How New York City rebuilt Ground Zero Following the 9/11 attacks

New York before the fall of the towers
A day that will never be forgotten
The tallest skyscrapers
Cold War Icon
A first attack on the World Trade Center
September 11, 2001
The new Lower Manhattan
One World Trade Center
A memorial for those who died
None of the victims forgotten
The resurrection of Lower Manhattan
Skyscrapers are still important office spaces
Residents near Ground Zero
Oculus Station
Futurism and controversy
A city of towers
The light from the towers keeps shining
New York before the fall of the towers

The World Trade Center with its Twin Towers was for years a symbol of New York City and the power of capitalism.

A day that will never be forgotten

Its fall on 9/11 was therefore equally iconic. But what is the building's history and what happened after it fell into ruins?

The tallest skyscrapers

When the World Trade Center opened in Lower Manhattan in 1973, its two skyscrapers were the tallest in the West. Both were over 400 metres (1,300 feet) high.

Cold War Icon

The symbolism of the Twin Towers is clear from the vast number of images with celebrities from all parts of the world against the background of the World Trade Center. For example, Reagan, Bush and Gorbachev (the last president of the Soviet Union) in this image with the iconic skyscrapers behind them.

A first attack on the World Trade Center

9/11 wasn't the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In 1993, radical Islamists targeted the building with a bomb attack, placing a van with explosives in the basement of the North Tower. Six people died.

September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001 the profile of New York City changed forever. Against all architectural odds, the Twin Towers collapsed into ruins and ash. But the city decided to reinvent that space.

The new Lower Manhattan

New York is an invincible city that has risen from its ashes on more than one occasion. On the place of the two emblematic skyscrapers, it built One World Trade Center. The tower that is glowing in the image, was originally called the Freedom Tower.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center opened in 2014 and is over 500 meters (1640 feet) high. It took seven years to build and cost $3.9 billion. The architect who created the project is David Childs, a specialist of skyscrapers.

(Image: Andre Benz / Unsplash)

A memorial for those who died

Surrounding the One World Trade Center is an entire commercial and leisure complex. In its gardens, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is located. The shafts of the foundations of one of the fallen towers have been preserved. They now form a fountain.

(Image: Redd / Unsplash)

None of the victims forgotten

Naturally, the names of the 9/11 victims are present in the new memory space and are duly honoured.

The resurrection of Lower Manhattan

New York's Lower Manhattan area has a large number of offices, but there are also houses. At the time of the 9/11 attack, there were about 24,000 people living in Lower Manhattan. More than 4,000 left the neighbourhood after the attacks, but currently the area has approximately 64,000 residents.

Skyscrapers are still important office spaces

After 9/11, some predicted the end of the skyscraper era. They said people would be afraid to work in these tall buildings. This prediction did not come true, although the pandemic did empty a number of offices.

(Image: Luke Stackpoole / Unsplash)

Residents near Ground Zero

Thanks to incentive policies of the different city administrations, Lower Manhattan's office space has partly been converted into housing.

(Image: Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash)

Oculus Station

But there's something else contributing to the reinvention of Ground Zero: it's the Oculus train station (seen here from above), designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Futurism and controversy

The Oculus Station, where various train lines converge, has a futuristic look typical of Calatrava's works. Its construction has been a little controversial, with the New York Times condescendingly calling it "a place for selfies," while journalists, citizens and politicians have also complained about its high cost.

(Image: Genevieve Perron-Migneron / Unsplash)

A city of towers

Around the One World Trade Center there are other buildings, also tall but not as immense as the one that currently marks the 9/11 Memorial. New York is and will remain a city of skyscrapers.

(Image: Mariano Gilioli / Unsplash)

The light from the towers keeps shining

The city that never sleeps overcame the devastation of 9/11 but does not forget it. From time to time, these two lights in the night are reminiscent of the towers that once marked Manhattan and fell in a brutal attack.

More images: 9/11, the day the world watched New York and held its breath

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