New York Architecture Info

The World Trade Center

World Trade Center
New York 10048
Basic Information
Designed by Minoru Yamasaki, Yamasaki and Associates, with Emery Roth and Sons
Cost $800,000,000
Type Skyscraper
Floors: 110
Maximum length 208 feet/62 meters
Neighborhood: World Trade Center
More Information
  • Height to tip of Tower One television mast: 1,727 feet
  • Height to roof of Tower One: 1,368 feet
  • Height to roof of Tower Two: 1,362 feet
  • Steel used in construction: 181,400 metric tons
  • Windows: 43,600
  • Elevators: 198
  • Doorknobs: 40,000+
  • Floor space: 10,000,000 square feet
  • Parking spaces: 2,000
  • Engineers: Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson
  • There was a cafeteria on the 44th floor called The Sky Dive.
  • Each tower had postal workers stationed every eight floors to handle incoming and outgoing mail.
  • It is estimated that the jets hit the buildings going between 470 and 590 miles per hour.
  • It takes 99 days to put out the fire.
  • 18 people are pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center still alive.
  • The city of New York loses 13,000,000 square feet of office space -- more than all the office space in Miami, and more than the entire space of downtown Houston.
  • 83,000 people lose their jobs in the ensuing economic turmoil.
  • 105 children never see their fathers because they were conceived before, and born after the terrorist attacks.
  • June 9, 1965: Demolition work begins to make way for the World Trade Center.
  • August 5, 1966: Groundbreaking
  • December, 1970: The first tower (One World Trade Center) is completed.
  • July 19, 1971: Two World Trade Center is topped out.
  • April 4, 1973: A ribbon cutting ceremony is held to open the twin towers.
  • 1974: Construction is completed.
  • December 15, 1975: The observatory opens to the public.
  • February 26, 1993: A truck bomb is detonated in the garage beneath Tower One. Six people are killed and more than 1,000 hurt.
  • September 11, 2001: The Twin Towers are destroyed by terrorists. They hijacked two jumbo jets from Boston and slammed one into each of the towers, killing thousands of people. A third hijacked jet was rammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC; and a fourth, believed to be headed to the White House, crashed in a rural area 80 miles east southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    • 8:45am - Hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767 hits the north tower.
    • 9:03am - Hijacked United Airlines Boeing 767 hits south tower.
    • 9:50am - South tower collapses.
    • 10:30am - North tower collapses.
    • 11:40am - New York Fire Department pulls out of Seven World Trade Center as fire rages uncontrolled through the skyscraper.
    • 5:25pm - Seven World Trade Center collapses.
  • September 14, 2001: There is serious talk among politicians and New York City leaders about rebuilding the Twin Towers better, and possibly bigger, than before.
  • September 25, 2001: One of the last remaining large sections of the building's exoskeleton is demolished. Part of it is saved by the city for possible use in a memorial, museum, or monument.
  • October 22, 2001: The 53-story One Liberty Plaza reopens.
  • December 1, 2001: Britain's SR International Business Insurance Company, Limited is suing over the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. SR International is one of the companies that insured the Twin Towers. It wants a court to rule that the attacks were a single incident, and not two separate attacks. If successful, the companies will only have to pay the developer $3,600,000,000.00 for the single attack, rather than $7,200,000,000.00 if it is ruled to be two attacks. Larry Silverstein plans to use the money to rebuild the World Trade Center complex. $3.6 billion is enough to do it, but obviously $7.2 billion would provide more flexibility.
  • December 4, 2001: CNN reports that the $300,000,000.00 donated to the September 11th Fund is going to some organizations that the donors might not expect. Among those getting the money: The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, AIDS activist organization Mother's Voices; the Jennifer Muller modern dance group; The Institute for the Development of Earth Awareness, and the performing arts group Three Legged Dog. The CNN report featured a screen from Three Legged Dog's web site showing a dominatrix.
  • December 12, 2001: Questions are raised about the floor joists in the World Trade Center. Tests done in the 1990's suggest that they were not adequately fireproofed. The engineer who supervised construction of the World Trade Center insists the fireproofing met the highest standards and was not a factor in the collapse of the towers.
