The pavilion is the only building on the memorial grounds.

Inside, it's an open space flooded with light that leads to the museum, a dark time capsule buried below.

LADDER COMPANY 3 TRUCK, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT
Ladder Company 3 suffered some of the greatest casualties in the FDNY response. Its 11 responders were killed inside the North Tower when it collapsed. They were last seen on its 40th floor.

ELEVATOR MOTOR
An elevator motor from the North Tower, deemed useless when hijacked Flight 11 severed its cables.

CHELSEA JEANS MEMORIAL
Chelsea Jeans, just a block away from the WTC, has been preserved in its own dust.

HANDWRITTEN NOTES

NORTH TOWER, FLOORS 96-99, IMPACT STEEL
This piece of steel was part of the North Tower's facade, and was the point of impact of hijacked Flight 11.

SLURRY WALL SEGMENT
Original created to keep the Hudson River from flooding the site, the concrete Slurry Wall saved the site from further devastation.

VESEY STREET STAIR REMNANT: THE SURVIVORS’ STAIRS
The Vesey Street stairs--also known as Survivors’ Stairs--connected the the World Trade Center Plaza to the Vesey Street sidewalk. They provided a means of escape for hundreds of people.

AIRPLANE WRECKAGE
Leftover from the crash.

RAMZI YOUSEF's LAPTOP
The laptop of Ramzi Yousef, who orchestrated several attacks on WTC.

FDNY ENGINE COMPANY 21 TRUCK
Dispatched to the WTC after the South Tower was struck. The vehicle's front was damaged by debris.

GRAPPLER CLAW
These giant claws excavated Ground Zero.

THE LAST COLUMN SEGMENT
The Last Column was a 58-ton, 36-foot-tall piece of welded plate steel that was removed May 30, 2002.

WORLD TRADE CENTER TRIDENTS
These steel tridents were once part of the North Tower facade. They're located at the museum's entrance.

SEGMENT OF RADIO AND TELEVISION ANTENNA, NORTH TOWER
This 19.8-foot-long fragment is what's left of the 360-foot-tall transmission tower atop the North Tower.

Co.Design

The Haunting Artifacts Inside The National September 11 Memorial Museum

The 9/11 Museum and Pavilion are opening to the public May 21. Here, we see the first images of the architecture and its artifacts.

Following a decade of development, The National September 11 Memorial Museum will open to the public on May 21. On top, it's an inviting, transparent pavilion. Below, it's a dark time capsule full of haunting artifacts.

Designed by architecture firm Snøhetta, the pavilion appears as an airy, asymmetrical mix of metal and glass. The exterior contains mirrored stripes that reflect the city, and the windows open to the skyline, wrapping visitors in NYC itself.

Clothing from Chelsea Jeans remains covered in toxic rubble. Photo by Jin Lee.

Inside, visitors see a pair of 75-foot structural columns from the original towers in an otherwise neutral space defined by its vaulting windows that bathe the space in light. It's meant to invoke a warm and inviting feeling, that is, until they descend below ground into the museum, designed by architecture firm Davis Brody Bond.

Here, only a few rays of sun peek through. Under the relatively dim glow of bulbs, visitors can explore artifacts from 9/11 frozen in time—including a Herculean grappler still excavating the site, clothing racks from Chelsea Jeans—a store just a block from the WTC—that remain covered in toxic rubble, shards of a Boeing 767, and a half-wrecked fire truck from Ladder 3, the FDNY fire company that suffered some of the greatest casualties in the rescue operation. The crew was last seen on the 40th floor of the North Tower before it collapsed.

Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

Artifacts aren't the only way the museum pays tribute to the event. Local Projects has painted 34 feet of concrete with a digital portrait of 9/11 gathered from 2 million news articles. It must be a powerful feeling, to walk down the stairs into the museum—right alongside the Survivors' Staircase—and arrive 13 years in the past.

[Photo by Jin Lee]

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1 Comments

  • I don't know what's more disturbing - these photos or the @VirginAmerica Airline ads in between the pictures when you scroll through the gallery....