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A Photo Tour of The World Trade Center

Take a tour of the World Trade Center site, which has been rebuilt in the nearly two decades since 9/11

Four tall buildings with glass facades. A blue sky is behind them.
From left: One World Trade Center, 7 World Trade Center, 3 World Trade Center, and 4 World Trade Center, on September 7, 2019.

In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the site where the Twin Towers once stood was, as the New York Times once described it, “a 16-acre, 70-foot-deep hole in the heart of Lower Manhattan.” It was hard to believe at times that the revival of the site — promised by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and his successor, Michael Bloomberg — would happen, with red tape, financial issues, and bureaucratic infighting holding the project up at various points.

But eventually, those promises of rebuilding came true; now, much of the historic World Trade Center complex is full, with new skyscrapers — two of which are among the city’s tallest — retail spaces, and more revitalizing the site. The 9/11 Memorial, which opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, remains a poignant commemoration; a new section added last year, the Memorial Glade, honors the recovery workers whose lives are still affected by the attacks to this day.

Scroll through for a look at the World Trade Center site today, and for more about the specific buildings and construction timelines, read our status report of the World Trade Center complex.

Two tall skyscrapers, both with glass facades.
4 World Trade Center (left) and 3 World Trade Center, two office buildings that, together, have nearly 5 million square feet of office space. 3WTC is home to tenants like GroupM and McKinsey, while Spotify is the anchor tenant of 4WTC. Both connect to the WTC Transportation Hub.
The lobby of a glass building.
The rebuilding of the World Trade Center site has also activated the area at street level, with retail and entrances to the WTC Transportation Hub in 3 and 4WTC.
A construction site with two cranes. Two tall buildings with glass exteriors are behind the site.
The Perelman, once known as the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, will eventually rise on this site between One WTC and the site of 2WTC. The venue, designed by REX, will be a simple cube covered in marble, and will have plenty of flex space for performances, lectures, and other events.
A landmark building that is white with large protrusions coming out of it. Tall glass buildings rise behind it.
The Oculus, designed by Santiago Calatrava, sits next to 3WTC. Its design—“steel ribs and glass arrayed in a large elliptical shape,” as Calatrava puts it—has been compared to a bird in flight, or a whale’s ribcage. The skylight that tops it is intended to open every year on the anniversary of 9/11; thanks to a leak, that won’t happen in 2019.
A train station with large white beams on the ceiling, and kiosks that provide information on the ground. Escalators lead to a lower level.
The “whale’s rib” comparison becomes much more apparent once you’re inside the Oculus, which connects the Westfield World Trade Center mall and the WTC Transportation Hub. That transit center links 11 subway lines, the PATH (pictured here), and the Brookfield Place shopping center across West Street.
A subway station with a train waiting at the platform. A sign on the wall says “WORLD TRADE CENTER.”
The new 1 train station, called WTC Cortlandt, opened in 2018 in the footprint of the old Cortlandt Street subway stop, which was destroyed on 9/11.
The 9/11 Museum, which opened in 2014, preserves artifacts from the day of the attacks, as well as items related to 9/11. It sits on the north end of the WTC plaza, adjacent to the reflecting pools of the memorial.
The memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” sits in the footprint of the original Twin Towers. The names of every victim of the September 11 attacks, as well as those from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, are etched into the bronze panels surrounding the memorial’s waterfalls.
A new component of the memorial opened earlier this year: The Memorial Glade, comprising six large stone monoliths, is intended to honor those who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts post-9/11, and died or otherwise fallen ill because of their time at Ground Zero. It was dedicated at the end of May, and sits at the southwestern corner of the memorial plaza.
An arial view of the large open-air memorial plaza and its two waterfalls.
Liberty Park, an elevated park that runs along the southwestern edge of the WTC site, opened in 2016. It’s the future home of the St. Nicholas Shrine, the Santiago Calatrava-designed Greek Orthodox church that will replace a similar house of worship that was destroyed on 9/11. Fritz Koenig’s Sphere, a bronze orb that sat in the plaza between the Twin Towers, and was badly damaged on 9/11, was moved from Battery Park to this site in 2017.
From Liberty Park, you can see One WTC, as well as the Brookfield Plaza complex, located on the other side of West Street.

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