World Trade Center (1973–2001) | Wikipedia audio article

The original World Trade Center was a large
complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973 and was destroyed
in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin
Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center,
at 1,362 feet (415.1 m) — were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the
Marriott World Trade Center (3 WTC), 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex was located in New York City’s
Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space. The core of the complex was built between
1975 and 1985, with a cost of $400 million (equivalent to $2.27 billion in 2018). During its existence, the World Trade Center
experienced several major incidents, including a fire on February 13, 1975, a bombing on
February 26, 1993, and a bank robbery on January 14, 1998. 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 Boeing 767 jets into the North and South Towers within
minutes of each other; two hours later, both towers collapsed. The attacks killed 2,606 people in and within
the vicinity of the towers, as well as all 157 on board the two aircraft. Falling debris from the towers, combined with
fires that the debris initiated in several surrounding buildings, led to the partial
or complete collapse of all the buildings in the complex and caused catastrophic damage
to ten other large structures in the surrounding area. The cleanup and recovery process at the World
Trade Center site took eight months, during which the remains of the other buildings were
demolished. A new World Trade Center complex is being
built with six new skyscrapers, as well as a memorial and museum to those killed in the
attacks, a new rapid transit hub, and an elevated park. One World Trade Center, the tallest building
in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet (541 m), is the lead building for the new complex,
having been completed in November 2014. During its existence, the World Trade Center
was one of the major icons of New York City. It had a major role in popular culture: according
to one estimate, it was depicted in 472 films. Following the World Trade Center’s destruction,
mentions of the complex were altered or deleted, and several dozen “memorial films” were created.==Before the World Trade Center==The western portion of the World Trade Center
site was originally under the Hudson River, and the shoreline was in the vicinity of Greenwich
Street, which is closer to the eastern border of the site. It was on this shoreline close to the intersection
of Greenwich and the former Dey Street that Dutch explorer Adriaen Block’s ship, Tyger,
burned to the waterline in November 1613, stranding Block and his crew and forcing them
to overwinter on the island. They built the first European settlement in
Manhattan. The remains of the ship were buried under
landfill when the shoreline was extended starting in 1797, and were discovered during excavation
work in 1916. The remains of a second ship from the eighteenth
century were discovered in 2010 during excavation work at the site. The ship, believed to be a Hudson River sloop,
was found just south of where the Twin Towers stood, about 20 feet (6.1 m) below the surface.Later,
the area became New York City’s Radio Row, which existed from 1921 to 1966. The neighborhood was a warehouse district
in what is now Tribeca and the Financial District. Harry Schneck opened City Radio on Cortlandt
Street in 1921, and eventually the area held several blocks of electronics stores, with
Cortlandt Street as its central axis. The used radios, war surplus electronics (e.g.,
ARC-5 radios), junk, and parts often piled so high they would spill out onto the street,
attracting collectors and scroungers. According to a business writer, it also was
the origin of the electronic component distribution business.The idea of establishing a World
Trade Center in New York City was first proposed in 1943. The New York State Legislature passed a bill
authorizing New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey to begin developing plans for the project
but the plans were put on hold in 1949. During the late 1940s and 1950s, economic
growth in New York City was concentrated in Midtown Manhattan. To help stimulate urban renewal in Lower Manhattan,
David Rockefeller suggested that the Port Authority build a World Trade Center in Lower
Manhattan.Plans for the use of eminent domain to remove the shops in Radio Row bounded by
Vesey, Church, Liberty, and West Streets began in 1961 when the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey was deciding to build the world’s first world trade center. They had two choices: the east side of Lower
Manhattan, near the South Street Seaport; and the west side, near the H&M station, Hudson
Terminal. Initial plans, made public in 1961, identified
a site along the East River for the World Trade Center. As a bi-state agency, the Port Authority required
approval for new projects from the governors of both New York and New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Robert B. Meyner objected