  • December 17, 2001: One of the mysteries of the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York may have been solved. Engineers have puzzled over why the 47-story 7 World Trade Center collapsed seven hours after the Twin Towers fell. It turns out, the culprit may have been the mayor's emergency command bunker inside. The New York Times reports that the building had several hidden caches of diesel fuel to power generators for the command bunker. It was stored in and under the building and may have caught fire, weakening the structure in the same way that thousands of gallons of jet fuel weakened the steel in the Twin Towers. According to the Times, there was a 6,000 gallon tank on the second floor, and four tanks holding up to 36,000 gallons of fuel in the basement.
  • December 18, 2001: To honor those killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush created a new holiday. September 11th will now be known as Patriot Day.
  • December 18, 2001: A group of relatives of those killed in the September, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center have chosen to blame the building, instead of the terrorists, for the deaths. They are demanding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency launch an investigation into the event, and the design and construction of the Twin Towers. In their opinion, the towers should have been designed to withstand the impact of a pair of jumbo jets and the intense heat created by the burning of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel. Some engineers believe the Twin Towers fireproofing was inadequate. Others say it met strict safety standards and no fireproofing could withstand a blaze that hot raging for as long as it did. Some relatives believe the plane is to blame and should have withstood a 500-mile-an-hour impact.
  • December 19, 2001: After more than three months, the rubble of the World Trade Center stopped smoking. New York Governor George Pataki announced that the fires are finally out. A fire truck remained on the scene as hot spots continue to flare up when debris is moved.
  • December 20, 2001: The number of people killed and missing in the attack on the World Trade Center is lowered. The tally is now 2,789. Early estimates were as high as 6,700 but that number has been falling because many names were duplicated, or the people in question turned up elsewhere.
  • December 20, 2001: A New Hampshire woman has become the first to sue an airline for the September, 2001 terrorist attacks. USA Today reports Ellen Mariani is taking United Airlines to court. She claims it was the airline's negligence that led to the death of her husband when the jet he was on was taken over by hijackers and slammed into the World Trade Center.
  • December 21, 2001 - CBS News reports the U.S. Government has come up with a mathematical formula for compensating the families of the victims of the September, 2001 terrorist attacks. Essentially, the government uses the victim's annual salary, adds an amount for pain and suffering, subtracts aid already received in the form of life insurance government assistance or pensions. The final amount is tax-free, and recipients are allowed to keep any private charitable assistance they receive. The lowest amount anyone would receive is $300,000.00. The most: $3,800,000.00. The average award is expected to be $1,600,000.00. In order to collect, the recipients must agree not to sue anyone.
  • December 25, 2001: The United Nations estimates that the attacks on America and their economic ramifications put 24,000,000 people around the world out of work, and pushed another 15,000,000 deeper into poverty.
  • December 30, 2001: A platform was erected overlooking the recovery site. Tourists are be allowed onto the platform for viewing sessions 400 at a time.
  • January 10, 2002: Recovery crews reach a milestone. 1,000,000 tons of debris have been removed.
  • January 10, 2002: Crews at the World Trade Center site in New York have uncovered a PATH commuter train in the rubble. It was one of several buried when the twin towers collapsed. No one was on board at the time because the train was out of service. When jets hit the towers, the subway and PATH stations were evacuated and all of the trains sent back to New Jersey.
  • January 14, 2002: City Hall Park reopens to the public.
  • January 14, 2002: Crain's New York Business reports the owner of Seven World Trade Center has decided to rebuild the 47-story building.
  • January 15, 2002: Controversy arises over a World Trade Center memorial statue. Fox News Channel reports it would depict the famous scene shot by a New Jersey newspaper photographer when three New York City firefighters standing on a smoldering pile of debris raised an American flag. The proposed statue would depict a white man, a black man, and an Hispanic man. In reality, it was three white firefighters who carried out the act. Critics say it's an attempt to rewrite history, a slap in the face of those men, and an example of political correctness gone too far.
