Forty years ago today, at 11:30 a.m. on December 23, 1970, the north tower of the original World Trade Center "topped out" when its highest piece of structural steel was hauled into place. At 1,370 feet, this made the World Trade Center the world's tallest building -- a title it would hold until the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago topped out until May 1973.
|map courtesy of New York magazine.
In September 1970, New York magazine ran a long story entitled "Is the World Trade Center Worth All the Problems It's Causing New York," detailing the television broadcasting woes, along with other complaints that were commonly leveled against the complex: it's too big; the Port Authority is wasting money on real estate; there will be too many people flooding into Lower Manhattan for the the subways to handle. Other interesting information from the piece (which you can read here):
- There was talk of extending the soon-to-be-built Second Avenue subway south of 34th Street to accommodate the added Wall Street traffic.
- Another subway proposal: build "people movers" from the WTC to the Lexington Avenue and Second Avenue lines.
- It was estimated that only 2,000 people out of 150,000 a day were going to use the Hudson Tubes (aka the PATH train) to commute to the World Trade Center.
- The Port Authority was asking WTC tenants to stagger their work schedules so as to ease the burden on the subways.
|A portable Sony color TV in 1970 runs you $309.95
Were you around in 1970 when the television signals went haywire? If so, let us know in the comments.
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Read more about the rise and fall of the World Trade Center in
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