Before you visit the 9/11 Memorial Pools & Museum at Ground Zero, Come Experience the "Ground Zero Museum Workshop Tour" and see what it was like to be on the front lines with FDNY Firefighters after the 9/11 Attacks.
Located in the Meatpacking District (just 8 minutes by taxi from the 9/11 Memorial) is the very realistic, kid-friendly & interactive Ground Zero Museum Workshop, which exhibits 100 of Official Ground Zero Photographer, Gary Marlon Suson's, most notable photographs & artifacts from the 'Ground Zero Recovery'. Including the "Bible Page", the "Frozen Clock" stopped at 10:02 AM on 9/11, the "Today is 11" Calendar Page, airline fuselage and several Honor Guard images. Also on display is the largest single piece of World Trade Center Window Glass in the world.
The Museum won a Trip Advisor 2013 Traveler's Choice Award, made Trip Advisor's "Top 25 Museums in the USA" list, and is praised by parents for the non-graphic nature of introducing kids to the 9/11 subject.
This 2-hour tour, coupled with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, will give you a complete historical and educational understanding of everything 9/11. Audio tours behind each image & artifact in Dolby Stereo with narration & real Ground Zero sound effects will make you feel like you were on the front lines with FDNY firefighters (Now in Spanish, Italian & French).
The entire collection was dubbed "Rare Photos" by the New York Times. Mr. Suson, an FDNY Hon. Battalion Chief, authored the highly acclaimed Barnes & Noble photography book, "Requiem: Images of Ground Zero." (Autographed copies available) Mr. Suson had the highest number of images (56) selected by the 9/11 Memorial of any photographer in the world. This is the only 9/11 Museum in NYC that raises money for FDNY charity and the only museum to allow guests to hold artifacts. After your tour pay a visit to the nearby High Line Park or Chelsea Market for for culinary delights.
In addition to striking photographic images, you will also see:
- Artifacts from the Recovery
- Items worn by Recovery workers
- Actual tools that were used for digging
- Rare video footage from inside the World Trade
Center site displayed on large screen in surround sound
- A personal, intimate & non-commercial look at what happened INSIDE Ground Zero thru the eyes of firefighters
The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is the only museum of its kind! A beautiful place for tourists, family members, and locals alike with images unlike anywhere else in the world. Each image/artifact has a special story, narrated by your guide, some of whom participated in the Recovery. Self-Guided Audio Tour Units (narrated by Mr. Suson) included with each ticket purchase.
Come and enter a 'time capsule' that travels past the security gates and down into the muddy confines of Ground Zero, circa 2001-2002.
A Non-Profit Museum that donates to the FDNY Foundation.
What Is Not Included?
• Gratuities (tipping) for your personal tour guide are acceptable, optional and always appreciated. If you are happy with your guide, we are happy as we wish the tour to be a meaningful experience for you. (Mr. Suson, occasionally will stop in and personally conduct a tour, but he does NOT accept tips)
• If you wish to make an additional donation to the museum, please let us now & we will give you a receipt. Donations assist the museum with the financial overhead.
- What's the difference between the 9/11 Memorial Museum & the Ground Zero Museum Workshop?
- Ground Zero Museum Workshop is a separate Museum from the 9/11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero. We opened in 2005, they opened May, 2014. We focus 100% on the "Recovery Period" at Ground Zero when cameras weren't allowed - while the 9/11 Memorial focuses on the 9/11 Attacks as well as history of the World Trade Center. We're a tiny, boutique museum that guests visit prior to heading to Ground Zero site while the 9/11 Memorial Museum is a gigantic Museum. We are an interactive, hands-on experience (hence the word "workshop") while the 9/11 Memorial Museum is more of a typical museum. Ground Zero Museum Workshop has Dolby stereo audio tours & narratives along with real sound effects from Ground Zero while the 9/11 Memorial Museum has no audio tours. Our museum focuses on the special stories that happened inside Ground Zero, when cameras were not allowed. We're located in the Meat Packing district, 8 min. from the Ground Zero. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located at Ground Zero.
- Which 9/11 Museums donate to charities?
- Only one: Ground Zero Museum Workshop. No other 9/11 Museum raises money for or donates to FDNY or 9/11 charities. Between 2009 and 2011 Gary Marlon Suson, the founder of GZMW gave away $34,000.00 to 9/11 and FDNY-related charities.
