Saturday, 23 May 2009

VIDEO: Construction of the World Trade Center & Freedom Tower























I remember distinctly when I first saw the twin towers. I was about 11 years old and it was the pan shot across the Hudson towards Manhattan in the opening sequence of Barney Miller.



The image of two massive slivers of silver sticking up proudly and with ultimate defiance to everything around them will stay with me forever.

As an 11 year old those buildings seemed to defy gravity and commonsense, how come they are so big, why are they so big and how come they don't fall down and yes what would happen if a plane flew into them and of course how the hell did they build them?

Well I found a fantastic video made in 1983 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of the construction of the World Trade Center.



Here are a few facts about the World Trade Center:

1. The WTC opened in 1970 after 8 years of construction.

2. The WTC was the dream of David Rockefeller, chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Nelson Rockefeller, former Governor of New York.

3. The Rockefellers wanted to name the towers after themselves, but the mayor of NY, John Lindsay, insisted on the World Trade Center.

4. The City chose to build the WTC instead of building a new tunnel and large bridge over the Hudson River.

5. The World Trade Center was designed by architect Minoura Yamasaki.

6. According to Yamasaki, downtown Manhattan was the perfect place to erect the towers because there wasn't "a single building worth saving in the neighborhood."

7. Owners of nearby buildings disagreed, and delayed demolition by three weeks with their protests.

8. Sixteen blocks were cleared to house the completed WTC.

9. More than 10,000 workers involved in building the complex.

10. More than 60 of them died during construction.

11. The excavation work displaced enough soil to create Liberty Park, where four 60-floor towers and four apartment buildings were constructed.

***
Please note "Fact 11" is disputed - YT member "opusbeme" claims it should read Battery Park City !!
***

12. The WTC's foundations were laid at 60 feet below ground level.

13. The complex covered 16 acres when finished.

14. In addition to the towers, five other office buildings made up the WTC complex
The WTC had 12 million square feet of space.

15. Each floor was 50,000 square feet.

16. The buildings had their own ZIP codes - 10047 and 10048.

17. The towers were designed to look like a futuristic sculpture.

18. The structure was revolutionary. Its main supports were external, lining the four corners of each tower.

19. Critics condemned the completed buildings as "boring."

20. Completed, the buildings were 100 feet taller then the Empire State building. 


As 43 year old I am also absolutely fascinated by the construction of the Freedom Tower, the monolith replacing the WTC and something I have dubbed the "middle finger".

Watch as the construction of this mother begins to rise.




I will be posting video as the construction of the tower progresses over the next 5 years or so. 

The Freedom Tower as fully finished, 1776 foot of magnificant steel glass and concrete.

http://www.jreednet.com/blog/uploaded_images/FreedomTower3-718638.jpg


Related Amazon Reading

The World Trade Center (America's Landmarks and Monuments)The World Trade Center (America's Landmarks and Monuments)by Tamara L. Britton 
Buy new: $24.21 / Used from: $4.56
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c Political Animal 2009

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