The Story Of “Unlucky” Larry Silverstien & The 9/11 Attacks

Adam Fitzgerald
3 min readSep 13, 2019


For those claiming Larry Silverstein benefited financially from the 9/11 attacks, you may want to rethink that position. This does not mean that WTC was not brought down by Controlled demolition(i myself don't know if that was the case or not) or that he had foreknowledge of the attacks or not. However i do wish to address the point regarding the falsehood of Silverstien financially benefiting from the attacks on the world trade center towers itself.

In April 2001 Larry Silverstein along with Westfield America Inc. had won a bid for leasing One, Two, Four, and Five World Trade Center, and about 425,000 square feet from the Port Authority for 99 years. The lease was finalized on July 24th 2001. The agreement gave Silverstein, as leaseholder, the right and the obligation to rebuild the structures if destroyed. |

“Six weeks before the World Trade Center towers were destroyed, the Port Authority completed the process of leasing them for ninety-nine years to Larry Silverstein, the developer who had built 7 World Trade Center. Simultaneously, the retail space underneath the complex was leased to Westfield America, the U.S. division of an Australian company that is one of the world’s largest operators of shopping malls. Silverstein and Westfield were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed, and Westfield has the right to expand the amount of retail space by thirty per cent. Joseph Seymour, who was appointed executive director of the Port Authority in December to succeed Neil Levin, who was killed on September 11th, told me that the Port Authority understands that it makes no sense to put the towers back, despite the terms of the lease. “They have legal rights to build what was there, but everybody realizes that’s impractical,” he said. “You’re not going to be able to put up two hundred-and-ten-story towers. So we will be negotiating as we go forward.”

After the attacks of 9/11,Larry Silverstein (Silverstein Properties) asked for double insurance claiming that the two towers were separate terrorist attacks and was seeking 7.1 billion in compensation. The jury on May 3, 2004, found that the company subject to the “one occurrence” interpretation, meaning only one act of terrorism. Silverstein then appealed the decision. He lost the appeal and was awarded only 4.5 billion. Silverstein’s lease with the Port Authority, for the World Trade Center complex, requires him to continue paying $102 million annually in base rent while also using that 4.5 billion to rebuild all the towers.

The proceeds of the insurance policies arising from the destruction of the previous buildings were insufficient to cover the cost of rebuilding all the insured buildings. In essence, Silverstein indeed “lost” money in the attacks. For he had to borrow money from lenders affiliated with the WTC. In 2007 Silverstein before a throng of construction workers and some media berated two insurers (Allianz and Royal and Sun Alliance) for failing to pay for terrorism charges, which he claimed was owed to him. Incidentally losing out during the appeal.

“The agency had been pressing Silverstein to give up control over the $2.1 billion Freedom Tower, for fear he would not have the financial means to complete the project. Silverstein agreed to surrender control of the skyscraper and a second building, but will build three other office towers at ground zero.”

Ten years after after 9/11: Property insurance ;lessons learned (Scott G. Johnson)……goes into the minute details regarding the leaser holders from tenets and non-tenets of the WTC, Silverstein’s litigation and final outcome. In the end, Silverstein only wound up receiving $4.6 billion from its insurers for the losses (including the reduced $700 million in replacement costs), and he was obligated to pay to rebuild per his Port Authority lease. Estimates for the reconstruction costs all in run around $7 billion.

“Lastly, the court rejected the insured’s argument that it was entitled to recover the expenses incurred in redesigning the WTC to account for advances in construction and the understanding of extremely tall buildings; public policy imperatives, such as ensuring that the footprints of the fallen

towers not be rebuilt upon; and safety imperatives such as ensuring that the buildings are designed and situated in a manner to best protect against the potentiality of any future possible terrorist attack.”



Adam Fitzgerald

Geo-political scientist/researcher into the events of September 11th 2001.