The Twin Towers were shimmering skyline marvels that attracted thousands of tourists a day to lower Manhattan, but for commuters and neighborhood residents, it was the vast mall beneath the World Trade Center that was the big draw, feeding, clothing and taking care of them daily for decades.
Rebuilding a dream after 9/11
The 60 or so shops were among the most profitable per square foot in the country, but their significance ran deeper than that for most people in lower Manhattan.
Some of those shops vanished, or were part of national chains that simply reopened elsewhere, but some business owners decided to stick it out, staying loyal to the Financial District.
amNewYork caught up with three of those businesses - they have remained resilient despite the emotional trauma and the years-long struggle to rebuild shops after they were destroyed in moments.