  • January 17, 2002: Minnesota Public Radio reports that much of the debris from the collapse of the World Trade Center will be recycled. A company is picking through the rubble at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Some of the steel is so dense and strong that one linear foot weighs over 1,000 pounds. It will be melted down and used for things like automobiles and other buildings.
  • January 29, 2002: The New York Post reports that a dozen Port Authority employees have been charged with stealing almost $20,000.00 from relief funds set up for the survivors of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The Port Authority workers told aid workers that their homes were damaged and that they were unable to work since the attacks, when in reality they were gainfully employed.
  • February 10, 2002: Five months after the Twin Towers collapsed, the bodies of five Port Authority police officers have been found. They were helping an obese woman escape from the World Trade Center when the building collapsed, killing them all.
  • February 11, 2002: A study of air samples taken in lower Manhattan in the weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center shows record pollution. Much of the harmful particles are sulfur and silicon which became airborne when tons of jet fuel and glass burned. According to the University of California, the levels were even higher than those experienced by Gulf War troops who later complained of mysterious ailments.
  • March 7, 2002: CNN reports that there are concerns about the speed of the World Trade Center cleanup. It is currently ahead of schedule, and some say it's happening too fast. They fear that evidence is being destroyed as the buildings' remains are melted down for scrap.
  • March 11, 2002 - 8:46am: Exactly six months after the terrorist attacks a memorial service is held. At dusk, two powerful beams of light are illuminated from 88 bulbs to create a pair of shafts rising into the sky as a memorial to those who died.
  • April 30, 2002: Plans are bring drawn up for rebuilding the area now known as "Ground Zero." Six different plans incorporating a memorial, office, retail, and mobility are due by July. A final plan will be put together by December, 2002.
  • May 1, 2002: A report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency concludes that the strength of the Twin Towers helped save thousands of lives. The report says it may never be possible to build a fireproof building, but applauds the towers and their creators for the fact that they managed to stay standing as long as they did even after being hit by passenger jets.
  • May 13, 2002: American Express employees return to the World Financial Center.
  • May 21, 2002: The New Mexico Business Journal reports that two steel beams from the World Trade Center have been donated to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Albuquerque. They will be used to construct a $100,000 bell tower as a memorial to the victims of the September 11th attacks.
  • May 30, 2002 - 10:29am: In a solemn ceremony, cleanup ends at the former site of the World Trade Center. Workers used rakes to comb the dirt for any last pieces of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, but 850 people are still missing and will probably never be found. In all, 20,000 body parts were recovered. 1,800,000 tons of rubble were removed. The last steel beam was cut down and draped with an America flag as it left the site, symbolizing those who had been lost, but not found. The beam and a procession of New York police and firemen moved through the streets of lower Manhattan while crowds of people watched in person, and millions watched on televisions around the world.
  • June 14, 2002: An American flag found in ther debris of the World Trade Center is returned to New York for Flag Day after being taken into orbit on the space shuttle Endeavour.
  • June 24, 2002: The last of the body recovery crews leaves Ground Zero. All hope of finding any more human remains is lost.
  • July 7, 2002: A detailed review of the events of September 11, 2001 shows that the communications network used by New York firefighters during the World Trade Cneter attacks failed repeatedly. Police helicopters warned that the north tower would collapse 21 minutes before it happened, but that information naver made it to fire department personnel, who lost their lives when the tower came down.
  • July 1, 2002: The deadline for proposals for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.
  • July 15, 2002: The Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island is closed. It was the site where rubble from the World Trade Center was processed for evidence and human remains. A solemn ceremony is held to mark the occasion.
  • July 16, 2002: Six plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center are unveiled. None of the buildings are as tall as the originals.
  • July 20, 2002: 4,000 people gather at the Javits Convention Center to see the proposals for the new World Trade Center. They don't like what they see, calling the ideas boring, uninspiring, and unworthy of the site's historic legacy. Designers say they had little choice since the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey required that all of the rentable floor space from the original center be recreated.
