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The World Trade Center: Then And Now

2844 words - 11 pages

I choose this topic due to the fact that both of my parents were touched by the tragic experience of September 11.I arrived to New York, as a child, an immigrant, and like millions of others before me my first strong impression of New York was the amazing sky line of Manhattan with the twin towers in the foreground. I visited the Twin Towers more than once, with my parents and my friends. I remember on one occasion, my friends and I were a block away from the World Trade Center complex, and I told them: "We can go there another day; it's not like its going anywhere". I regret not visiting that site more often; at least I have some pictures of me at World Trade Center so not all the memories will fade away.The idea to build the World Trade Center was born at the 1939 Worlds Fair, when international banks expressed their need to have a centralized place where everything could be displayed, where buyers and sellers could meet, and where all paper work could be assembled. (Gillespie) This idea came back to life in the 1946 after the world survived World War II.David Rockefeller had shown his interest in this agenda from the beginning of his career at Chase bank in 1946. He would make repeated trips to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East where Chase Bank opened new branches to promote the idea to build the World Trade Center. He proposed to do it in the downtown of New York, with the Lower Manhattan Association. In October 1958 the Rockefeller committee released the first official report that proposed to knock down and wipe away old markets, rotting pears, and aged building in Lower Manhattan. The general plan was clear: "business centers including offices, banks, telephone and telegraph buildings". Parks, a heliport and perhaps more spaces for truck depots, parking and automotive repair centers were also included in the plan. The estimated budget for these investments was a whooping 1 billion dollars. (Gillespie 45)Rockefeller understood that it would take a government organization with vast financial resources and immense power to take the next step. He already knew that this would almost certainly be the Port of New York Authority that carried the power of two states - New York and New Jersey and controlled the almost limitless income from many of the area's bridges and tunnels. "Today, the world stands on the brink of a boom in international trade," read the report. (Goldberger 347)In 1962 the land for the development of the World Trade Center was allocated between Vesey, Liberty, Church and West Streets. To design the project Minaro Yamasaki was chosen as the architect. He was a Japanese-American who grew up in the slums of Seattle. When Minaro was 16 he labored at a salmon-canning factory in a coastal town of Alaska to gather up money for his college education. He was an outstanding student with a natural aptitude for math and science, which was influenced greatly by his uncle, an architect, who introduced him to drawing, science and physics.Only...

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