This online arsenal of story explores the meaning of the world Trade Center and also why it was a target ~ above 9/11. These stories provide those who never ever saw this landmark structures in reduced Manhattan v a sense of what castle were and what they expected for new York City.

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When construction on the world Trade Center started in 1966, that was among the many ambitious tasks in size and scale ever conceived. Learn more about the intricacy of the civilization Trade Center’s construction, operations, and management with these facts and figures.


Antecedents the 9/11

The pair Towers conquered the Manhattan skyline for 3 decades before their destruction in 2001. Although at first criticized for your audacious height and also severe architecture style, the buildings—designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki—took top top iconic status in the general public imagination, ending up being emblematic of new York City and America together a whole.

But their fame and also symbolism also made the pair Towers the targets of 2 terrorist attacks. The an initial took place on February 26, 1993. That day, a van loaded with roughly 1,200 pounds the explosives was driven right into the windy parking garage beneath the world Trade Center. The blast indigenous the bomb produced a crater numerous stories deep in the belowground level of the complicated and eliminated six people.

Though brought out by a different group the extremists than the 9/11 attacks, the 1993 people Trade center bombing emerged within the more comprehensive context the an arising radical Islamist ideology and also foreshadowed the much larger attack eight years later.

The 1993 human being Trade Center battle killed six people and also injured much more than one thousand people. This interaction timeline speak the story of the bombing plot, its effects on the civilization Trade Center, and the project to lug the perpetrators to justice.

Life the the Towers

On any kind of given job in 2001, apparently thirty come fifty thousands people pertained to work in the people Trade Center. Tens of thousands an ext passed with the seven-building complicated during your commutes, or involved shop, dine, or take in the views from the south Tower monitoring Deck. 

The stories listed below offer a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of the human being Trade facility complex, the activities and occasions that took location on the site, and the civilization who worked in or checked out the twin Towers.

In 1939, when Europe was on the brink of an additional world war, a team of business and also trade associations developed the very first World profession Center dedicated to promoting world peace through world trade. Though simply a momentary pavilion in ~ the 1939 world’s Fair in new York City, the idea the a neutral location where world organization leaders could come together to exchange ideas and also products motivated the arrangement for a permanent people Trade center in lower Manhattan.


The pair Towers were designed to be the tallest structures in the world. Your soaring height made lock a symbol of American grandiosity but additionally made them breakable to aerial attack. Due to the resourcefulness of architects and also engineers who developed new construction techniques to develop the 110-story towers, the twin Towers climbed over lower Manhattan’s currently skyline and loomed over brand-new York City.


The world Trade Center complex was residence to much more than 430 providers from 28 different countries. That listing the tenants, a who’s that of the global finance and trading community, and the concentration of thousands of civilization at the site, make it fragile to terrorist attacks.


The human being Trade center was a place that celebrated the international ar through art and also business. Above sculptural installations overcame the Plaza, and artists from about the world had studios in ~ the twin Towers. The 9/11 assaults damaged and also destroyed thousands of pieces the irreplaceable art and practically one million distinct historical artefacts housed at the people Trade center complex. As a result, an essential part that the world’s shared social and creative heritage was lost forever.

The pair Towers seen from across the Hudson River. Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, Gift of the photographer, Konstantino Hatzisarros.

Related Resources

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is committed to providing relevant and also engaging learning avenues for students, teachers, families, and also the general public. Accessibility the Museum’s resources related to the background of the human being Trade facility below, including lesson plans, previous public programs, and feature galleries top top Inside the Collection.

The people Trade Center came to be one of the most photographed functions of the cityscape. Postcards depicting the pair Towers proliferated and also the buildings lent us to miniaturization as vital chains, eye globes, holiday ornaments, and other trinkets.

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December 13, 2018

New York artist Melissa Cacciola, Kahnawake Council chef Lindsay LeBorgne, and also Local 40 service Manager Robert Walsh discuss the background of the Mohawk ironworkers in ~ the people Trade center site.