to New York getting a $335 million project. Toward the end of 1961, negotiations with
outgoing New Jersey Governor Meyner reached a stalemate.At the time, ridership on New
Jersey’s Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (H&M) had declined substantially from a high of
113 million riders in 1927 to 26 million in 1958 after new automobile tunnels and bridges
had opened across the Hudson River. In a December 1961 meeting between Port Authority
director Austin J. Tobin and newly elected New Jersey Governor Richard J. Hughes, the
Port Authority offered to take over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad. The Port Authority also decided to move the
World Trade Center project to the Hudson Terminal building site on the west side of Lower Manhattan,
a more convenient location for New Jersey commuters arriving via PATH. With the new location and Port Authority acquisition
of the H&M Railroad, New Jersey agreed to support the World Trade Center project. As part of the deal, the Port Authority renamed
the H&M “Port Authority Trans-Hudson”, or PATH for short.In compensation for Radio Row
business owners’ displacement, the PANYNJ gave each business $3,000 each, without regard
to how long the business had been there or how prosperous the business was. The Port Authority began purchasing the area
for the World Trade Center by March 1965, and demolition of Radio Row was started in
March 1966. It was completely demolished by the end of
the year.Approval was also needed from New York City Mayor John Lindsay and the New York
City Council. Disagreements with the city centered on tax
issues. On August 3, 1966, an agreement was reached
that the Port Authority would make annual payments to the City in lieu of taxes for
the portion of the World Trade Center leased to private tenants. In subsequent years, the payments would rise
as the real estate tax rate increased.==Design and construction=====
Design===On September 20, 1962, the Port Authority
announced the selection of Minoru Yamasaki as lead architect and Emery Roth & Sons as
associate architects. Yamasaki devised the plan to incorporate twin
towers; Yamasaki’s original plan called for the towers to be 80 stories tall, but to meet
the Port Authority’s requirement for 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2) of office space,
the buildings would each have to be 110 stories tall.Yamasaki’s design for the World Trade
Center, unveiled to the public on January 18, 1964, called for a square plan approximately
208 feet (63 m) in dimension on each side. The buildings were designed with narrow office
windows 18 inches (46 cm) wide, which reflected Yamasaki’s fear of heights as well as his
desire to make building occupants feel secure. Yamasaki’s design included building facades
sheathed in aluminum-alloy. The World Trade Center was one of the most-striking
American implementations of the architectural ethic of Le Corbusier, and it was the seminal
expression of Yamasaki’s gothic modernist tendencies. Yamasaki was also inspired by Arabic architecture,
elements of which he incorporated in the building’s design. A major limiting factor in building height
is the issue of elevators; the taller the building, the more elevators are needed to
service the building, requiring more space-consuming elevator banks. Yamasaki and the engineers decided to use
a new system with two “sky lobbies”—floors where people could switch from a large-capacity
express elevator to a local elevator that goes to each floor in a section. This system, inspired by the local-express
train operation that New York City’s subway system used, allowed the design to stack local
elevators within the same elevator shaft. Located on the 44th and 78th floors of each
tower, the sky lobbies enabled the elevators to be used efficiently, increasing the amount
of usable space on each floor from 62 to 75 percent by reducing the number of elevator
shafts. Altogether, the World Trade Center had 95
express and local elevators.The structural engineering firm Worthington, Skilling, Helle
& Jackson worked to implement Yamasaki’s design, developing the tube-frame structural system
used in the twin towers. The Port Authority’s Engineering Department
served as foundation engineers, Joseph R. Loring & Associates as electrical engineers,
and Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B) as mechanical engineers. Tishman Realty & Construction Company was
the general contractor on the World Trade Center project. Guy F. Tozzoli, director of the World Trade
Department at the Port Authority, and Rino M. Monti, the Port Authority’s Chief Engineer,
oversaw the project. As an interstate agency, the Port Authority
was not subject to local laws and regulations of the City of New York, including building
codes. Nonetheless, the structural engineers of the
World Trade Center ended up following draft versions of the new 1968 building codes.The
tube-frame design, earlier introduced by Fazlur Khan, was a new approach that allowed more
open floor plans than the traditional design that distributed columns throughout the interior
