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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


Understanding the Site

Map of area before WTC construction

Shifting Shoreline

GEORGE TAMARO: In the early 1600s, Henry Hudson sailed his ships up the river that would later bear his name, landing on the eastern shore line. During one of his visits, one of his ships, the Tijger, burned to the waterline and sank at the shoreline at approximately Dey and Greenwich streets. Successive landfilling extended the shoreline, first to the colonial high water line and then to the old bulkhead line, which was the formal edge of the city in the 1900s. During the World Trade Center construction, the dig unearthed cannon balls, ship parts, and old wine bottles. Material removed from the site was dumped into a landfill, here identified as the World Trade Center disposal area. This debris and a subsequent landfill pushed the edge of the city out to the Battery Park City bulkhead that is the current western edge of Manhattan.

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Image credits: Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers