The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response

World Trade Center Gallery

The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response details the history of the World Trade Center, the September 11 attacks, the rescue efforts, the evidence recovery operation at the Fresh Kills facility, and the public response to the September 11th events. The exhibition includes many objects, images, videos, and interactive stations documenting this tragic chapter in New York and America's history.

Exhibitions Feature: 


A detailed timeline traces the first 24 hours of September 11, 2001, and presents indelible images from that day. See the heavily damaged Engine 6 pumper, recovered New York Police Department and Fire Department objects, architectural remains, several battered flags, and a large steel column from floors 7–9 of the South Tower.


The stories of the recovery operation at Fresh Kills are told through the many objects found in the mountains of debris, including material from the everyday life of the buildings, the steering wheel from a car, Observation Deck souvenirs, melted floppy discs, keys, and a crushed payphone. A large collection of firearms from WTC Building 6 are on exhibition along with several destroyed street lampposts, fire hydrants, and a destroyed elevator door from one of the World Trade Center towers.



Highlights a selection of objects from the State Museum's collection of emotional material created in response to September 11, such as a portion of a preserved fence section covered with memorial flags, banners, photographs, and flowers located on Broadway at Liberty Street.


Multimedia Room

An intimate space shows changing films about the history of the Trade Center and the September 11 attacks. Four sound stations allow visitors to listen to audio pieces about the WTC, interviews with Police and FBI about Ground Zero, and the Fresh Kills Recovery Operation.

World Trade Center Survivors—A new addition to the World Trade Center Gallery

When the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001, there were between 16,000 and 18,000 people inside the Twin Towers. In the chaos that ensued, building security, first responders, and ordinary civilians undertook one of the largest emergency evacuations in American history—an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 people successfully evacuated the towers. This new addition to the Word Trade Center Gallery will present the stories of three of those survivors.