World Trade Center Facts
Courtesy of reader Carl Taylor
1. The WTC opened in 1970 after 8 years of construction.
2. The WTC was the dream of David Rockefeller, chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Nelson Rockefeller, former Governor of New York.
3. The Rockefellers wanted to name the towers after themselves, but the mayor of NY, John Lindsay, insisted on the World Trade Center.
4. The City chose to build the WTC instead of building a new tunnel and large bridge over the Hudson River.
5. The World Trade Center was designed by architect Minoura Yamasaki.
6. According to Yamasaki, downtown Manhattan was the perfect place to erect the towers because there wasn't "a single building worth saving in the eighborhood."
7. Owners of nearby buildings disagreed, and delayed demolition by three weeks with their protests.
8. Sixteen blocks were cleared to house the completed WTC.
9. More than 10,000 workers involved in building the complex.
10. More than 60 of them died during construction.
11. The excavation work displaced enough soil to create Liberty Park, where four 60-floor towers and four apartment buildings were constructed.
12. The WTC's foundations were laid at 60 feet below ground level.
13. The complex covered 16 acres when finished.
In addition to the towers, five other office buildings made up the WTC
The WTC had 12 million square feet of space.
15. Each floor was 50,000 square feet.
16. The buildings had their own ZIP codes - 10047 and 10048.
17. The towers were designed to look like a futuristic sculpture.
18. The structure was revolutionary. Its main supports were external, lining the four corners of each tower.
19. Critics condemned the completed buildings as "boring."
20. Completed, the buildings were 100 feet taller then the Empire State building.
Until the construction of Chicago's Sears Tower and the
Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, the twin towers were the world's tallest buildings.
22. The North Tower's 347 foot radio tower technically allowed the WTC to still call itself the world's tallest building.
23. The towers were different heights. The South tower was 1,362 feet tall, and big brother North tower was 1,368.
24. Sixty-eight miles of steel were used in the construction of the buildings.
25. The concrete poured was enough to build a road from New York to Washington, DC
26. The steel inside the WTC could have made three more Brooklyn Bridges.
27. The Twin Towers had more than 16 miles of staircases.
28. There were 43,600 windows.
29. The windows were small to reduce the of heat or cold entering the building. Regular size windows would have made the heat unbearable in the summertime.
30. The WTC's 600,000 square feet of glass was cleaned by an automatic machine.
31. The building had 20,000 elevator doors.
32. Of the WTC's 239 banks of elevators, one was known as the fastest in the U.S.
33. The main elevators at 27 feet a second reached the top in less than a minute.
34. There were 828 emergency exit doors.
35. 23,000 fluorescent light bulbs lit the interior.
36. Originally, there were no light switches in the towers, because energy prices were one-third less than they are today. In 1982,switches were installed.
37. 12,000 miles of electrical cable snaked through the building, supplying power to 15 trading floors for stockbrokers.
38. The 75,000 telephones were maintained by 19,600 miles of cable.
39. There were more than 300 computer mainframes on site.
40. The WTC used more power in one day than most small American cities.
41. Steam supplied by a plant on New York's East River was used to heat the buildings.
42. The buildings housed 49,000 tons of air-conditioning equipment.
43. More than 250,000 cans of paint were needed every year for upkeep of the Towers.
44. The surrounding shopping center complex included 3250,000 square feet of restaurants and stores.
45. Six banks, five investment firms and three insurance companies called their headquarters there, in the building.
46. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had its headquarters in the building.
47. American Express had three floors in the WTC.
48. The WTC was home base for Bank of America.
49. The trade center housed two top restaurants - the Windows on the World and Wild Blue.
50. Windows on the World had one of the best vintage wine collections in the United States.
51. More than 50,000 people worked in the twin towers.
52. By 9 a.m. each weekday morning, the buildings had an average of 35,000 employees at their desks.
53. More than 200,000 people - half of them tourists - moved through the buildings each day.
54. The South Tower had an observation deck that was visited by more than 26,000 people a day.
55. An information sign at the top assured visitors that the buildings had been designed to withstand airplane crashes.
56. The towers could be seen from at least 20 miles away.
57. On a clear day, it was possible to see for 45 miles in every direction from the observation deck.
58. The express elevator to the observation deck was the largest in the U.S. with a 55-person capacity.
59. Every president since 1973 paid a visit to the landmark.
60. President Ronald Reagan watched July 4th fireworks celebrations from the WTC on two occasions.
61. Superstars Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Liza Minelli all sang in WTC restaurants.
62. Two New York TV stations incorporated the twin tower image into their logos.
63. The towers served 10 New York TV stations with 10 antennas on the top.
64. More postcards of the WTC were sent each year than any other building in the world.
65. In 1974, a Frenchman, Phillipe Petit, strung a tightrope between the two towers and walked across.
66. Three men successfully parachuted from the top of the towers.
67. More than a dozen mountain climbers have scaled the building.
68. In 1975 a jobless construction worker parachuted from the South Tower to publicize the plight of the unemployed.
69. The most famous man to climb the building was George Willig - who was arrested at the top. Willig was fined one penny for each of the 110 floors he scaled.
70. Last year, a man in a micro-light aircraft crashed into the North Tower.
71. In the concourse beneath the towers, there were more than 75 stores.
72. Each day, over 150,000 commuters passed through the three subway stations there.
73. Eighty-seven tons of food was delivered to the building each day.
74. Over 30,000 cups of coffee were poured daily in the basement cafes.
75. Twenty-two doctors had practices there.
76. Seventeen babies were born on the site.
77. Irv Silverstein recently bought the WTC for almost $3.2 billion.
78. The WTC generated $110 million a year in profit.
79. More than three dozen movies have been filmed there.
80. The best known film to use the WTC as a location was the 1976 remake of King Kong.
81. The 1993 bombing of the WTC killed six people and injured 1,000 more. 1,300 pounds of explosives ripped through the garage in the 1993 attack.
82. That bomb created a crater 16 feet deep and badly damaged inner support beams.
83. Before the 1993 attack, there were three closed circuit television networks for security.
84. After the bombing, the cameras were increased to 300 monitored by computers.
85. More than 300 security guards worked there.
86. The WTC featured security centers on 14 different floors and its own police station.
87. The entrance lobbies had 16 concierge desks and 12 X-ray machines.
88. After the first bombing, no one could get inside the buildings without an ID check.
It took an average of five minutes for a visitor to pass through
90. Before the 1993 bombing, there were more than 1,000 parking spaces beneath the buildings; 600 remained afterward.
91. All vehicles using the parking lot had to show FBI security passes.
92. On Sept. 11, the building was 95 percent full, with over 400 tenants.
93. New York Gov. George Pataki had an office in the WTC, but wasn't there when the disaster struck.
94. Both the Secret Service and the FBI rented office space there.
95. $110.3 million in gold and 120.7 million in silver is buried in the rubble.
96. The combined weight of the towers was more than 1.5 million tons. 1Each tower was built to safely sway about three feet during strong wind storms.
97. Blue Cross-Blue Shield, New York's largest health insurance company, moved into the building 3 years ago.
98. Nine chapels serving six different faiths called the WTC home.
99. Twenty-nine countries had trade mission offices in the buildings.
100. Every major U.S. airline had ticket offices inside the WTC.
101. It is the first skyscraper in the world destroyed by terrorists