On September 11, 2001, multiple buildings were destroyed at the World Trade Center. Most of the emphasis has been – correctly – focused on the three prominent skyscrapers: the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7. The other destroyed building include WTC 3 (the Marriott Hotel), WTC 4, WTC 5 and WTC 6 (the Customs House). The New York Marriott Hotel, was known by various names such as the World Trade Center Hotel, the Vista Hotel and WTC 3. Like all of the World Trade Center buildings, it was a steel-framed building. The Marriott was built with 22 stories above grade and six stories below grade. It stood immediately south of the North Tower and west of the South Tower. The Marriott Hotel was almost completely flattened on 9/11 in two stages. The first stage was when the South Tower was destroyed and debris fell upon it, The second stage was when the North Tower was destroyed and debris from the North Tower fell upon it.
The Marriott Story on 9/11
Evacuation of the Marriott hotel began shortly after 8:46 when AA11 impacted the North Tower. This apparently ignited fires on the hotel's roof and building occupants were first directed to the hotel lobby, then instructed to evacuate the building. According to FEMA's report, all of the guests were evacuated. However, two members of the hotel management team re-entered the building to check for occupants and were subsequently killed when the South Tower was destroyed.
The Marriott was crushed by ejected steel fragments from the South Tower and later by the North Tower was destroyed. In each case the steel perimeter column sections, accelerating from an altitude of up to 1000 feet above the hotel, impacted and collapsed regions of the hotel for numerous floors. Eventually, the The falling building's steel structure was able to decelerate and then resist the falling perimeter column sections.
This observed deceleration of the perimeter columns falling upon the Marriott stands in contrast with the officially accepted story that progressive collapse destroyed the Twin Towers. In the progressive collapse scenario, two mechanical factors are refuted by the NIST explanation by these falling perimeter columns.
First, according to the NIST explanation, at collapse initiation, the perimeter columns were pulled inward by the sagging floor trusses. This would have drawn the exterior mass toward the inside – closer to the core columns and not ejected the perimeter columns outward as was observed. After the collapse initiation, the structure would fall approximately one story before being decelerated by the structure below. If the decelerating forces of the structure below were insufficient to overcome the downward momentum, it would have, at least, slowed the buildings downward progression of the destruction.
Second, the perimeter columns that landed outside of the foot print of the Towers had significant outward velocity as demonstrated by the distance the perimeter columns traveled – after purportedly being pulled inward according to the logic that NIST presented (NIST avoided addressing the dynamics of the destruction – but with the perimeter structure pulled inward, the cascade of structure should have been within the perimeter columns, not outside).
Photographers on 9/11
Two photographers captured the destruction of the Marriott Hotel and the immediate aftermath: Richard Drew and Bill Biggart. The incredible images captured by these photographers will be reviewed here as a photo-essay.
Richard Drew was an Associated Press photographer. When he emerged from the Chambers Street subway station on the morning of September 11, 2011 he saw both towers spewing smoke. His photographic instincts took over and he began photographing the burning buildings and environs. Eventually he noticed people jumping from the upper floors and started photographing them and one become known as ‘The Falling Man‘.”
Drew was north of the towers on West Street when the destruction of the South tower began. In a series of three photographs, he documented the descent of large perimeter column sections as they plummeted downward toward the Marriott Hotel. The following composite shows a sequence of three photograph of the falling perimeter column sections. The orientation of one of the falling perimeter column sections is relatively stable and a yellow arrow points to an identifiable location. This panel is five three-columns wide sections that are falling as a single intact entity. To see additional detail, the individual images can be examined separately (Left Image, Center Image, Right Image).
Bill Biggart was the only journalist casualty in the destruction of the World Trade Center. He had become a photographer very early in life. When the first plane hit the World Trade Center he said good-bye to his family, picked up his cameras and walked the twenty blocks to the buildings on that were on fire. He was carrying three cameras, two using film and the third was a digital he had just bought. He was killed when the North Tower collapsed.
To capture the images shown below, Bill would have been standing just north of the towers on West Street. He photographed the explosive cloud beginning high upon the South Tower's destruction and followed it to the ground. Bill's last photograph was taken from a few hundred feet south of the others on West Street after the dust had settled. In that picture, the center section of the Marriott hotel is seen to have been crushed by the falling perimeter columns of the South Tower. The first photograph shows many of those column sections falling ahead of the dust cloud, similar to Richard Drew's photos. The second photo shows the cloud of debris obscuring the Marriott. The last photograph shows crushed hotel and three pieces of the perimeter wall impaled through the roadway and partially into the subterranean infrastructure. A still-standing piece of the South Tower's northeast wall can be seen through the gap in Marriott.
After the collapse of the North Tower, all that remains of the Marriott Hotel are a few floors of the southwest corner. Some of the perimeter column sections can be seen on top of the remnants of the hotel.
World Trade Center Building 6
World Trade Center Building 6 was an eight story building that was severely damaged by falling debris when the Twin Towers were destroyed. Upon a cursory review of the photos in Figure 6, two large craters can be seen in the roof the building and other areas where the roof line and exterior walls were crushed. One of the questions that has been raised about the large craters in the roof is what caused that type of damage. Various speculations have circulated that the damage was caused by large internal explosions. However, upon a close inspection the damage the photographic record shows that, like the Marriott Hotel, WTC 6 was damaged by falling perimeter column sections. Figure 7 is a close-up of the east side of the large crater where perimeter columns can be seen along the roof. Figure 8 shows the inside of this crater which is littered by fallen perimeter column sections.
The destruction of the skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11 exhibited a great deal of energy that cannot be explained by the gravity-only collapse hypothesis put forward by NIST. This short review of the destruction of the Marriott Hotel and the U. S. Customs Building shows how classical "mechanics" (e.g., the laws of momentum and motion) explains the destruction of these smaller buildings. What remains as the open question is what force was able to propel the perimeter columns of the Twin Towers outside of the tower's footprint, at significant velocities, so that they would end up crushing nearby buildings in all directions.