The Skyscraper Museum
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The Skyscraper Museum

The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.


The Twin Towers and the Twentieth Century

September 8 2006 — April 15 2007
Click here for a virtual walk-through of the exhibit

Join Skyscraper Museum Director Carol Willis in our GIANTS Exhibitcast, the inaugural edition of the Museum's podcast series. [download mp3] [add to iTunes] [subscribe to the podcast series]

“GIANTS: The Twin Towers & the Twentieth Century,” commemorates the original World Trade Center, viewing its creation in the context of the technological ambitions of the 1960s and the hundred-year evolution of New York’s skyline.

On their completion in 1971 and 1973, the Twin Towers were both the tallest and the largest skyscrapers in the world. Innovative engineering carried the structures to 110 stories, at 1362 and 1368 feet, and floors of nearly an acre multiplied the space of each tower into more than 4 million square feet. The scale of these giants has been exceeded only once in history, by the contemporary Sears Tower in 1974. By comparison, the Freedom Tower, the largest building planned for Ground Zero, will contain only 2.6 million square feet, about two-thirds of their volume.

The exhibition features architectural and engineering models, construction photographs and films, drawings and other documents addressing the planning and design on the complex. The multimedia installation includes video and audio clips, as well as interactive touch-screens that allow visitors to view hundreds of construction photographs in the Museum’s collection and to see and hear interviews of key figures in the Trade Center’s design and development.

The dramatic installation design by Local Projects features light columns that use the gallery’s unique floor and ceiling of mirror-polish stainless steel to create the illusion of the slender pin-stripe columns of the towers’ facades.

Supplementary resources:

WTC Dossier
GIANTS culminates the Museum's longstanding interest in the history of the Twin Towers. The WTC Dossier provides easy access to all Museum projects and exhibits which have included the World Trade Center, as well as external resources around the web.

VIVA2, the Visual Index to the Virtual Archive 2, is an interactive interface providing access to The Skyscraper Museum's unique collection of more than 1,000 photographs of the construction of the World Trade Center towers and the Empire State Building. VIVA 2 allows visitors to discover and compare the building technologies and methods of the Empire State Building in the 1930's and of the World Trade Center towers in the 1960's and the 1970's.

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This exhibition is made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.

For more information on upcoming exhibits, please email [email protected] or call 212.968.1961