About my recently redeveloped World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial tour
Posted: Aug 24, 2015 | 3:45 PM
by Jared Goldstein
Now that the National 9/11 Memorial Plaza and Museum are open, I have revised my World Trade Center tour to complement a National 9/11 Memorial Museum visit. I feel that many, if not all tours, outside the museum risk detracting from the museum's experience.
If you only have two hours to experience something of 9/11, then go to the museum and don't hire me for a tour, unless you want a very short tour. I'll explain shortly.
My new tour of the Memorial Plaza and St. Paul's Chapel, the Survivor Church, can be 45-120 minutes long, depending on your time and energy.
My most powerful and informative version of a World Trade Center and 9/11 tour is for a small group of less than about eight tour-goers. This allows us to get close to the 'Reflecting Absence' Memorial Pools and to learn about the lives and heroism of some of those memorialized there.
If you are part of a larger group, then I recommend about 45 minutes to introduce the World Trade Center's history and 9/11 Memorial Plaza. This would be 15 minutes to introduce the new World Trade Center and the original WTC's history. 15 minutes to interpret the 9/11 Memorial, and a few minutes of personal reflection.
For a large group, I recommend combining this with nearby sights like Downtown, the Financial District, or the Brooklyn Bridge for a two-hour tour. I find that for youth groups 90 minutes is good for a Museum visit. This gives you about four hours in the area, which is good. There is a lot to see around the WTC.
For small groups, I am mindful that you should also have Museum admission tickets so that my tour doesn't repeat what you would typically experience there in an average two-hour visit. There are few, if any, Tour Guides who can match the power of that museum beneath the 9/11 Memorial Plaza.
With your limited time and energy for experiencing exhibits, I don't want my tour to take anything away from the museum's power and information.
I also give advice on how to get the most from the 9/11 Memorial Museum exhibits, since the museum is overwhelming. This can really make a difference because it is easy to miss some or all of the museum's most important parts.
Please note that the 9/11 Memorial
Museum offers a guided tour for an extra fee, or a free app-guided tour inside the museum, that takes an hour. That tour does not take you to what I recommend as the two most
important parts of the museum. These sections are not obvious to visitors whether they
take the museum's tour or not.
Here is a link to buying museum tickets whether you tour with me outside or not: https://www.911memorial.org/visit-museum-1
If that link doesn't work, then use this one