World Trade Center site in New York City
The World Trade Center site (ZIP code: 10048), also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on 16 acre in Lower Manhattan in New York City. The World Trade Center complex stood on the site until it was destroyed in the attacks; Studio Daniel Libeskind, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Silverstein Properties, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation oversee the reconstruction of the site. The site is bounded by Vesey Street to the north, the West Side Highway to the west, Liberty Street to the south, and Church Street to the east. The Port Authority owns the site's land (except for 7 World Trade Center). Developer Larry Silverstein holds the lease to retail and office space in four of the site's buildings.
While the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is often identified as the owner of the WTC site, the ownership situation is actually somewhat complex and ambiguous. The Port Authority indeed owns a "significant" internal portion of the site of 16 acre, but has acknowledged "ambiguities over ownership of miscellaneous strips of property at the World Trade Center site", going back to the 1960s. It is unclear who owns 2.5 acre of the site, being land where streets had been before the World Trade Center was built.
Before the World Trade Center occupied the site
The western portion of the World Trade Center site was originally under the Hudson River, with the shoreline in the vicinity of Greenwich Street. It was on this shoreline close to the intersection of Greenwich and the former Dey Street that Dutch explorer Adriaen Block's ship, the Tyger, burned to the waterline in November 1613, stranding Block and his crew and forcing them to overwinter on the island. They built the first European settlement, albeit a temporary one in what would be New York City. The remains of the ship were buried under landfill when the shoreline was extended starting in 1797, and were discovered during excavation work in 1916. The remains of a second ship from the eighteenth century were discovered in 2010 during excavation work at the site. The ship believed to be a Hudson River sloop was found just south of where the Twin Towers used to stand, about 20 feet below the surface.
September 11 attacks
On the morning of September 11, 2001, two hijacked planes bound for Los Angeles were intentionally crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center. The towers collapsed within two hours of the collisions. Terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda organized and executed the attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died. After the attacks, hospital workers and police officers began referring to the World Trade Center site as "Ground Zero".
Debris and clean-up
The collapse of the towers spread dust across New York City and left hundreds of thousands of tons of debris at the site. To organize the cleanup and search for survivors and for human remains, the New York Fire Department divided the disaster site into four sectors, each headed by its own chief. Early estimates suggested that debris removal would take a year, but cleanup ended in May 2002, under budget and without a single serious injury. Three years later, in February 2005, the New York City Medical Examiner's office ended its process of identifying human remains at the site.
According to experts, when WTC 1 (the North Tower) collapsed, falling debris struck 7 World Trade Center and ignited fires on multiple floors. The uncontrolled fires ultimately led to the progressive collapse of the structure. Portions of the South Tower also damaged the nearby Deutsche Bank Building, which soon became filled with toxic dust. By 2002, Deutsche Bank determined that its building was unsalvageable. By January 2011, the Deutsche Bank Building was finally completely demolished.
Cleanup workers trucked most of the building materials and debris from Ground Zero to Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. Some people, such as those affiliated with World Trade Center Families for Proper Burial, were worried that human remains might also have been (inadvertently) transported to the landfill. will now act as a memorial museum and visitors' center, after family members of 9/11 victims objected to the building's original occupant, the International Freedom Center.
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Santiago Calatrava designed the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (its main asset being the PATH station ) to replace the old World Trade Center station. The Transport Hub will connect the PATH station and 1 New York City Transit Authority subway train to the ferry terminal, the World Financial Center and One World Trade Center on the west and the New York City Transit Authority subway trains through the Fulton Street Transit Center on the East. One will be able to walk most of the way across lower Manhattan. The Port Authority will cool the new station, as well as the September 11 Memorial and Museum, via a heat exchanger fed by four pipes carrying water from the Hudson River. The cost for the transportation hub is estimated at $3.44 billion.
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Government officials have backed down from a July 2008 deal to relocate the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only church destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
A deal has been reached between church officials, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the Port Authority to have the church rebuilt on the same site, but three times the original size on October 14, 2011, according to NY1.
, progress on the construction of the redesigned site is as follows:
- 1 World Trade Center – Construction began in April 2006; two years later, tower-foundation steel columns, concrete, and rebar had been installed. In 2006, the Port Authority took over from Silverstein Properties as the project's developer. Tishman Construction Corporation is the construction manager. The estimated completion date is 2013.
- 2 World Trade Center – Groundbreaking in July 2008. Will be completed in 2015.
- 3 World Trade Center – Groundbreaking in March 2008. Will be completed in 2014. In April 2008, excavation and preparations for foundation work took place.
- 4 World Trade Center – Construction began in 2008. Will be completed in 2013.
- 5 World Trade Center – Construction began on September 9, 2011. The Port Authority acts as the building's developer.
- 7 World Trade Center – Opened on May 23, 2006 and achieved LEED gold status.
- National September 11 Memorial & Museum – Partially complete. The Memorial opened on September 11, 2011, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The museum will open in September 2012.
- Performing Arts Center – Construction will begin after 2014 since a temporary exit from the PATH station will occupy the site until then.
- Collapse of the World Trade Center
- Controversy surrounding the rebuilding of the World Trade Center
- Health effects arising from the September 11 attacks
- Survivors' Staircase
- Verizon Building
- Official site - Silverstein Properties
- Tribute WTC 9/11 Visitor Center
- Reviving Ground Zero - interactive slideshow with audio by The New York Times
- Downtown Restoration Program - Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
- National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center
- Project Rebirth
- World Trade Center Rising
- RebuildGroundZero.org, a community project based on Ground Zero's rebuilding.
- The Freedom Tower (YouTube)