Images of the World Trade Center, 1970-2001

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    World Trade Center at Dawn

    World Trade Center at dawn
    Photo by Joel Altschuler

    It's impossible to forget the terrible images of the World Trade Center from September 11, 2001. Many in New York witnessed the destruction in person and millions more saw it on TV. As a result, it's understandably easy to forget what the World Trade Center looked like during happier days.


    But the World Trade Center was part of the New York skyline for 30 years. During that time, millions enjoyed the views from the Top of the World observatory and the legendary Windows on the World. Thousands more worked in those towers. We dined and shopped in the concourse. We lingered in the plaza over lunch. We looked up at those towers to orient ourselves. And now they are gone.

    The photos of the World Trade Center in this collection were taken by talented photographers from all around the world. The gallery includes striking images of the pre-9/11 skyline, views from the Top of the World Observatory, and even photos taken inside the towers.

    Further information on the World Trade Center

     

    • Modern Marvels: World Trade Center (DVD) -- This is the original documentary that aired on the History Channel in 2001 before the attacks. It was initially called "Modern Marvels", but has since been renamed "In Memoriam". It's a fascinating, comprehensive look at the center's construction and inner workings. Because it was made before the attacks, it's one of the few documentaries that spends time focusing on the history rather than the tragedy.
    • The World Trade Center: Rise And Fall Of An American Icon (DVD) -- Another fantastic History Channel documentary on the towers.
    • The World Trade Center Remembered (Paperback) -- A beautiful book filled with spectacular images of the pre-9/11 WTC. Photographs by Sonja Bullaty and Angelo Lomeo. Text by Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for the New Yorker.
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    Twin Towers at Sunset

    Sunset over Manhattan
    Photo by Dave Kliman

    The Twin Towers glow during sunset over Manhattan.

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    Sunset Over World Trade Center

    Sunset over WTC
    Pete Burke
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    Twin Towers Skyline at Night

    World Trade Towers viewed from Brooklyn
    John Cardasis / Getty Images

    A stunning view of the Twin Towers and the Manhattan skyline at night.

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    Tribute in Light

    Tribute in Light
    Wojtek Zagorski / Getty Images

    The Tribute in Light to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks.

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    World Trade Center Towers

    World Trade Center Twin Towers
    © Santiago Urquijo / Getty Images
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    Twin Towers at Dusk

    World Trade Center towers
    Ed Costello

    A view of the World Trade Center towers as dusk fell.

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    Blue Sky

    Photo by Joel Altschuler
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    View of 40 Wall Street

    Photo by Adam Furgang

    This image gives a good sense of just how tall the World Trade Center towers actually were. The building with the green copper roof is 40 Wall Street, which is currently the fifth tallest building in New York City.

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    The Sphere in the Plaza

    Photo by Anthony Grimley

    Fritz Koenig's Sphere for Plaza Fountain, the sculpture that was the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Plaza.

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    Twin Towers and Sphere

    Photo by Jan Erik Hoffman

    Looking up at the World Trade Center Towers from the fountain in World Trade Center Plaza.

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    Looking East from the Plaza

    Photo by Stefano Corbellini

    Looking east from World Trade Center Plaza at Century 21 Department Store.

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    The Sphere

    Photo by Stefano Corbellini

    A springtime view of Fritz Koenig's Sphere for Plaza Fountain, the sculpture that was the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Plaza.

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    World Trade Center Plaza at Night

    Photo by Stuart Pennant
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    World Trade Center Plaza in 1978

    Photo by Joe Margolis

    This photo shows a much less populated Lower Manhattan in 1978.

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    World Trade Center Lobby

    Photo by Tom Wallace
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    World Trade Center Lobby

    Photo by Noriaki Gotoh

    Waiting in line in the lobby of Tower 2 for tickets to go up to the observatory.

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    World Trade Center Lobby

    Photo by Noriaki Gotoh

    The lobby of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center, decorated for the holiday season.

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    World Trade Center Lobby in 1978

    Photo by Joe Margolis
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    World Trade Center Concourse Map

    Image from the Port Authority of New York

    A map of the shops, restaurants, and other businesses that were located in the World Trade Center Concourse. To see the map more clearly, click "View Full-Size" and then click on the image itself.