- Why are you called the "Biggest Little Museum in New York?"
- GZMW is hands down the smallest museum in NYC, yet often called the "Biggest" due to the massive story and data content contained within. There are enough stories (100) to fill a museum ten times the size, however the images are much smaller than a typical museum. The actual length of story recordings in the self-guided audio tours is one hour twenty minutes.
- Do we visit Ground Zero on this tour?
- No, this tour takes place at the museum in the Meat-Packing District. Getting to Ground Zero after the tour is simple. Just take the "E" Train at 14th street and 8th avenue downtown to the last stop, which is called 'World Trade Center/Chambers Street". It's about a 7-minute subway ride and the subway fare is $2.50.
- May we tip our tour guide at the end of the tour?
- Most of our guides work for very low salary because they believe in the museum's message & want to be a part of this special experience, so if you are happy with your guide & how he/she conducted their tour, then YES, tipping is acceptable, most appreciated but certainly not required. Whatever the amount you tip your guide is up to you . (Gary Marlon Suson, when conducting tours personally, does not accept gratuities, however)
- Where did the Museum attain it's Artifacts?
- Some of the Museum's artifacts were donated by FDNY firefighters, NYPD Officers and 9/11 Family Members. Some are on loan from WTC Recovery workers. The remaining artifacts were saved from being thrown away by the Museum's curator, Gary Marlon Suson. On more than one occasion during the 9/11 cleanup, Mr. Suson would photograph an artifact in the rubble, then ask permission from an attending supervisory FDNY Lieutenant to save the artifact, and permission was given. Non-personal items ('artifacts' or 'remnants') were unfortunately disposed of daily at Ground Zero, while victim's identifiable personal belongings were turned over to the Police and later viewed by surviving families.
- May I submit a "Review" on your museum after the tour?
- Yes, in many ways. ZERVE, our ticket seller, will email you a review form after your tour and you may rate our museum from 1 to 5 stars, and also write your personal thoughts on your experience. Once you have submitted it, it will go "LIVE" and be posted to the world wide internet, so visitors from all over the world will be able to read your review. Other sites you can post reviews on our museum to are TripAdvisor.com and Viator.com. If you have a nice experience at our museum, we appreciate you sharing this with your friends and also travelers who log onto these sites to get information about our museum. In addition, if you ever have a question for the museum's creator, Gary Marlon Suson, you may email him personally at GroundZeroMuseum@aol.com.
- Are small children & infants allowed in the museum?
- Yes, however if your child begins to cry loudly, we would ask that you temporarily take your child into the adjacent hallway until he/she calms down. We ask this out of respect to the other guests in the museum.
- Are cameras and videocameras allowed on the tour?
- Videocameras are not allowed on the tour. However, you may take still photographs AFTER the tour is over.
- Can I see the museum without going on a tour?
- No, the museum is open for scheduled tours only. The museum is a small, intimate space and we can only hold a certain number of people at one time. The eyewitness accounts you hear accompany the artifacts and images which virtually take you right into the heart of Ground Zero. The museum is considered by many to be the most realistic replication of what really went on inside Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- May I bring my Dog on the Tour?
- No, unless it's a seeing-eye dog. We love dogs as much as you do, but some of our other guests may have pet allergies or issues with having a dog in the museum on the tour. Sorry!
- Can I buy gift items/photos from the collection at the museum during the tour?
- Yes, you will have 15 minutes at the end of the tour to purchase official museum posters, prints, and books.
- Who are the Ground Zero Museum Workshop tour guides?
- The Museum's tour guides are carefully chosen & caring individuls who are personally trained by Gary Marlon Suson to explain the history and images contained in the museum. Other guides also include on occasion FDNY firefighters, some of whom personally participated in the Recovery. Mr. Suson often times will conduct a tour personally, schedule permitting. He has no set schedule for giving tours but will "sit in" on tours from time to time to field questions from guests. GZMW guide's eyewitness and historical accounts, combined with the Museum's remarkable images and remnants, will make your experience unforgettable.
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa or Mastercard.
- I was at the World Trade Center and/or in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on 9/11. I also know people that lost their lives on 9/11 but I am not related to a 9/11 victim. Do I get free tickets?
