The image of the original twin towers will forever be etched in the minds of those who were alive to see them stand tall and proud. The horrifying memory of September 11, 2001, will forever remain with those who witnessed the events, whether in person or while glued to the television screen.

Nothing can erase the memory of the World Trade Center and those who lost their lives on that harrowing day. That's why great importance has been placed on the events preceding the opening of the World Trade Center Memorial. Although the original towers were a trademark of Manhattan's skyline, the city's skyline will be renewed with the WTC's critically acclaimed new plan

Included in the plan are five new skyscrapers, a national September 11th memorial & museum (at the World Trade Center), a transportation hub, a retail complex and a performing arts center. The site will combine a collection of works by world-renown architects, who together will design the future of New York City's lower West side. 

Origins of the WTC

The history of the WTC dates back to the 1950s. Lead by Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller, a group of several New York-based chief executives, and the bi-state Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, plans were set in motion to make downtown the epicenter for world commerce. 

In 1962 plans became a reality as a final decision was made on location for the proposed development: the West Side of Lower Manhattan would become the home of the World Trade Center. 

Chosen to design the iconic buildings was Minoru Yamasaki a Seattle-born architect who teamed up with Emery Roth & Sons. Less than two years later the Port Authority unveiled the $525 million plan to the public. At the core of the six building plan was the Twin Towers. At 110 stories high the towers were to be the world's tallest skyscrapers. 

The first tenants moved into the WTC's north tower in 1970, 31 years before it's untimely collapse.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers saw their final day. Two commercial jet planes were flown into the towers during an act of terrorism. The attack killed 2,750 people at the WTC. The destruction of the towers caused four other WTC buildings to collapse as well. 

Rebuilding America

The new 7 World Trade Center, opened in May of 2006, is a 53-story building, and was New York City's first certified green building. 

At 1 World Trade Center, the new tower will rise to 1,776 feet with an illuminated antenna. The original tower heights were 1,362 feet and 1,368 feet.

The museum will encompass a private suite reserved for victims' family members, and the Pavilion's grad glass atrium will enclose two of the original steel tridents from the original towers. 

The Memorial will serve purpose for not only those who died in the September 11th attacks, but those who lost their lives in the February 26, 1993 attacks as well. It will take the place of the former WTC towers, literally in the place where the former towers stood tall.

Consisting of two massive pools set into the ground, in the footprints of the two towers, the country's largest manmade waterfalls will cascade down the sides. Carved into the edges of the Memorial pools will be the names of the 2,750 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2011.