A personal look at New York City, yesterday and today

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The World Trade Center Landfill 1976 - 1985

Battery Park City & the World Financial Center were built on a vast stretch of land reclamation along the Hudson River to the west of the World Trade Center. The developers waited for almost ten years for the land to settle before commencing construction of Battery Park City and the WFC.

WTC & Landfill 1976

Battery Park City is a 92-acre planned community at the southwestern tip of Lower Manhattan in New York City, United States. 
Much of the landfill, about 1 million cubic yards, was generated by the construction of the World Trade Center. The other 2 million cubic yards came from the New York City Water Tunnel and other construction projects, as well as from sand dredged from New York Harbor off Staten Island.

WTC & Landfill 1982

WTC, Photographer & Landfill 1983

There were several free concerts staged on the landfill. The most notable was the No Nukes concert in 1979. It was also home to Art on the Beach exhibitions by Creative Time which began in 1978 and ended in 1985.
For three months each summer ‘’Art on the Beach’’ offered site-specific sculpture and performances that were open to the public and free of cost.

WTC, Art on the Beach & Landfill 1985
Dennis Adams and Nicholas Goldsmith "Podium for Dissent"

In 1985 the first buildings of the World Financial Center were under construction on the west side of the World Trade Center. It was the beginning of the end of landfill public space.

WTC, Art on the Beach, Landfill & Construction 1985

All photographs © Lionel Martinez