The 9/11 Tribute Museum, located three blocks from the World Trade Center site, closed its doors for the final time Wednesday, museum officials announced.
The museum’s CEO and co-founder, Jennifer Adams-Webb, said its lower Manhattan location was forced to close after suffering financial hardships exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdowns, The Hill reported.
Adams-Webb, also the CEO of the September 11th Families’ Association, said the museum suffered heavily during the pandemic when tourists and supporters couldn’t visit, according to the outlet.
“Two-thirds of our income revenue annually comes from our earned income from admissions,” she 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.”
On this #GivingTuesday, your support means more than ever. A donation to the September 11th Families’ Association will provide programs for the 9/11 community, students, and will also help to keep the 9/11 Tribute Museum’s doors open.
To donate, visit: https://t.co/wnjFbT4eJn
— 9/11 Tribute Museum (@911TribMuseum) November 30, 2021
“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,” Adams-Webb added. (RELATED: Polio Is Circulating Through New York’s Sewage System, Infecting The Unvaccinated)
The idea for the museum came in 2004 when relatives of 9/11 victims wanted a place for people to memorialize the 2001 terrorist attack that killed almost 3,000 people. The group turned a 30,000-square-foot area into a space that tells a person-to-person account of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by survivors and their families, the NY Post reported.
The 9/11 Tribute Museum gained over 33,600 signatures from a Change.org petition it started in March to warn that the it would be forced to close without immediate assistance. The petition urged supporters to advocate for museum funding from Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
“Please sign this petition asking these leaders to save the 9/11 Tribute Museum,” the petition’s details state. “Our person-to-person history has touched more than 5 million people since 2005. Please sign and help us touch millions more in the years to come.”
Despite the financial pleas, the museum’s doors closed Wednesday, leaving only an online presence for supporters to patronize, according to The Hill.