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The Building Stewardesses
Construction Guides at the WTC, 1968-1971

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Laura Folger
Mixed by Jim McKee/Earwax Productions, San Francisco

WTC stewardesses
Left to right: World Trade Center guides Jane Selewach, Sandy Austin, Kathleen Quinn and Barbara Cella.
Photo courtesy of Jane Selewach. Photo: D. Brewster

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  • July 29, 2002 -- 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

    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.

    WTC stewardess
    Port Authority poster for the WTC Guides shows Olivia Virrazzi in front to the information kiosks, circa 1969.
    Photo courtesy O.Virrazzi

    Other Resources

    To see and hear more, visit the Sonic Memorial Project Web site at


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    Copyright 2002 The Kitchen Sisters