The Oculus


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The Oculus was renamed The World Trade Center Transportation Hub when it opened in March of 2016. It was built to replace the PATH station destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 9-11.


Originally, it was the Hudson terminal, opened in 1909 by the H&M  Railroad Company. H&M went bankrupt and the Port Authority bought them. When the Twin Towers were built in the 1970s, Hudson Terminal was demolished and replaced with the World Trade Center PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) station.


I used to go through the PATH station when I worked in lower Manhattan. I happened to be off the day in February of 1993 when a car bomb exploded in the parking garage, damaging the WTC station. It was up and running a week later, but in 2001, the North Tower collapsed into the station, destroying everything.


Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus cost a staggering $4 billion to build and is supposed to resemble a bird taking flight. Modifications were made to the design for safety reasons and some say it now resembles a dinosaur. I prefer to think of it as a phoenix, rising from the ashes.


I visited the station with a photography group just before the it became fully operational. We had the place to ourselves and it was clean enough for us to lie on the floor to take pictures of the ceiling! It looks very different today, with kiosks and art displays in the center.

Location: Church St, New York, NY 10006

Designation: Transportation Hub

Date designated or established: November 13, 1966

Date of my visit: August 24, 2018


19 thoughts on “The Oculus

  1. The Oculus reminds me of a dinosaur skeleton at the subway downstairs. It’s a beautiful work of architecture. Due to a thunderstorm, we’ve spent some time in this building. We also liked, how it was designed to see the One World Trade Center through the roof windows.

  2. I’m jealous (lol) you got to view it before it became fully functional and it looked empty of people… I would’ve had a field day with that architecture! Great images and post! Also, I’m glad you were off that day of the car bombing as well! Crazy violent world we live in

    1. Yes it is, very 😞 sad, the state of the world. I lucked out seeing the ‘tour’ of the unopened station on meetup. Usually I find out about new things in nyc after 500 people post pictures on Instagram 😂

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