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3 World Trade Center redirects here. For World Trade Center, second version, Tower 3, see 175 Greenwich Street.
Marriott with Twin Towers, July 2001

The Marriott World Trade Center was a 22-story[1] steel-framed hotel building with 825 rooms. It opened in 1981 as the Vista International and was located at 3 World Trade Center in New York City. Vista was the brand name under which Hilton International operated hotels in the United States during the period when they were a separate company from Hilton Hotels. The Vista Hotel was the first hotel to open in Lower Manhattan since 1836.[2] The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and originally owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It was sold in 1995 to Host Marriott Corporation after then-Governors George Pataki of New York and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey pressured Port Authority officials to sell its less profitable assets.

The hotel was connected to the North and South tower, and many went through the hotel to get to the Twin Towers. The hotel had a few establishments including Greenhouse Cafe, Tall Ships Bar & Grill, a store called Times Square Gifts, The Russia House Restaurant and a Grayline New York Tours Bus ticket counter, a gym and a hair salon named Olga's. The hotel also had 26,000 square feet (2,400 m2) of meeting space, and was considered a four-diamond hotel by AAA. [3]

The structure was destroyed on September 11, 2001 in the collapse of the north and south towers of the World Trade Center.

Contents

1993 World Trade Center bombing

On February 26, 1993, the hotel was seriously damaged as a result of the World Trade Center bombing. Terrorists took a Ryder truck loaded with 1,500 pounds (682 kilograms) of explosives and parked it in the One World Trade Center parking garage. At 12:18pm (Eastern Time), an explosion destroyed or seriously damaged the lower and sub levels of the World Trade Center complex. After extensive repairs, the hotel reopened in November 1994.

September 11, 2001 attacks

3 World Trade Center after the attacks
Ground Zero debris with markup showing building locations.

On September 11, 2001, the hotel was at full capacity, and had over 1000 registered guests. In addition, the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) was holding its yearly conference at the hotel.

When the first plane crashed into the North Tower (1 WTC), the landing gear fell into the roof of the Marriott hotel. There were many eyewitness accounts from firefighters who went up the stairs in the Marriott Hotel to the second floor. Firefighters used the lobby as the staging area, and were also in the hotel to evacuate guests that may have still been in the hotel. Firefighters also reported bodies on the roof from the people that had jumped or fallen from the burning towers. The collapse of the South Tower (2 WTC) nearly split the hotel in half (such damage can briefly be seen in the documentary film 9/11), and the collapse of its twin destroyed the rest of the hotel aside from a small section as seen on the picture, due to the structural strengthening of the steel framework after the 1993 bombing.

As a result of the collapse of the Twin Towers, the hotel was destroyed. Two hotel employees were killed and about two dozen hotel guests were unaccounted for. Many firefighters who used the hotel as a staging ground and evacuated hotel guests also died in the hotel.

The building and its survivors are recently featured in the television special documentary film Hotel Ground Zero, which premiered on September 11, 2009 on the History channel.

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External links

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