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World Trade Center (19732001)

 

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in 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, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, 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 was located in New York City's Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

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; some are already completed. 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), is the lead building for the new complex, and was completed in November 2014.

At the time, ridership on New Jersey's H&M Railroad had declined substantially from a high of 113 million riders in 1927 to 26 million in 1958 after new automobile tunnels and bridges had opened across the Hudson River. In a December 1961 meeting between Port Authority director Austin J. Tobin and newly elected New Jersey Governor Richard J. Hughes, the Port Authority offered to take over the H & M Railroad. They also decided to move the World Trade Center project to the Hudson Terminal building site on the west side of Lower Manhattan, a more convenient location for New Jersey commuters arriving via PATH. With the new location and the Port Authority's acquisition of the H&M Railroad, New Jersey agreed to support the World Trade Center project. As part of the deal, the Port Authority renamed the H&M "Port Authority Trans-Hudson", or PATH for short.

On September 20, 1962, the Port Authority announced the selection of Minoru Yamasaki as lead architect and Emery Roth & Sons as associate architects. Yamasaki devised the plan to incorporate twin towers. His original plan called for the towers to be 80 stories tall, but to meet the Port Authority's requirement for 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2) of office space, the buildings would each have to be 110 stories tall.

The structural engineering firm Worthington, Skilling, Helle & Jackson worked to implement Yamasaki's design, developing the tube-frame structural system used in the twin towers. The Port Authority's Engineering Department served as foundation engineers, Joseph R. Loring & Associates as electrical engineers, and Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B) as mechanical engineers. Tishman Realty & Construction Company was the general contractor on the World Trade Center project. Guy F. Tozzoli, director of the World Trade Department at the Port Authority, and Rino M. Monti, the Port Authority's Chief Engineer, oversaw the project. As an interstate agency, the Port Authority was not subject to the local laws and regulations of the City of New York, including building codes. Nonetheless, the World Trade Center's structural engineers ended up following draft versions of New York City's new 1968 building codes.

Plans to build the World Trade Center were controversial. Its site was the location of Radio Row, home to hundreds of commercial and industrial tenants, property owners, small businesses, and approximately 100 residents, many of whom fiercely resisted forced relocation. A group of affected small businesses sought an injunction challenging the Port Authority's power of eminent domain. The case made its way through the court system to the United States Supreme Court; it refused to hear the case.

Windows on the World, the restaurant on the North Tower's 106th and 107th floors opened in April 1976. It was developed by restaurateur Joe Baum at a cost of more than $17 million. As well as the main restaurant, two offshoots were located at the top of the North Tower: Hors d'Oeuvrerie (offered a Danish smorgasbord during the day and sushi in the evening) and Cellar in the Sky (a small wine bar). Windows on the World also had a wine school program run by Kevin Zraly, who published a book on the course.

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