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September 8, 2016

Rare Photographs From 1966-67 That Show the World Trade Center Area Before the Construction Started

The World Trade Center site as it appeared in the mid 1960s. Known as "Radio Row" the low rise buildings dating to the 1850s were, by 1960, a disheveled lot of derelict and low rent repair and radio shops. The two higher buildings at 30 and 50 Church St. were the Hudson Terminal Buildings that stood above the PATH/subway tracks. And they stood squarely in the sights of Robert Moses and the Port Authority.

The World Trade Center began its life as a series of proposals for a major downtown development in the 1950s. By the mid 1960s, a site was in place, designs were chosen and clearance and construction began around 1967. The twin towers were finally completed in 1973 and the entire WTC development was finished in 1978 with the Vista International Hotel.

Below are some of rare photographs from 1966-67 that show the World Trade Center Area before the construction started.

West Street, West Side Highway and abandoned 19th century warehouses at World Trade Center site before construction started on the WTC, 1966.

Washington St and Chambers St toward Hudson and West Side Highway. Not far from the future World Trade Center, 1967.

West St. at Jay and Caroline vacated prior to demolition, 1967.

West St. between Duane and Reade, 1967.

West Street between Jay St and Duane Street. Right by the new World Trade Center, 1967.

West St. and Warren, 1967.

West St. and Chambers, 1967.

Washington Market, demolished in 1967 to make way for the WTC.

Outline of where the World Trade Center Area was to be placed.

World Trade Center site in 1966. New York Telephone building and the West Side Highway surround it.

World Trade Center site before construction started, 1967.



2 comments:

  1. This is what the site looked like (c.1966), after all the buildings were were demolished,starting in 1966. Notice the old elevated West Side Highway that once ran behind the WTC and twin towers site when they opened in 1973.The WTC site as it appeared in the mid 1960s,WAS Known as "Radio Row" the low rise buildings dating to the 1850s were, by 1960, a disheveled and run-down lot of derelict and low rent electronics stores and tv repair and radio shops;much like Canal Street.The area just North of the WTC site was the start of the Tribeca neighborhood. Today,a very trendy and expensive residential locale with fine restaurants,art-galleries,bars and boutiques.In the 1960's and 70's,it was a run-down and grimy commercial area of warehouses and lofts and nobody lived there.

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  2. @Dougie T King What NYC did to radio row and New York in general isn't really any different than what the Boston Redevelopment Authority did to huge portions of Boston in the 1950s and 60s, especially the West End (the neighborhood that Leonard Nimoy grew up in)during that same time. Granted, Radio Row may have been run down and ready to be demolished but, just like in Boston, huge parts of New York were still in good shape, albeit in need of repair and, in some cases, renovation. Still, in the long run, it never ceases to amaze me what the "liberal" democrat governments in the America of that time were willing to do in order to gain more wealth regardless of who it hurt or how badly.

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