Ric Burns interviewed dozens of historians, journalists, artists, engineers and other experts during the making of New York: The Center of the World. Screen these clips for their comments on America and the postwar economy, downtown Manhattan, building the World Trade Center, and more.
Biographies and Topics
1. Mike Wallace, historian
Historian Mike Wallace won the Pulitzer Prize for the book he co-authored with Ted Burrows, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. He is the founder of the Gotham Project for New York City History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
The U.S. and Global Interests
Lower West Side Businesses
Opposition to Building the World Trade Center
2. Pete Hamill, writer
Brooklyn-born journalist Pete Hamill has been editor-in-chief of both the New York Post and the New York Daily News. Author of eight novels, two story collections, several non-fiction works, and a memoir, his work includes the best-sellers Snow in August and A Drinking Life.
Lower Manhattan Before the Towers
The New York Economy
Displacement and Destruction to Build the Towers
Getting Used to the World Trade Center
3. Carol Willis, historian
Architectural historian Carol Willis is the founding director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York City and author of Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago.
Opposition to the World Trade Center
The Public's Opinion of Skyscrapers
On Rebuilding at Ground Zero
4. Guy Tozzoli, president, World Trade Center Association
Guy Tozzoli worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for over four decades. He started in 1946 as a junior engineer in the engineering department. By February 1962, he was the director in charge of the planning, construction, rental and operation of the World Trade Center. He is currently the president of the World Trade Centers Association.
Closing the Deal for the Trade Center
The Story of Windows on the World
Opposition to Building the World Trade Center
Meeting Philippe Petit
Visitors to the Trade Center
5. Leslie Robertson, engineer
Engineer of record for the World Trade Center, Leslie Robertson's work portfolio includes hundreds of buildings around the globe. A pioneer in structural design innovations, his firm has designed three of the six tallest buildings in the world.
The Trade Center's Sculptural Quality
Close Columns and Narrow Windows
The World Trade Center and the Empire State Building
The Skin Structure of the Trade Center
6. Camilo José Vergara, photographer
Photographer Camilo José Vergara was named a 2002 MacArthur Fellow for his work documenting changing urban landscapes across America. Trained as a sociologist, his books include Twin Towers Remembered.
Looking at the World Trade Center
Seeing the Twin Towers from Afar
Photographing the Twin Towers
The Towers at Night
7. Niall Ferguson, historian
Historian Niall Ferguson holds the John E. Herzog Family Chair in Financial History at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is the author of The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.
The American Experience of Globalization
Globalization's Political Dimension
9/11 as a Turning Point
Why Others Hate America
New York as an Imperial City
8. Philippe Petit, high wire artist
High wire artist Philippe Petit electrified New York City -- and the world -- with his early morning walk between the twin towers on August 7, 1974. He has also performed on a high wire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. He is artist-in-residence at New York's Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
Rehearsing the Walk
Getting the Cable Across
Setting Foot On the Cable
9. William Langewiesche, journalist
An Atlantic Monthly correspondent for over a decade, William Langewiesche obtained full access to the Ground Zero site to report on cleanup efforts after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His book on the subject is American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center.
One Survivor's Story
10. Ed Koch, New York City mayor, 1978-1989
Three-term mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, Ed Koch is now a political columnist, partner in a law firm, media commentator and author.
Grieving with the Families
11. Mario M. Cuomo, New York governor, 1983-1994
Mario Cuomo served as governor of New York from 1983 to 1994. Now a lawyer in private practice in New York, Cuomo is also a well-known radio commentator, public speaker and author.
Learning from 9/11
Evolving Toward New Civility
12. Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture critic
A pioneering architecture critic, Ada Louise Huxtable has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize for criticism, in 1970. Her books include The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion and The Tall Building Artistically Reconsidered: The Search for a Skyscraper Style.
On Building at Ground Zero
Replacement vs. Rebuilding
Speaking to the Spirit
On the Rebuilding Process