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I feel this way about it. World trade means world peace and consequently the World Trade Center buildings in New York ... had a bigger purpose than just to provide room for tenants. The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace ... beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man's belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness.
- Minoru Yamasaki, chief architect of the World Trade Center

Building skyscrapers is the nearest peacetime equivalent of war.
- Col. William H. Starrett, Skyscrapers & the Men Who Build Them, 1928.

Aside from everything else, there is an attractive element in the colossal, its own charm to which classic art theory does not have much relevance. Can one claim that it is the artistic value of the pyramids that has so strongly captured the imagination of man? Are they anything more than man-made mounds? And nonetheless, what visitor is insensitive before them? And what is the source of this admiration if not the immensity of the effort and the grandeur of the result? The Tower will be the tallest structure ever built by man. Will it not be grand in its own right?
- Gustave Eiffel

Thus from the air would be taken wealth.
- William J. Wilgus [Wilgus was the chief engineer and later vice president of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroads. His quote is taken from a memoir published in Transactions, the journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1940 - referring to plan to build steel framed buildings over rail yard to the north of Grand Central.] (ED)

Future New York is preeminently the city of skyscrapers. Its first steel-frame structure, the Tower Building, at 50 Broadway, reaching a height of 129 ft., was regarded as a skyscraper with its 10 stories; now there are in Manhattan 1,048 buildings of 11 stories or more. The skyline reached 612 ft. in the Singer Tower, 700 ft. in Metropolitan, 792 ft. in Woolworth, and the new Pan-American Building is to be 801 ft. high. Of the 92,849 buildings in Manhattan, 29,560 are fire-proof, 286 semi-fire-proof, and 6,963 frame, 82,544 brick and wood."
- King's Views of New York, 1915

Architecture strives toward infinity; but more than any other art ... remains bound to tangible materials. For this reason it cannot carry itself off into spheres of a transcendental world in which it metamorphoses into an idea. It remains ... tied to the earth.
- Peter Behrens in Tilmann Buddensieg and Hennig Rogge, Industriekultur: Peter Behrens and the AEG, trans. I.B. White (1984), p. 223.*

The skyscraper envelope is not ethical, beautiful or permanent. It is a commercial exploit or a mere expedient. It has no higher ideal of unity than commercial success.
- Frank Lloyd Wright, The Future of Architecture, (1953), p. 164.*

We have the paradox that most theories of architecture whose task was rationalization have in common their pre-occupation with visual order, the look of the product. There is a greater concern that the building should look rational rather than that rational methods should be employed in its design.
- Alexander Tzonis, Toward a Non-Oppressive Environment (1972), p. 87.*
* cited by Stuart Ewen in All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1988.

... the drilling of granite teeth, the cackling of mechanical birds, the thudding of Cyclopean iron doors, accelerating avalanches of brick, the collapse of deserted warehouses; explosives that cause no excitement, pistol shots that are quite without consequences. Nor does one care to find out what these noises are. One goes on with whatever one is doing incurious and wholly indifferent.
- Edmund Wilson, The American Earthquake

Architecture has always represented the prototype of a work of art the reception of which is consummated by a collectivity in a state of distraction.
- Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Appearances are irrelevant. No fussiness. Clear, pure, objective. Windows only where they are needed. Then fire escapes, elevators, ventilators. Surprising, simple, monumental in effect, this machinery.
- Erich Mendelsohn, from a text captioning his photo "Detroit: Rear Facade of a Hotel" (Detroit: Rückfront eines Hotel) from America: Picturebook of an Architect, (Amerika: Bilderbuch eines Architekten).

But who can give soul to an image, life to stone, metal, wood or wax? And who can make children of Abraham come out of stones? Truly this secret is not known to the thick-witted worker ... and no one has such powers as he who has cohabited with the elements, vanquished nature, and mounted higher than the heavens, elevating himself above the angels to the archetype itself, with whom he then becomes co-operator and can do all things.

- Cornelius Agrippa, De occulta philosophia (1533) as quoted in Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964, p. 136.

Developers build because we have money from lenders. We don't base it on supply and demand.
- Richard Stein, a developer, in Crain's New York Business, Aug. 21, 1989.

Who knows when some slight shock, disturbing the delicate balance between the social order and thirsty aspiration, shall send the skyscrapers in our cities toppling?
- Richard Wright, Native Son

The enhancement of [urban] real estate values made the cost of an ordinary site mount to high figures. There was a commercial insistence for more revenue, which meant added stories, as lateral expansion was not possible and like a poker game 'the blue sky was the limit.' So capital said to art ... 'Go higher up.' And art ... said to science, 'Hear that? Hear what capital says?'
- Harvey Wiley Corbett, "The Birth of the Tall Building," The American Architect 129 (5 Jan. 1926), p. 37.
[Three years later, Corbett would propose that Metropolitan Life build a 100-story tower across the street from their already gigantic 1905 signature "Venetian campanile" at 23rd Street and Madison Avenue. The design of the Met Life building was revised during construction in order to maintain dominance over the new Singer tower, but both skyscrapers were soon eclipsed by Woolworth's "cathedral."] (ED)

... The savaging sea piles its fears
on the shores of the world
no tower can deliver us now
from the enemy wave.
- Pablo Neruda, excerpted from "Bomb (II)" from Fin de mundo,

When you cut my vein, concrete comes out.
- Samuel J. Lefrak, a developer, in New York Times, Sept. 13, 1998.

