Photography in History · Photojournalism

History in Pictures


David Rockefeller spearheaded the construction of the first World Trade Center as an urban renewal project to help revitalize Lower Manhattan. The project was developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey whom hired architect Minoru Yamasaki to construct the complex. Yamasaki came up with the specific idea for the twin towers. NJ and NY had extensive negotiations when they finally agreed to support the World Trade Center project at the Radio Row site on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, New York City.


To provide tower tenants with open floor plans, they were designed as framed tube structures, which had uninterrupted columns and walls. They did this by using closely spaced columns for strength partnered with loads shared by the center core columns. The design and construction of the Twin Towers utilized many innovative architectural techniques.


Construction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower began in August 1968… the South Tower in 1969. The first tenants moved into the North Tower in December 1970 and into the South Tower in January 1972. Four other low-level buildings were constructed as part of the World Trade Center in the 1970s. 7 World Trade Center was constructed in the 1980s.


On September 11, 2001, the tragic collapse of the Twin Towers occurred as a result of 10 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacking two passenger jet airliners and striking the towers. At 8:46 a.m., five al-Qaeda hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern façade of the North Tower. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., a second group of terrorists crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern façade of the South Tower.

The South Tower collapsed at 9:59 am, less than an hour after being hit by the second hijacked airliner, and at 10:28 am the North Tower collapsed. 7 World Trade Center collapsed at 5:21 pm from fires that had started when the North Tower collapsed.

The collapse of the Twin Towers destroyed the rest of the World Trade Center complex and many numerous lives. Debris from the collapsing towers severely damaged or destroyed more than a dozen other adjacent and nearby structures.

A total of 2,763 people perished as a result of the attacks on the towers. 2,192 were civilians, 343 were firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers. Aboard the two airplanes, 147 civilians also died.


Round the clock cleanup of the site and recovery missions cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The demolition of the surrounding damaged buildings continued even as new construction proceeded on the World Trade Center’s replacement, 1 World Trade Center. 1 World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial Site, was structurally completed on May 10, 2013. The final component of the spire, officially completed the towers construction.

The Freedom Towwr is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere… and the 6th tallest building in the entire world! It became the tallest building in NYC on April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre WTC site, where originally 6 World Trade Center stood. The building is between West Street, Vesey Street, Fulton Street, and Washington Street.


The new 1 World Trade Center building was designed by architect David Childs.

The construction of below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the new building began on April 27, 2006. The tower reaches a total height of 1,776 feet. Its height in feet is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.
The building was open to the public on November 3, 2014. (11/3 is my birthday!)


I plan on visiting the World Trade Center and it’s memorial in 2017.

Never Forget 9/11/01.


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