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The 9/11 Tribute Museum In Lower Manhattan Shuts Down

The 9/11 Tribute Museum at 92 Greenwich St., which closed this week.

Lower Manhattan’s 9/11 Tribute Museum, which honored passengers in the hijacked planes, closed its doors yesterday following a drastic drop-off in visitor numbers during the pandemic.

The 30K SF space at 92 Greenwich St., a few blocks away from the World Trade Center site, depended on visitors for revenue and struggled to stay open after the coronavirus pandemic arrived in New York City, the New York Post reports.

The museum's co-founder, Jennifer Adams-Webb, who is also the CEO of the nonprofit September 11th Families’ Association, said that two-thirds of the museum’s annual revenue came from admissions.

“We were completely closed for six months in 2020,” Adams-Webb told the Post. “We had been averaging 300,000 visitors a year … and last year we had a total of 26,000 visitors, so it completely annihilated our earned income.”

The museum originally opened in 2006 on Liberty Street in a former deli that provided meals to rescue workers in the aftermath of the attacks, the deadliest in history on U.S. soil. It moved to its Greenwich Street address in 2017, but first ran into difficulties in 2019 when landlord Thor Equities put the building on the market for $30M, Crain’s New York Business reported at the time.

Thor had converted the office building at 88 Greenwich St. into residential condos almost a decade prior to its attempt to sell the museum’s space, and was seeking a school or nonprofit to occupy it, Crain’s reported. It is unclear whether Thor still controls the property, according to reporting from The Real Deal.

The museum’s struggles may have begun prior to the pandemic. Public filings reported by Crain’s in 2019 showed that it had been losing money — more than a million dollars in 2015 and 2017 and $90K in 2016.

Although visitor numbers in the first six months of 2022 beat those for all of 2021,  Adams-Webb told the Post, the museum’s existing debts and the lower-than-pre-pandemic visitor levels resulted in the decision to close.

“There’s no way we’re going to be able to dig out of this at this rate,” Adams-Webb told the Post, adding that the museum was unlikely to reopen. “It’s a huge loss for those people who called this their second home, where they could come and share their story … There’s no museum that has the dual mission we have to support the community and also educate visitors that come here.”

The 9/11 Tribute Museum focused on survivors and the stories of family members whose relatives were killed in the tragedy, according to its website. NYC’s other monuments, including the memorial pools at the original site of the Twin Towers and the National September 11th Memorial & Museum, remain open.

The 9/11 Tribute Museum’s artifacts, including missing persons posters, death certificates and boarding passes from one of the hijacked planes, will move to the New York State Museum in Albany, according to TimeOut