Accession Number: C.2011.179.170
Credit Line: Recovered from the World Trade Center site after September 11, 2001
Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Pile of various sized Manhattan schist from bedrock at the World Trade Center site.
A durable metamorphic rock, schist is the major geological formation running below the streets of lower Manhattan. Manhattan schist is sturdy enough to support the massive weight of skyscrapers. In New York City, tall towers were built where schist appears close to the surface. Major outcroppings exist in lower Manhattan and in midtown.
Flecks of mica and quartz give schist its distinctive, glittering appearance. Pieces of Manhattan schist were brought to the surface following post-9/11 recovery operations at the World Trade Center site and were visible at the start of reconstruction.