to support building loads. The World Trade Center towers used high-strength,
load-bearing perimeter steel columns called Vierendeel trusses that were spaced closely
together to form a strong, rigid wall structure, supporting virtually all lateral loads such
as wind loads, and sharing the gravity load with the core columns. The perimeter structure containing 59 columns
per side was constructed with extensive use of prefabricated modular pieces, each consisting
of three columns, three stories tall, connected by spandrel plates. The spandrel plates were welded to the columns
to create the modular pieces off-site at the fabrication shop. Adjacent modules were bolted together with
the splices occurring at mid-span of the columns and spandrels. The spandrel plates were located at each floor,
transmitting shear stress between columns, allowing them to work together in resisting
lateral loads. The joints between modules were staggered
vertically, so that the column splices between adjacent modules were not at the same floor. The core of the towers housed the elevator
and utility shafts, restrooms, three stairwells, and other support spaces. The core of each tower was a rectangular area
87 by 135 feet (27 by 41 m) and contained 47 steel columns running from the bedrock
to the top of the tower. The large, column-free space between the perimeter
and core was bridged by prefabricated floor trusses. The floors supported their own weight as well
as live loads, providing lateral stability to the exterior walls and distributing wind
loads among the exterior walls. The floors consisted of 4 inches (10 cm) thick
lightweight concrete slabs laid on a fluted steel deck. A grid of lightweight bridging trusses and
main trusses supported the floors. The trusses connected to the perimeter at
alternate columns and were on 6 foot 8 inch (2.03 m) centers. The top chords of the trusses were bolted
to seats welded to the spandrels on the exterior side and a channel welded to the core columns
on the interior side. The floors were connected to the perimeter
spandrel plates with viscoelastic dampers that helped reduce the amount of sway felt
by building occupants. Hat trusses (or “outrigger trusses”) located
from the 107th floor to the top of the buildings were designed to support a tall communication
antenna on top of each building. Only 1 WTC (north tower) actually had an antenna
fitted; it was added in 1978. The truss system consisted of six trusses
along the long axis of the core and four along the short axis. This truss system allowed some load redistribution
between the perimeter and core columns and supported the transmission tower.The tube
frame design, using steel core and perimeter columns protected with sprayed-on fire resistant
material, created a relatively lightweight structure that would sway more in response
to the wind compared to traditional structures, such as the Empire State Building that have
thick, heavy masonry for fireproofing of steel structural elements. During the design process, wind tunnel tests
were done to establish design wind pressures that the World Trade Center towers could be
subjected to and structural response to those forces. Experiments also were done to evaluate how
much sway occupants could comfortably tolerate; however, many subjects experienced dizziness
and other ill effects. One of the chief engineers Leslie Robertson
worked with Canadian engineer Alan G. Davenport to develop viscoelastic dampers to absorb
some of the sway. These viscoelastic dampers, used throughout
the structures at the joints between floor trusses and perimeter columns along with some
other structural modifications, reduced the building sway to an acceptable level.===Construction===In March 1965, the Port Authority began acquiring
property at the World Trade Center site. Demolition work began on March 21, 1966, to
clear thirteen square blocks of low rise buildings in Radio Row for construction of the World
Trade Center. Groundbreaking for the construction of the
World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966.The site of the World Trade Center was
located on landfill with the bedrock located 65 feet (20 m) below. To construct the World Trade Center, it was
necessary to build a “bathtub” with a slurry wall around the West Street side of the site,
to keep water from the Hudson River out. The slurry method selected by Port Authority’s
chief engineer, John M. Kyle, Jr., involved digging a trench, and as excavation proceeded,
filling the space with a “slurry” mixture composed of bentonite and water, which plugged
holes and kept groundwater out. When the trench was dug out, a steel cage
was inserted and concrete was poured in, forcing the “slurry” out. It took fourteen months for the slurry wall
to be completed. It was necessary before excavation of material
from the interior of the site could begin. The 1,200,000 cubic yards (920,000 m3) of
material excavated were used (along with other fill and dredge material) to expand the Manhattan
shoreline across West Street to form Battery Park City.In January 1967, the Port Authority
