Archaeology at WTC Site

In the MIT speech I posted last week, Rafael Vinoly made a comment that there was "no archaeology left" at the WTC site. It had been stripped to bedrock. The Bathtub/slurry wall had to be rebuilt/refaced/replaced already. The Twin Towers' footprints themselves now only exist as coordinates in an XYZ grid. I went to the site yesterday morning to map out my idea for the Memorial Competion, and to take reference pictures, and I found there IS "archaeology" on the site.

For all the destruction, demoltion, clearing, and (now-begun) reconstruction, a part of the original WTC has been left standing. I've never heard anyone mention it, and I can't find any reference to it online, but there it is, plain as day. It ain't much, but it's all there is.


About 50m west of Church St, the pedestrian entry point to the original plaza, a crumbling staircase runs from street level on Vesey St, to what used to be the plaza level (which is marked in green above). It connected to 5WTC, one of the low-rise buildings that framed the plaza. On this map, it's the green stairway next to the Children's Discovery Center.

Read entries on the WTC Memorial Competition or more far-ranging memorial topics

[6/23 updates: in the Times, Glenn Collins writes about rebuilding/stabilization efforts for the wall. And a WSJ story about the successful evacuation odyssey of the Children's Discovery Center.]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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