America Attacked: 9/11 - WORLD TRADE CENTER

WORLD TRADE CENTER (Illustration) Disasters Famous Historical Events Film Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Geography American History

The World Trade Center, located near the "Battery Park City" section of New York, was built on reclaimed land.  This photo, taken by Carol Highsmith sometime between 1997 and 2001, is part of the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at the Library of Congress.


The idea of a center for world trade, to be located at the tip of Manhattan Island, began to seriously take shape when John F. Kennedy was America’s president. It was a time of dreams: to put a man on the moon; to achieve lasting world peace; to create a central place where worldwide commerce could be conducted.

Minoru Yamasaki, a Japanese-American with humble beginnings whose architectural firm was in metropolitan Detroit, created the center's design. Leslie Robertson was its chief structural engineer.

To support such a massive structure, one-quarter mile high, engineers had to dig to bedrock—70 feet below the surface. Designers used innovative techniques (referred to as “a bathtub”) to keep the waters of the Hudson River out.

It took nearly ten years to complete the twin towers and the trade center complex. From the South Tower’s observation deck, one could look north to midtown Manhattan, east to the Brooklyn Bridge and south to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Photographs from the U.S. national archives, and a movie produced by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, document the birth of the twin towers—once the tallest structures in the world:

  • When the towers were built, rotting pier timbers and debris floating on the Hudson River (from illegally dumped industrial waste) were clearly visible.

  • In 1973, Manhattan had a new skyline from the East River perspective.

  • People traveling to the city on the Staten Island Ferry in May of 1973 had an awesome view of the new twin towers.

  • An old neighbor (the historic Trinity Church on Lower Broadway at the foot of Wall Street) welcomed a new one in the spring of 1973.

Both neighbors, and everything else in the surrounding area, were threatened on the morning of September 11 as two planes, flying at about 500 miles an hour, approached the World Trade Center.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Aug 17, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"WORLD TRADE CENTER" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 17, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips