We made a reservation a few months ago to see the 9/11 Memorial. We can see one of the footprints from our rooftop and it really doesn’t do it justice until you actually go and see the park. Reservations are scheduled every half an hour for crowd control. It is very effective. Security to get in is pretty tight, but they move you through quickly. Once you are in the park, the vast 8 acre space is wide open and quiet. The entire site is planted with fully grown trees.
The footprints are 1 acre each with dramatic waterfalls around the perimeter. In the center are reflecting pools. So few people are admitted that you can actually stand on one side of a waterfall without ANYONE. All of the names of the 9/11 victims are carved in the marble surrounding the waterfalls, supposedly in bronze, but upon close inspection it appears the panels are back lit so it creates an ethereal glow in the evening hours. We were there at dusk. For now, access is limited to the tower footprints and the park area.
The museum is still heavily under construction. It will be 70 ft. under ground and you will be able to walk around the interior perimeter of the waterfalls. It’s roof is the park above. The entire site is green/sustainable as well, collecting rainwater and conserving resources.
All of the hype around the design was well worth the wait. This is an appropriate dramatic tribute to the twin towers. The feeling is not depressing in any way; it has a very calming effect. We highly recommend making a reservation.
While you are downtown, either stop in BLT Bar & Grill or Shake Shack for a meal. Surprisingly, BLT Bar & Grill is right across the street from the entrance and it seems the tourists are bypassing it. I cannot speak for Shake Shack, but then they always have a line! And if you are interested in a cocktail, after 4pm you can go upstairs to the Lounge at the W and step out on their balcony. It overlooks the site. This is a little-known tidbit.
Here are a few more shots to give you a visual
1 World Trade Center – Financial District