New York City Fire Museum
Walk into this renovated 1904 firehouse in SoHo and you'll be greeted by real city firemen who are passionate about the museum, its history, and your enjoyment. Browse on your own, or ask them for a tour. Among its many fascinating and important artifacts is a fire engine built in New York around 1790 -- the very earliest days of our country. Compare it to the double-decker Philadelphia-style engine that stood at the ready during the opening celebration of the Statue of Liberty in 1886! Other exhibits range from 18th- and 19th-century helmets, lanterns and fire-fighting tools to original newspaper stories about historic city fires, complete with colorful lithographs.
Of course, the most moving section is the 9/11 Memorial, which pays homage to the 343 "brothers" who made the ultimate sacrifice for the city. You'll also discover ash-covered artifacts pulled from the rubble at Ground Zero, a video called "First 24 Hours," and deeply moving photos and oral histories of the unceasing rescue effort that began America's healing process.
Open daily, 10am-5pm. Adults, $8; children under 12 years, senior citizens and students, $5. Children under 2, free.