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Survivors’ Staircase


Why is this structure significant?

On September 11, 2001, this staircase at the northeastern edge of the elevated World Trade Center Plaza provided an unobstructed exit for people fleeing the site. As visitors now arrive at the museum’s main exhibition and education level, they follow the stairs that once led hundreds of survivors to safety.


What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?

We originally wanted the staircase to remain in place but came to accept a state-offered compromise: the 9/11 Museum would exhibit the stairs if we could figure out how to get them there. We engaged noted preservation engineer Robert Silman who cut them out of surrounding concrete and designed a steel “cradle” to hold them. Giant Port Authority cranes lifted them across Ground Zero to the museum site. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Municipal Art Society of New York, World Monuments Fund, and the Preservation League of New York were partners in our post-9/11 efforts.





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