It's been 16 years since the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001 following a terrorist attack on New York City. Throughout the day, there will be tributes and memorials across the world to remember and pay respects to those lives that were lost or were affected by the tragedies of that day. TIME magazine put together this slideshow showing New York City before the World Trade Center, in honor of the day.
Here, we pay tribute to New York — specifically, to the storied landscape of Lower Manhattan, where 400 years ago New York was born — in photographs made in the decades before the Twin Towers anchored the foot of the island. Wall Street, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Trinity Church, the vast, shimmering harbor — they're all here: landmarks that, despite everything, retain their place in the collective imagination, captured by some of the finest photographers of the 20th century.
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