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Remembrance + Renewal: A WTC Timeline

Less than 24 hours afterthe bombing of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, New Yorkers began calling for rebuilding the site, a smoldering pile that would burn for three months.

A timeline of events on the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s website documents the efforts that led to the new World Trade Center. Adapted from my book, One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building, the timeline tracks the birth of one of the largest and most profound collaborations in human history.

“There were varying points of view as to what would be rebuilt, and when, where, in what order, and what it would look like, but there was, I think, consensus from day one that rebuilding was what ought to happen.

The democratic process unfolded.”

–Patrick J. Foye, Exec. Director, PANYNJ

Reconstruction of the World Trade Center proceeded at what at the time seemed a glacial pace. In retrospect, rebuilding the enormous, sixteen-acre site went quickly—at lightning speed when one considers the challenges of building a structure of any size in Manhattan; the dozens of legitimate stakeholders, representing tens of thousands of constituents, that had a voice in the WTC's planning, design, and construction; the stabilization and fortification of the slurry walls that held back the Hudson River; the excavation and building of a massive underground infrastructure, which extends down eighty-five feet into bedrock; and the restoration and expansion of the transit hub linking PATH, subway, and ferry lines.

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