The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed during the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers—the original 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower) at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower) at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center (3 WTC), 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space and, prior to its completion, was projected to accommodate an estimated 130,000 people.

The core complex was built between 1966 and 1975, at a cost of $400 million (equivalent to $3.56 billion in 2022). The idea was suggested by David Rockefeller to help stimulate urban renewal in Lower Manhattan, and his brother Nelson, then New York’s 49th governor, signed the legislation to build it. The buildings at the complex were designed by Minoru Yamasaki. In 1998, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey decided to privatize it by leasing the buildings to a private company to manage. It awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.

During its existence, the World Trade Center symbolized globalization and the economic power of America. Although its design was initially criticized by New York citizens and professional critics —”they put up the boxes instead of the buildings”—the Twin Towers became an icon of New York City. It had a major role in popular culture, and according to one estimate was depicted in 472 films. The Twin Towers were also used in Philippe Petit’s tightrope-walking performance on August 7, 1974. Following the September 11 attacks, mentions of the complex in various media were altered or deleted, and several dozen “memorial films” were created.

An article on the architect, Minoru Yamasaki:

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Jim the Realtor

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