awarded $74 million in contracts to various steel suppliers. Construction work began on the North Tower
in August 1968, and construction on the South Tower was under way by January 1969. The original Hudson Tubes, which carried PATH
trains into Hudson Terminal, remained in service during the construction process until 1971,
when a new station opened. The topping out ceremony of 1 WTC (North Tower)
took place on December 23, 1970, while 2 WTC’s ceremony (South Tower) occurred later on July
19, 1971. The first tenants moved into the North Tower
on December 15, 1970, while the South Tower started accepting tenants in January 1972. When the World Trade Center twin towers were
completed, the total costs to the Port Authority had reached $900 million. The ribbon cutting ceremony was on April 4,
1973.In addition to the twin towers, the plan for the World Trade Center complex included
four other low-rise buildings, which were built in the early 1970s. The 47-story 7 World Trade Center building
was added in the 1980s, to the north of the main complex. Altogether, the main World Trade Center complex
occupied a 16-acre (65,000 m2) superblock.===Criticism===Plans to build the World Trade Center were
controversial. The site for the World Trade Center was the
location of Radio Row, home to hundreds of commercial and industrial tenants, property
owners, small businesses, and approximately 100 residents, many of whom fiercely resisted
forced relocation. A group of affected small businesses sought
an injunction challenging the Port Authority’s power of eminent domain. The case made its way through the court system
to the United States Supreme Court; the Court refused to accept the case.Private real estate
developers and members of the Real Estate Board of New York, led by Empire State Building
owner Lawrence A. Wien, expressed concerns about this much “subsidized” office space
going on the open market, competing with the private sector when there was already a glut
of vacancies. The World Trade Center itself was not rented
out completely until after 1979 and then only because the complex’s subsidy by the Port
Authority made rents charged for its office space cheaper than that of comparable office
space in other buildings. Others questioned whether the Port Authority
should have taken on a project described by some as a “mistaken social priority”.The World
Trade Center design brought criticism of its aesthetics from the American Institute of
Architects and other groups. Lewis Mumford, author of The City in History
and other works on urban planning, criticized the project and described it and other new
skyscrapers as “just glass-and-metal filing cabinets”. The Twin Towers were described as looking
similar to “the boxes that the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building came in”. The twin towers’ narrow office windows, only
18 inches (46 cm) wide and framed by pillars that restricted views on each side to narrow
slots, were disliked by many. Activist and sociologist Jane Jacobs also
criticized plans for the WTC’s construction, arguing that the waterfront should be kept
open for New Yorkers to enjoy.The trade center’s “superblock”, replacing a more traditional,
dense neighborhood, was regarded by some critics as an inhospitable environment that disrupted
the complicated traffic network typical of Manhattan. For example, in his book The Pentagon of Power,
Lewis Mumford denounced the center as an “example of the purposeless giantism and technological
exhibitionism that are now eviscerating the living tissue of every great city”.In 1982,
the immense plaza between the twin towers was renamed after the Port Authority’s late
chairman, Austin J. Tobin. During the summer, the Port Authority installed
a portable stage within Tobin Plaza for performers. For many years, the Austin J. Tobin Plaza
was often beset by brisk winds at ground level owing to the Venturi effect between the two
towers. In fact, some gusts were so high that pedestrian
travel had to be aided by ropes. In 1999, the outdoor plaza reopened after
undergoing $12 million renovations, which involved replacing marble pavers with gray
and pink granite stones, adding new benches, planters, new restaurants, food kiosks and
outdoor dining areas.==Complex==
On a typical weekday, 50,000 people worked in the towers and another 200,000 passed through
as visitors. The complex hosted 13,400,000 square feet
(1,240,000 m2) of office space, and was so large that it had its own zip code: 10048. The towers offered expansive views from the
observation deck atop the South Tower and the Windows on the World restaurant on top
of the North Tower. The Twin Towers became known worldwide, appearing
in numerous movies and television shows as well as on postcards and other merchandise,
and became seen as a New York icon, in the same league as the Empire State Building,
the Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty. The World Trade Center was compared to Rockefeller
Center, which David Rockefeller’s brother Nelson had developed in midtown Manhattan.===North and South Towers===One World Trade Center and Two World Trade
