Although many tourists go there where the World Trade Center stood till 2001, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. But a local lady told me go now because after a while even in some month the place will change again. It’s true! The area was under construction in 2008, huge machines everywhere try to create something new(pic 1)
Two years later I was there again and the area was still messed up (pic 2) but it seems that a big part of the plan will be ready soon. I saw many scale models of the area, it will be interesting to see it completed though.
Every year on september 11 a memorial takes place near WTC, many people gather there to see photos, listen to relatives speak etc The streets are full of people (pic 4) but the most interesting thing for a visitor is during the night when two huge lazers (symbolizing the towers) go up to the sky (pic 5)
I just took some photos of WTC and then I visited the St.Paul’s chapel that is located near by (pic 1). I saw many people using the toilets inside the church during the ceremony and I didn't know if I have to laugh or cry with this! This Episcopal church was built in 1766 and the sign outside says that is Manhattan’s oldest public building in continuous use. It’s also one of the building that survived the big fire of 1776 when almost a quarter of NYC burned!
There is a spruce tree called “Tree of Hope” planted on 2003 by ground zero workers in place of a giant sycamore tree that was struck down during the collapse of the World Trade Center. (pic 2). The cemetery of the church facing the east side of Ground Zero. For many months after 11/9 the chapel was the rest base for many workers, police officers, fire fighters etc
Then we rested for a while at Liberty plaza (pic 3), a not so nice square where some children were playing classical music(pic 4) and many people were eating their lunch at the job break.
Everyone remembers where they were on September 11th 2001.
Ground Zero is now partially a memorial and partially a building site once where the twin towers stood. Some people may consider visiting Ground Zero a little tasteless considering the tragedy of its circumstances but for as long as it remains how it was the day when I went there then there is no problem with people paying their respects.
Unlike the rest of NYC, Ground Zero was respectfully quiet - there were plenty of people milling about but the sheer enormity of what occurred here left many people in silent contemplation. I remember noticing some information, photos and drawings of the twin towers and how they compared to another building nearby - the building nearby was huge so it was very difficult for me to imagine the scale of the towers.
As we walked around the financial district, I found myself wanting to see the World Trade Center site. Although I never got to see the Twin Towers, everything I saw on TV after the September 11 attacks on New York City left little to the imagination. What people now refer to as "Ground Zero" will soon have a second life, as five new buildings are in the process of being built on the site in addition to the "7 World Trade Center" tower, which was the first new building to be completed in 2006. The 1,776 foot tall "Freedom Tower", scheduled to be completed in 2013, will become New York City's tallest building. A memorial, called "Reflecting Absence", and a museum are also under construction. For those wishing to find out more about what the World Trade Center site will look like once it is completed, it's possible to visit the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site located at 20 Vesey Street (open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, free admission).
Also, right cross the street from where the World Trade Center used to stand is the World Financial Center, a smaller but still interesting complex of four office towers that were designed by architect Cesar Pelli (of Petronas Towers fame) and built in the 1980s. Although security has been increased since September 11, 2001, many areas are still open to the public, including the beautiful winter garden atrium. I also enjoyed visiting the American Express Tower and see the beautiful, intimate memorial dedicated to the 11 American Express employees who died when the nearby Twin Towers collapsed.
Really impressive is the World Trade Center Side. They are currently building a monument on the place where until 2001 the Twin Towers were located. Next to the site, there is a church, to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks and especially the rescue workers. Very impressive and emotional.
I live in the UK and wanted to come to this part of New York to pay my respects. You saw it on the news but you cannot quite comprehend that something so awful has happened.
It is not a circus but I did feel it important for me to come and see this place. We visited the memorial in the winter gardens that American Express have erected for their 11 employees that lost their lives that day. A truly moving experience and an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful ode to those peoples lives.
One of New York's largest office buildings, One Liberty Plaza should also be one of its ugliest towers. This architectural travesty was built in 1973, the worst age for architecture in humanity's history. The 226-metre black steel structure with compact stacked windows was originally called the U.S. Steel Building, after its main occupant, but in recent years it has become known as One Liberty Plaza. Sadly, it occupies the site of the Singer Building: a 1908 Beaux-Arts beauty that held the title of the world's highest skyscraper for one year before the Metropolitan Life Tower was built. The Singer Building, with its richly decorated exterior and palatial interior was deemed "functionally obsolete" and became the world's highest structure to be legally demolished (1968). Such is the mentality of developers to this day in the Manhattan. Thankfully, neither the Pyramids nor the Eiffel Tower are located here, or they too might be deemed "functionally obsolete." One Liberty Plaza is adjacent to the World Trade Center site.
