Despite Some Confusion over 9/11 Memorial Opening, Kid-Friendly Ground Zero Museum Workshop on 14th Street Continues It's Mission

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Interactive 9/11 Museum in New York City Gives Visitors A 'Hands-On' Tour in Meatpacking District

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Kids Listen to Audio Tours at Ground Zero Museum Workshop on 14th Street

We Introduce Kids In A Gentle Way To The 9/11 Subject Matter Without Horrifying Them. Parents Have Been Quite Pleased. - Carole Barnes, GZMW

With the recent May 21st opening of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum at Ground Zero, the Ground Zero Museum Workshop in the Meatpacking District has been encountering some visible confusion in recent tour bookings. Says the Museum Workshop's Carole Barnes, "We have had to re-write the description of our tour and museum on all the major travel sites who sell us so tourists don't confuse the two 9/11 Museums. Our description is now crystal clear as to what we do and what the new Museum does in terms of tours and displays - and location. We have had some mistaken bookings where guests thought we were at Ground Zero. We are on West 14th street in the Meatpacking District."

Much of the media focus has been on the new 9/11 Memorial & Museum in lower Manhattan, but up further in the Meatpacking District the Ground Zero Museum Workshop quietly continues pushing forward with daily tours of images & artifacts. Recently awarded a 'Certificate of Excellence' by Trip Advisor and included in their "Top 25 Museums in the USA" list, the Museum focuses solely on the "Recovery Period" after the 9/11 attacks. Despite a few booking errors here and there from guests who have wanted one museum and accidentally gotten another due to confusion, Ground Zero Museum Workshop has been serving as the "First Stop" for tourists before they head down to Ground Zero. The audio tours contain ©RealGroundZero audio sound effects in Dolby Stereo, which was lifted from videotape shot inside Ground Zero in 2001. The Museum is known worldwide as the "Biggest LITTLE Museum in New York" for its tiny size but huge story content. Tour guides often joke with guests that GZMW is "not much bigger than the ladies bathroom at the MOMA."

"We are less about volume and more about small batch, intimate tours that bring our guests as close as possible to the front lines with FDNY firefighters during the Recovery," says museum founder Gary Suson, who spent 7 months as the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Uniformed Firefighter's Association. We are unique in that we have created a non-sterile Museum experience in which visitors can actually pick up and hold World Trade Center artifacts for a more hands-on tour. We also are unique in that we are kid-friendly; We don't show any graphic images that may scare young children whose parents are trying to introduce them to a tough subject matter. The image collection is quite tasteful and kids as young as 4-years-old have had their attention held by the self-guided audio tours. For us that's a huge compliment to what we have tried to do with our educational mission."

Ground Zero Museum Workshop is also unique in that offers guests the only comprehensive self-guided audio tour behind one hundred 9/11 images & artifacts, courtesy of Tour Mate Systems in Canada. Daily tours are offered in Dolby Stereo in Spanish, French, Italian & English. The tours are intimate, with a personal guide and a max capacity of 28 guests per tour. Says GZMW Publicist Carole Barnes, "The first 45 minutes are lead by a guide who allows guests to hold WTC window glass as well as Stars of David and Crosses forged from World Trade Center Steel. The ability to actually touch and hold these sacred items help visitors connect in a way that just looking at them cannot do."

The Museum has been lucky to find support from numerous 9/11 families who are happy that the Museum is the only one to donate a portion of its proceeds to FDNY and 9/11 charities. Some recovery workers and families have also loaned the museum artifacts, including the largest piece of World Trade Center window glass in existence at over 120 pounds and 3 inches in thickness. Also on display are iconic artifacts that have been featured on CNN and FOX, such as the "Frozen Clock" from the PATH Subway area, the "Today is September 11" Calendar Page, the "Genesis 11 Tower of Babylon" Bible Page and more.

Having visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Suson states, "It's a jaw-dropping museum and very emotional. It hit me hard because I spent 7 months there so it was emotional to go back and see all the big artifacts that I have not seen since I was inside Ground Zero in 2001-2. The design of the new Museum is quite beautiful and it accomplishes what it sets out to do. Granted, it's completely different than what we do up here at Ground Zero Museum Workshop but we feel those wanting to learn as much possible about 9/11 will be open to visiting both Museums. There's no such thing as getting too much education when it comes to American History, especially surrounding a world changing event like 9/11." GZMW has been very clear about the delineation between the two museums on it's ticket seller ZERVE's website.

Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Stories, Images & Artifacts from the Recovery has daily tours and tickets can be purchased by calling ZERVE at 212-209-3370 or booking online.. Self-guided audio tours are in Spanish, Italian, French and English.

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Carole Barnes
since: 03/2009
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Ground Zero Museum Workshop
since: 07/2013
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