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9/11 Tribute Center Expanding With New Location

 The new location, at 88 Greenwich St., will be three times bigger than its current 120 Liberty St. home.
The new location, at 88 Greenwich St., will be three times bigger than its current 120 Liberty St. home.
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9/11 Tribute Center

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A 9/11 memorial forged by survivors, families of victims and recovery workers more than 10 years ago is expanding its space and its mission.

The 9/11 Tribute Center, which sits just steps from World Trade Center, was founded in 2006 by the September 11 Family Association, with the hopes of filling a void in Lower Manhattan — a place to honor the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks and educate visitors who traveled to Ground Zero.

The small center, at 120 Liberty St., was once referred to as an interim center, as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum was being built. But as the museum construction lagged, not opening until 2014, the center's purpose held strong, welcoming several hundred thousand visitors a year. And now, the center plans to keep growing.

On Tuesday, Tribute Center officials announced a new 35,000-square-foot space at 88 Greenwich St., a location that is nearly three times as big as its current home. Officials hope to move in by Spring 2017, said Jennifer Adams-Webb, the co-founder of the Tribute Center, at a press conference Tuesday.

A rendering depicts the new 88 Greenwich Street space. (Courtesy of the 9/11 Tribute Center)

The tribute center will broaden its exhibits dedicated to educating visitors about the events of 9/11, but also focus on how Lower Manhattan and those in the 9/11 community have moved forward, rebuilding both their neighborhoods and their lives.

Another portion of the museum will focus on the humanitarianism that was sparked in the months of recovery efforts after 9/11, with the aim of inspiring others to help those people and communities that have endured trauma.

Courtesy of the 9/11 Tribute Center

But one focus remains the same — its more than 800 guides are all survivors, relatives of victims, or first responders, offering a very personal understanding of the day for visitors. The Tribute Center guides also provide tours of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

The new center will cost about $7 million, and they still need to raise about $4 million, said Adams-Webb.

Courtesy of the 9/11 Tribute Center

"As we focus on tomorrow, we have to let young people know that through an understanding of 9/11 they can learn the importance of service and contributing to their communities," said Lee Ielpi, a Tribute Center co-founder and a former city fireman who lost his son, also a firefighter, on 9/11. "The expanded exhibits and programs will allow people from around the world to understand and then commit to acts of service to make a difference in their communities."