Completed in 1988, the World Financial Center is one of New York's most important corporate addresses. It consists of four modern skyscrapers built on land partially reclaimed from the Hudson River, located next to the World Trade Center site. Many large financial and non-financial institutions are headquartered in one of these towers. In the centre of the complex is a striking large glass atrium, known as the Winter Garden, which contains numerous shops, cafés and restaurants. The completion of the World Financial Center towers in 1988 marked the return of beautiful modern architecture to Manhattan, which had gravely suffered in the prior two decades from highly unattractive and shameful constructions. The architect, César Pelli, who is of Argentine origin, is famous for designing countless other skyscrapers worldwide, including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Due to the proximity of the World Financial Center to the World Trade Center, the towers and their glass atrium suffered severe damage during the collapse of the twin towers in 2001, but have since been repaired.
The former site of the World Trade Center is now a memorial to one of the worst days in American history.
Today, reconstruction continues in this single block of lower Manhattan where thousands died on September 11, 2001. In the future, this spot will boast an amazing 1,776 foot tall building gracing the skyline of NYC.
To those people who say don't visit here because it's disrespectful, because I'll get in some busy New Yorker's way when he's late for work, or because I just don't understand what New Yorkers went through (these are all reasons on VT not to visit), I say this:
I wasn't alive during the American Revolution, but I've visited its battlefields at Bunker Hill, Lexington & Concord, Newtown, Bennington, Fort Stanwix, West Point, Monmouth, Trenton, Princeton, Saratoga, Montreal, Quebec & Yorktown. I was not yet born in the War of 1812, but I've seen Fort McHenry, Lundy's Lane, Washington DC, & New Orleans. I've visited Civil War monuments at Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run, Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Mobile, Atlanta, and those all across Virginia. When World War I kicked off, my grandfather was still young, but I've toured battlefields at Verdun. My family missed World War II, but I traveled to Normandy, Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, Salerno, Luxembourg, and Germany. The Korean War took place before I was born, but I've been to bloody battle grounds at Pusan, Incheon, Seoul, and the DMZ. My father fought in Vietnam and I've visited both Saigon and Hanoi. I missed Desert Storm, but I've seen sites of battles in Kuwait.
Now that the War on Terror is underway, I will visit this war's battlefields both near and far.
Each of these locations pays tribute to brave Americans who sacrificed their lives for our country & our freedom. The fallen deserved to be honored by everyone who loves his country. If I get in your way in New York or any other place where Americans have died in battle, I'll apologize, but I will stop to pay my respects to those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Shame on you if you don't do the same.
This is near the World Trade Center site, not actually on the site. There's still a lot of interest in the WTC tragedy so there are usually lines to get into the Tribute Center. The Center has tons of pictures, audio recordings, memorabilia from 9/11. There's also a gift shop that purports to directly benefit the 9/11 Center & survivors. There is an admission price to get into the center.
Do not pay for a tour company to take you to the WTC site. Like most things in New York City, this is best experienced on foot. Nearest subway exit is Chambers Street. The actual WTC site is fenced off due to ongoing construction. Around the corner from it, there's a wall with a placard showing the names & photos of the NYC firemen who perished that day.
On my last trip to New York City, in October 2008, I visited Ground Zero. I had never been there before, and probably wouldn’t have gone if not for the fact that our body clock was off, after a long transatlantic flight, and we were wide-awake at 5 a.m.
Slipping quietly out of our apartment in Greenwich Village, taking care not to wake our hostess, we pulled open the heavy black grill door and exited the brownstone building into the cold, dark streets of New York before the sun was up. There was nobody out there. A garbage truck, a couple of people in service coveralls, and that’s about it. The storefronts were dark, apart from a Dunkin’ Donuts, where we picked up a hot drink for the way, and a delicatessen with a heap of gleaming orange pumpkins out front.
We had no map, but we knew the general direction. As we walked, the sun rose and New York began to stir. Ground Zero loomed up in front of us: Eight years after the fall of the Twin Towers, the place is a gigantic construction site completely surrounded by a corrugated iron fence that completely blocks it from sight.
As we stood there, observing the cranes and bulldozers and work crews running here and there, the gate suddenly swung open, allowing us a fleeting glimpse of the gaping hole in the ground that has left a gaping hole in so many hearts.
Directly opposite that gate was the fire station that lost many of its men that day. On the curb, a fireman was hosing down a firetruck emblazoned with the names of firefighters who died. Their names glittered in the morning sun.
For all who are drawn to the World Trade Center site, please do not patronize the illegal street vendors who profiteer off the tragedy known as 9/11. They are there Illegally, selling what is considered "disrespectful contraband". I am a 9/11 Worker who has had my life changed forever, for what I have seen and experienced that day and weeks that followed.
