NEW YORK CITY-”I felt the building shake and saw debris falling outside my window.” That’s how one survivor described the first few minutes of what would prove to be the worst terrorist attack mounted on US soil, a massive attack that would level three buildings of the World Trade Center and cripple the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

He seemed at first to be a homeless person, covered in dirt-stained tatters. But on closer inspection, it became clear that it was a business suit he wore, covered not in dirt but plaster- thick dust, which also imbedded itself in his hair and mottled his shoes. He sat on a bench just a block away from Leonard Street in Downtown Manhattan, where FBI roped off traffic, curiosity seekers and all reporters, including this one. Only a constant stream of ambulances and police cars squeezed through.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.