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Manhattan Tours

Visit the 9/11 Memorial & 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 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.

NYC Highlights 911 Memorial WTC Site

LUNY! Guides Matthew Cummings and Ibrahima Diallo at the FDNY Memorial.

We also include a visit to St. Paul’s 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 the joint leadership of the States of New York and New Jersey, 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 had its own postal code!

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 Gov Nelson Rockefeller in the early planning stages

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.


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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 were even built!) and that he conduct a free performance for children in Central Park (he was happy to oblige.)

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 Forever in our memories and our hearts

The World Trade Center was attacked not once, but twice by Al Queda terrorists. In 1993, a van loaded with explosives was detonated in the parking garage of the North Tower, killing six people and injuring nearly 1000.

On September 11th, 2001, two 747 passenger jets, departing from Boston were hijacked by Jihadist terrorists and flown into the Twin Towers. The North tower was struck at 8:46am, and the South tower at 9:03am. The South tower collapsed first at 9:59 and the North tower at 10:28am. The entire tragedy took 102 minutes and took with it 2,977 innocent souls, among them 343 New York City Firefighters and 60 Police Officers.

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That fateful day. May we never forget.

After a decade of clearing, preparing and rebuilding, the 9/11 Memorial is now open to the public, and ALL visits to NYC should plan to include this powerful, meaningful experience. 

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The tranquil Memorial Voids where the great towers once stood.

All our guides can provide a detailed history of the World Trade Center, the Attacks 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 Callery 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.