There are two 9/11-Themed Museums in the Big Apple and the Ground Zero Museum
Workshop (The Workshop) up in the Meatpacking District is clearly the “Must-See”
Museum. The 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero does have jaw-dropping artifacts however it
fails in the human interest and photography departments. Where "The Workshop" steps
it up is in the personal side of Ground Zero, introducing viewers via creative audio
wands packed with real sound effects & stories from the front lines after 9/11.
Your visit will leave you in awe, thinking about the stories long after getting back
to your home turf. A chaplain saying prayer over the flag-draped remains of a
victim, the sounds of recovery dogs barking as they make a find, and the sounds of
firefighters electric saws cutting through rebar wire - yes, this is as close as
anyone can ever get to “being there.”
While The Workshop does have artifacts also such as a small piece of American
Airlines fuselage and the largest piece of recovered WTC window glass, the real
“star” here are the breathtaking and poignant images taken by Official Ground Zero
Photographer Gary Marlon Suson. Suson had 24/7 unfettered access to all areas of the
World Trade Center site and rarely went home during his 7-months spent documenting
there. From Honor Guard images shot from just inches away to the “Frozen Clock”
Suson discovered 100 feet below surface level in the destroyed PATH subway station,
each image is a puzzle piece that when fitted together in the 90 minutes of recorded
stories leave the viewer with a full understanding of what it was like to be on the
front lines with FDNY firefighters during their lowest and most triumphant moments.
The Workshop won Trip Advisor’s “Top 25 Museums in the USA” Award for both 2013 &
2014. Don’t let the tiny size of the museum fool you (it is known as the Biggest
LITTLE Museum in New York), this place packs a huge punch. In “You’ve Got Mail” -
Tom Hank's huge bookstore moved in down the road and threatened Meg Ryan’s tiny book
store. The 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero is a behemoth - an 800-pound gorilla while
Ground Zero Museum Workshop is that tiny book store but rest assured - if you have
only one 9/11-themed Museum to visit while in New York City, this should be your
choice. It should also be mentioned that The Workshop is a kid-friendly Museum and
contains no graphic or horrifying images from 9/11. It stays away from the events of
“that day” and focuses solely on the “Recovery Period” - when cameras were banned by
the powers that be.
Visit the nearby High Line Park as well as the Chelsea Market for culinary delights
while over in the Meatpacking District. The Workshop is at 420 West 14th Street
between 9th Avenue and Washington Street. Daily Tours at 11am (closed Wednesday).
Reservations recommended but walk-ins are welcome, space permitting.