Night at the Museums – The Aftermath

Last night 14 museums downtown were open for free between 4 and 8pm. My goal was to get to 10. I made it to 6. My downfall was deciding to stay for a lecture about Teddy Roosevelt at the National Archives, but I don’t regret it. The guy giving the lecture was fabulous.

I didn’t take pictures at each museum, so this is just a taste of my night. My first stop was the African Burial Ground Museum. One of the more poignant objects for me was this ring.

African Burial Ground National Monument

This is a picture of all the burials they uncovered. It’s very sad up close because there were so many children.

African Burial Ground National Monument

I took this at the Federal Hall National Memorial. It’s a picture of part of a locking mechanism inside one of the vaults (this building used to be the Sub-Treasury). I couldn’t get over how beautiful they used to make utilitarian objects like locking mechanisms. Sob.

Federal Hall National Memorial

This is looking out the front door. That’s a statue of Washington, who is overlooking Wall Street and the Stock Exchange.

Federal Hall National Memorial

Now I’m outside, looking up at the statue and the skyline.

Federal Hall National Memorial

And now we come to the National September 11 Memorial Museum. I found out that I can go for free anytime I want and I don’t have to wait in line! So I should have come back another time, but I was there.

This is a picture of a picture, and of me taking the picture. I almost burst into tears when I saw it. It just made me remember what it felt like back then, when wave after wave after endless wave of people arrived to help in any way they could. Someone from France spray painted this down at the site. Thank you Paris, France.

National September 11 Memorial Museum

One of the WTC beams, covered with signs and mementos from the various recovery workers.

National September 11 Memorial Museum

I wasn’t aware that someone from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was there before the towers came down, but clearly someone was.

National September 11 Memorial Museum

I kept scanning the photographs for a face I recognized but I didn’t come upon someone until the end. That is Dr. Arthur Gudeon below, a podiatrist who volunteered down at St. Paul’s Chapel. He is the sweetest guy in the world! The picture of him sits in front of one of the pews from St. Paul’s. Those scrapes are from the recovery worker’s gear. We cherished those scrapes.

The pews have since been removed from St. Paul’s, something that upset a lot of people. I was okay with it. I like the open space they have there now.

The other museums I was able to visit: The Anne Frank Center USA, the National Archives at New York City, and the NYC Municipal Archives Visitor Center. Thank you Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Downtown Alliance and NYC & Company! Oh, this was also part of the River to River festival (I posted earlier about a group sing I participated in that was part of this festival).

National September 11 Memorial Museum

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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