Center, commonly the Twin Towers, the idea of which was brought up by Minoru Yamasaki,
were designed as framed tube structures, which provided tenants with open floor plans, uninterrupted
by columns or walls. They were the main buildings of the World
Trade Center. The North Tower at One World Trade Center,
the tallest building in the world at 1,368 feet (417 m) by the time of its completion,
began construction in 1966 with the South Tower at Two World Trade Center. Extensive use of prefabricated components
helped to speed up the construction process, and the first tenants moved into the North
Tower in December 1970, while it was still under construction. When completed in 1973, the South Tower became
the second tallest building in the world at 1,362 feet (415 m), while its rooftop observation
deck was 1,362 ft (415 m) high and its indoor observation deck was 1,310 ft (400 m) high. Each tower stood over 1,350 feet (410 m) high,
and occupied about 1 acre (4,000 m2) of the total 16 acres (65,000 m2) of the site’s land. During a press conference in 1973, Yamasaki
was asked, “Why two 110-story buildings? Why not one 220-story building?” His tongue-in-cheek response was: “I didn’t
want to lose the human scale.” When completed in 1972, 1 World Trade Center
became the tallest building in the world for two years, surpassing the Empire State Building
after a 40-year reign. The North Tower stood 1,368 feet (417 m) tall
and featured a telecommunications antenna or mast that was added at the top of the roof
in 1978 and stood 362 feet (110 m) tall. With the 362-foot (110 m)-tall antenna/mast,
the highest point of the North Tower reached 1,730 feet (530 m). Chicago’s Sears Tower, finished in May 1973,
reached 1,450 feet (440 m) at the rooftop. Throughout their existence, the WTC towers
had more floors (at 110) than any other building. This number was not surpassed until the advent
of the Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010. Each tower had a total mass of around 500,000
tons.===Top of the World observation deck===Although most of the space in the World Trade
Center complex was off-limits to the public, the South Tower featured two public viewing
areas called Top of the World Trade Center Observatories: an indoor one on the 107th
floor and an outdoor one on the roof. Visitors would pass through security checks
added after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, then were sent to the 107th-floor indoor observatory
at a height of 1,310 feet (400 m). The exterior columns on each side of the floor
were narrowed to allow 28 inches of window width between them. The Port Authority renovated the observatory
in 1995, then leased it to Ogden Entertainment to operate. Attractions added to the observation deck
included a simulated helicopter ride around the city. The 107th-floor food court was designed with
a subway car theme and featured Sbarro and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. Weather permitting, visitors could ride two
short escalators up from the 107th-floor viewing area to an outdoor platform at a height of
1,377 ft (420 m). On a clear day, visitors could see up to 50
miles (80 km). An anti-suicide fence was placed on the roof
itself, with the viewing platform set back and elevated above it, requiring only an ordinary
railing and leaving the view unobstructed, unlike the observation deck of the Empire
State Building.===Windows on the World restaurant===The North Tower had a restaurant on its 106th
and 107th floors called Windows on the World, which opened in April 1976. The restaurant was developed by Joe Baum at
a cost of more than $17 million. Aside from the main restaurant, two offshoots
were located at the top of the North Tower: “Hors d’Oeuvrerie” (offered a Danish smorgasbord
during the day and sushi in the evening) and “Cellar in the Sky” (a small wine bar). Windows on the World also had a wine school
program run by Kevin Zraly, who published a book on the course.Windows on the World
was closed following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Upon reopening in 1996, Hors d’Oeuvrerie and
Cellar in the Sky were replaced with the “Greatest Bar on Earth” and “Wild Blue”. In 2000, its last full year of operation,
Windows on the World reported revenues of $37 million, making it the highest-grossing
restaurant in the United States. The Sky Dive Restaurant, on the 44th floor
of the North Tower, was also operated by Windows on the World.In its last iteration, Windows
on the World received mixed reviews. Ruth Reichl, a New York Times food critic,
said in December 1996 that “nobody will ever go to Windows on the World just to eat, but
even the fussiest food person can now be content dining at one of New York’s favorite tourist
destinations.” She gave the restaurant two out of four stars,
signifying a “very good” quality rather than “excellent” (three stars) or “extraordinary”
(four stars). In his 2009 book Appetite, William Grimes
wrote that “At Windows, New York was the main course.” In 2014, Ryan Sutton of compared
