At the World's Fair in Flushing, NY the "World trade center" pavilion is dedicated to "world peace through trade."


Downtown Lower Manhattan Association is created by real estate developer David Rockefeller to revitalize lower Manhattan and begins to promote the idea of a "world trade and finance center" in New York City.

January 1960

David Rockefeller presents a plan for a world trade center along the East River of Manhattan. The Port of New York Authority is commissioned to study the plan.  

March 1961

On March 10, Port Authority issues a favorable report on the feasibility of developing a world trade center.

February 1962

New York and New Jersey authorize the development of the World Trade Center.

December 1962

World Trade Center location moves to West Side amidst protests by displaced business owners.

November 1963

The Port Authority wins legal challenge in the development of the WTC. 

January 1964

The Port Authority unveils an architectural plan for the WTC featuring the world's tallest buildings.

March 1966

Construction begins on March 21 at the WTC site with the demolition of 78 Dey Street.

August 1966

Excavation work begins for the WTC.  First use of "slurry wall" method in the
United States.

June 1967

New York City Board of Estimates formally approves the WTC legislation.

October 1970

The North Tower of the WTC exceeds the height of Empire State Building, making it the tallest building in the world. 

December 1970

The first tenants move into North Tower of the WTC on December 15. 
The North Tower of the WTC is topped off at 1,368 feet on December 23.

July 1971

The South Tower of the WTC is topped off at 1,362 feet on July 19.

September 1971

The first tenant moves into Two World Trade Center (South Tower).

March 1972

The first tenant moves into Five World Trade Center (Northeast Plaza Building).

April 1973

The World Trade Center is dedicated on April 4.

January 1974

U.S. Customs Service moves into Six World Trade Center.

August 1974

Tightrope artist Philippe Petit performs an unauthorized walk between the Twin Towers on August 7. 

December 1975

Top of the World Observation Deck opens at Two World Trade Center (South Tower).

April 1976

The Windows of the World Restaurant opens at the top of the North Tower on April 19.

January 1977

The first tenant moves into Four World Trade Center (The Commodities
Exchange Center).

May 1979

The 360-foot spire atop One World Trade Center is completed.

July 1981

The Vista International Hotel, the first hotel built in Lower Manhattan since
1836, opens.

May 1987

Seven World Trade Center opens.

February 1993

On February 26, terrorists detonate 1,500 pounds of explosives in a van parked in the underground public parking lot of the WTC, two levels below the southern wall of the North Tower. The attack kills six people, including a pregnant woman, injures more than 1,000 people and creates a five-story crater beneath the towers, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.

March 1993

The WTC reopens for business on March 19, led by tenant New York Governor Mario Cuomo and his staff.  The Port Authority implements a $250 million upgrade plan focusing on life safety and security.   


The WTC is designated one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World" by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The WTC is visited by every U.S. president between the time of its opening and the time of its destruction at least once, as well as by many dignitaries and heads of state.

Spring 1995

A memorial fountain is dedicated in the WTC plaza to the victims of the
1993 bombing. 

December 1995

The Vista International Hotel is sold and renamed the New York Marriott World Trade Center Hotel.

September 1998

On September 24, The Port Authority announces plans to seek a 99-year net lease of the complex.


The WTC reaches its highest occupancy rate. 

July 2001

The WTC is net-leased on July 24 to private developer Silverstein Properties, Inc. for approximately $3.2 billion. A three-to-six month transition period commences. 

September 2001

On September 11, two planes hijacked by terrorists crash into the Twin Towers, destroying the complex. One World Trade Center is struck at 8:46 a.m.; Two World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.  To read the timeline of events of that day including two other associated terrorist hijackings, please click here.
On September 12, the last survivor is rescued from the WTC site at
approximately 12:30 p.m.
September 14 is a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance; President Bush visits Ground Zero.
New York Stock Exchange reopens on September 17.
Prayer for America service takes place at Yankee Stadium on September 23.

October 2001

Robin Relief Fund holds a concert for first responders at Madison Square Garden on October 17.
On October 28, an interfaith ceremony is held at the WTC site.

March 2002

Six-month anniversary of the September 11 attacks is marked with beams of light.

May 2002

On May 30, the WTC recovery ends with a public Last Column Ceremony.


The 9-11 Commission is created to study the events leading up to the September 11 attacks and to provide recommendations on emergency preparedness and response. The 9-11 Commission issues its report on July 22, 2004. 

November 2003

On November 23, a temporary World Trade Center PATH station opens to replace the one destroyed on September 11.


A study by the Center for Disease Control reports that the majority of September 11 survivors continue to suffer from psychological trauma.  A May 2006 study prepared for the American Red Cross reports that the majority of people who received therapy after the attacks are still suffering.  

May 2006

The newly constructed 7 World Trade Center opens on May 23, the first building to be rebuilt in Lower Manhattan after the September 11 attacks.