Zenfolio | April L. Gustetter | WORLD TRADE CENTER - Ground Zero

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Liberty St & Church St New York, NY 10006

The World Trade Center in New York City (sometimes informally referred to as the WTC or the Twin Towers) was a complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan. Mostly designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki and engineer Leslie Roberston, it was developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It was initiated in 1960 by a Lower Manhattan Association created and chaired by David Rockefeller, who had the original idea of building the center, with strong backing from the then-New York governer, his brother Nelson Rockefeller.

Best known for its iconic 110-story twin towers (101 usable floors, eight engineering-only "service" floors on top of a lobby which was three stories high) the World Trade Center was beset by a fire on February 13, 1975, and a bombing on February 26, 1993.

On September 11, 2001, all seven original buildings in the complex were destroyed by terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda. Three of the buildings collapsed: 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower), 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower), and 7 World Trade Center. The Marriott World Trade Center was crushed by the collapses of 1 WTC and 2 WTC. 4 World Trade Center, 5 World Trade Center, and 6 World Trade Center were damaged beyond repair and later demolished. Three buildings not part of the complex were also destroyed.

Construction on the new 7 World Trade Center began in 2002 and opened in May 2006. It is the first office building to be rebuilt at the World Trade Center site and the first certified "green" skyscraper in New York City history. 52 stories tall, it was built on a smaller footprint than the original to allow Greenwich Street to be restored from TriBeCa through the World Trade Center site and south to Battery Park. The new building is bounded by Greenwich, Vesey, Washington, and Barclay streets. A small park across Greenwich Street occupies space that was part of the original building's footprint. The current 7 World Trade Center's design placed emphasis on safety, with a reinforced concrete core, wider stairways, and thicker fireproofing of steel columns.

The Vesey Street Survivors' Stairway, a final escape route for many survivors on the morning of September 11, 2001. The stairway is the last above-ground remnant of the WTC complex and it is the only remaining stairway. It has become a symbol for all the stairs of the Towers, and in a larger sense a symbol for survival as well.
The new 7 World Trade CenterThe Vesey Street Survivors' Stairway.The new 7 WTC has a curtain wall with stainless steel louvers reminiscent of its predecessors.