The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is being rebuilt with five new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks. As of September 2011, only one skyscraper has been completed with four more expected to be completed before 2020. A sixth tower is still awaiting confirmation to be built. At the time of their completion, the original 1 and 2 World Trade Center were the tallest buildings in the world, surpassing the Empire State Building, also in Manhattan.
The complex was designed in the early 1960s by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates of Troy, Michigan, and Emery Roth and Sons of New York. The twin 110-story towers used a tube-frame structural design. To gain approval for the project, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to take over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad, which became the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH). Groundbreaking for the World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966. The North Tower (1) was completed in December 1972 and the South Tower (2) was finished in July 1973. The construction project involved excavating a large amount of material, which was later used as landfill to build Battery Park City on the west side of Lower Manhattan. The cost for the construction was $400 million ($2,169,167,354 in 2011 dollars). The complex was located in the heart of New York City’s downtown financial district and contained 13.4 million square feet (1.24 million m2) of office space. TheWindows on the World restaurant was located on the 106th and 107th floors of 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower) while the Top of the World observation deck was located on the 107th floor of 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower). Other World Trade Center buildings included the Marriott World Trade Center; 4 World Trade Center; 5 World Trade Center; 6 World Trade Center, which housed the United States Customs. All of these buildings were built between 1975 and 1981. The final building constructed was 7 World Trade Center, which was built in 1985. The second King Kong was filmed in 1976 with some scenes mentioning and showing the World Trade Center. The World Trade Center experienced a fire on February 13, 1975, and abombing on February 26, 1993. In 1998, the Port Authority decided to privatize the World Trade Center, leasing the buildings to a private company to manage, and awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda-affiliated hijackers flew two 767 jets into the complex, one into each tower, in a coordinated terrorist attack. After burning for 56 minutes, the South Tower (2) collapsed, followed a half-hour later by the North Tower (1), with the attacks on the World Trade Center resulting in 2,753 deaths. 7 World Trade Center collapsed later in the day and the other buildings, although they did not collapse, had to be demolished because they were damaged beyond repair. The process of cleanup and recovery at the World Trade Center site took eight months. The first new building at the site was 7 World Trade Center, which opened in May 2006. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), established in November 2001 to oversee the rebuilding process, organized competitions to select a site plan and memorial design. Memory Foundations, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was selected as the master plan, which included the 1,776-foot (541 m) One World Trade Center, three office towers along Church Street and a memorial designed by Michael Arad.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed it into the northern facade of the north tower at 08:46 a.m., the aircraft striking between the 93rd and 99th floors. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., a second team of terrorists crashed the similarly hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower, striking it between the 77th and 85th floors. The damage caused to the north tower by Flight 11 destroyed any means of escape from above the impact zone, trapping 1,344 people. Flight 175 had a much more off-centered impact compared to Flight 11, and a single stairwell was left intact; however, only a few people managed to pass through it successfully before the tower collapsed. Although the south tower was struck lower than the north tower, thus affecting more floors, a smaller number, fewer than 700, were killed instantly or trapped. At 9:59 a.m., the South Tower collapsed after burning for approximately 56 minutes. The fire caused steel structural elements, already weakened from the plane impact, to fail. The north tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m., after burning for approximately 102 minutes.
At 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001, 7 World Trade Center started to collapse with the crumble of the east penthouse, and it collapsed completely at 5:21 p.m. owing to uncontrolled fires causing structural failure. 3 World Trade Center, a Marriott hotel, was destroyed during the collapse of the two towers. The three remaining buildings in the WTC plaza sustained heavy damage from debris and were ultimately demolished. The Deutsche Bank Building across Liberty Street from the World Trade Center complex was later condemned owing to the uninhabitable toxic conditions inside; it was deconstructed, with work completed in early 2011. The Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Fiterman Hall at 30 West Broadwaywas also condemned owing to extensive damage in the attacks and is slated for deconstruction.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, media reports suggested that tens of thousands might have been killed in the attacks, as on any given day over 50,000 people could be inside the towers. Ultimately, 2,753 death certificates (excluding those for hijackers) were filed relating to the 9/11 attacks, including one filed for Felicia Dunn-Jones, who was added to the official death toll in May 2007; Dunn-Jones died five months later from a lung condition linked to exposure to dust during the collapse of the World Trade Center. Three other victims were then added to the official death toll by the city medical examiner’s office: Dr. Sneha Anne Philip, who was last seen the day before the attacks; Leon Heyward, a man who developed lymphoma and subsequently died in 2008 as a result of dust ingestion during the events following the attacks to the Twin Towers; and Jerry Borg, who died in December 2010 of pulmonary sarcoidosis determined in June 2011 to be the result of dust from the attacks. Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., an investment bank on the 101st–105th floors of One World Trade Center, lost 658 employees, considerably more than any other employer, while Marsh & McLennan Companies, located immediately below Cantor Fitzgerald on floors 93–101 (the location of Flight 11’s impact), lost 295 employees, and 175 employees of Aon Corporation were killed. In addition, 343 of the dead were New York City firefighters, 84 were Port Authority employees, of whom 37 were members of the Port Authority Police Department, and another 23 were New York City Police Department officers. Ten years after the attacks, only 1,629 victims have been positively identified. Of all the people who were still in the towers when they collapsed, only 20 were pulled out alive. PAPD Officers William Jimeno and Sgt. John McLoughlin were survivors 18 and 19.
