Archive Offers Engineer’s View of Twin Towers

April 17, 2007

By James Murdock

The Skyscraper Museum is making more than 500 images relating to the design and construction of the original World Trade Center in Manhattan available through its VIVA2 online archive. The photos and drawings were donated by the Twin Towers’ engineer, Leslie E. Robertson Associates.

Image courtesy The Skyscraper Museum and Leslie E. Robertson Associates

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“In the absence of the buildings, they are a unique record that allow architects and engineers to study their structure in detail,” says Carol Willis, the museum’s founder and director. “Most of the slides were taken by Les himself over the course of construction with his special access to the site and, obviously, with his special eye and perspective.”

In addition to the World Trade Center materials, VIVA2 also presents images and drawings that relate to the construction of the Empire State Building. Willis says that the museum is now collecting materials to document development of the planned Freedom Tower, but adding them to the archive will require new funds. VIVA2 was created by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It can be accessed through the museum’s Web site,





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