  • July 21, 2002: The people leading the rebuilding of the World Trade Center decide to re-think the requirement that all of the commercial space be recreated.
  • July 24, 2002: KMBC Television in Kansas City reports that a two-inch replica of a Kansas CIty Chiefs football has been found in the rubble by police sergeant Michel Mayer. It is believed to have come from someone's desk in the World Trade Center, and has now been returned to the football team.
  • July 24, 2002: The New York Times reports that in spite of grants and cheaper rent the city is still having a hard time keeping businesses from moving out of lower Manhattan.
  • July 25, 2002: The House of Representatives votes to hold a special Congressional session in New York on September 6, 2002.
  • July 26, 2002: The last of 5,000 yards of cement is poured for the new subway station beneath Ground Zero. Contractors worked around the clock to get the job done ahead of schedule and reap a $3,000,000 bonus from the federal government.
  • July 29, 2002: After being soundly thrashed for having uninteresting ideas for rebuilding the World Trade Center, the competition has been opened up to more architects.
  • July 30, 2002: CBS News reports that millions of dollars given to the Red Cross to aid victims and families of the September 11th terrorist attacks will never make it to the people who deserve it. The problem is that the money was given to local Red Cross offices across the country, and quite a few kept it for themselves. Blame is place on poor record keeping, and the ability of the local offices to selfishly "code" national donations as being for local emergencies.
  • August 4, 2002: The New York Times reports that the real estate company that controls the World Trade Center lease lost $8,200,000,000 in the attacks.
  • August 5, 2002: 66 people are arrested, dozens more are charged and thousands expected to be charged with fraud. When communications were knocked out during the attacks, the Municipal Credit Union allowed people to make ATM withdrawals without verifying the amount available in their accounts. Some people took advantage of the situation to the tune of $15,000,000. These are obviously not the brightest people in the world, since they took money out of their own accounts and since it was an employee credit union, the bank knows where they live, where they work, and how to find them.
  • August 6, 2002: The City of New York unveils its plans for September 11, 2002 -- the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. They include bagpipers marching to ground zero, a visit from President Bush, and the reading of the name of every person killed in the terrorist attacks. Ideas from people all over the world were taken into account. The family members of those killed will lay roses at ground zero -- an idea from someone in Australia. And at the suggestion of someone in Illinois, there will be concerts at sunset in all five boroughs.
  • August 15, 2002: A plaque is unveiled containing the names of all 2,801 people who died at the World Trade Center. The "Wall of Rememberance" overlooks Ground Zero.
  • August 20, 2002: The number of people killed at the World Trade Center has been revised to 2,819. Four names were dropped from the list. One was a woman who was listed under both her maiden and married name. The other three are just names with no contact information for the medical examiner to follow up on.
  • August 21, 2002: The National Institute of Standards and Technology begins a two-year test of the beams recovered at Ground Zero. The government agency is spending $23,000,000 to analyze 100 pieces recovered and figure out why the towers fell.
  • August 22, 2002: WCBS Television reports the governors of New York and New Jersey will rename Newark International Airport in New Jersey "Liberty International Airport" in honor of those killed in the terrorist attacks. It eventually ends up with the name "Newark Liberty International Airport" and keeps its EWR designator.
  • August 26, 2002: Two more names are removed from the list of the deceased. One man was found in a hospital suffering from amnesia. Another was found in a mental institution.
  • September 3, 2002: The New York Times reports that lower Manhattan is now more vulnerable to lightning strikes because of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Previously, the huge towers would ground lightning strikes for a wide part of the island. With the buildings gone, others towers are being hit that were never hit before.
  • September 10, 2002: The Standard and Poors futures index closes at 911.00.
  • September 11, 2002: The city, the nation, and the world pause to remember the terrorist attacks one year ago. Tens of thousands of public and private ceremonies are held from New York to Russia to Antarctica.
  • September 11, 2002: The New York State Lottery Pick Three numbers on this date are 9, 1, and 1.
