The 9/11 Preview Site is not a memorial museum like the Ground Zero Museum Workshop or the Tribute Center. The 9/11 Preview Site is a place “to learn about the plans for and progress of Memorial and Museum currently being built at the World Trade Center site” [INT01].
It was opened in August 26, 2009 and since then had over a million visitors. In this kind of ‘information center’ people are able to learn about what is going to be built on the ground of the World Trade Center and how the architects try to remember the happenings of 9/11. The visitors get to know the original appearance of the World Trade Center pre- 9/11 and what is in construction at the moment.
For a long time it was not sure what was going to be built on the grounds of the World Trade Center since many people, for example, numerous stakeholders, the victims’ families and people in the surrounding neighborhoods, wanted to be involved in this decision. Almost immediately after the end of the recovery, architects started to propose designs for a future complex. An open competition for design proposals took place in December, 2002, and the “Memory Foundations”, a design by Daniel Libeskind was selected. There will be four new towers. ‘One World Trade Center’, also known as the ‘Freedom Tower’, will be the tallest tower and will rise to 1,362 feet which was the original height of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Its antenna will rise to the symbolic height of 1,776 feet and therewith refer to the year in which the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has an important part in the new design. It will become a place to remember and reflect on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Memorial Museum “will offer visitors the opportunity to deepen their experience at the side. It will display monumental artifacts associated with the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery” (Flyer). “The Memorial will consist of two massive pools set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers with 30-foot waterfalls cascading down their sides. The names of nearly 3,000 innocent victims […] will be inscribed in bronze around the edges of the waterfalls”. The Memorial will open in 2011 in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The constructions of the Museum will consume more time and, therefore it is supposed to open in 2012.
However, the Preview Site is not only an ‘information center’, it also portrays personal stories like that one of Richard Pecorella and his fiancé Karen Juday who worked on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center and died on 9/11. In this audio recording Richard Pecorella talks about how they met, their relationship and their life together.
Furthermore, you are able record and therewith share your own story of how you experienced September 11, 2001 in a separated room of the Preview Site. People all over the world have been affected by this day and in order connect and understand it is important to share impressions and feelings. In this way it portrays that that the whole world was affected by the terrorist attacks and that through these events people moved closer together.
Additional Information on the Preview Site
One WTC Now 375′ Above Grade (September 2010)
Liberty Street Bridge Access: Making Changes to Move Ahead (March 2010)
Port Authority Hosts Royal Visit At WTC Site (August 2010)
9/11 Memorial Preview Site Film Transcript
[INT01] “Preview Site.” National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Web. 26 January 2011.
Last updated: February 17, 2011