the now-destroyed restaurant’s cuisine to that of its replacement, One World Observatory. He stated, “Windows helped usher in a new
era of captive audience dining in that the restaurant was a destination in itself, rather
than a lazy byproduct of the vital institution it resided in.”===
Other buildings===Five smaller buildings stood around the 16-acre
(65,000 m2) block. One was the 22-floor hotel, which opened at
the southwest corner of the site in 1981 as the Vista Hotel; in 1995, it became the Marriott
World Trade Center (3 WTC). Three low-rise buildings (4 WTC, 5 WTC, and
6 WTC), which contained a hollow-tube design similar to the Twin Towers, also stood around
the plaza. 6 World Trade Center, at the northwest corner,
housed the United States Customs Service and the U.S. Commodities Exchange. 5 World Trade Center was located at the northeast
corner above the PATH station and 4 World Trade Center was at the southeast corner. In 1987, construction was completed on a 47-floor
office building, 7 World Trade Center, located to the north of the superblock. Beneath the World Trade Center complex was
an underground shopping mall, which in turn had connections to various mass transit facilities,
including the New York City Subway system and the Port Authority’s PATH trains.One of
the world’s largest gold depositories was stored underneath the World Trade Center,
owned by a group of commercial banks. The 1993 bombing detonated close to the vault. Seven weeks after the September 11 attacks,
$230 million in precious metals was removed from basement vaults of 4 WTC, which included
3,800 100-Troy-ounce 24 carat gold bars and 30,000 1,000-ounce silver bars.==Major events=====
February 13, 1975, fire===On February 13, 1975, a three-alarm fire broke
out on the 11th floor of the North Tower. Fire spread through the tower to the 9th and
14th floors by igniting the insulation of telephone cables in a utility shaft that ran
vertically between floors. Areas at the furthest extent of the fire were
extinguished almost immediately and the original fire was put out in a few hours. Most of the damage was concentrated on the
11th floor, fueled by cabinets filled with paper, alcohol-based fluid for office machines,
and other office equipment. Fireproofing protected the steel and there
was no structural damage to the tower. In addition to damage caused by the fire on
the 9th – 14th floors, water from the extinguishing of the fires damaged a few floors below. At that time, the World Trade Center had no
fire sprinkler systems.===February 26, 1993, bombing===The first terrorist attack on the World Trade
Center occurred on February 26, 1993, at 12:17 p.m. A Ryder truck filled with 1,500 pounds (680
kg) of explosives, planted by Ramzi Yousef, detonated in the underground garage of the
North Tower. The blast opened a 100-foot (30 m) hole through
five sublevels with the greatest damage occurring on levels B1 and B2 and significant structural
damage on level B3. Six people were killed and 1,042 others were
injured in the attacks, some from smoke inhalation. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and four other individuals
was later convicted for their involvement in the bombing while Yousef and Eyad Ismoil
were convicted for carrying out the bombing. According to a presiding judge, the conspirators’
chief aim at the time of the attack was to destabilize the north tower and send it crashing
into the south tower, toppling both landmarks.Following the bombing, floors that were blown out needed
to be repaired to restore the structural support they provided to columns. The slurry wall was in peril following the
bombing and loss of the floor slabs that provided lateral support against pressure from Hudson
River water on the other side. The refrigeration plant on sublevel B5, which
provided air conditioning to the entire World Trade Center complex, was heavily damaged. After the bombing, the Port Authority installed
photoluminescent markings in the stairwells. The fire alarm system for the entire complex
needed to be replaced because critical wiring and signaling in the original system was destroyed. As a memorial to the victims of the bombing
of the tower, a reflecting pool was installed with the names of those who had been killed
in the blast. However, the memorial was destroyed following
the September 11 attacks. Names of the victims of the 1993 bombing are
included in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.===January 14, 1998, robbery===In January 1998, Mafia member Ralph Guarino,
who had gained maintenance access to the World Trade Center, arranged a three-man crew for
a heist that netted over $2 million from a Brinks delivery to the eleventh floor of the
World Trade Center.===Other events===
In 1981, an Aerolineas Argentinas airliner was guided away by air traffic controllers
following radar signals that indicated it was on a collision course with the North Tower
(1 WTC). The aircraft was flying at a much lower altitude
than regulations recommended, while scheduled to land at nearby Kennedy International Airport.The
