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Former New York Telephone Company Building - West Street - Lower Manhattan - 1926
NY Telephone Co. Building - West Street, Manhattan

The subject of this picture is the Barclay-Vesey Building (Former New York Telephone Company, now the Verizon Building). This 52,000 square foot building was the first to follow the zoning laws established in 1916 that would force new buildings to be designed to allow more light to reach the street below. The result was set backs, seen in nearly every art deco structure in New York City. This photo was taken approximately two blocks south of the Barclay-Vesey Building, which is on West Street. One can notice people leaving from a small structure in the foreground. This is the IRT Cortland Street subway station. The small buildings in the foreground would most likely span back to the 19th century.

In the 1930's, a commercial hub for the electronic industry was flourishing in the lower Manhattan's west side, called The Washington Market. This community of electronic commerce made its way through the 1960's, when, by power of eminent domain from the Port Authority of New York, this tranquil setting in Lower Manhattan would change forever, due to an ambitious new construction project called the World Trade Center.

The Verizon Building suffered severe damage after 9/11 on its north and east facades, but has now been fully repaired.

The North Tower of the World Trade Center, which was completed in 1972, would have resided just to the right in this picture, where the small buildings are currently shown.

At the time this picture was taken, no one would have conceived such a grand project as the World Trade Center, the tallest buildings in the world from 1972 - 1974. Of course, no one would have either imagined the tragic events that would follow, almost exactly 77 years to the date this picture was taken.

Let us pause to remember the victims and their families from this tragic event. Addtional information about the WTC Memorial and donations can be made at: 911memorial.org.

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