Visitors will have to pay $24 to see WTC exhibits
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Marty Golden and the families of Sept. 11 victims expressed outrage over the announcement by the Board of Trustees of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum that the museum will charge $24 a person to visit the facility when it opens in the spring.
Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) called the fee “absurd” and said that the $24 admission price will be prohibitive and will keep many people from being able to visit the museum.
"It is absurd to charge $24 to enter the memorial museum. The adjoining World Trade Center memorial site is the focus for this museum. Hundreds of thousands of people make downtown Manhattan their destination in order to visit the World Trade Center site. Simply visiting the site without visiting the museum would be an incomplete experience. Twenty-four dollars is prohibitive in that it defies the intent of the memorial to honor the tragedy and it prevents the general public from visiting the museum,” Golden said in a statement.
“Most troubling is the effect this will have on future generations, who will miss the important opportunity to experience the history and tragedy that took place due to this unreasonable cost,” Golden said.
The board of trustees announced the plan on Jan. 21. The museum is set to open in mid-May. Tickets will go on sale starting in March.
The issue hits home for many Bay Ridge residents, Golden said. Thirty-two residents from the 11209 ZIP Code, which covers Bay Ridge, were killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, according to Golden, who said the local death toll was the second highest total of any community in New York City, behind the Upper East Side.
Each year, Golden leads a candlelight vigil on the 69th Street pier in Bay Ridge in memory of the victims.
Families of Sept. 11 victims are also stepping forward to criticize the plan to charge a stiff admission fee.
Jim Riches, a retired New York Fire Department chief who lost his son Jimmy in the in the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center, told the Wall Street Journal that the decision to charge an entry fee was “disgraceful” and “middle-class families can’t afford $100 to go to the museum.
But Joe Daniels, the memorial’s president, told the Wall Street Journal that the families Sept. 11 victims will always be granted free admission and that the museum will be open free to the public for three hours every Tuesday night.
In addition, Daniels stated, discounts would be offered for students, seniors, recovery workers and first responders.
Golden proposed an alternative to the planned $24 fee.
“This answer to this is straight forward: federal funding should and must subsidize this museum,” he said. “The federal government has a responsibility to ensure that all Americans can visit this museum so all those who visit New York can commemorate the loss of life that took place and learn of the acts of heroism,” he said.