World Trade Center | Major Landmarks Around The World
The twin towers of the World Trade Center were more than just buildings. Brash, glitzy, and grand, they were the most recognizable symbols of New York.
The World Trade Center was conceived in the early 1960s by the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Development Association. In 1962, Minoru Yamasaki and Associates of Michigan was hired as architect. Eventually, Yamasaki decided on two huge towers. Critics charged that a modern monolith would rob New York of character, ruin the skyline, disrupt television reception, and strain city services. However, the project was approved and construction began in 1966.
In order to create the 16-acre World Trade Center site, five streets were closed off and 164 buildings were demolished. A total of 10,000 people worked on the towers; 60 died during its construction.
The north tower was opened in Dec. 1970 and the south tower in Jan. 1972; they were dedicated in April 1973. They were the world’s tallest buildings for only a short time, since the Sears Tower in Chicago was completed in May 1973. However, the towers were ranked as the fifth and sixth tallest buildings in the world at the time of their destruction on Sept. 11, 2001.
Four smaller buildings and a hotel, all built nearby around a central landscaped plaza, completed the complex. Some 50,000 people worked in the buildings, while another 200,000 visited or passed through each day. The complex had its own zip code, 10048.