- This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
- The World Trade Center site has become a memorial to the 2,977 lives lost in New York, DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
- Photos from the last 20 years show how New York City rebuilt ground zero.
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But that skyline was horrifically altered a little more than two years later.
You can see the stark difference between the top photo, taken on August 30, 2001, and the bottom photo, taken 16 days after the attacks. It would take several months for rescuers to go through the rubble.
In December 2003, a design for the new One World Trade Center was finally unveiled.
In addition to the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center building, the site would come to include four other World Trade Center buildings, a 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, a WTC Transportation Hub, and Liberty Park.
A “Tribute in Lights” shone on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2006, where the World Trade Center once stood. The lights still shine in tribute each year on the anniversary.
As late as 2007, the site still looked about the same, as construction was hamstrung by lawsuits, budget overruns, design changes, and a recession.
In 2009, the 9/11 memorial waterfalls were starting to take shape.
One World Trade Center, also known as the “Freedom Tower,” was just starting to rise from the rubble.
In June 2010, the skyscraper was slowly rising.
By July 2011, the memorial waterfalls were being tested, and One World Trade Center’s facade was beginning to reflect the sky.
Here’s the Manhattan skyline in August 2011. You can see the unfinished tower beginning to peek over the other skyscrapers.
The memorial waterfalls officially opened in September 2011, and the museum, seen on the right, opened in May 2014.
By November 2014, One World Trade Center was complete, as was 4 World Trade Center (left) and 7 World Trade Center (far right). But 3 World Trade Center, seen here with a crane above it, still wasn’t finished.
The WTC Transportation Hub, on which the soaring white Oculus was built, was also under construction in late 2014.
The hub officially opened in June 2016, while 3 World Trade Center was still under construction.
The $50 million Liberty Park also opened in June 2016. From there, visitors can get an overhead view of the ground zero memorial.
This photo, taken on June 8, 2018, shows 3 World Trade Center, One World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and Liberty Park, all finally complete.
With construction officially complete, the Manhattan skyline is now forever changed.
Now the tallest building in the US, the gleaming One World Trade Center, pictured in 2020, towers over the Financial District.
This year, the Tribute in Light is again visible on Manhattan’s skyline as New York prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
Daniel Brown contributed to an earlier version of this article.