Members of the media were given a tour of the September 11 Memorial Museum Tuesday morning, where construction continues to press ahead.
Some of the most dramatic elements already in place include a 60-foot tall expanse of the western slurry wall, which will remain exposed and incorporated into the museum.
"I think what’s very special about this museum is that it is happening on the actual site of the event. So the architecture needs to reflect that, needs to let the visitors experience the site for what it really is," said September 11 Memorial Museum Architect Mark Wagner.
Also in place is the so-called Last Column, the final piece of steel structure to be removed from Ground Zero, though it’s currently in protective casing to preserve it during construction.
Meanwhile, one of the last standing remnants of the site, the Survivor’s Staircase, has already been set in place in the museum.
Other large artifacts will include a fire truck and a portion of the antennae that stood atop Tower One. There will also be memorial exhibits, including thousands of photographs of those lost.
"It will look like a field of ruins, if you will. Almost like the Roman forum. Something happened here, something of enormous scale, something of terrific devastation," said September 11 Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald.
A laboratory for the city medical examiner’s office and unidentified remains of 9/11 victims will also be housed inside the museum, but will not be open to the public.
"The plan has been that these remains would be repatriated, if you will, to the sacred ground of the World Trade Center site," explained Greenwald. "It is a space that will be a repository so that as DNA analysis becomes increasingly more precise over time, the medical examiner and his staff are committed to trying to make those positive identifications so that remains can be returned to families."
Closer to street level, the two reflecting pools are also taking shape in the footprints of the Twin Towers.
Both the pools and the memorial plaza surrounding them are expected to open in time for the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks.
The museum is scheduled to open a year later in September 2012.