Oral History Archives

Arturo Ressi – World Trade Center Engineer
As a young engineer, Arturo Ressi oversaw construction of the World Trade Center "slurry wall," used to prevent the Hudson River from leaking into the basement of the Twin Towers. When the towers collapsed on 9/11, Ressi was shocked and gratified to learn that the wall remained intact. According to Ressi, the wall "wanted to stay up," and had it been breached, the loss of life would have grown exponentially worse. In his oral history, Ressi also describes the strength of the 450-million-year-old Manhattan Schist bedrock that makes the soaring skyline of New York City possible.

Guy Tozzoli – Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Guy Tozzoli, a career Port Authority employee, was responsible for planning, design, construction, leasing, and the ultimate start-up operation of the World Trade Center. Listen to his account of the rise and fall of one of the greatest construction efforts ever undertaken.

Carl Sellinger – Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Employee 
Carl Sellinger, who at the time worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was trapped in an elevator for hours following the 1993 bombing until he was rescued by first responders. As conditions worsened in the enclosed space, he feared he wouldn’t make it out alive and wrote what he thought would be the last letter to his family before the lights shut off. Listen as Sellinger describes the ordeal and his eventual rescue.

Charles Maikish – World Trade Center Engineer
Beginning as a college engineering student, Charles Maikish spent nearly his entire career at the World Trade Center, with diverse responsibilities for managing the building. In honor of the 15th anniversary of the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Maikish shared his memories of the bombing and the memorial created in honor of the people killed.

Mike Hurley – Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Director of fire safety at the World Trade Center on 9/11, veteran Port Authority employee Michael Hurley was supervisor of the South Tower’s 107th floor observation deck on February 26, 1993, when terrorists detonated a bomb in the underground parking garage of the WTC.