Terrorist Attack on New York and Washington

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  • In response to the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., Smithsonian facilities were closed in both cities, and museums were not opened to the public. The museums in Washington, D.C., reopened on September 12th, as did the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Archives of American Art in New York City. However, the National Museum of the American Indian Heye Center in the Customs House, close to the World Trade Center in New York City, remained closed.
  • The Smithsonian Board of Regents cancelled their meetings on September 16 and 17. Increased security was instituted in all Smithsonian facilities for both staff and visitors. It was learned that Michael Richards, 38, a sculptor and intermittent employee of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, was killed in his studio in the World Trade Center.


  • Richards, Michael c. 1963-2001
  • Archives of American Art
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • National Museum of the American Indian (U.S.) George Gustav Heye Center
  • Board of Regents


Chronology of Smithsonian History


"Attack's Impact Felt at Museums," the Smithsonian "Torch," October 2001, pp. 1 and 3.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


September 11, 2001


  • Closings
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
  • Terrorism
  • Public buildings
  • Board of Regents


  • Washington (D.C.)
  • New York (N.Y.)


Meeting schedule

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