- Unfortunately, only immediate family members of those lost on 9/11 are eligible to have their ticket fee waived. We wish we were federally funded and could waive the ticket fee donations for everyone, but that isn't the case. Our existence relies heavily on ticket sales & donations. Mr. Suson, when in the museum, very often gives gifts of small images to those guests who lost friends at the WTC or worked at the Ground Zero Recovery. It is very common at our museum for direct 9/11 family members to refuse free tickets as they often choose to support the existence of the museum by paying for the tickets.
- I am a firefighter/police officer/public servant from outside New York City. Why don't I get a free ticket when FDNY, NYPD & PAPD do?
- We understand your question and appreciate your inquiry and your service greatly. However, it is a museum decision that only active FDNY, PAPD and NYPD employees fee is waived, and this is for a couple of reasons. First, they suffered the largest public service casualties on 9/11. Second, if the museum were to provide free tickets to firefighters and police officers from other cities, then it would feel obligated to provide free tickets for all firemen worldwide and the museum may not be able to sustain itself financially. This non-profit museum survives on ticket sales and private donations and is not federally funded. As a side note, it is very common for guests (firefighters/police) who have had their fees waived to make donations to the museum after seeing firsthand what we do here and wish to assist us. We appreciate your support immensely and look forward to having you in the workshop.
- Are there any special security or other concerns when visiting the museum?
- Due to security and space concerns, all backpacks and bags must be stored at the front of the museum during the tour, where they will be guarded by museum staff. There are no exceptions. Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of the tour.
- What if I am late and miss the opening video presentation?
- You are more than welcome to stay for the beginning of the next, regularly scheduled tour and watch the opening 12-minute video presentation. If this happens, you may be asked to stand for the video presentation if the seats are all taken due to a sold-out tour.
- Can I purchase a photograph from the exhibit?
- Custom images are available for purchase upon request. Some of the larger pieces take two to four weeks to prepare and can be shipped to your home or office. All purchasers are required to sign an agreement which states that the images being purchased are not for re-sale, transfer, Xerox, e-mail, mass production, distribution nor licensing to any other parties or media outlets without prior, written consent of Gary Marlon Suson.
- Is there a bathroom in the museum?
- Yes, there is a bathroom in the museum. (And yes, the chocolates ARE free)
- Does Mr. Suson personally conduct any of the tours?
- Gary Suson no longer leads tours at GZMW. All tour guides are trained personally by Mr. Suson and they deliver the information as experienced & written by Mr. Suson. If Mr. Suson is in town, he sometimes will sit in on and greet a tour while also fielding questions. He has no set schedule and will sometimes stop into the Museum without any notice.
- What if I am not happy with my experience at the Museum?
- The Museum's owner, Gary Marlon Suson, cares about the visitor's experience at GZMW more than anything. If for some reason you are not happy with your tour or had issues with anything, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Suson has, on occasion, refunded guest's admissions fees if he feels they did not get anything out of the tour or seem unhappy.
- Is the museum appropriate for children?
- Yes. There are no graphic or morbid images displayed and the core of the collection focuses more on the recovery efforts as opposed to the tragedy of September 11. The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is not intended to be a harrowing experience. On the contrary, it is meant to be a tasteful, beautiful, and touching way to remember the fallen and those that struggled to recover them.
- Do I have to purchase a ticket for my infant/very young child?
- If you are bringing an infant, or a child below the age of 4, you do not need to purchase a ticket for them. However, if your child begins to cry, you will need to step out of the museum until the child calms down. The Museum is a small space, and it is difficult for others to hear and focus on the tour with a crying child present.
- Can I bring food or beverages to the tour?
- No, you cannot bring food or beverages into the museum.
- What kind of discounts do we get at neighborhood restaurants and eateries?
- All guests of Ground Zero Museum Workshop receive 15% off everything at Little Pie Company and 10% off everything at Bodum Coffee, both of which are right across the street from the Museum. Both eateries have assorted sandwiches, chicken pot pie, quiche, muffins, apple pie, cookies and some of the very finest coffee in New York City.
- Is the tour wheelchair- and/or stroller-accessible?
- Yes, there is an elevator to get into the museum, and the space is accessible.
- Are tours offered only in English?
- No, we also offer self-guided audio tours in English, Spanish, French and Italian.
- Is the Ground Zero Museum Workshop a nonprofit organization?