The city of consumption consumes itself.
- Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle

Three things are to be looked to in a building:

  • that it stand on the right spot;
  • that it be securely founded;
  • that it be successfully executed.
- Wolfgang von Goethe
[This quote appeared courtesy of the Fiduciary Trust Co. of New York in a 1971 New York Times ad supplement sponsored by the Port Authority to publicize the recently-opened World Trade Center.] (ED)

The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

The WTCA is a membership organization of approximately 300 World Trade Centers in 97 countries, that represents itself as a kind of information-age Hanseatic League. It was founded in the late ‘70s by Guy F. Tozzoli, formerly head of the Port Authority’s World Trade Center Department. The text below is taken from the WTCA website < http://iserve.wtca.org

— [ED]

Guy F. Tozzoli - The Visionary

"…trade centers help not only to facilitate international trade and build economic well-being, but they foster a higher level of harmony and peace among the nations of the world. The practical day-to-day commerce and business conducted in and through world trade centers transcends narrow nationalism as well as ethnic and political barriers of the past," (Guy F. Tozzoli addressing 1989 WTCA General Assembly in Geneva, 1989.)

The World Trade Center Concept

If asked where the idea for the World Trade Center originated, Guy Tozzoli is quick to note that the concept originated with David Rockefeller. Prior to the development of the World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan was deteriorating; business was moving away from the area. David Rockefeller, Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank at that time, wanted to find a way to revitalize the area, and he felt the concept of a "world trade center," as yet undefined, might be a way to achieve this goal.

David Rockefeller contacted his brother, Nelson, who was the Governor of New York, and asked him to utilize the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to study the feasibility of constructing an economic development called a world trade center in Lower Manhattan.

The Role of the Port Authority

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a self-supporting, government-aligned agency. It coordinates transportation facilities and protects and promotes the commerce of the ports of New York and New Jersey within a radius of 25 miles of the Statue of Liberty. At this time, it was governed by 12 commissioners: six from New York and six from New Jersey.

The commissioners reported to the governors of each state, and the governors had the right of veto. Any building that was proposed in this area had to be authorized by the legislatures of the two states.

The feasibility study conducted by the Port Authority indicated that a world trade center was a viable option to regenerate life and growth in Lower Manhattan. With the approval of the project came the appointment of Guy Tozzoli as Director of the World Trade Department. It is at this point that Mr. Tozzoli was given responsibility for the planning, construction, rental, and operation of the World Trade Center in New York.

Guy Tozzoli's Concept

After David Rockefeller initiated the idea of a "World Trade Center," Guy Tozzoli took the idea to fruition. He conceived of a world trade center as a place where the private and public entities involved in international trade and its services could be brought together. It would be a place where people would be provided with the tools to do business more efficiently.

A World Trade Center would also service its own area as the resident expert in international trade. As Guy Tozzoli describes it, "If you need information about New York, and my World Trade Center is in New York, you will come to me. If I need information about your area, wherever it might be, I come to you and your World Trade Center."

However, he also had a concept to create an edifice that would symbolize success for world trade, and he had to do it in New York City...a city where it would be difficult to build something that would be noticed. If the rest of the world were to notice, he had to do something unique...as unique as the world's largest building project. This is the recommendation that Guy Tozzoli made to the Board of the Port Authority; and it was under the guidance of Austin Tobin and through the auspices of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that Guy Tozzoli was able to realize an achievement that Reader's Digest called the largest building project since the pyramids.

A project of this scale was, needless to say, not without its problems. As potential problems arose with this vast vision, Guy Tozzoli found, as he states, "simple solutions" to the problems.

He was undaunted by architects who said it was impossible to build a 110-story building. He found architects who could do it.

When he was told that elevators could not scale a 110-story structure, his staff conceived of banks of elevators that were either local or express, much like the subway system.

When there was a potential problem closing the streets in Lower Manhattan for construction of the towers, Guy offered to donate to the city the many acres of dirt from the site to fill what is now the Battery Park Financial Center.

Guy Tozzoli persevered, and the twin towers became reality.   The project involved 15 million square feet of floor area distributed among seven buildings including offices, shops, and hotels.

International Impact

Mr. Tozzoli's innovations did not go unnoticed by the international community. Representatives from various countries visited the World Trade Center during its construction to discuss the project with Guy Tozzoli. Guy Tozzoli notes that "their questions were always the same...what is a World Trade Center?" They also wanted to know if a World Trade Center would be good for their area, region, or country.

Questions such as these led Guy Tozzoli to conceptualize another innovation: The World Trade Centers Association.

The World Trade Centers Association Concept

Guy asked himself, "Why not form an association to do two simple things? First, promote the World Trade Center concept around the world; second, encourage reciprocal programs from one World Trade Center to another." These programs could include such things as trade missions, educational programs, and advances in communications. This would be based on the principle that the people in each Center know their region intimately. Centers would communicate with other Centers, share all sorts of information, answer questions and, in general, help each other.

The idea took root, and the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) was incorporated as a non-profit organization. The Constitution and By-Laws of the WTCA define the World Trade Centers Association in the following way:

"The World Trade Centers Association was established in 1970 to encourage mutual assistance and cooperation among members, promote international business relationships and foster increased participation in world trade by developing nations."

Retrospectively, it would seem that the WTCA has gone far beyond its original goal as defined in the by-laws. With Guy Tozzoli's leadership, the WTCA is responsible for promoting peace and understanding among various countries of the world, even those countries that might otherwise not have communicated in a peaceful way with each other.

As John Drew, President of the World Trade Center, Boston, describes Guy Tozzoli and the WTCA concept, "Guy is a visionary. He has always seen the value of an organization that is committed to trade as the way to approach worldwide prosperity and, thereby, worldwide trust and cooperation...free of national politics."

Examples of this are evident when one takes a closer look at the World Trade Centers Association, its goals, and the results of those goals.

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