1995 PCA world chess championship was played on the 107th floor of the South Tower.===Proposed lease===
In 1998, the Port Authority approved plans to privatize the World Trade Center. In 2001, the Port Authority sought to lease
the World Trade Center to a private entity. Bids for the lease came from Vornado Realty
Trust, a joint bid between Brookfield Properties Corporation and Boston Properties, and a joint
bid by Silverstein Properties and The Westfield Group. By privatizing the World Trade Center, it
would be added to the city’s tax rolls and provide funds for other Port Authority projects. On February 15, 2001, the Port Authority announced
that Vornado Realty Trust had won the lease for the World Trade Center, paying $3.25 billion
for the 99-year lease. Vornado outbid Silverstein by $600 million
though Silverstein upped his offer to $3.22 billion. However, Vornado insisted on last minute changes
to the deal, including a shorter 39-year lease, which the Port Authority considered nonnegotiable. Vornado later withdrew and Silverstein’s bid
for the lease to the World Trade Center was accepted on April 26, 2001, and closed on
July 24, 2001.==Destruction==On September 11, 2001, Islamist terrorists
hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed it into the northern façade of the North
Tower at 8:46:40 a.m., the aircraft striking between the 93rd and 99th floors. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03:11 a.m.,
a second group crashed the similarly hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern
façade of 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. The Marriott World Trade Center, a hotel,
was destroyed during the collapse of the two towers. The three remaining buildings in the WTC plaza
were extensively damaged by debris and later were demolished. The cleanup and recovery process at the World
Trade Center site took eight months. 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 Broadway was also condemned owing to extensive damage, and it
was demolished and completely rebuilt.In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, media
reports suggested that tens of thousands might have been killed in the attacks, as over 50,000
people could be inside the World Trade Center, although the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) estimated that approximately 17,400 occupants were in the towers at the
time of the attacks. Ultimately, 2,753 death certificates (excluding
those for hijackers) were filed relating to the 9/11 attacks in New York City, 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. 2,192 civilians died in and around the World
Trade Center, including 658 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P. (an investment bank on the
101st–105th floors of One World Trade Center), 295 employees of Marsh & McLennan Companies
(which was located immediately below Cantor Fitzgerald on floors 93–101, the location
of Flight 11’s impact), and 175 employees of Aon Corporation. In addition to the civilian deaths, 343 New
York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighters were killed in the attacks, as well as 71
law enforcement officers, including 37 members of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD)
and 23 members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Ten years after the attacks, remains of only
1,629 victims had been identified. Of all the people who were still in the towers
when they collapsed, only 20 were pulled out alive.==New World Trade Center==Over the following years, plans were created
for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center. 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; however, substantial changes were made to the design. The first new building at the site was 7 WTC,
which opened in May 23, 2006. The memorial section of the National September
11 Memorial & Museum opened on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in May 21, 2014. 1 WTC opened on November 3, 2014; 4 WTC opened
on November 13, 2013; and 3 WTC opened on June 11, 2018.As of November 2013, according
to an agreement made with Silverstein Properties Inc., the new 2 WTC would not be built to
its full height until sufficient leasing is established to make the building financially
viable. Above-ground construction of 5 WTC was also
suspended due to a lack of tenants as well as disputes between the Port Authority and
the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. In mid-2015, Silverstein Properties revealed
plans for a redesigned 2 WTC, to be designed by Bjarke Ingels and completed by 2020 with
News Corp as anchor tenant. Four years later, with no anchor tenant for
2 WTC, Silverstein expressed his intent to resume work on the tower regardless of whether
a tenant had signed.==Impact=====
On surrounding community===The original World Trade Center created a
superblock that cut through the area’s street grid, isolating the complex from the rest
of the community. The Port Authority had demolished several
streets to make way for the towers within the World Trade Center. The project involved combining the twelve-block
