The World Trade Center was conceived in the early 1960s by the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Development Association to bring a halt to the decline of lower Manhattan. The twin towers of the World Trade Center were more than just buildings. They were proof of New York’s belief in itself.
Construction began in 1966.In order to create the 16-acre World Trade Center site, five streets were closed off and 164 buildings were demolished. The north tower was opened in Dec. 1970 and the south tower in Jan. 1972; they were dedicated in April 1973. They were the world’s tallest buildings for only a short time, since the Sears Tower in Chicago was completed in May 1973. However, the towers were ranked as the fifth and sixth tallest buildings in the world at the time of their destruction on Sept. 11, 2001
Some 50,000 people worked in the buildings, while another 200,000 visited or passed through each day.
In 1993 terrorists drove a truck packed with 1,100 lbs of explosives into the basement parking garage at the World Trade Center. Six people were killed and 1,000 injured. The towers were repaired, cleaned, and reopened in less than a month.
In February 2003, architect Daniel Libeskind’s design for rebuilding the 16-acre site of the former World Trade Center was approved. The design includes a hanging garden, a memorial, a cultural center, and Freedom Tower, 1,776 feet tall, that will make it taller than any building currently standing in the world. The skyscraper, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, is expected to be ready for its first occupants by late 2008, while construction on the site in general is expected to last through 2015.
Bordered by Church St to the east, Liberty St to the south, West Side Highway
and Vesey St to the north.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
One World Observatory
An all-new attraction at the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Take in the iconic sights, surrounding waters and panoramic views of the skyline and beyond.
90 minute WTC Site Tour given by New Yorkers with a personal connection to 9/11. Tour explains what happened on 9-11-01 and what the rescue and recovery process was like. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
National September Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011 in a special ceremony for victims’ families. The Memorial opened to the public on September 12, 2011 with the reservation of a visitor pass. Reserve a visitors pass here.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop
420 West 14th St, 2nd floor, Manhattan
(between 9th Ave & Washington Street)
NYC’s Newest and Most Moving Museum features numerous World Trade Center remnants and over 80 of Gary Marlon Suson’s photographs from the Ground Zero Recovery plus lifelike “3-D Installations” that place viewers right into the “hole” at Ground Zero. Visitors are allowed to pick up and handle certain items/artifacts that helps you have a better understanding of the size and mass of the towers. Some remnants are on temporary loan from Ground Zero recovery workers and firemen. Purchase tickets here.
Bus: M14 to 9th Ave.
Subway: to 14th St & 8th Avenue.
Nearby Places of Interest:
- Staten Island Ferry
- Battery Park
- Customs House (now Museum of American Indian)
- Bowling Green
- Bronze Bull
- Trinity Church
- Wall Street
- Federal Hall
- New York Stock Exchange
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- Century 21 Department Store
- Financial District
- Alexander Hamilton Financial District Walking Tour
Advisory: Allow a minimum of an hour to stroll along the Church St fence. Longer if you plan to cross the South Bridge (foot bridge) over the West Side Highway to view the site from the Winter Garden windows at the World Financial Center.