World Trade Center (museum: 180 Greenwich St.)
Manhattan, NY, 10007
View the footprints of the Twin Towers and the stunning reflecting pools filling them; the names of the victims of the 2001 and 1993 terror attacks are etched around the perimeter. The memorial is free and open to the public daily (the related museum requires ticketed entrance).
The 9/11 Memorial Museum tells the story of the events of 9/11 through monumental and authentic artifacts, first-person accounts and multimedia displays. The 9/11 Memorial consists of two enormous reflecting pools set in the footprints of the Twin Towers. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 terror attacks are inscribed in bronze around the pools.
Planned rebuilding of the World Trade Center Towers
One World Trade Center (Tower 1)
Two World Trade Center (Tower 2)
Three World Trade Center (Tower 3)
Four World Trade Center (Tower 4)
Five World Trade Center (Tower 5)
7 World Trade Center
Memorial and museum
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
The process of cleanup and recovery continued 24 hours a day over a period of eight months. Debris was transported from the World Trade Center site to Fresh Kills on Staten Island, where it was further sifted. On May 30, 2002, a ceremony was held to officially mark the end of the cleanup efforts. In 2002, ground was broken on construction of a new 7WTC building located just to the north of the main World Trade Center site. Since it was not part of the site master plan, Larry Silverstein was able to proceed without delay on the rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center, which was completed and officially opened in May 2006; this had been considered a priority since restoring the Consolidated Edison Cos. electrical substation in the building’s lower floors was necessary to meet power demands of Lower Manhattan. While 7 World Trade Center was not part of the master plan for the Twin Towers site, Silverstein and Con Edison recognized that the rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center would have to be consistent with the master plan which was expected to re-open the street grid which had been blocked by the original World Trade Center super-block. As a result, the design for the new 7 World Trade Center allowed for the re-opening of Greenwich Street, which had been blocked by the original 7 World Trade Center. A temporary PATH station at the World Trade Center opened in November 2003; it will be replaced by a permanent station designed by Santiago Calatrava.
With the main World Trade Center site, numerous stakeholders were involved including Silverstein and the Port Authority, which in turn meant the Governor of New York State, George Pataki, had some authority. In addition, the victims’ families, people in the surrounding neighborhoods, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others wanted input. Governor Pataki established the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) in November 2001 as an official commission to oversee the rebuilding process. The LMDC held a competition to solicit possible designs for the site. The Memory Foundations design by Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the master plan for the World Trade Center site. The plan included the 1,776 feet (541 m) Freedom Tower (now known as One World Trade Center) as well as a memorial and a number of other office towers. Out of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, a design by Michael Arad and Peter Walker entitled Reflecting Absence was selected inJanuary 2004.
On March 13, 2006, workers arrived at the World Trade Center site to remove remaining debris and start surveying work. This marked the official start of construction of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, though not without controversy and concerns from some family members. In April 2006, the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein reached an agreement in which Silverstein ceded rights to develop the Freedom Tower and Tower Five in exchange for financing with Liberty Bonds for Towers Two, Three, and Four. On April 27, 2006, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the Freedom Tower.
In May 2006, architects Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki were announced as the architects for Towers Three and Four, respectively. The final designs for Towers Two, Three and Four were unveiled on September 7, 2006. Tower Two, or 200 Greenwich Street, will have a roof height of 1,254 feet (382 m) and a 96 feet (29 m) tripod spire for a total of 1,350 feet (410 m). Tower Three, or 175 Greenwich Street will have a roof height of 1,155 feet (352 m) and an antenna height reaching 1,255 feet (383 m). Tower Four, or 150 Greenwich Street, will have an overall height of 946 feet (288 m). On June 22, 2007, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that JP Morgan Chase will build Tower 5, a 42-story building on Site 5 currently occupied by the Deutsche Bank Building, and Kohn Pedersen Fox was selected as the architect for the building. Four renowned architects, including Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who designed the transit hub, One WTC designer David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and the famed British architect Norman Foster of Foster and Partners designed Tower Two and masterminded the iconic diamond design, will greatly enhance the street-level atmosphere of the rebuilt site. The projects will be complete between early 2013 to mid 2014.
As of August 2011, One World Trade Center is at 80 stories with glass up to the 54th floor, Tower Four is up around 38 stories with glass up to the 15th floor, and the former Deutsche Bank Building has been completely dismantled and the Port Authority is working on their Vehicle Security Center. The World Trade Center Transportation Hub’s PATH hall is nearly complete, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is on track to open the plaza on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, on September 11, 2011. World Trade Center Tower Three and Two’s foundations are becoming visible, and Tower Three will be completed in mid 2014 if Silverstein Properties can meet requirements set by the Port Authority, as they very likely will. Tower Two will also be completed on schedule according to the construction company. However construction will be complete on Tower Two on time, given that numerous American and Chinese companies are “very interested” in leasing space at the WTC. Publishing Giant Conde Nast has agreed to move its headquarters to One World Trade Center, and with this shift many more are expected to follow.
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