I worked in the Towers for nine years prior, and have personally lost six friends that day.
If you have it in your heart to respect those who had their lives taken from them, please be respectful of the loss.
Most of these street vendors are illegal immigrants, who were thousands of miles away at the time of the attacks, found their "nitch" to profiteer. I personally have physically pushed them off the site. But they return shortly afterwards. If you see one, please notify the police.
Please understand that the loss of life to the innocent should not be disrespected. I know that you will abide with this unwritten law, and co-operate. Thank you, and pray for the souls who are bound to that site. God bless you.
I’m indebted to VT friend Pete (pchamlis) for pointing me towards this not-to-be missed, very moving experience. This church stood almost in the shadow of the Twin Towers, but miraculously escaped any damage. In the months following 9/11, it served as a refuge for rescue workers, a triage centre for victims, and as a beacon of hope for the city.
For eight months, hundreds of volunteers worked 12 hour shifts around the clock, serving meals, making beds, counselling and praying with fire fighters, construction workers, police and others. I had failed to appreciate until now quite how many ordinary Americans had selflessly given up their time, and in many cases left home and family, to devote themselves to this relief effort. Today, memorials of that harrowing time are on permanent display here. As you walk around the church you will see various exhibits that pay tribute to those who served here. Among the sights are a moving collection of teddy bears and other stuffed toys – people all over the country sent these so that each recovery worker could have one beside them as they slept on cots in the church, between their shifts at Ground Zero. Another area displays mementoes of the victims, while another pays tribute to the official services such as fire fighters and police, and yet another has colourful paper birds sent in sympathy by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The cross in my main photo was made from steel and other remnants salvaged from the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Even if it weren’t for the role this church has played in the recent history of the city, it would still be worth a visit. It is Manhattan's oldest public building in continuous use. When was completed in 1766, it stood in a field some distance from the growing port city to the south, but today is surrounded by the skyscrapers of the city’s financial district. George Washington worshipped here and his pew is much as it was in his day. During the post 9/11 period it was used by podiatrists treating the feet of the volunteers – an apt reminder of Washington’s foot soldiers. Other famous past worshippers include George Clinton, the first Governor of the State of New York; Prince William, later King William IV of England; Lord Cornwallis, famous his surrender at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781; Lord Howe, who commanded the British forces in New York; and Presidents Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and George H. W. Bush.
Outside in the churchyard you can see the stump and roots of the sycamore tree that shielded the chapel and churchyard on 9/11, thus preventing it from damage or destruction by the falling towers. There is also a memorial bell, a gift from the City of London to New Yorkers.
The church is open Monday – Saturday, 10.00 AM – 6.00 PM, and Sunday 8.00 AM – 4.00 PM. Please do go and see this poignant exhibit.
One of the highlights of our previous visit to New York in 1982 was a visit to the World Trade Center and ascent to the top of one of the towers – truly the most amazing city view I have ever seen, thought not one for anyone with a fear of heights (the floor to ceiling glass windows made the view of the street below really dizzying). It was this view that kept playing in my head in the weeks after 9/11, and for a while I felt I never wanted to go back to New York and see the empty space where the towers had been. But after a while I changed my mind and realised that I had to go back, to keep the faith with the city that had made such a huge impression on me years before. And so on our second day of this visit we made our pilgrimage to Ground Zero.
Where the towers once stood, and where that (literally) earth-shattering drama unfolded, is now a huge building site. If anyone could have somehow slept through or otherwise missed the events of September 2001 they would pass by without thinking any more than what an enormous construction project this must be. But if you pause for more than a few minutes, the signs are there – an information board detailing the events of that awful day, a group of tourists listening to a guide explain what happened where, and here and there a memento fixed to the chain link fence that surrounds the site.
For a really good overview of the scale of the building work here, that will lead eventually to the raising of a new tower, the Freedom Tower, walk west along Vesey Street and ascend the escalator to the footbridge. Another way to see what’s going on, even if you aren’t in New York at all, is to check out this webcam.
To learn more about 9/11, the recovery work in the months after it and plans for the future of this part of downtown, you could visit the Tribute World Trade Center at 120 Liberty Street. We felt though that our visit to St Paul’s Chapel (see separate tip) gave us the strongest possible impression of that short but momentous period in New York’s history, one that no museum could better, so we gave this a miss, though I have read good reports of it.
So after all my doubts, I am ultimately pleased that I came here and saw Ground Zero for myself – but I will be even more pleased to come back in the future and see the Freedom Tower soaring over the city where once the Twin Towers stood.