The Building Stewardesses

Sonic Memorial Project - Construction Guides at the WTC, '68-'71

Four Word Trade Center stewardesses

Left to right: World Trade Center guides Jane Selewach, Sandy Austin, Kathleen Quinn and Barbara Cella. D. Brewster/Jane Selewach hide caption

itoggle caption D. Brewster/Jane Selewach

As construction commenced on the largest building project since the Pyramids, questions and controversies swirled around Lower Manhattan. How tall? Why two? What's a slurry wall? A kangaroo crane? Where are the displaced small businesses going to go? What's a World Trade Center and who needs it anyway?

Guy Tozzoli, the Port Authority visionary behind the building of the Twin Towers, had an inspiration: "construction guides" — friendly co-eds in mini-skirted uniforms, posted at corner kiosks on the site to inform an inquiring public and put a pretty face on a controversial issue.

If you were a guide at the site during these years and want to share your story with us please call the Sonic Memorial Project hotline at (202) 408-0300 — or email us at info@sonicmemorial.org.

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) with Laura Folger. Mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax Productions in San Francisco. Special thanks to Jad Abumrad, Jim Anderson, Elinoar Astrinsky, Judith Broverman, Daren Commons, Professor Angus Kress Gillespie, Ruxandra Guidi, Grace Kee Heifetz, Jersey City Library, Andy Lanset, Marc Lustgarten, Carla Neufeld, Martha Noel, Joanna Silber, Al Pettenatti, Wieslaw Pogorzelski, Ian Pogorzelski. Josh Pryor, Leslie Robertson, LERA/Consulting Structural Engineer, Ben Shapiro, Art Silverman, Michael Weber Investigations, Jamie York, KQED San Francisco, KPLU Tacoma, WNYC NY, WCQS Asheville and the WTC Construction Guides, 1968-1971

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