The World Trade Center is a site for various buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The original World Trade Center was a complex of seven buildings. It featured landmark twin towers, which opened on April 4, 1973 and were destroyed in the September 11 attacks of 2001. The other buildings in the complex were damaged in the attacks and eventually destroyed. The site is being rebuilt with five new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks. As of November 2011, only one skyscraper has been completed; the other four are expected to be completed before 2020. One World Trade Center will be the lead building for the new complex, reaching more than 100 stories at its completion. It became the tallest building in New York City on April 30, 2012, and is expected to be finished by 2013. A sixth tower is awaiting confirmation.
At the time of their completion, the original 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower) and 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower), known collectively as the Twin Towers, were the tallest buildings in the world. The other buildings included 3 WTC (the Marriott World Trade Center), 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC (which housed United States Customs), and 7 WTC. All of these buildings were built between 1975 and 1985.
The complex was designed in the early 1960s by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates of Troy, Michigan, and Emery Roth and Sons of New York. The twin 110-story towers used a tube-frame structural design. To gain approval for the project, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to take over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad, which became the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH). Groundbreaking for the World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966. The North Tower was completed in December 1972 and the South Tower was finished in July 1973. The construction project involved excavating a large amount of material, which was later used as landfill to build Battery Park City on the west side of Lower Manhattan. The cost for the construction was $400 million ($2,300,000,000 in 2012 dollars). The complex was located in the heart of New York City's downtown financial district and contained 13.4 million square feet (1.24 million m2) of office space.
The Windows on the World restaurant was located on the 106th and 107th floors of 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower) while the Top of the World observation deck was located on the 107th floor of 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower). The second King Kong film was filmed in 1976 with some scenes mentioning and showing the World Trade Center.
The World Trade Center experienced a fire on February 13, 1975, a bombing on February 26, 1993 and a robbery on January 14, 1998. In 1998, the Port Authority decided to privatize the World Trade Center, leasing the buildings to a private company to manage, and awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda-affiliated hijackers flew two Boeing 767 jets into the complex, one into each tower, in a coordinated terrorist attack. After burning for 56 minutes, the South Tower (2) collapsed, followed a half-hour later by the North Tower (1), with the attacks on the World Trade Center resulting in 2,753 deaths. 7 World Trade Center collapsed later in the day and the other buildings, although they did not collapse, had to be demolished because they were damaged beyond repair. The process of cleanup and recovery at the World Trade Center site took eight months.
Over the following years, plans for a rebuilt World Trade Center took form. The first new building at the site was 7 World Trade Center, which opened in May 2006. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), established in November 2001 to oversee the rebuilding process, organized competitions to select a site plan and memorial design. Memory Foundations, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was selected as the master plan, but this went through substantial changes in design. The new World Trade Center complex will include One World Trade Center, three other high-rise office towers, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
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