America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero
Ground Zero Profiles
Engineering the Clean-Up
Video Stories
Imagining the Future
About the Program

Assisting the Rescue
Surveying the Damage
Assessing Buildings
Navigating the PATH
Understanding the Site
Stabilizing the Wall
Removing Debris
Supporting Structures
Extracting Hazards
Uncovering Property

Quick Facts


Assessing Buildings


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Assessing Buildings

DAVE PERAZA: On September 12th and 13th, as rescue workers were scouring Ground Zero for signs of life, seven teams of engineers, police and firefighters conducted emergency assessments of the surrounding buildings. Working from the street, and gaining entry where possible, we looked for structural as well as superficial damage that might be hazardous to the workers. Structural engineers systematically assessed about 400 buildings in late September, then repeated the job in October. About 30 buildings, having suffered structural damage or extensive damage to their facades, underwent more detailed inspections. Engineers went floor by floor, examining structural systems, fire alarms, sprinklers, and other life-safety systems. Remarkably, while all seven World Trade Center buildings and the St. Nicholas Church behind the South Tower were a total loss, no other buildings were beyond repair.

Click on the map above for what the engineers saw. To see their complete buildings assessment, visit the Structural Engineers of New York Web site.

Video: The Surviving Structures

Engineers assess the buildings still standing
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1 - 3 WFC 2 - Winter Garden Atrium 3 - 2 WFC 4 - 90 West Street 5 - 130 Liberty Street/Bankers Trust 6 - One Liberty Plaza 7 - Century 21 8 - Millennium Hilton 9 - WTC 4 10 - WTC 3 11 - WTC 5 12 - WTC 6 13 - 140 West Street 14 - Fiterman Hall 15 - 90 Church Street 16 - WTC 7 17 - Saint Nicholas Church 18 - South Tower 19 - North Tower