The New World Trade Center

  • Grades 6 to 12
  • Lesson Duration: one class period
  • Theme: Memorializing 9/11

Essential Question: How did the rebuilding of the World Trade Center affect New York City?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to identify the rebuilt One World Trade Center.

Students will understand the thinking behind the design of the new World Trade Center.

Students will consider how the rebuilding of the World Trade Center affected businesses in New York City.



Midtown: This area at the center of Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Broadway, and Times Square.

The New Yorker magazine: This weekly publication provides reporting and commentary on politics, foreign affairs, business, technology, popular culture, and the arts, along with humor, fiction, poetry, and cartoons.

    An illustrated cover of the New Yorker magazine depicts the billboards of Times Square under an orange sky. One World Trade Center towers in the distance. The magazine’s mascot Eustace Tilley is seen riding towards the skyscraper along with Conde Naste employees, who are on a flatbed moving truck.

    “Moving Day,” 2015, Bruce McCall, Courtesy of The New Yorker © Condé Nast


    1.  Display or distribute copies of The New Yorker cover titled “Moving Day” by Bruce McCall. Click on the image to use the pinch-and-zoom feature for closer viewing.

    2.  Ask students to look closely at the cover. Lead a guided inquiry by asking the questions below. Record student observations on a smartboard or chart paper by category.

    • What objects or images stand out to you? What is happening in this image?
    • What information can you pull from the text clues? How can you tell?
    • Where does this take place? Where are the figures in this image heading? How can you tell?
    • Who is Eustace? How can you tell?
    • When was this made? How can you tell?

    3.  Tell students this cover is called “Moving Day” and that it shows the journey of Eustace, a figure who has become a sort of mascot for The New Yorker magazine. Share the below quote from a New Yorker staff member about leaving the old Times Square headquarters:

    Last week, the staff of The New Yorker made its final preparations to leave 4 Times Square, its headquarters for the past fifteen years, to join the rest of Condé Nast, the parent company, down at 1 World Trade Center, the new megatower in lower Manhattan ... The artist Bruce McCall pictures what it felt like to pack boxes while we were finishing the last issue in our old building.

    4.  Recap what students noticed in the image, connecting the details they pulled out back to the above quote.

    5.  The company was moving to the new World Trade Center, which had been rebuilt in the years after 9/11. Daniel Libeskind was selected as the master planner, meaning he was tasked with determining the overall layout of the site.

    6.  View the clip below of Libeskind discussing the ideas that informed his design. Ask: What ideas does he refer to? Do you think those ideas are what should have driven the design of the new site? Why or why not

    Video: Daniel Libeskind discusses rebuilding the WTC site

    Lesson Plan: Libeskind

    7.  View the image below of the new site. Ask: Do you think the new site reflects the ideas that Libeskind expressed? Why or why not?

    Memorial Plaza is seen from above. The aerial view shows the Plaza’s many trees, as well as the reflecting pools and Museum Pavilion. Rows of traffic pass on West Street to the left of the Plaza. The buildings of lower Manhattan are in the background.
    Photo by Jin S. Lee

    8.  As summative questions, ask students:

    • Why might a large company like Condé Nast moving to the new One World Trade Center building be significant?
    • How do the ideas behind Libeskind’s design serve as a counter to what happened on 9/11?
    • How does this cover connect to 9/11? How does it show changes that have occurred since 9/11?