“Survivors Staircase” from the World Trade Center makes list of Most Endangered Places

National Trust for Historic Preservation: World Trade Center Vesey Street Staircase

This concrete staircase, once an overlooked piece of city infrastructure, was one of the routes used by survivors of the September 11 attacks. The staircase leads to nowhere now, but survived the collapse of the towers and the subsequent rescue and cleanup operations. It has come to be known as the “Survivor’s Staircase” and is the only remaining above-ground remnant of the original towers.

It is now in danger of disappearing forever. Not only is it in the footprint of one of the towers for the new World Trade Center, but vibrations from traffic and other construction projects are weakening it.

I was working in Clifton, New Jersey on September 11, 2001. It was my second day on the job. The sixth floor of that building has an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline. I was with my co-workers when the planes hit the towers. I saw one of the towers fall. (After that I left to retrieve my family.)

Even now, going on five years later, the events of that day, and the days that followed, evoke raw emotions.

I urge you to visit the website, learn about the site, and then write Governors Pataki and Corzine, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, asking them to find a way to preserve this important piece of our history.

7-Mar-2008 Update:

The staircase will be preserved and included in the September 11 memorial.

“Survivors Staircase” follow-up


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Geek. Gamer. Dad. Husband. Beer drinker. Football fan. Blogger.

One thought on ““Survivors Staircase” from the World Trade Center makes list of Most Endangered Places”

  1. I think the stairs should stay exactly where they are. If we can leave the Arizona Memorial intact, we should leave the stairs. Put a small garden at the bottom, or a fish pond- something respectful. Maybe a plaque explaining what the stairs are. I saw the events unfolding on t.v., but it really made a big impact when I visited ground zero. Harriet Smith

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