Possible $25 Fee For Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum Outrages Relatives Of Victims


9-11-ground-zeroA proposal that could hit visitors to the Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum with a fee of up to $25 is fueling outrage among families, tourists and elected officials.

“This was supposed to be a place of valor, remembrance and reverence,” said retired FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches, whose firefighter son, Jimmy, 29, died in the north tower.

“They might as well sell lemonade and T-shirts if they’re going to become a(n) … admission-charging tourist attraction.”

Memorial & Museum President Joe Daniels vows the memorial will always be free, but says it must find permanent funds to cover costs of up to $60 million a year.

Lobbyists are trying to get Congress to establish a fixed annual federal donation. If that happens, there could be no charge or a modest $10 or $15 fee.

If Washington nixes the bid, a $25 “suggested donation” or $20 mandatory fee could be imposed.

Putting the arm on museumgoers sends the wrong message, said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the powerful Democrat who represents downtown.

“I had hoped there would be no charge,” he said. “We want the whole world to see this place – so all generations can know the terrorists did not win.”

Other critics note that salaries for the nonprofit’s 87 staffers total $5.5 million – or almost 10% of operating costs.

The memorial pays more than $100,000 to 16 employees. Eight of them earn more than $200,000 and four make more than $300,000, tax filings show.

Daniels makes $371,307 a year, but that’s dwarfed by compensation at similar institutions, like the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which pays longtime director Sara Bloomfield $660,450 a year.

Daniels said the staff is worth every penny, and City Hall agrees.

“Building and operating an appropriate museum to help the world remember and learn about the events of 9/11 on the country’s most complicated construction site is expensive,” spokesman Andrew Brent said.

And not all family members oppose an entry fee.

“Nobody wants the museum to start out looking great and go downhill because there’s no money for upkeep,” said Charles Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, died on the 97th floor of the north tower.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “Lobbyists are trying to get Congress to establish a fixed annual federal donation.”

    The government is broke. why are we spending taxpayer money?
    This is socialism. Whatever it costs should be paid by tourists. Why make the taxpayer subsidize the tourist’s fee?

  2. Hey Shelly, the outrage is, what it cost to park your car in that area! When will you stop ripping off, us, the local resident? Those same rich tourist spend fortunes where ever they go in Manhattan so I wouldn’t worry about them! Also, no bathrooms at the memorial? Shelly, get your priorities in order!