Welcome to the New York Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city.

9/11 Memorial and WTC: Architecture, Urban Planning & History

06 May 10:00am - 12:00pm
Venue: Meeting location provided upon registration
New York

Walking tour. Pre-registration required.


Rebuilding the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been a daunting, contentious and dynamic process. Yet the 9/11 Memorial opened on the tenth anniversary of this tragic event and the 9/11 Museum opened in May of 2014. One World Trade Center, officially the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is nearing completion.

This tour offers participants an opportunity to experience the 9/11 Memorial and to see the current state of construction at the World Trade Center site. We discuss the highly publicized competitions for the site’s master plan and memorial, and delve into the design and development of each of the main structures including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, office towers and transportation hub.

Together we consider the influence and concerns of the different stakeholders by comparing the initial winning plans for rebuilding at Ground Zero to the final, much altered, designs that we see today.

We will also examine the history of the original World Trade Center site and the transformation of Lower Manhattan after World War II, and we’ll compare Minoru Yamasaki’s 110-story Twin Towers, built on a 16-acre superblock, with current efforts to reconnect the new WTC to the street grid and surrounding neighborhoods. Finally, we explore how the current emphasis on safety, security and sustainability is a response to the design and engineering of the original complex, the 9/11 attacks and a greater concern for ecologically-friendly architecture.