Ground Zero - World Trade Center, New York City
The galleries of the Tribute WTC museum are where you really feel the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The most touching are, of course, the walls of photos of the victims. You are immediately struck by how young most of them were. The wall of missing persons flyers is equally heartbreaking. Also on display is a timeline of the events of 9/11, and many photos showing the acts of heroism from local fire and police departments, the local civilians, and the outpouring of grief and courage from around the world.
Personally, I think that the galleries are much more powerful than the big hole in the ground where the buildings used to stand. While the construction site may not, in itself, be particularly interesting or inspiring, the combination of the site, the galleries, and St. Paul's make a powerful afternoon of reflection and remembrance.
Oh, and it's all open Mondays, when everything else is closed.
Since the 9/11 attacks I've been to the World Trade Center twice. Though I'm not an American, each visit provides a very somber moment. I truly do not believe that one can fully contemplate how enormous this attack was, not only on the structures themselves but on the psyche of the American people.
Do go, but observe a respectful silence while you're there. If you'd like to see a satellite view of the World Trade Centre site then click here.
The construction of the new World Towers Two is progressing. The site is surrounded by fencing, and you can walk all around it. In some regards it is surreal to be down there and see the large area devastated. What is impressive is that I guess about 5,000 or more come by each week to see the site and remember why we are fighting for our cause now-good or bad?
The Freedom Tower complex is to cost about $2 billion and the main building is going to be 82 stories tall, and total completion is not expected until 2018. The wow factor is due to our "logistic" and opinionated people, the delay in building anything took about 9 years. That is quite an embarrassing feat given we wanted such memorial right away.
The twin towers of the World Trade Center were more than just buildings. They were proof of New York's belief in itself. Built at a time when New York's future seemed uncertain, the towers restored confidence and helped bring a halt to the decline of lower Manhattan. Brash, glitzy, and grand, they quickly became symbols of New York. The north tower was opened in Dec. 1970 and the south tower in Jan. 1972; they were dedicated in April 1973. They were the world's tallest buildings for only a short time, since the Sears Tower in Chicago was completed in May 1973. However, the towers were ranked as the fifth and sixth tallest buildings in the world at the time of their destruction on Sept. 11, 2001. September 11, 2001, is a day that remains indelibly etched in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers, Americans, and countless millions of people around the world. Thousands of tourists stream into lower Manhattan daily to observe the work at the site of the former World Trade Center, also referred to as Ground Zero.
World Trade Center site is located in Lower Manhattan, and most of the site (where its buildings except 7 World Trade Center were located) is bounded to the north by Vesey Street, to the west by the West Side Highway, to the south by Liberty Street and to the east by Church Street. In the northern portion of the site across Vesey Street, the former location of 7 World Trade Center is bounded to the west by Washington Street, to the north by Barclay Street, and to the east by West Broadway.
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.