The World Trade Center

World Trade Center
1/3/2001 12:00 AM
World Trade Center

The World Trade Center was conceived in the early 1960's by David Rockefeller as a way to revitalize the dying downtown business district where he, coincidentally, owned an extensive amount of property. The para-governmental organization The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began planning in 1962 and despite the community opposition that accompanies any large development in NYC, architect Minoru Yamasaki's plan for two huge bland towers was approved in 1966.

To create the 16-acre site, 5 streets were closed and 164 buildings were siezed by eminent domain and destroyed, including Radio Row, a seedy but lively street of electronics stores. The 1.2 million yards of earth excavated to create the reinforced hole for the foundation ("The Bathtub") were used to fill an area of shoreline on the Hudson River to create Battery Park city. A total of 10,000 people worked on the towers and 60 people died during construction.

The north tower opened in December of 1970. The south tower opened in January of 1972. The complex was dedicated in April 1973. They were briefly the tallest buildings in the world until the Sears Tower in Chicago opened in May 1973. (reference)

On September 11, 2001, American Airlines flight 11 was hijacked and flown into the north tower at 8:45AM. At 9:03AM, United Airlines flight 175 was flown into the south tower. At 9:50AM, the south tower collapsed, followed by the north tower at 10:29.

The resulting fire and debris closed much of lower Manhattan for many weeks. But as the area began to reopen, large crowds wanted to visit the site and the city erected a viewing platform on Fulton street. While all tourist destinations in NYC were affected economically by the 9/11/01 attacks, downtown destinations like the South Street Seaport were especially hard hit. With the erection of the viewing platform, someone came up with the great idea of distributing tickets for the platform at the South Street Seaport. With the tremendous demand for tickets, traffic at the Seaport jumped appreciably as well.

On January 21, 2002, I visited the site and snapped the following photos.

January 21, 2002 looking west from Fulton St. platform
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
January 21, 2002 looking west from Fulton St. platform
The ticket booth at the south street seaport
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
The ticket booth at the south street seaport
A platform pass
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
A platform pass
The queueing area: Fulton at Broadway, just east of the WTC
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
The queueing area: Fulton at Broadway, just east of the WTC
The viewing area was in front of a church that was used as a holding area for the WTC workers
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
The viewing area was in front of a church that was used as a holding area for the WTC workers
A sign giving information on the church
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
A sign giving information on the church
The ramp up
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
The ramp up
The ramp down
1/21/2002 12:00 AM
The ramp down

On July 17, 2004, I revisited the site which had been largely cleared of debris and construction materials. The Port Authority had built a temporary station for the WTC PATH train station that descended to the tracks in the "Bathtub". The temporary pedestrian walkways over the West Street give an especially good view of the area. In it's barren state, the area seems strangely small.

Panorama view from West St. overpass facing south
7/17/2004 12:00 AM
Panorama view from West St. overpass facing south
View facing south from the foot of West Broadway
7/17/2004 05:58 PM
View facing south from the foot of West Broadway
Entrance of PATH station, view facing west down Fulton Street
7/17/2004 06:04 PM
Entrance of PATH station, view facing west down Fulton Street
Top level of PATH station
7/17/2004 06:06 PM
Top level of PATH station
View from inside PATH station facing southwest
7/17/2004 06:07 PM
View from inside PATH station facing southwest
Turnstile level of PATH station
7/17/2004 06:09 PM
Turnstile level of PATH station
Interior of "The Bathtub" facing northwest
7/17/2004 06:11 PM
Interior of "The Bathtub" facing northwest
Interior of "The Bathtub" facing west
7/17/2004 06:12 PM
Interior of "The Bathtub" facing west
Seven World Trade Center under reconstruction
7/17/2004 06:22 PM
Seven World Trade Center under reconstruction
World Trade Center
7/17/2004 06:21 PM
WTC site from across West Street facing east
7/17/2004 06:31 PM
WTC site from across West Street facing east
View from West Street walkway, facing southeast
7/17/2004 06:34 PM
View from West Street walkway, facing southeast
Closeup from West Street walkway facing southeast
7/17/2004 06:34 PM
Closeup from West Street walkway facing southeast
Damaged building on north end of WTC site, facing north
7/17/2004 06:41 PM
Damaged building on north end of WTC site, facing north

Construction begins...

World Trade Center
8/31/2007 09:06 PM
World Trade Center
8/31/2007 09:11 PM
World Trade Center
4/7/2009 08:41 AM
World Trade Center
4/7/2009 08:42 AM
World Trade Center
4/7/2009 08:42 AM
World Trade Center
4/7/2009 01:12 PM
World Trade Center
4/8/2009 01:03 PM
World Trade Center
4/8/2009 01:06 PM
World Trade Center
4/8/2009 01:07 PM
World Trade Center
4/11/2009 10:08 PM