The 9/11 Memorial Plaza Is Open for Real

Having heard that some of the fences at the World Trade Center had indeed come down, I headed over this morning—I needed to see it with my own eyes. I guess I lost the bet I made with a reader last year, as I was certain that the NYPD would back away from its plans, citing security concerns.

The plaza is open from three points: the southeast (at Liberty and Greenwich), the southwest (Liberty and West), and the northwest (what will one day be Fulton and West), where you’re funneled north to Vesey. The fencing has been removed all along West Street, but you can’t walk along the street just yet, and plastic Jersey barriers and chain-link fencing are still all over the place. Those are mere quibbles, however: In my opinion, the demilitarization of the WTC zone is far more momentous than the opening of the 9/11 Museum, because it’s the second major step—after the creation of the plaza—in bringing the area back to life. I wandered around the plaza for the first time since it opened, because you obviously no longer need a ticket, and I crossed West Street at Liberty just because I could.

And the area south of the World Trade Center that used to be clogged with tourists? It’s breathing a sigh of relief.

The plaza will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. And if you walk by 1 World Trade on the west side, look up—you get a very different view of it (as you can see below).

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  1. This is excellent.

  2. Any idea how they are they going to close it off after 8:30? I thought it was going to be accessible 24/7.

  3. All visitors and baggage used to go through security screening to enter the 911 memorial area. Why was the screening done for all these years In the first place if there was need for it? What was the threat then and why is it safe now.

  4. James, you must be new to the neighborhood. There are no reasons for anything security-related. It is all smoke and mirrors and as much inconvenience as possible for the peons who live here.

    Erik, I didn’t know there was an exit to Vesey Street until you mentioned it!