area bounded by Vesey, Church, Liberty, and West Streets on the north, east, south, and
west, respectively. 7 World Trade Center, built on the superblock’s
north side in the late 1980s, was built over another block of Greenwich Street. The building acted as a physical barrier separating
Tribeca to the north and the Financial District to the south. The underground mall at the World Trade Center
also drew shoppers away from surrounding streets. The project was seen as being monolithic and
overambitious, while not involving public input. By contrast, the rebuilding plans had significant
public input, and the public supported rebuilding a street grid through the World Trade Center
site. One of the rebuilding proposals included building
an enclosed shopping street along the path of Cortlandt Street, one of the streets demolished
to make room for the original World Trade Center. However, it was ultimately decided to build
Cortlandt, Fulton, and Greenwich Streets, which had been destroyed during the original
World Trade Center’s construction.===As an icon of popular culture===Prior to its destruction, the World Trade
Center was an icon of New York City, and the Twin Towers were the centerpiece that represented
the entire complex. The Twin Towers were used as “establishing
shots”, standing for New York City as a whole. In 1999, one writer noted: “Nearly every guidebook
in New York City lists the Twin Towers among the city’s top ten attractions.”There were
several high-profile events that occurred at the World Trade Center. The most notable high-profile event that was
held at the original WTC occurred in 1974. French high wire acrobatic performer Philippe
Petit walked between the two towers on a tightrope, as shown in the documentary film Man on Wire
(2008) and depicted in the feature film The Walk (2015). Petit walked between the towers eight times
on a steel cable. In 1977, Brooklyn toymaker George Willig scaled
the exterior of the South Tower. He later said, “It looked unscalable; I thought
I’d like to try it.” Six years later, high-rise firefighting and
rescue advocate Dan Goodwin successfully climbed the outside of the North Tower to call attention
to the inability to rescue people potentially trapped in the upper floors of skyscrapers.The
complex was featured in numerous works of popular culture; in 2006, it was estimated
that the World Trade Center had appeared in some form in 472 films. Several iconic meanings were attributed to
the World Trade Center. The film critic David Sterritt, who lived
near the complex, stated that the World Trade Center’s appearance in the 1978 film Superman
“summarized a certain kind of American grandeur […] the grandeur, I would say, of sheer
American powerfulness.” Remarking on the towers’ destruction in the
1996 film Independence Day, Sterritt said, “The Twin Towers have been destroyed in various
disaster movies that were made before 9/11. That became something that you couldn’t do
even retroactively after 9/11.” Other motifs included romance, depicted in
the 1988 film Working Girl, and corporate avarice, depicted in Wall Street (1987) and
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987). Comic books, animated cartoons, television
shows, video games, and music videos also used the complex as a setting.After the September
11 attacks, some movies and TV shows deleted scenes or episodes set within the World Trade
Center. For example, The Simpsons episode “The City
of New York vs. Homer Simpson”, which first aired in 1997, was removed from syndication
after the attacks because a scene showed the World Trade Center. Songs that mentioned the World Trade Center
were no longer allowed to be aired on the radio, and the release dates of some films,
such as Sidewalks of New York, were delayed so producers could remove scenes that included
the World Trade Center.Other episodes and films mentioned the attacks directly, or depicted
the World Trade Center in alternate contexts. The production of some family-oriented films
was also sped up due to a large demand for that genre following the attacks, while demand
for horror and action films decreased. Within a short time, however, demand for horror
and action films returned to normal. By the first anniversary of the attacks, over
sixty “memorial films” had been created. Filmmakers were criticized for removing scenes
related to the World Trade Center. Rita Kempley of The Washington Post stated
that “if we erase the towers from our art, we erase it [sic] from our memories.” Author Donald Langmead compared the phenomenon
to the 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where historic mentions of events are retroactively
“rectified”. Oliver Stone’s film World Trade Center—the
first movie that specifically examined the effects of the attacks on the World Trade
Center, as opposed to the effects elsewhere—was released in 2006.==See also==
List of tallest buildings in New York City Artwork damaged or destroyed in the September
11 attacks World Trade Center in popular culture

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