Visit the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site
Down in the heart of the Financial District, we will take you to where the twin towers once stood: Now a stunning and solemn memorial consisting of two reflecting pools where the towers stood, now with the world's largest man-made waterfalls. Your talented LUNY! guide will talk you through the history of the original World Trade Center, the details of the events of 9/11 and the rebuilding and the rebirth of the World Trade Center. We also include a visit to St. Paul's Memorial Chapel aka "The Little Chapel That Stood': a 250 year old church right across the street from the former Ground Zero that was not damaged on 9/11!
History of the World Trade Center
First developed by John D. Rockefeller III and his brother Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1961, the World Trade Center was designed to be like a city within a city, with enough capacity for 100,000 workers between a total of seven buildings and even its own postal code!
The Rockefellers, changing the face of New York yet again!
The buildings were designed by Japanese-American artist Minoru Yamasaki and took ten years to build, from 1964 to 1974 under the supervision of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority. However, the whole time the buildings were reaching high into the sky, the public opinion of them was that they were bland, graceless, and an outrage that they would usurp the iconic Empire State Building as the tallest buildings in New York and the world. The twin towers were not well received in the city of skyscrapers until one amazing morning in 1974.
On August 7th, 1974, shortly after 9am people looked up and saw French aerialist Phillipe Petit tightrope walking between the towers, without permission and without a safety net! He "danced" between the towers eight times (between the screams and shock of the NYPD stationed on either roof) before coming down and facing arrest for 14 different misdemeanors including performing without a permit.
Phillipe Petit, on top of the world!
The charges were dropped on the conditions that Mr. Petit tell the building's security everything he knew about them (he had studied them since before they had even begun construction!) and that he conduct a free performance for children in Central Park (he was happy to oblige.) Though the Twin Towers could never match the beauty or prestige of the Empire State Building, Petit's stunt humanized the buildings and they soon became a beloved and iconic part of New York's beloved skyline.
Forever in our memories and our hearts
The World Trade Center was attacked not once, but twice by Al Queda operatives. The first time a van-bomb was set off in the parking garage of the north tower, killing six people but injuring nearly 1000. This was our first indication that the world trade center was a target for terrorists. Sadly, this warning wasn't enough to protect the Trade Center 8-years later on that fateful morning in 2001.
On September 11th, 2001, two 747 passenger Jets, headed from Boston to California were hijacked by terrorists and flown into the Twin Towers. The first tower was struck at 8:46am at approximately the 95th floor. The second plane passed by the World Trade Center over the Hudson river, rerouted and returned to strike the south tower at 9:03am at approximately the 80th floor. The south tower collapsed first at 9:59am and the north tower, though struck first collapsed second at 10:28am. The entire tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center took 102 minutes and took with it 2,753 innocent souls, among them 343 New York City firefighters.
That fateful day. May we never forget.
After ten years of cleaning, planning, debating, discussing and building, the 9/11 Memorial is now open to the public, and ALL visits to NYC should attempt to include this powerful, meaningful experience. Although timed passes to the Memorial are free, they are distributed via the nonprofit 9/11 Memorial website and may be difficult to obtain for last minute bookings. We may be able to secure limited passes to the Memorial, provided we have enough advance notice for your group's planned visit.
The tranquil memorial voids where the great towers once stood.
We feel that all experiences in our great, resilient city are amplified via the hiring of a licensed NYC tour guide, and all our guides provide in depth & detailed history of the World Trade Center, the Tragedy of 9/11 and the future of the WTC site, including the architectural significance of the Memorial Voids, the choice of swamp white oak trees and the Callary Pear "Survivor Tree," the various states of completion on the surrounding buildings, the "Meaningful Adjacencies" of the victim's names and more. Tours last 2 hours and are accompanied by visual storytelling via iPads.
If you'd like to reserve tickets to the 9/11 Memorial, please click here.
If you'd like to book a tour of the 9/11 Memorial, please contact us.