Photo credit: Michael Hnatov
Accession Number: C.2016.169.12
Dimensions: 3/4 in X 2 ¼ in X 3/4 in
Dimensions (Metric): 7.62 cm X 5.08 cm X 7.62 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Terry Benczik
Matchbox from The Greatest Bar on Earth at the Windows on the World restaurant. The box is red and blue with "The Greatest Bar On Earth" printed around the box. The "O" includes a half-moon face. The address and phone numbers are printed on the side of the box.
Located on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower, Windows on the World opened in the spring of 1976. New York magazine marked the restaurant’s debut on its May 1976 cover with a headline declaring it “The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World.” A team of celebrity chefs helped devise menus for the eatery, which featured not only a 300-seat restaurant but also a bar, wine cellar, more intimate dining areas, and private banquet rooms and meeting spaces for hire. With floor-to-ceiling windows, larger than their counterparts elsewhere in the Twin Towers, the multilevel restaurant offered diners stunning panoramic views of New York City and beyond. Tourists and locals alike lined up to reserve their dining adventure in the clouds. Entering 1993, WOW (its popular nickname) was one of the country’s highest-grossing restaurants.
After the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, the restaurant closed for cleaning and major renovations. It reopened in 1996 under new management. The iconic dining establishment in the sky was destroyed in the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Seventy-two staff members were killed that day along with the breakfast guests and conference goers they were serving.