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WTC Twin Towers, 1973-2001

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Designed for strength, demolished by terrorists on September 11, 2001
The World Trade Center in New York City Before the Terrorist Attack

The World Trade Center in New York City Before the Terrorist Attack

Photo © Markus Seidel / iStockPhoto

The World Trade Center, New York, New York

Architects: Minoru Yamasaki Associates, Rochester Hills, Michigan (design architect); Emery Roth & Sons, New York
Structural Engineers: Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, Robertson, New York
Foundation Engineers: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Engineering Department
Architectural Plan Presented: January 1964
Excavation Began: August 1966
Steel Construction Starts: August 1968
Buildings Dedicated: 1973
TV Tower (360 feet) Installed: June 1980 on the North Tower
First Terrorist Attack: February 26, 1993
Second Terrorist Attack: September 11, 2001

The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace.
~Minoru Yamasaki, chief architect

Designed by American architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986), the World Trade Center consisted of two 110-story buildings (known as the "Twin Towers") and five smaller buildings (see site map). The North Tower (1 WTC) was finished in 1970 and the South Tower (2 WTC) was completed in 1972.

Yamasaki studied over a hundred models before adopting the twin tower plan. Plans for a single tower were rejected because the size was cumbersome and impractical. Plans for several towers "looked too much like a housing project," Yamasaki said. The World Trade Center Towers were among the tallest buildings in the world, and contained nine million square feet of office space.

The World Trade Center Twin Towers were light, economical structures designed to keep the wind bracing on the outside surfaces.

Learn More from About.com Videos: History of New York's World Trade Center >>>

Next: Structure of the World Trade Center Twin Towers >>

Source in Part: The World Trade Center Chronology of Construction, Office of Cultural Education, New York State Education Department (NYSED) [accessed September 8, 2013]

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