra significant Last Column...

Placed close to the ‘Slurry Wall’ this was the final steel beam that was ceremonially removed from Ground Zero eventually to be given its current place.

There are many other displays and informative information. An allocation of 3 – 4 hours would be a fare consideration for an in-depth visit.

For our day we had also planned a visit to the adjacent One World Trade Centre & Observatory

One World Observatory, perched atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is one New York City’s biggest new attractions in more ways than one. The 1,776-foot-tall skyscraper gives you a perspective you can’t find anywhere else, and a lot more. Here are some of the coolest things you’ll see there.

One World Observatory is located at One World Trade Centre which is at one corner of the Plaza, at the corner of West and Fulton Streets. One entrance is on the West Street side of the Tower…

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…and another is by approaching through the Oculus…

…it is well signposted…

The One World Observatory is open daily on a seasonal basis from 9.00 am to 10.00 pm.

As with the 9/11 Museum tickets can be purchased online and are on a ‘Timed Entry’ basis. In the event of inclement weather precluding observatory views on the day an exchange system is in operation. Here is the extract from the observatory’s web page…

One World Observatory tickets are sold on a non-refundable basis. However upon request, on the rare occasion of zero visibility, and at the discretion of the Observatory, a voucher may be issued for each unused ticket allowing for re-entry on another date and time within 14 days, subject to availability.

Once through stringent security visitors are whisked to the Observatory floors in high speed lifts which ascend to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in less than 50 seconds. The Observatory is on two levels and offers a full 360-degree view of New York.

Here’s a few examples of what can be seen…

Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty…

Governor’s Island,  Red Hook and the Verazano Bridge

North across Manhattan

West over the Hudson River towards the Lackawana Terminal

 

East across the Brooklyn Bridge

…and down over the 9/11 Museum and Plaza South Pool

…and there is always the chance of spotting your cruise ship at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal

There are a number of complimentary informative presentations on offer whilst in the observatory:  in addition there is a cafe and restaurant and a large souvenir shop.

An allocation time of around 2 hours for the visit would be reasonable.

On completion of our visit we had time to take a subway ride as far as Upper East Side to ride the Roosevelt Island Tramway…

The nearest subway station is at Lexington Avenue/ 59th Street.

MTA MetroCards are accepted to ride the tramway and it’s good to note that the gondolas are wheelchair friendly.

We boarded the Gondola style carriages at the Tram Plaza at junction of  2nd Avenue and 60th Street… 

…emerging to a whole new vista as we edged out from the Manhattan’s building line…

…and over the East River…

The tram runs  parallel with the Queensboro Bridge, (also known as the 59th Street Bridge)…

…before  eventually descending onto Roosevelt Island…

On Roosevelt Island, the ‘Red Bus’ route meets the tram and offers free transportation around the island,  however  we discovered a delightful park along the riverbank which gave additional opportunities for photographs of the  Manhattan Skyline…

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That concludes this edition of One Way to do New York. I sincerely hope readers have found it informative and that it proves useful in planning future visits.

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