World Trade Center (1973–2001)

former skyscraper complex in Manhattan, New York (1968-2001)

The original World Trade Center (WTC) was a complex of buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York, New York, United States which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks; a new complex is mostly complete and is built on the site of the old one.

World Trade Center
The original complex in March 2001. The tower on the left, with antenna spire, was 1 WTC[broken anchor]. The tower on the right was 2 WTC. All seven buildings of the WTC complex are partially visible. The red granite-clad building left of the Twin Towers was the original 7 World Trade Center. In the background is the East River.
Record height
Tallest in the world from 1971 to 1973[I]
Preceded byEmpire State Building
Surpassed byWillis Tower
General information
LocationLower Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°42′42″N 74°00′45″W / 40.71167°N 74.01250°W / 40.71167; -74.01250
GroundbreakingAugust 5, 1966; 57 years ago (August 5, 1966)
Construction started
  • 1 WTC: August 6, 1968
  • 2 WTC: January 1969
  • 3 WTC: March 1979
  • 4, 5, and 6 WTC: 1970
  • 7 WTC: October 2, 1984
  • 1 WTC: December 23, 1970
  • 2 WTC: July 19, 1971
  • 3 WTC: April 1, 1981
  • 4, 5, and 6 WTC: April 4, 1973
  • 7 WTC: May 1987[1]
OpeningApril 4, 1973; 51 years ago (April 4, 1973)
DestroyedSeptember 11, 2001; 22 years ago (September 11, 2001)
OwnerPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
Other information
Antenna spire1 WTC: 1,728 feet (526.7 m)
  • 1 WTC: 1,368 feet (417.0 m)
  • 2 WTC: 1,362 feet (415.1 m)
  • 3 WTC: 250 feet (76.2 m)
  • 4 and 5 WTC: 120 feet (36.6 m)
  • 6 WTC: 110 feet (33.5 m)
  • 7 WTC: 610 feet (185.9 m)
Top floor
  • 1 WTC: 1,355 feet (413 m)
  • 2 WTC: 1,348 ft (411 m)
Technical details
Floor count
  • 1 and 2 WTC: 110 floors
  • 3 WTC: 22 floors
  • 4 and 5 WTC: 9 floors
  • 6 WTC: 8 floors
  • 7 WTC: 47 floors
Floor area
  • 1 and 2 WTC: 4,300,000 sq ft (400,000 m2) each
  • 4, 5, and 6 WTC: 500,000 sq ft (50,000 m2) each
  • 7 WTC: 1,868,000 sq ft (170,000 m2)
Lifts/elevators1 and 2 WTC: 99 each
Design and construction
DeveloperPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
EngineerWorthington, Skilling, Helle & Jackson,[2] Leslie E. Robertson Associates
Main contractorTishman Realty & Construction Company
I. ^ World Trade Center at Emporis

The biggest buildings in the original World Trade Center were the Twin Towers. The North Tower was the tallest building in the world when it was built. Taller ones were built later. The Twin Towers had 110 stories, and, at the time of its destruction, were the two tallest in New York. They and 7 World Trade Center were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks and other buildings were damaged beyond repair.

The original World Trade Center was designed by Minoru Yamasaki in the early 1960s using a tube-frame structural design for the twin 110-story towers. In gaining approval for the project, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to take over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad which became the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH).

Groundbreaking for the World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966. The North Tower, officially World Trade Center 1 was completed in December 1970 and the South Tower, officially World Trade Center 2 was finished in July 1971. Construction of the World Trade Center involved excavating a large amount of material that was then used in making Battery Park City on the west side of Lower Manhattan.

WTC buildings


Terrorist attacks

Underground bombing aftermath

The first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred on February 26, 1993, at 12:17 PM. A truck filled with 680 kg of explosives, planted by Ramzi Yousef, exploded in the underground garage of the 1 WTC. The bombing created a 30 m (100 ft) hole through five sublevels. Six people were killed and 1,042 others were injured during escape attempts. Many people inside the tower were forced to walk down darkened stairwells with no emergency lighting, some taking two hours or more to reach safety. As a memorial to the victims of the bombing of the tower, a reflecting pool was installed with the names of those who were killed.

United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the south tower, with the north tower already burning.

On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed it into the 1 WTC, striking between the 93rd and 99th floors, killing 1,344 people. Seventeen minutes later, a second group crashed the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the WTC, striking between the 77th and 85th floors, fewer than 700 were killed. At 5:20 p.m., 7 World Trade Center started to collapse with the crumble of the east penthouse. The Marriott Hotel was destroyed during the collapse of the twin towers. The three remaining buildings in the WTC plaza were damaged by debris and later were demolished. Many conspiracy theories have appeared which say that certain people in the United States government knew about the attacks beforehand, or even made them happen.


The National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The reflecting pools are on the site of the Twin Towers.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (also known as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum) is a memorial and museum in World Trade Center site, as the memorial of the 9/11 attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 bombing, which killed six. It is operated by a non-profit institution whose mission is to raise funds for, program, and operate the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site. The National September 11 Memorial opened on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in May 2014.


  1. "History of the Twin Towers". Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. June 1, 2014. Archived from the original on December 28, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  2. "Twin Towers Engineered To Withstand Jet Collision". Seattle Times. February 27, 1993. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  3. World Trade Center at Emporis

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