World Trade Center Site, Bounded by Vesey, Church, Liberty Streets, & Route 9A, New York, New York County, NY
In 1857 Elisha Otis introduced the safety elevator, allowing easy passenger access to upper floors. A crucial development was also the use of a steel frame instead of stone or brick. An early development in this area was five floors high Oriel Chambers in Liverpool, England. While its height is not considered very impressive today, the world's first skyscraper was the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built in 1884–1885. Most early skyscrapers emerged in the land-strapped areas of Chicago and New York City toward the end of the 19th century. In a building like these, a steel frame supported the entire weight of the walls, instead of walls carrying the weight called "Chicago skeleton" construction. 1889 marks the first all-steel framed skyscraper in Chicago, while Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri, 1891, was the first steel-framed building with vertical bands to emphasize the height of the building and is therefore considered by some to be the first true skyscraper. After an early competition between Chicago and New York City for the world's tallest building, New York took the lead by 1895 with the completion of the American Surety Building, leaving New York with the title of the world's tallest building for many years. New York City developers competed among themselves, with successively taller buildings claiming the title of "world's tallest" in the 1920s and early 1930s, culminating with the completion of the Chrysler Building in 1930 and the Empire State Building in 1931, the world's tallest building for forty years.
On September 11, 2001, two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters
Minoru Yamasaki's design for the World Trade Center unveiled to the public on January 18, 1964. Minoru Yamasaki (山崎 實 Yamasaki Minoru, 1 December 1912 – 6 February 1986) was an American architect, best known for designing the original World Trade Center in New York City. The World Trade Center was one of the most striking American implementations of the architectural ethic of Le Corbusier and was the seminal expression of Yamasaki's gothic modernist tendencies. He was also inspired by Arabic architecture, elements of which he incorporated in the building's design. The buildings were designed with narrow office windows 18 inches (46 cm) wide, which reflected Yamasaki's fear of heights as well as his desire to make building occupants feel secure. His design included building facades sheathed in aluminum-alloy. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. During its existence, the World Trade Center experienced several major incidents, including a fire on February 13, 1975, a bombing on February 26, 1993. On the morning of September 11, 2001, two Boeing 767 jets flew into the North and South Towers within minutes of each other; two hours later, both towers collapsed.