After E and C train straphangers pass through the turnstiles of the World Trade Center subway stop — before they enter into the modern arches of the Oculus — they first walk through the last remains of the original World Trade Center subway concourse and past a door tagged by 9/11 first responders, probably without even noticing.
Heading through the metallic doors into the entranceway of the station, commuters walk over the same travertine floors, under the same signs and up the same ramp as commuters who entered the WTC complex before the terrorists attacks of September 11th, 2001. Though it may not seem obvious upon arrival, when looking back at the subway station from the top of the white marble steps of the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and up at the vintage subway signage, the contrast becomes more clear. This entranceway is comprised of the last surviving pieces of the original 1970s WTC subway concourse.
The most poignant reminder of the former Trade Center and the tragic events of 9/11 is a door which stands out from the rest due to its bright orange, graffitti-like markings. A sign on the door’s encasement decodes the marks, which were made by search and rescue teams in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. On the door, first responders used spray paint to indicate the date the area was searched (9/13/01), the condition of the area (X, meaning dangerous) and which agency performed the evaluation, in this case the Massachusetts Task Force 1 of FEMA (MATF 1).
Steven Plate, the chief of major capital projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the organization responsible for restoring the transportation hub, told the New York Times, “Our theme is respecting and remembering the past, and including it in a sophisticated way.” The restored 1970s subway entrance and marked doorway offer a unique way to incorporate the memory of 9/11 victims and heroes into the future of the World Trade Center.
Next, check out “Brian Rose Captures the World Trade Center From 1977 to Present Day in New Book” and See the Entire 11-Year Construction of One World Trade Center in Two Minutes.
Nicole Saraniero is the Insider-in-Chief at Untapped New York, leading our Untapped New York Insiders membership program. Nicole graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Science in Television/Film Production. Through her work in those fields, specifically working at a film location agency on Long Island’s Gold Coast, and her travels through Europe while studying abroad, she discovered a love for architecture and uncovering the hidden histories of places. She recently earned a Certificate in Historic Preservation Studies from NYU's School of Professional Studies.