I read in today's NY Daily News that the goal of $350 million to build the September 11 Memorial & Museum has finally been reached. There was real concern that the donations from the public and corporations might not be able that mark, but it has finally happened. And as it turns out, a $10 million donation from Cantor Fitzgerald, the firm that lost 658 workers on that horrible day nearly seven years ago, was the one that put it over the mark.
Over 60,000 people from all 50 states and 31 nations (including my family) have donated to make the museum a reality. All told it will cost $610 million to build the memorial and museum, and the federal and state will make up the difference in grants to it.
It is still hoped the museum will be ready to open in 2011. It was originally scheduled to open next year, but delays have pushed it back by two years. I really hope it will be a beautiful and deserving tribute to those souls we lost on September 11, 2001.
At the same time, the Port Authority also announced that the Freedom Tower will have a indoor observation deck on the 102nd floor of that building, 1300 feet above West Street, and they are seeking a firm to design, build and manage it. It will be smaller than the one the South Tower of the World Trade Center had on its 107th floor.
The Freedom Tower, which has also been troubled by many costly delays and setbacks, is scheduled to open in 2012.