search Buscar

    Ground Zero and World Trade Center: how to visit the places of 11/XNUMX

    Who I am
    Joel Fulleda

    Item Feedback:

    content warning

    THESeptember 11th (9/11, according to the American way of writing dates) is one of those days that changed history: if you were already born in 2001, you will probably remember where you were and what you were doing when the Italian news broadcast a ' extraordinary edition, and the infamous images of Twin Towers steaming around the world.

    The geographical and temporal distance certainly does not help to remember the drama of those moments and to identify with the stories of the people who were there or who lost their loved ones there; however, if you have the opportunity to go to the area of Ground Zero, is an experience you will certainly not forget: as he said Brian Clark, one of the few survivors of the south tower, in one of his testimonies: “Here is what I take with me from my experience as a survivor: every day is a great day. I know it's a cliché, but here's another: life is precious. " Certainly remembering these clichés, but always true, will be easier for you by visiting the 11/XNUMX site.


    • Visit the World Trade Center today
    • Ground Zero: 9/11 Memorial & Museum, 9/11 Tribute Museum
    • New World Trade Center: Freedom Tower and the other new skyscrapers
    • Attractions around Ground Zero
    • How to get to Ground Zero

    Visit the World Trade Center today

    Now, of course, the part of New York where the attack took place has changed its face, but the name of the area has remained the same: "World Trade Center”: This site in Lower Manhattan still contains, in fact, many of the most important offices of international companies, located on several newly built skyscrapers.

    Before the attack, in fact, the World Trade Center was made up of 7 buildings: the towers were number 1 and number 2 (World Trade Center 1 and 2). Now, however, the new skyscrapers are 5, although not all completed (you can see the location in the image below, which summarizes the construction once the project is completed):

    • One World Trade Center (on which the One World Trade Observatory is located, the Freedom Tower to be clear)
    • 2 World Trade Center
    • 3 World Trade Center
    • 4 World Trade Center
    • 7 World Trade Center

    Added to these are the monuments dedicated to the memory of the victims and the events of 11 September, located in the area known as "Ground zero", where the Twin Towers stood, which are:

    • 9/11 Memorial (you can also see the Survivor Tree there)
    • 9/11 Museum
    • 9/11 Tribute Museum.

    As an interesting example of the greatest contemporary architecture, you can then also visit the Transportation Hub, one of the major transport hubs in New York, also built after the 11/XNUMX attack.

    Your vacation in New York can therefore be an excellent opportunity to remember what happened and “touch” one of the places where history has changed, also helped by the monuments and original photographs. The site, as we have seen, both as regards the memorial and the newly built skyscrapers, is quite composite: in this article we will proceed to a general survey.

    What does Ground Zero mean?

    The term dates back to the experiments of the Manhattan Project and originally identifies the point on the earth's surface perpendicular to the epicenter of an atomic explosion, subsequently the term was also used for other types of deflagration, such as the attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001.

    Ground Zero: 9/11 Memorial & Museum, 9/11 Tribute Museum

    Right on the site and in the immediate surroundings where the Twin Towers stood, you can find:

    • 9/11 memorial: the exact perimeter of the two collapsed buildings will hit you like a punch in the stomach for its… emptiness. In fact, where previously there were two giants of iron and glass 110 floors high (415 meters), two "chasms" have been left - fountains, each occupying almost an acre of surface: thanks to their size, they boast the distinction of having inside them the largest waterfall built by human hand. On the edges of the fountains, on bronze slabs, the names of the more than 3000 dead are carved: the number is composed of the victims who were in the Twin Towers, in the Pentagon in Washington and in Pennsylvania in the plane hijacked by passengers, as well as those killed in the bomb attack, also in New York, in 1993. Among them are both "civilians" and rescue personnel. For more details, I refer you to our article on how to visit the 11/XNUMX Memorial.
    • 9 / 11 Memorial Museum: the structure of this museum is set and surrounded by the ruins of the original buildings of the World Trade Center. It has the task of examining and showing, thanks to sources of various kinds, the resonance and the consequences that 11 September had and continues to have on the history following it. Together with archival documents, films and photographs of immediate impact, the moving stories of the people who have had to deal with this event are also told (and trust me, if you have an easy tear, but also if you do not , bring your handkerchiefs. Just watching the Youtube videos on the latest telephone messages left by the victims makes you cry like hell, so imagine there!).
    • 9/11 Tribute Museum: "Compassion + Resilience + Service": this is the motto of this museum, which is always focused on the events of 11/XNUMX but focuses more on the stories of the people who were there and were able to witness it, and who participated in the rescues, as well as the revaluation and reconstruction of the area: in short, a museum that makes "hearts with hearts" talk, a tribute and honor to the human beings who, with courage and resilience, have allowed the city and the whole of America to go forward after the fatal wound suffered. The building is outside the Ground Zero area but given the subject I decided to include it in this list anyway.
    • Survivor Tree: this Pyrus Calleryana tree was found at the Ground Zero site in October 2001 severely damaged, but alive: it was thus brought to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Thanks to the care received there, it developed new smooth branches and roots, which contrast with the gnarled stumps prior to September 11th: therefore this tree also embodies the signs of history in itself, but has been able to react to them, with due care. Since 2010, it has been located at the Memorial.

