Ground Zero - World Trade Center, New York City
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.
Who needs any explenation about this site? This is the place were 2 planes crashed into the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001. In 2008 they were busy in restoring the place to make a statue to remember what happened back then.
We were not too sure what to expect at Ground Zero.
We took a bus there and walked around the area for a while, taking it all in. The area is abuzz with activity, from construction workers, to tourists milling around the fringes of the area, to construction vehicles.
When you see how tall the current surrounding buildings are there, and double their size, you realise just how huge the Twin Towers actually were!
The enormity of what happened that fateful day hit us both again. There is such evil in the world.
We spotted the lovely old church, St Pauls', alongside Ground Zero that played a pivotal role in helping those affected on 9/11… it is a beautiful old building, in stark contrast to the much larger and sleeker modern buildings all around it.
With the area having a flurry of activity it takes the sombreness of the place away. We left, feeling the better for having been there and having got a better insight into 9/11.
Since you are in the area, a visit to the infamous Ground Zero is almost mandatory, or to whatever they are building there right now, if only to satisfy your most ghoulish side. If you do not have one, just skip it. It is just a huge construction site.
I have been to NYC a couple of times after 9/11 but never had a chance to visit 'Ground Zero' until recently. I must say it much more emotional of an experience that i had anticipated. Just standing there gazing at this empty space in the middle of the city takes you back to that awful day. You can read all the comments people wrote on the fences all the different messages and poems of peace and it just makes you feel really fortunate to still be alive. Even though its a overwhelming its important for us to go and visit as a tribute to all the brave men and women that we lost that day.
Although I do not consider this to be called a tourist attraction, it was important for me to visit this area. I cannot imagine what this area looked like on that fateful day. It is a huge area, much bigger than I thought. These twin buildings must have been very impressive and prominent. I do think I have a better understanding of what the impact was on the city of New York. I do hope that something like tis would never ever happen again.
The photographs and artifacts taken and collected by Gary Soson, the official FDNY photographer for the Ground Zero recovery effort, place a personal and human element to the images most of us saw on television of the towers falling.
The museum itself is a small one-room apartment in the middle of the Meat Packing District a stone throw away from the Chelsea Piers. Don’t let the small space fool you though as every square inch of wall is covered with photos and artifacts. The introduction video is particularly moving as well as an exhibit dedicated to the search and rescue dogs that were a major part of the recovery effort.
Admission costs a bit high for the small exhibit space, but a portion of the proceeds go to various funds for the families of 9/11 victims.
More photos at:
It will always be impossible to see the NY skyline without remembering. In the years since 9/11 Ground Zero has obviously changed quite a lot. Especially before any redevelopment began just being there was a very sobering experience. You could still feel the horror of that day. Maybe some people don't want to visit or can't understand why some people do. I just think you shouldn't ever forget.
Five towers are under construction and are scheduled to open in 2011 and 2012. While the construction is going on there is a walkway around the perimeter that allows visitors to pay their respects.
The Tribute World Trade Center opened September 18, 2006, at 120 Liberty Street near Ground Zero. Founded by the September 11th Families Association to memorialize the events of 9/11, it is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 NOON to 6:00 PM. A free walking tour through five exhibits depicts loss, survival, and heroism. One-hour guided tours are available for a $10 donation. The Center is temporary and will be replaced with a permanent museum and memorial, Reflecting Absence. There is also a temporary memorial at Battery Park.
The new PATH train station and the World Trade Center Subway Station are located directly adjacent to the Ground Zero construction site. Only one subway train stops at the World Trade Center Station. From the Port Authority Bus Station on 42nd Street near Times Square, you can take the E train on the Blue Line toward downtown directly to the new WTC Station. The other Blue Line trains stop at Chambers Street just a short walk from Ground Zero. From Time Square Station, all of the Red Line subway trains going downtown also stop at Chambers Street.
The World Trade Center- located in the heart of the Financial District. At one time these twin towers, at 1,350 feet high, were the tallest buildings in the world. Easily visible throughout the city, they cover an area of 16 acres. Below street level you will find a railway station along with various subways and plenty of underground shopping. In contrast, visit the highest observation deck in the world located on the 107th floor in Building #1. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
I was listening to the radio in my apartment, having just come home from university, when I heard about one of the Twin Towers being hit by a plane. At that moment, nobody knew that this crash would mark the biggest catastrophe the US have ever suffered in peace times. Nobody knew yet that the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, would mark the beginning of a new era in world history. 6 years later, my trip to New York included my visiting what is now called Ground Zero - the remains of that disastrous day. Ground Zero is an incredibly large area - the towers always looked so slim when you saw them on TV, so that I couldn't imagine their real size. The construction site which will sometime in the future become the so-called "Freedom Tower" measures some 200 x 400m. Work is going on everywhere, security controls are immense and there is a buzzing mass of people that seems to want to clarify that terrorists cannot stop the USA in remaining the world's biggest power.
More interesting than the construction site (which, after all, is only a very big construction site if you consider it soberly) is St. Paul's Church (see next tip).
I went with my friends to go see Ground zero, where the twin towers used to stand.
There were a bunch of people gathered around the site, as well as some temporary monuments to honor those who passed away on 9/11. Although several years have passed since then, it still was a very surreal and moving experience to be in the midst of the rubble and reconstruction.
The World Trade Center must have been quite a sight because the area if was formly located is huge. It is quite sad to visit Ground 0 and see the list of the nearly 3000 people who lost their lives that day. I will remember that day for the rest of my life because I flew from Europe to North America that day and my plane was one of the last planes to arrive in NA. I remember being on the plane and listening to the pilot tell everyone on the plane that all hell had broken loose in NYC and that terrorists had attacked the world trade center. Absolute shock was the reaction until reality set in and people started crying and yelling. My experience on that plane can not be compared to anyone involved with that tragic event but after my experience I have deep respect for the people involved and the people that lost their lives that day. The WTC now has a tribute center that takes you through the WTC from the time it was destroyed up to the present day plans of building the new Freedom Tower. Quite an exhibit and the whole area is eye opening.
The Ground Zero Memorial Exhibition was opened in 2007 and is a moving and emotional exhibit dealing with the 9/11 attacks.
Located next to the fire station at the Trade Centre site the exhibition contains numerous artefacts from the crash site many of them very moving.
As well as these artefacts there are audio visual displays and a photo memorial wall.
Downstairs you can leave your own message of sentiment/condolense.
Well worth a visit but will leave you thoughtful and may be upsetting for some.
The former site of the World Trade Center, Ground Zero, is bustling with tourists, yet a somber place where one can see where the devastation took place yet is still encouraged to respect the lives lost on September 11, 2001. Still a lot of work to be done on the memorial to honor the heroes and everyone whose lives were lost on this day. Maybe say a prayer or have a moment of silence for the victims as you are passing through.
Although this tragic event happened and the Twin Towers are there no more, I’m still gonna put it here. I just think that we should not forget about it.
Twin 110-story steel and glass towers dominated the skyline of Lower Manhattan. The whole complex consisting of 5 office buildings and a hotel was built from 1966 to 1977. The World Trade Center was home to 450 businesses and 50,000 workers. About 90,000 visitors a day were coming here to see the views from the observation desk or the rooftop promenade at Two World Trade Center...