  • September 15, 2002: Three subway stations closed by the collapse of the Twin Towers have reopened. The South Ferry, Rector Street, and Cortlandt Street stations were severely damaged. Repairs cost $100,000,000.
  • December 9, 2002: The National Institute of Standards and Technology asks the public to submit copies of all of their World Trade Center collapse photographs and videos so they can be studied to determine exactly how and why the towers failed.
  • December 25, 2002: WABC Television reports that some of the beams from the World Trade Center may be melted down and used in the bow of the Navy's new U.S.S. New York, under construction in Mississippi. The steel has already been dug up from the Fresh Kills landfill and is being tested to see if it is usable.
  • February 27, 2003: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey choose the design by Studio Daniel Libeskind of Berlin, Germany to replace the World Trade Center. It will erect what was then considered to be the world's tallest building -- a 1,776-foot-tall spire highlighted by a dramatic vertical garden in the sky. The Libeskind design was judged to be best overall based on 12 criteria including price, public response, vision, connectivity, public space, and how the victims of the September 11th attacks would be memorialized. That memorial design was a large open pit representing Ground Zero and the "bathtub" where the remains of many of the victims were found. The bathtub is a subterranean concrete structure designed to keep the water from flooding the basement of the World Trade Center. But it became sacred ground to many as more and more bodies were pulled from the debris.
  • March 17, 2003: The Sacramento Bee reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was wrong when it told people the air near Ground Zero in New York was safe to breathe after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. The newspaper cites an internal E.P.A. investigation that found the agency used a scale that would have allowed air 100 times more contaminated than current safety ratings to be considered safe. The Mount Sinai Medical Center has since found that more than half of the people working at Ground Zero suffered from breathing problems a year later.
  • April 24, 2003: New York governor George Pataki outlined his timeline for progress on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center's twin towers, now called the Freedom Tower. He believed the steel superstructure of the tower would be complete by September 11, 2006. His vision also included the opening of the PATH and Fulton transit centers by that date, and significant work on the World Trade Center memorial. The New York Times reported that the governor wants his office to be the first tenant in the new skyscraper, which he believed would be finished in 2008.
  • May 8, 2003: A judge rules that Osma bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and others owe the families of two World Trade Center victims $104,000,000.
  • May 8, 2003: The New York Times reports that the twin towers of the World Trade Center may never have been tested for fire. Basic tests are needed to ensure that a skyscraper is safe. In spite of decades of assurances from the Port Authroity of New York and New Jersey, federal investigators believe that fire tests were not done on the towers. The massive fire is believed to be the root cause for the collapse of the two towers -- not the impact of a pair of jumbo jets.
  • June 24, 2003: Hugo Martinez becomes the first person to die at the World Trade Center site since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The construction worker was crushed to death by a piece of steel.
  • September 8, 2003: The last firefighter killed in the World Trade Center collapse was laid to rest. Michael Ragusa's remains were never found, so a vial of his blood donated to a bone marrow center was placed in a coffin for the funeral. In all, 343 firefighters lost their lives when the Twin Towers came down.
  • April 29, 2004: A judge rules that the pair of attacks on the Twin Towers was one event, and thus the owner can only collect on his insurance policy once.
  • July 4, 2004: Groundbreaking for the twin towers' replacement, The Freedom Tower.
  • December 16, 2004: The World Trade Center victims memorial was revised. The plan included a Memorial Hall between the reflecting pools to mark the footprints of the former twin towers. It also included a grove of oak trees with a clearing for memorial services, and public access to the stumps of the columns that once held the Twin Towers aloft. The memorial was expected to cost $500,000.00 and be completed by 2009.
  • April 18, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI blessed the ground where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood.
  • July 10, 2008: A New York Supreme Court ruling restored Sneha Anne Philip's name to the list of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, making the number of people who died at the World Trade Center officially 2,751.
  • January 16, 2009: A man who died from cancer he got from exposure to toxic dust during the World Trade Center collapse was classified as a homicide and added to the list of those killed. The total number of people killed in terrorist attacks on New York was updated to 2,752.