Thursday, 15 July 2010

The World Trade Centre and Trinity Church in New York

Before 9/11
The World Trade Center was originally a group of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan in New York City. The twin towers were each over 106 floors. the complex of seven buildings held 13.4 million square feet of office space. The buildings were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with six new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks.

Cleanup from the devestating attack was a 24/7 project for eight months. When we visited the area I was struck by the amount of businesses and communities that were also devestated in the attack.
If you've never visited and rely on the news, you begin to forget that if two large buildings were hit by airplanes, the fall out from those buildings would reach far and wide. The towers were huge and tall. This wasn't the implosion of an old building that needed to be removed. Buildings and their tenants (residential and business) were damaged. Travel into the neighbourhoods was restricted for blocks.

Many businesses left the area for good. Many of the buildings that had held the businesses are now being converted into condos.

The Trinity Episcopal church which is three blocks north of the former trade centre buildings, was used as a refuge on September 11, 2001. Debris from the tower collapsing knocked over a giant sycamore tree that had stood for nearly a century in the churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel, which is part of Trinity Church's parish and located several blocks north of Trinity Church. Sculptor Steve Tobin used its roots as the base for a bronze sculpture that stands next to the Trinity Church.

While the church stood strong, buildings crumbled around it on September 11, 2001. The gates to the historic church now serve as an impromptu memorial to the victims of 9/11, with countless tokens of remembrance left by both locals and visitors alike.

Ground Zero in 2002
When we visited New York, the new construction in the area made it difficult to see 'Ground Zero.' A fence blocked the view of the area and even the machinery that is creating the new building.

World Trade Centre Sphere
Ground Zero is a place with a lot of tragic memories attached to it. you are curious about the Ground Zero site, it is all covered up with high fences covered so you can't see inside. And if you find a hole somewhere.... It is a contruction site, just a bit bigger than normal.

What really stood out when we visited was the amount of people coming up from the subway to Ground Zero and their responses. So many instant responses of shock with hands over their mouths and tears falling from their eyes. It made me think of the many families that were affected by the tragedy. 9 years later people are still coming to the site to see the aftermath. How many of those people are relatives? Children, neices and nephews, and so many others.

The World Trade Centre sphere was damaged but not destroyed when the buildings were hit. The sphere has a temporary place in Battery Park until rebuilding at Ground Zero is complete.

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