In New York City, hope and progress are underway at the World Trade Center site. The new World Trade Center is currently under construction at the location of the former World Trade Center Towers, which were destroyed by the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The new complex will include five skyscrapers and a National September 11 Memorial. The tallest of these buildings, 1 World Trade Center (formerly called Freedom Tower), will rise a symbolic 1,776 feet into the air, making it the tallest building in the United States.
The site became known as "Ground Zero" almost immediately after the twin towers collapsed. Although it appeared to be little more than an empty hole in the middle of the city for many years, progress at the site is finally noticeable thanks to thousands of dedicated construction workers and an intense round-the-clock schedule.
1 World Trade Center reached 80 stories by early September 2011, making it already the tallest building in Lower Manhattan. It is scheduled to be open for business in 2013.
The new World Trade Center will house office space, an observation deck at 1 WTC, a performing arts center, restaurants, and retail stores. Architect Daniel Libeskind won a competition to become the master planner of the site. Silverstein Properties is the developer.
To learn more about the World Trade Center in the making, visit wtc.com.
Once the tallest buildings in New York City, the former World Trade Center Twin Towers were 1,368 and 1,362 feet tall and 110 stories stories each. They were the tallest buildings in the world at their completion in 1973 and defined New York's Lower Manhattan skyline.
The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center dominated the Lower Manhattan skyline until September 11, 2001.
An observation deck on the 107th floor of the South Tower provided views of up to 50 miles in every direction on a clear day. A famous restaurant, Windows on the World, was located on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower and gave diners breathtaking views of the city.
An earlier terrorist attack took place on February 26, 1993, when a van full of explosives was planted in an underground parking garage of the North Tower. Six people died in the attack and over 1,000 were injured.
Above Photo Courtesy of chadh
On the morning of September 11, 2001, four American commercial airliners were hijacked by a total of 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. The hijackers crashed two planes in New York City, each hitting one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
A third plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the fourth plane went down in rural Pennsylvania but was believed to be targeting the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The attack killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and aboard the airplanes. Hundreds of those who died were New York City firefighters, policemen, and paramedics who responded to the scene at the World Trade Center in NYC. Thousands of people were able to safely evacuate the Twin Towers before they collapsed.
The World Trade Center towers both collapsed within hours of being hit by the planes. The site of the fallen buildings quickly became known as "Ground Zero." Four other WTC buildings were also destroyed, turning the 16-acre site into chaos and rubble.
The National September 11 Memorial, which is part of the new World Trade Center Complex, commemorates the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that tragic day in 2001.
The memorial includes two enormous pools located on the footprints of the former Twin Towers with names of the victims inscribed in bronze parapets around the outside. A museum is also under construction as part of the memorial.
Learn More About 9/11 by Visiting:
Tribute WTC Visitor Center
This museum presents personal stories, pictures, sounds, and artifacts to relay the story of 9/11. Learn more about the events of September 11th, the rescue effort that came afterward, and the people impacted by that tragic day. It is a poignant display of the events of September 11, 2001.
9/11 Memorial at St. Paul's Chapel
This beautiful old church opened its doors to firemen and rescue workers in the aftermath of 9/11. It now houses a free memorial and museum, displaying photos, notes of encouragement, and artifacts.
Numerous subway lines run near the World Trade Center site. The A, C, E, N, R, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains all have stops within a few blocks of the site.
The PATH train comes from New Jersey and has a stop at the World Trade Center Terminal.
Both CitySightsNY and Grayline sightseeing bus tours have stops near the World Trade Center.
Find your way around with this helpful Lower Manhattan Map.