September 11 Destruction, Reconstruction, and Monuments

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New York Before 9/11

Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan Before September 11, 2001
Learn about the World Trade Center buildings that were destroyed on 9/11 Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan Before September 11, 2001. Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images News Collection/Getty Images

This page is your starting place for finding facts and photos for buildings associated with these attacks. In this index you'll find information about the architecture of damaged buildings, photographic records of the destruction, plans and models for reconstruction, and photos of September 11 monuments and memorials.

On September 11, 2001 terrorists crashed two hijacked planes into the WTC Twin Towers, destroying the towers and surrounding buildings. Index of resources.

WTC Twin Towers
Designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, the New York World Trade Center consisted of two skyscrapers (known as the Twin Towers) and a complex of other buildings. Learn about the buildings that were destroyed.

9/11 Photos
See pictures of the September 11 attack in New York City.

Why the World Trade Center Towers Fell
Many experts studied the ruins to learn why the World Trade Center buildings did not survive the terrorist attacks. Here are their findings.

Lower Manhattan Roars Back from 9/11
What are they building on Ground Zero? Keep abreast of the major activities.

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The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia is headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.
The Pentagon, Damaged by Terrorists on September 11, 2001 The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia is headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. Photo by Ken Hammond/Courtesty of the U.S. Air Force/Hulton Archive Collection/Getty Images

On September 11, 2001 terrorists crashed a hijacked passenger plane into the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. Facts below.

About the Pentagon Building:

Designer: Swedish American architect George Bergstrom (1876 – 1955)
Builder: John McShain, a general contractor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ground Breaking: September 11, 1941
Completed: January 15, 1943
National Historic Landmark: 1992

The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia is headquarters of the United States Department of Defense and one of the largest low-rise office building in the world. Set in a five-acre hexagon-shaped plaza, the Pentagon houses about 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense workers. The building is called the Pentagon because it has five sides. The shape of the building was designed to accommodate a different building lot. The location was changed, but the design remained the same.

The floor plan of the Pentagon echoes its shape. The Pentagon has five floors above ground, plus two basement levels. Each floor has five rings of corridors. As a whole, the Pentagon has some 17.5 miles (28.2 km) of corridors.

The building is highly secure. Public tours are given with advanced notice. Visit pentagontours.osd.mil/.

September 11 Terrorist Attack at the Pentagon:

On September 11, 2001, five terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the west side of the Pentagon building. The crash killed all 64 people on the plane and 125 people inside the building. The impact of the crash caused partial collapse of the west side of the Pentagon.

A September 11 Pentagon Memorial has been built to honor those who died.

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Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Flight 93 National Memorial Overlooks the Mark of Impact in a Pennsylvania field
Crash Site of Flight 93, Hijacked by Terrorists on September 11 Flight 93 National Memorial Overlooks the Mark of Impact in a Pennsylvania field. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images News Collection/Getty Images

On September 11, 2001 terrorists hijacked Flight 93 and diverted it south toward Washington DC. The plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

When terrorists hijacked Flight 93, they diverted the plane south toward Washington DC. The US Capitol or White House were the likely targets for another September 11 attack. Passengers and crew resisted the hijackers. The plane crashed in serene countryside near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A devastating attack on the nation's capital was prevented.

Soon after the disaster, a temporary memorial was erected near the crash site. Families and friends came to honor the heroes of flight 93. Paul Murdoch Architects of Los Angeles, California and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia designed a permanent memorial that maintains the serenity of the landscape. The Flight 93 National Memorial is run by the National Park Service. The NPS website keeps track of the construction Progress, including for the 2015 Visitors Center.

Learn more: Flight 93 National Memorial

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Rebuilding in New York

Aerial view of the proposed Freedom Tower from the New York Harbor
Learn about reconstruction on Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks Aerial view of the proposed Freedom Tower from the New York Harbor. Rendering by dbox, courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Architects and planners face many challenges as they rebuild the New York World Trade Center. Use these resources to learn about the reconstruction project.

What Are They Building on Ground Zero?

These amazing buildings are either planned or already under construction on the World Trade Center site.

One WTC, Evolution of Design, 2002 to 2014
The skyscraper now rising in New York City is very different from the one originally planned. Find out how "Freedom Tower" became "One World Trade Center."

Did 9/11 Change the Way We Build?
After the terrorist attacks, many cities passed stiff new building codes. What impact do these new regulations have on building design?

A World Trade Center Photo Timeline
A multi-year chronology with pictures of the reconstruction process in New York.

Early Master Plans - The WTC That Got Away
Many architects submitted ideas for new World Trade Center buildings. These seven plans were finalists.

Studio Libeskind World Trade Center Plans
Architect Daniel Libeskind was selected to design a master plan for the World Trade Center site. Here are early sketches, models, and renderings.

What Are They Building on Ground Zero?
How are things going? What buildings have opened? Which skyscrapers have new designs? Ground Zero has been a changing world of construction and architecture. Stay tuned.

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Monuments and Memorials

9/11 Memorial in Natick, Massachusetts
Learn about monuments and memorials for victims of the 9/11 attacks 9/11 Memorial in Natick, Massachusetts. Photo by Richard Berkowitz/Moment Mobile Collection/Getty Images (cropped)

Honoring those who died on September 11, 2001 is a painful challenge. This index will take you to pictures and resources for 9/11 memorials across the USA.

Communities across the globe have created small monuments and memorials honoring the souls who lost their lives on 9/11/01. A modest 9/11 memorial in Natick, Massachusetts is a long way from the vast National 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, yet it shares the same message.

Remembering September 11, 2001:

Memorial Architecture and Art: Reactions to Terrorism
Nearly every town in the USA has a monument or memorial to those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Large and small, each expresses a unique creative vision.

Designing the National 9-11 Memorial
Years of planning went into the spectacular memorial known as Reflecting Absence. Find out how the memorial at Ground Zero was created.

September 11 Memorial in Monument Park
Many designers choose to honor the dead with realistic statues instead of abstract symbols. The September 11 Memorial in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium is a plaque dedicated to the victims and rescue workers of the September 11, 2001.

Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial
Both terrorist planes that struck New York's World Trade Center took off from Boston's Logan Airport. The Place of Remembrance honors those who died on that day. Dedicated in September 2008, the airport memorial was designed by Moskow Linn Architects and constructed on a 2.5-acre lot. The memorial is open to the public, 24 hours a day.


The visitor steps inside the glass atrium from the reflecting pools of Reflecting Absence and immediately is confronted with large metal pieces of the Twin Towers. Walking down ramps and steps, the visitor eventually encounters the iconic slurry wall and the bedrock of what is now history.

Shown Here: The Natick Memorial, Dedicated 2014:

A piece of rubble from 9/11 is on display above this gold plaque, which reads:

I stand tall
I do not waiver
I answer the call
To be someone's savior
Fire does not scare me
Nor harm make me weak
I will be there for you
All you need to do is speak
Even if I fail, my brothers
And sisters heed the call
To redouble my efforts
And rescue any and all