Minoru Yamasaki, 1969


“Minoru was a family friend. He was coming often to visit. He loved to play with my children David and Francis. One day he told me, ‘The city of New York has given me the assignment to build a magnificent project. I will build the tallest tower in the world.’
I told him that the tallest building in the world doesn’t exist because when someone realizes that it is the tallest, they will build a taller one, and so on. He told me that to do it he would have to travel all around the world to get inspired. We were getting along very well, but that day I was not agreeing with anything he was saying. I told him that the whole world of architecture was in one place. I told him it was enough to visit that country. I told him to go to Italy. He laughed but listened to my advice. From the palace of the Venetian doge he got the crucial inspiration for his skyscraper: one column rises into three. From the towers at San Gimignano: two towers of the same design. It was like this that the Twin Towers were born.
– So, you inspired the WTC?
– I am the man that did it.”
–Tony Vaccaro

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