    New World Trade Center: Freedom Tower and the other new skyscrapers

    The strength of the city that was able to react to the attacks is also visible in the many new skyscrapers recently built by the best architects in the world with cutting-edge designs and materials:

    • One World Trade Center: Known, unofficially, as the Freedom Tower, this skyscraper is the tallest in the Western world at 541 meters (104 floors). Opened in 2014, although it is obviously dedicated to offices and commercial offices, it contains an observatory, at a height of 381 meters, called “One World Observatory”, open to the public. It is located between West, Fulton, Washington and Vesey Street. To find out more, take a look at our guide on how to visit the Freedom Tower.
    • 2 World Trade Center: it is the "runner-up", in terms of height, among the new buildings of the World Trade Center, with its 387 meters, however it is still under construction and it will take some time to see it completed. As an external aspect, pass me the term, it gives a little (remotely) the idea of ​​the “vertical forest” of Milan: imagine a kind of drawer structure with decreasing opening, from which vegetation emerges. It is located at 200 Greenwich St. and is bordered by Church Street to the east, Vesey Street to the north and Fulton Street to the south. The particular design of this skyscraper is inspired by the urban context in which it is located, that is the contrasting proximity between the Financial District, with its classic skyscrapers, and TriBeCa, full of apartments and roof gardens.
    • 3 World Trade Center: this skyscraper is almost 329 meters high, and is still “fresh from construction”! Its particularity is that it is “so safe” that it far exceeds the safety measures required by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and will be at the forefront of optimal use of energy, to avoid waste.
    • 4 World Trade Center: Almost 300 meters high, this building was opened in 2013. It is a “minimalist” tower, as defined by its architect Fumihiko Maki.
    • 7 World Trade Center: this skyscraper was the forerunner (it was opened in 2006) and still acts as a "gate" to the new World Trade Center. It is nearly 226 meters tall and has won many awards for its pioneering design in terms of environmental responsibility, energy use and quality of life inside.
    • It Transportation Hub: the Transportation Hub, also known as "Oculus”, Was designed by Santiago Calatrava and is one of the main transport hubs in New York: it serves to connect buses, trains, many subway lines, the ferry terminal and four buildings of the World Trade Center.

    Attractions around Ground Zero

    In short, there is a lot of stuff to be impressed by in this area, even more so if you consider the attractions in the surrounding area: in the Lower Manhattan area (or simply Downtown) you will find Wall Street, Battery Park, the Woolworth Building (just a few steps from Ground Zero), the Brooklyn Bridge, the Ellis Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty and many other noteworthy attractions.

    How to get to Ground Zero

    Map of metro stations useful for visiting Ground Zero

    There are many solutions by metro to get to the World Trade Center area; the 2 reference stations are:

    • World Trade Center (Church Street): linea E
    • Cortland Street: linee N, R e W

    Cortland Street is connected to Calatrava's Transportation Hub (Oculus), as well as Park Place (lines 2 and 3) and Chambers Street (lines A, C and E). If, on the other hand, it is convenient for you to take lines 4 and 5, get off at the Fulton Street stop.

    add a comment from Ground Zero and World Trade Center: how to visit the places of 11/XNUMX
    Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.