The World Trade Center under construction through fascinating photos, 1966-1979

The World Trade Center project was initiated in the early 1960s through the influence of David Rockefeller to reclaim a part of the city that had fallen into hard times.

The vision was intended to use trade facilitation and urban renewal as tools for what had become a "commercial slum". The construction of the towers not only provided a new frontier for trade but also a new shore landfill on the Hudson's waterfront.

The project, developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was originally planned to be built on the east side of Lower Manhattan, but the New Jersey and New York state governments could not agree on the location.

After extensive negotiations, the New Jersey and New York state governments agreed to support the World Trade Center project, which was built on the site of Radio Row in Manhattan's Lower West Side, New York City.

After dozens of architects and several months of searching, the firm of Yamasaki of Troy Michigan was selected as the design architect and Emery Roth & Sons was chosen as the associate architect for assembling the buildings, including those within World Trade Contains 5 buildings. Center complex including both towers.

At the time, Yamasaki was part of a loose group of architects in need of new ideas for urban renewal and mixed-use megadevelopment.

Their use of primary forms and simple ornamentation allowed for the functional needs of new and often much larger forms of low-income housing projects and new and sometimes larger office buildings being commissioned by American and multi-national corporations. Gave.

He was well known for being chosen for the cover of Time magazine in 1963. At the same time, he was heavily criticized for his almost unserviceable presence for the needs of large corporations.

And yet, Yamasaki brought a certain sensibility of material and form that was missing from previous proposals for the World Trade Center site.

His words were often self-deprecating, humorous, and displayed an interest in pursuing a personal vision for a new architecture; Even in the midst of the sheer scale of the forms he is designing.

While Yamasaki favored a conservative architecture of uncompromising modernism, his aesthetic was neither overly rigid nor dogmatic.

They endowed the material with a softer, gentler feel; Wood, smooth and painted concrete, stainless steel, and anodized aluminum plate. His buildings often showed signs of renewed interest in ornament and figurative form as part of New Modernism.

Yamasaki's final design for the World Trade Center was unveiled to the public on January 18, 1964, with an eight-foot model. The towers had a square plan, dimensions of approximately 207 feet (63 m) on each side.

The buildings were designed with narrow office windows, only 18 inches (45 cm) wide, reflecting Yamasaki's fear of heights and desire to make the occupants of the building feel safe.

The windows covered only 30% of the buildings' exterior, making them look like slabs of solid metal from afar, although this was also a byproduct of the structural systems that held up the towers. Yamasaki's design called for the building's façade to be sheathed in aluminum alloy.

The design of the World Trade Center drew criticism from the American Institute of Architects and other groups for its aesthetic.

Lewis Mumford, author of The City in History and other works on urban planning, criticized the project and described it and other new skyscrapers as "just glass and metal filing cabinets".

The construction of the towers was an effort to scale up the infrastructure of the municipality. Five roads were closed and site approval provided 16 acres of land for the new project. Two metro lines continued to run at the site as foundations and basements were built around them.

Construction began in 1965 and was formalized with an important ceremony on August 5, 1966, and was finally completed with the capture of Tower One in 1970 and Tower Two in 1972.

Overall, the entire complex contributed to more than 10 million square feet of office space in Lower Manhattan, several hundred hotel suites, the city's most successful retail hub, an extremely busy transportation hub, and dozens of service and support businesses in seven buildings.

The construction of the towers was a unique engineering challenge from the start. With the foundation excavated, the construction team had to find solutions to problems never before on such a scale.

With the use of slurry walls, this type of foundation wall was first used in the US, moving construction through highly creative solutions to material handling, construction sequencing, joint detailing, structural engineering, and architectural design. was.

The towers' foundations reached an average of 70 feet below grade. With 1.2 million cubic yards of earth excavated, 23.5 acres of new land for Manhattan was created on the banks of the Hudson River.

Eventually, the office tower and wintergarden of the World Financial Center, designed by Cesar Pelli, and several apartment buildings were built on this new land.

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