World Trade Center Site

Workers, September 9, 2002. Photograph by Sam Hollenshead.The original World Trade Center survives in visions of the iconic Twin Towers before, during, and after the destruction of September 11, 2001. The rebuilt World Trade Center will honor the past and transform how people live and work in Lower Manhattan in the 21st century. Central to many designs is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

The devastation of 2001 reached to the sky and deep below ground, to the transportation systems that
move hundreds of thousands of people to, from, and through the World Trade Center site. The Transportation Hub will unify and extend transit service with a design that is iconic itself. World class restaurants and shopping venues will provide convenience and excitement for the travelers.

The 800,000 square foot project will be the third largest transportation hub in New York City—a Grand Central Terminal for Lower Manhattan—serving users of subway, PATH, and ferry lines from two states and all five boroughs.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is building the Transportation Hub at a cost of $3.2 billion comprised of federal and Port Authority funds. Ground breaking was in September 2005 and completion is projected for 2013 or early 2014.

“We have a goal to fulfill,” Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava told The New York Times in 2001 when he was hired to design the hub: “creating interior spaces of high quality, welcoming people, having them get immediately in touch with the light, giving them from the moment in which they are on the platform the feeling they are in ground zero, they are arriving in the city.”

1/9 construction, Lower Manhattan. 1916.

The challenges of building subway tunnels amidst existing underground infrastructure were already significant by the 1910s.

1/9 construction, Lower Manhattan. 1917.

Construction sites were considerably less isolated from daily life a century ago, before modern safety and noise regulations.

New York Times, September 28, 2001.

New York Times, September 28, 2001.

Daily News, January 16, 2002.

The Cortlandt Street station was heavily damaged in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center; within a few months, rebuilding plans were in formulation.

Workers, September 9, 2002. Photograph by Sam Hollenshead.

The PATH station at the World Trade Center was destroyed in the 2001 attack. This photo, taken two days before the first anniversary, shows workers in a short, new tunnel bored as part of a massive effort to restore service to the area. That was accomplished with the opening of a temporary station in November 4, 2003.

Plan view of WTC site.

The World Trade Center rebuilding program includes commercial, cultural, and retail components, new streets, and pedestrian passageways, all linked by a remarkable transportation hub.

World Trade Center.

The Transportation Hub will be a largely underground facility distinguished amidst the new World Trade Center landscape by the majestic white “oculus” designed by chief architect Santiago Calatrava.

Installation of a mini-pile to underpin the #1 subway line. October 2008.

All 440 steel pipes, known as mini-piles, have been installed to support the thousand feet of the #1 line that runs under the WTC site. The rebuilt #1 line and the new connections available to users of the station constitute a major enhancement of transportation services.

The new World Transportation Hub takes shape. January 2009.

National September 11th Memorial & Museum. February 2009.

One of two signature reflecting pools sited within the previous footprint of the Twin Towers. This image (above) shows the National September 11th Memorial & Museum as it is being built. Shown in the upper right is a rendering of the museum once it is completed.

Oculus Exterior.

Calatrava’s design is meant to suggest a dove gaining flight. The wings will rise 150 feet; natural light will reach PATH platforms 60 feet below ground.

Oculus Interior.

The design is intended to improve transportation in Lower Manhattan and restore the sort of inspiration commuters, travelers, and tourists once felt in the old Pennsylvania Station, razed in the 1960s.

Cross-sectional view

If work proceeds according to the current schedule, the completion of this vision of transportation convenience should happen before the summer of 2014.

Cortlandt Platform East.

Among the hub’s modern features will be climate-controlled train platforms, a unique amenity for travelers in the vast underground transportation networks of New York City.

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