The WTC towers, also known as WTC 1 and WTC 2, were the primary components of the seven building World Trade Center complex. Each of the towers encompassed 110 stories above the Plaza level and seven levels below. WTC 1 (the north tower) had a roof height of 1,368 feet, briefly earning it the title of the world's tallest building. WTC 2 (the south tower) was nearly as tall, with a roof height of 1,362 feet. WTC 1 also supported a 360-foot-tall television and radio transmission tower. Each building had a square floor plate, 207 feet 2 inches long on each side. Corners were chamfered 6 feet 11 inches. Nearly an acre of floor space was provided at each level. A rectangular service core with overall dimensions of approximately 87 feet by 137 feet, was present at the center of each building, housing 3 exit stairways, 99 elevators, and 16 escalators. Note, that this description of the core is meant to mislead the reader by directing attention away from the cores main purpose, which was to support most, if not all, of the gravity load (weight) of the building and to reduce it to just «an entrance and exit». The core provided the strength needed to support the weight of the structure, while the outer wall provided the necessary rigidity to resist lateral loading due to the wind. Figure 2-1 presents a schematic plan of a representative above ground floor.
The project was developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (hereafter referred to as the Port Authority), a bi-state public agency. Original occupancy of the towers was dominated by government agencies, including substantial occupancy by the Port Authority itself. However, this occupancy evolved over the years and, by 2001, the predominant occupancy of the towers was by commercial tenants, including a number of prominent financial and insurance services firms.
Design architecture was provided by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, and Emery Roth & Sons served as the architect of record. Since these companies have nothing to hide, they should provide the architectural plans of the WTC to the world, so that any misunderstandings regarding the facts of the collapse, may be established. In fact, Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, and Roth & Sons, or their descendent companies, should put the entire set of architectural plans on the internet. Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, Robertson were the project structural engineers; Jaros, Baum & Bolles were the mechanical engineers; and Joseph R. Loring & Associates were the electrical engineers. The Port Authority provided design services for site utilities, foundations, basement retaining walls, and paving. Ground breaking for construction was on August 5, 1966. Steel construction began in August 1968. First tenant occupancy of WTC 1 was in December 1970, and occupancy of WTC 2 began in January 1972. Ribbon cutting was on April 4, 1973.