World Trade Center (1973–2001)

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers—the original 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower) at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower) at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center (3 WTC), 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

World Trade Center
The original complex in March 2001. The tower on the left, with antenna spire, was 1 WTC. 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
StatusDestroyed
Architectural styleNew Formalism
LocationLower Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°42′42″N 74°00′45″W
GroundbreakingAugust 5, 1966; 55 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
Topped-out
  • 1 WTC: December 23, 1970
  • 2 WTC: July 19, 1971
Completed
  • 1 WTC: 1972
  • 2 WTC: 1973
  • 3 WTC: April 1, 1981
  • 4 WTC: 1975
  • 5 WTC: 1972
  • 6 WTC: 1973
  • 7 WTC: 1987
Opening
  • 1 WTC: December 15, 1970
  • 2 WTC: September 1971
  • 3 WTC: July 1, 1981[1]
  • 4 WTC: January 1977
  • 5 WTC: March 1972
  • 6 WTC: January 1974
  • 7 WTC: May 1987
InauguratedApril 4, 1973; 48 years ago (April 4, 1973)
DestroyedSeptember 11, 2001; 20 years ago (2001-09-11)
OwnerPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
Other information
Height
Antenna spire1 WTC: 1,728 feet (526.7 m)
Roof
  • 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
Architect
DeveloperPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
EngineerWorthington, Skilling, Helle & Jackson,[2] Leslie E. Robertson Associates
Main contractorTishman Realty & Construction Company
References
I. ^ World Trade Center at Emporis
[3][4]

The core complex was built between 1966 and 1975, at a cost of $400 million (equivalent to $2.27 billion in 2021[5]).[6] During its existence, the World Trade Center experienced several major incidents, including a fire on February 13, 1975;[7] a bombing on February 26, 1993;[8] and a bank robbery on January 14, 1998.[9] In 1998, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey decided to privatize it by leasing the buildings to a private company to manage. It awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.[10]

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda-affiliated hijackers flew two Boeing 767 jets into the Twin Towers within minutes of each other; less than two hours later, both towers collapsed. The attacks killed 2,606 people in and within the vicinity of the towers, as well as all 157 on board the two aircraft.[11] Falling debris from the towers, combined with fires that the debris initiated in several surrounding buildings, led to the partial or complete collapse of all the WTC complex’s buildings and caused catastrophic damage to 10 other large structures in the surrounding area.

The cleanup and recovery process at the World Trade Center site took eight months, during which the remains of the other buildings were demolished. A new World Trade Center complex is being built with six new skyscrapers and several other buildings, many of which are complete. A memorial and museum to those killed in the attacks, a new rapid transit hub, and an elevated park have been opened. One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet (541 m) and the lead building for the new complex, was completed in May 2013 and opened in November 2014.

During its existence, the World Trade Center was an icon of New York City.[12] It had a major role in popular culture, and according to one estimate was depicted in 472 films. Following the World Trade Center's destruction, mentions of the complex in various media were altered or deleted, and several dozen "memorial films" were created.[13]