NEW YORK (AP) – Guy Tozzoli, an official with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who supervised the development of New York City’s original World Trade Center and then witnessed its destruction, has died at age 90.
Tozzoli died Saturday in Myrtle Beach, S.C. His death was announced by the World Trade Centers Association, an organization dedicated to furthering global trade that he founded in 1970 and led for four decades.
As director of World Trade Center Development for the Port Authority in the 1960s, Tozzoli oversaw the design and construction of the 110-story towers that were the world’s tallest buildings from their dedication in 1973 until the terrorist attack that felled them.
Tozzoli was credited with bringing Japanese architect Minoru Yamasaki to the project. He also fought for the famous Windows on the World restaurant to be included in the north tower, and it was his idea to use the dirt excavated for the trade center as landfill to build Battery Park City.
Current Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye called Tozzoli a groundbreaking pioneer.
“His dedication to the WTC site was instrumental in fostering world trade and economic development as a critical part of the Port Authority’s mission to create jobs and stimulate economic activity for the region,” Foye said.
Tozzoli joined the Port Authority in 1946 and spent his entire career there except for two years of military service during the Korean War. In the 1950s, he helped design the world’s first container port in Newark, N.J.
Tozzoli was given the task of planning and building the World Trade Center in 1962. He coordinated construction of the massive project and then focused on leasing it.
“It will be a city with a working population of 50,000 and a landmark that will attract 80,000 visitors daily,” Tozzoli said in an interview during that time. “The center’s 10 million square feet of space will make it larger than Rockefeller Center. And it’s going to mean a worldwide selling job on our part to get tenants to occupy it.”
Tozzoli retired from the Port Authority in 1986 but maintained an office at the trade center, where the agency was headquartered. He spent three hours trapped in a staircase when terrorists set off a truck bomb in 1993.
Tozzoli was about to enter the Holland Tunnel heading into Manhattan from New Jersey when hijacked planes struck the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. He saw the smoking north tower and then watched in horror as the second plane hit the south tower, destroying the project that had been his life’s work.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain