WTC: MONUMENT Lectures Series, 2002

In conjunction with the exhibition WTC: Monument, curated by The Skyscraper Museum and presented at the New-York Historical Society, the Museum organized a series of four programs that examined the planning, design, construction, and operation of the complex with talks by many of the original team who created and managed the Twin Towers.

In the summer of 2001, The Skyscraper Museum had initiated a project to collect material on the planning, design, construction, and operation of the World Trade Center. We had organized a series of lectures for fall 2001 that would bring

together key members of the teams that had created the Twin Towers more than three decades ago. The programs were scheduled for October in the Horizon Suite of Windows on the World in Tower 1. After 9/11, the idea of bringing these people together to speak about the original World Trade Center, as well as to react to the tragedy surrounding their destruction, seemed all the more important. We were grateful to all the speakers in the series for agreeing to participate. Of the four programs, there are videos of two events.



Feb 20, 2002

Speakers: Guy Tozzoli, Donald H. Elliott, Carol Willis.

Lower Manhattan was transformed in the 1960s and 70s by an aggressive policy of urban renewal that sought to address the postwar realities of obsolete piers, aging buildings, and an exodus of corporations to midtown and beyond.  The first program brought together the chief planner of the World Trade Center for the Port Authority, Guy Tozzoli, and Donald H. Elliott, Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission under Mayor Lindsay to look back at the last time the government guided the reshaping of downtown New York.

Introductions by Kenneth T. Jackson, President, the New-York Historical Society and Carol Willis, Director, The Skyscraper MuseumGuy Tozzoli, former Director of the World Trade Department, PANYNJ; President, World Trade Centers Association
Donald H. Elliott, former Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission, 1966-1973; Hollyer, Brady, Smith & Hines, LLP
Moderator: Carol Willis


Mar 13, 2002

Speakers: John Tishman, Leslie E. Robertson, Carol Willis

Just five months after their destruction on 9/11, this extraordinary program brought together Leslie E. Robertson, structural engineer of the Twin Towers, and builder John Tishman, who headed the construction management of the project. As had been planned the summer before 9/11, their joint lecture described the innovative design and unprecedented challenges of building the World Trade Center. Leslie Robertson spoke not only about the original design of the towers, but also discussed issues of the airplanes' impact and showed and commented on photographs he took at Ground Zero in the days and weeks after 9/11.

Leslie E. Robertson, Principal, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, RLLP
John L. Tishman, Chairman and CEO, Tishman Realty & Construction Corporation Co., Inc.
Moderator: Carol Willis, The Skyscraper Museum


March 20, 2002

Speakers: Angus Gillespie, Charles Maikish, Robert DiChiara, Alan Reiss

The World Trade Center was a true "city within a city" with a population of some 50,000 tenants and up to 80,000 visitors daily. The autonomy that characterized the creation of the complex and the engineers' culture of the PANYNJ was explored in the panel which focused on the operation of the complex over three decades.

Angus Gillespie, Professor of American Studies at Rutgers; author of Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center
Charles Maikish, former Director, World Trade Department, 1991-1996
Robert DiChiara, former Asst. Director, World Trade Department, 1991-1997
Alan Reiss, Director, World Trade Department through 2001



April 10, 2002

Speakers: Hon. Amanda Burden, Hon. Sherida Paulsen, Philip E. Aarons, Robert Selsam, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Carl Weisbrod, Moderator: Carol Willis

A panel of planners, architects, preservationists and developers came together to discuss the relevance of past plans for reshaping and revitalizing Lower Manhattan and the challenges facing downtown in the wake of 9/11.

Hon. Amanda Burden, Chair, NYC Planning Commission
Hon. Sherida Paulsen, Chair, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Philip E. Aarons, Principal & Founding Partner, Millennium Partners
Robert Selsam, Senior Vice President, Boston Properties, Inc.
Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Chair, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Carl Weisbrod, President, Alliance for Downtown New York
Moderator: Carol Willis, The Skyscraper Museum