The 9/11 Tribute Museum in lower Manhattan closed its doors for good Wednesday afternoon due to a lack of people paying the admission cost, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
''Two-thirds of our income revenue annually comes from our earned income from admissions,'' Jennifer Adams-Webb, co-founder of the museum and the CEO of the Sept. 11th Families' Association, told the New York Post.
''We were completely closed for six months in 2020. 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 30,000-square-foot museum, now on Greenwich Street in lower Manhattan, opened in 2006 on nearby Liberty Street and moved to its current location in 2017, the Post reported.
Attendance, however, decreased precipitously during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, drying up most of the revenue needed to pay the capital debt, the report said.
''There's no way we're going to be able to dig out of this at this rate,'' Adams-Webb told the Post. ''We need the state or the city to step in with other partners to be able to say, 'We value you. We want to save this organization,' but at this point, we can't continue to dig into a hole.''
On its website, the organization linked to several news articles in March, foreshadowing the closing, and asking for help to stay open.
The museum is separate from the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum a few blocks away at ground zero.
According to the museum's website, it was founded by the nonprofit Sept. 11 Widows and Victims Families' Association, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the victims of terrorism through ''education, communication and peer support.''
Exhibits included the stories and photos of more than 1,000 volunteers from the 9/11 community, including walking tours where they give a ''person-to-person history'' of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on a commercial aircraft that crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the attacks.
''The Tribute Museum provides education of 9/11 and reminds people of the powerful positive difference our local and global communities can make when we stand together,'' the organization said on the website. ''The Tribute Museum provides an understanding of the loss and impact of 9/11 while demonstrating the resilience and recovery of New York City, the country and the world.''
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