World Trade Center — Ground Zero

Vesey-Liberty-Church-West Streets

September 11, 2001, is a day that remains indelibly etched in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers, Americans, and countless millions of people around the world. Thousands of tourists stream into lower Manhattan daily to observe the work at the site o... more

September 11, 2001, is a day that remains indelibly etched in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers, Americans, and countless millions of people around the world. Thousands of tourists stream into lower Manhattan daily to observe the work at the site of the former World Trade Center, also referred to as Ground Zero. Below we give some information about visiting this area of lower Manhattan, the competition to build the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as well as 1 World Trade Center (also known as the Freedom Tower) and ongoing rebirth of lower Manhattan. Since the destruction of the Twin Towers, many people from points across the globe have made the trek to lower Manhattan to offer their respects to those killed in the worst terrorist incident in American history as well as to see the ongoing reconstruction. For many New Yorkers who daily attempt to move forward with life as usual—especially those who work in lower Manhattan—the ongoing presence of tourists sparks mixed emotions. If you are planning a visit to the area, please do keep in mind that this area of lower Manhattan is both hallowed ground and a place of much emotional outpouring. It can be tough to conceptua... more

September 11, 2001, is a day that remains indelibly etched in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers, Americans, and countless millions of people around the world. Thousands of tourists stream into lower Manhattan daily to observe the work at the site of the former World Trade Center, also referred to as Ground Zero. Below we give some information about visiting this area of lower Manhattan, the competition to build the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as well as 1 World Trade Center (also known as the Freedom Tower) and ongoing rebirth of lower Manhattan.

Since the destruction of the Twin Towers, many people from points across the globe have made the trek to lower Manhattan to offer their respects to those killed in the worst terrorist incident in American history as well as to see the ongoing reconstruction. For many New Yorkers who daily attempt to move forward with life as usual—especially those who work in lower Manhattan—the ongoing presence of tourists sparks mixed emotions. If you are planning a visit to the area, please do keep in mind that this area of lower Manhattan is both hallowed ground and a place of much emotional outpouring.

It can be tough to conceptualize just how much construction is going on in Lower Manhattan, so fortunately a number of websites offer a downtown virtual tour, a visualization tour, as well as a podcast series. If you are planning a visit, you might also want to learn more about the planned Memorial Museum as well as the submissions for the Memorial Competition. In addition, you might want to have a look at some live cams from the area, Project Rebirth, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation website.

To download a map of the plans for the World Trade Center site and surrounding streets, click HERE.

The Tribute Center, located directly across from the World Trade Center site at 120 Liberty Street, will be dedicated to educating the public about September 11th. The Tribute Center is a project of the September 11th Widows and Victims’ Families’ Association. The Tribute Center embodies the need to gather at the World Trade Center site, to connect with the people, places, and events of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001, and reflect.Nearby Battery Park is host to two World Trade Center memorials. One is the Gardens of Remembrance designed by renowned Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf. The Gardens pay tribute to those who perished on September 11th, 2001 as well as the the survivors of that day.

The Park is also home to what remains of Fritz Koenig's "The Sphere," which formally stood in the fountain of the trade center plaza. "The Sphere," a bronze sculpture which weighs 5,000 pounds and is 15 feet in diameter, was gashed and partially crushed by falling debris on the day of the attack.

Another popular World Trade Center memorial, "Tribute in Light," is offered every year on the evening of September 11th. It consists of two banks of 44 searchlights that when lit, recreate the former towers in light. Under certain conditions they can be seen for up to 25 miles away! It may become part of the planned permanent memorial. Check back here for details.

To access our original page about the World Trade Center, please click HERE.


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Financial District Description

World Trade Center — Ground Zero is located in the Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan. The financial hub of the United States, the seat of New York City government, and home to some of New York's oldest buildings, the Financial District has an illustrious history. 17th century settlers began building here, and given the many seafarers of the time, boats could be conveniently docked at one of the slips right near the settlements of wooden homes. Right nearby, in the heart of the district is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in 1789, also the meeting site for the First Congress. New York City was both the capital of the United States and New York State at the time.

The street names reflect the district's fascinating history: Fulton Street, named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat; Maiden Lane, originally called Magde Platje in Dutch; Beaver Street, recalling the once-significant beaver pelt trade, etc.

The area today houses some great economic powerhouses, including the headquarters of major banks, the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to the World Financial Center. Contrasts are extraordinary, from old two- and three-story old brick buildings near South Street Seaport to the nearby modern mega-skyscrapers. Some of the numerous other attractions include Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops (also, they have a museum!); the newly-landscaped City Hall Park; the Museum of the American Indian and the US Custom House at Bowling Green; Trinity Church, the first parish church in New York City and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, among others; War Of 1812 strong hold Castle Clinton; the Staten Island-bound South Ferry; Battery Park; and the Federal Reserve Bank. Sadly, the biggest attraction since 9/11 has been the former World Trade Center site, although, thankfully, construction has finally filled the long-standing gouge in Lower Manhattan's face, and the stunning 9/11 Memorial and its attendant museum are welcome signs of a healing city. And, of course, soaring a symbolic 1,776 feet over the memorial is the new 1 World Trade Center!

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Vesey-Liberty-Church-West Streets
New York, NY 10038

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Nearby Subway

  • to Fulton Street
  • to World Trade Center
  • to Cortlandt Street
  • to Rector Street

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