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WTC Memorial Magnificent, But At A Steep Price

Huge reflecting pools, waterfalls, skyscrapers and a cavernous underground museum under construction help make the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center an awesome spectacle.

The reflective pool at The National September 11 Memorial Museum
The reflective pool at The National September 11 Memorial Museum (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

But all that eye-welling magnificence comes with a jaw-dropping price tag. The foundation that runs the memorial estimates that once the roughly $700 million project is complete, it will cost $60 million a year to operate.

The anticipated cost bothers some critics and raises concerns even among the memorial’s allies that the budget may be unsustainable without a hefty government subsidy.

FULL COVERAGE: 9/11/01:  Eleven Years Later

Officials at the memorial say they face unique challenges that make comparisons to other national memorials difficult. The foundation plans to spend at least a fifth of its annual operating budget, or around $12 million, on security because of terrorism fears.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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