- Yes, the Ground Zero Museum Workshop is a registered NY State Non-Profit charity and also is registered with the NY State Dept. of Education. Tax-Exempt status is pending. Meeting the museum's financial overhead is priority #1, however GZMW makes periodic donations to a number of 9/11 charities, including Hugs Across America, the Brian E. Sweeney Memorial Fund (FDNY), Michael Reilly Memorial Fund (FDNY), Howard Carpluk Memorial Fund (FDNY), Artists 4 Hope (asbestos poisoning research), The Deputy Chief Raymond Downey Memorial Fund (FDNY), the Firefighter Ralph Geidel 9/11 Fund, NYC Police and Fire Widow's Fund and TRAC Team (benefits children). As the museum grows, so will its donations to worthwhile charities. In the future, the museum hopes to establish a fund to pay for the environmental treatment of sick and/or disabled Ground Zero rescue workers from 9/11.
- May I make an additional tax-deductible donation to support the Museum?
- Absolutely. All donations to the Museum are tax-deductible. Donation forms will be available for you in the gift shop after the tour. Donations are needed to support the Museum's mission and are greatly appreciated.
- Can I book a private/student tour? Can I get a special group rate?
- Yes, private/student tours with special group rates are available for groups of up to 25 people. If you have a group of say, 50 people, we will break the tour into two separate tours, back-to-back, staggered 90 minutes apart. To inquire about private tours and rates, please contact us by clicking the "Contact GroundZero" link.
- Is it best to visit the museum BEFORE going to Ground Zero or vice versa?
- We feel it is best to come to GZMW BEFORE going to the WTC site as it will give you a richer history of what happened; it will help you connect deeper since you will have heard so many stories from the "Recovery."
- Is the Meat-Packing District a safe neighborhood?
- Yes. It is the trendiest new neighborhood in NYC, chock full of amazing clothing stores and some of the Best Restaurants in New York. It is a combination of grittiness and elegance. Getting taxis in this area is very easy. If you have ever seen the TV show "Sex & The City," many of the episodes were shot right outside the museum. There are film, modeling and video shoots going on outside on adjacent streets quite often. The newest (and largest) APPLE Computers store recently opened right at the corner, on 14th Street & 9th avenue.
- Why is it called the "Biggest Little Museum in New York."
- Because it is very small in regards to square footage; unorthodox by most museum standards. 20 to 25 people on a tour is usually the max allowed. However, it is filled with enough data and stories to fill a museum ten times its size. It was purposely created small in 2005 as Mr. Suson wanted to create a safe and intimate atmosphere for when 9/11 families & survivor groups would visit. He feared a larger museum space would seem impersonal & "commercial."
- Why can't I arrive more than 5 minutes prior to the tour start time?
- Because it will interfere with the prior tour that will still be in session. If you arrive early, kindly wait downstairs and ring for entry 5 minutes prior to the start time. Please be understanding if you arrive early and cannot gain entry into the museum. We want to be fair to all of our guests on all the tours.
- How long is the tour?
- The tour usually lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours. You're able to go at your own pace on the self-guided audio tour, but there is about 1.25 hours of actual content. Depending on how much time you spend at different portions of the tour, the duration may vary.
- How did Gary Marlon Suson become the "Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the NY Fire Unions?"
- Mr. Suson was arranging free alternative healthcare for sick members of the FDNY in 2001, when he caught the eye of Rudy Sanfilippo, the Manhattan Trustee for the Uniformed Firefighter's Association. Mr. Sanfilippo saw some of Suson's 9/11 images and asked him if he would like to document the Ground Zero "Recovery Period" on behalf of his fire union, as well as the Uniformed Fire Officer's Association. Suson took the position, unsalaried, and spent about 7 months documenting every aspect of Ground Zero.
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is not located at Ground Zero.
- The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is located in the Meat Packing district, a short subway ride away from Ground Zero. You are purchasing a ticket for a structured, interactive workshop that is focused on the Ground Zero Recovery.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop
He has been featured in the The New York Post and The New York Times and on CNN, BBC, FOX NEWS, ABC News, and MSNBC. His photographic collection has been noted & praised by Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, 9/11 Surviving Families, The F.B.I., The Associated Press, WTC Architect Daniel Libeskind, Mayor Richard M. Daley of the City of Chicago, Famed Attorney Gerry Spence, Screenwriter Nick Pileggi, David Asman of the Fox News Channel, Paula Zahn of CNN and actress Susan Sarandon.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop is the only 9/11-themed Museum in New York City that actively rasies funds for FDNY and 9/11-realted charities. No other 9/11 Museum donates to charities.