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    World Trade Center Concourse

    Photo by Jayson Hawley

    This photo was taken inside the World Trade Center Concourse.

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    The World Trade Center PATH Stations

    Photo by Jayson Hawley

    These are the escalators that transported millions of New Jersey commuters to and from the World Trade Center PATH train station every day.

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    Welcome to the World Trade Center

    Photo by Juergen Berkessel

    Ascending into the World Trade Center from the underground PATH station.

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    Observatory Food Court

    Photo by Scott Todd
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    World Trade Center Observatory Ticket

    Photo by Jimmy Kaster

    A ticket to the World Trade Center observatories, one of New York City's top tourist attractions.

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    Inside the World Trade Center Observatory

    Photo by Scott Todd
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    Windows on the World

    Photo by Dan Heller
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    Dining at Windows on the World

    Photo by Sebastien Des Sens

    The incredible views from the famous Windows on the World restaurant in Tower 1.

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    World Trade Center Observatory

    Photo by Roman Staszewski
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    Checking Out the Views

    Photo by James Rosenberger
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    World Trade Center Observatory

    Photo courtesy of Thelastminuteblog.com

    Checking out the view from the World Trade Center Top of the World Observatory in Tower 2.

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    Looking Down

    Photo by James Rosenberger
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    Inside at the WTC Observatory

    Photo courtesy of Thelastminuteblog.com
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    Statue of Liberty and Twin Towers

    Photo by Anthony Grimley

    An aerial view of the World Trade Center Plaza.

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    Tower 1 and View North

    Photo by Anthony Grimley

    Image of the top of Tower 1 and the view north of Manhattan.

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    View of Two Bridges

    Photo by Adam Furgang

    A view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge from the World Trade Center.

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    A View From the Harbor

    Photo by Jan Erik Hoffman

    The skyline from New York Harbor.

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    Looking South from Tower 2

    Photo by Kirsty Darbyshire
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    New York Skyline and Bridges

    Photo by Kirsty Darbyshire

    Looking out at Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

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    Looking Down on the Plaza

    Photo by Anthony Grimley

    Fritz Koenig's Sphere for Plaza Fountain, the sculpture that was the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Plaza.

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    World Trade Center Antenna

    Photo by Adam Furgang

    A view from the antenna on the top of Tower 1.

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    World Trade Center Observatory at Night

    Photo by Noriaki Gotoh

    Looking out at the lights of the city from the World Trade Center Observatory at night.

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    World Trade Center Cityscape

    Photo by Juergen Berkessel

    A panorama of the Manhattan skyline with the World Trade Center.

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    Night View from World Trade Center

    Photo by Noriaki Gotoh

    A view of the city lights from the World Trade Center at night.

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    Observation Deck Sign

    Photo by Guy Wong
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    Inside at the World Trade Center Observatory

    Photo by James Rosenberger
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    Aerial View of Traffic

    Photo by James Rosenberger
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    Winter Garden in the World Financial Garden

    Photo by Bryant Quan

    This is the view as you entered the World Financial Center from the pedestrian walkway that linked it with Tower 1.

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    World Financial Center

    Photo by DW

    Looking down on the World Financial Center from the World Trade Center.

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    Looking Up at the Twin Towers

    Photo courtesy of Thelastminuteblog.com
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    Tower 2 Entrance

    Photo by Jayson Hawley

    Approaching the southeast corner of Tower 2.

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    One Way

    Photo by Raphael Gerber

    Cool shot of the World Trade Center and a street sign.

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    Twin Towers and Church

    Photo by Edward Sudentas
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    Plaza Art

    Photo by DW

    The sculpture Ideogram by artist James Rosati was located in the World Financial Center Plaza.

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    World Trade Center Lobby

    Photo by Peter Beens
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    Summer View from the Hudson River

    Photo by Davy Fields
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    View North from World Trade Center

    Photo by Scott Todd

    Looking north from the World Trade Center at the Empire State Building in the far distance.

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    Hanging Out in the Plaza

    Photo by Stefano Corbellini

    People relaxing in World Trade Center Plaza.