Visitors to 9/11 Memorial Told to Plan Ahead

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May 22, 2011; Source: New York Post | Our first reaction when reading this story was "hold it…this can't be true." According to the New York Post, there was a major oversight in the design of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. As the paper puts it, the nonprofit foundation running the project is "flush with cash – but not bathrooms."

Apparently "there won't be a single toilet available on the eight-acre green plaza" where the Memorial is situated and which opens later this year to mark the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Not able to hold back, the paper notes that the site's two "large reflecting pools and cascading waterfalls" meant to create a sense of peace and serenity also may "be a frustrating reminder there's nowhere to relieve oneself."

Thankfully the museum will be equipped with toilets, but it doesn't open until 2012, doing little to relieve the current problem. Instead, the nearest bathrooms are in Century 21, a department store located on the other side of the memorial plaza. The paper reports that store employees "fully expect a flood of visitors dashing" to its facilities. "Every time they have something for 9/11, we expect a crowd at our bathrooms," said a store manager."

What kind of stop-gap measures are planners taking? Not much, other than to make people know there's no place to go, and suggest they make adequate preparations in advance of their visit. Andrew Brent, a spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "Visitors will be provided with information to help plan their visit, including being advised that bathrooms will not be accessible on the site." The idea for Porta-potties apparently went down the drain.—Bruce Trachtenberg