On September 11, 2001, terrorist hijackers steered two jets into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, setting them ablaze and causing their collapse, killing 2,753 people and injuring countless others. The 16 acres of fenced-in rubble and debris that slowly evolved into a construction zone quickly became a memorial unto itself, a place where visitors and those who lost loved ones could mourn and reflect on what was the single most deadly foreign attack to happen on American soil.
A decade after September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Memorial opened, giving thousands of annual visitors a solemn place to reflect and think about that brutal day. The accompanying underground 9/11 Memorial Museum opened in 2014, on the same bedrock used by the Twin Towers' foundation. As you plan your visit, set aside time to visit other key parts of the story, such as St. Paul's Chapel and the "Ten House" firehouse on Liberty Street.
The 9/11 Memorial plaza is bordered by four distinct
new skyscrapers: the 1,776-foot World Trade Center One (the former "Freedom Tower"), and Towers 2, 3, and 4 all designed by famous architects. The site also includes a transportation hub designed by Santiago Calatrava. Tower 1 opened in late 2014 and Tower 4 in late 2013. The 9/11 Memorial Museum Store is at 20 Vesey Street; all proceeds go to developing and sustaining the memorial and museum.