11 November 2001

As many of you know, the company I frequently freelance for was doing a job, Quebec New York | Crush the Castle, at the World Financial Center Winter Garden Atrium. Our work began on Saturday, Septermber 8th, with a crew of more than 30, with day and night shifts. The opening day was to be Friday, September 14th, with events throughout the city for the next month.

I had been working the night shifts, and I left at 7:00am that morning planning to return at 8:00pm to walk the truss for focus. That morning, a crew was arriving to hang the lights on the stage we assembled. Obviously everything changed.

Winter Garden Atrium

The Financial Center was across the street from the World Trade Center. It was connected by a bridge (which was part of the Quebec installation, and which is now destroyed) over West Street , and was served by The Courtlandt Street subway station beneath the towers.

Ground Zero Overhead
The Winter Garden Atrium
at the World Financial Center.
Atrium 9/11/01
The same Atrium
11 September 2001
Location of the World Financial Center relative to Ground Zero.

Though it was a harrowing day, all of the crew members for the company escaped, thanks to a variety of factors not the least of which were timing and luck.

I, myself, had been asleep for less than three hours before I finally decided to answer the phone when I realized my sister had called twice from California, and by that time, both towers were already gone, and I spent the remainder of the day trying to contact my family and friends, watching what news there was, and even going outside following a strange need to be as far South as posisble. I live just two miles from Ground Zero.

A picture Timmy Keogh took of me in the Atrium,
just before I went home at 7:00am.

Since that first week, I had not been back to the area...until last weekend. The company returned to the Atrium to salvage the equipment abandoned that day. We spent two days at the Atrium: the first with a small crew to lower the remaining truss, and drop the motor points, and the second day with a full crew to pack and load out the equipment. To me, seeing the Atrium reminded me of the bombed out Dom Cathedral in Berlin---it had been a relative sactuary for so many, and though it suffered significant damage on the Tower side, the river side was relatively undamaged, as you will see in the picture gallery.

I took my first pictures of the aftermath of this event that weekend, and have assembled a rough gallery of thumbnails and larger images. In the coming days I may try to refine the presentation and navigation, though it will necessarily be geared towards systems with broadband internet access. For more information on the pictures, and to view the gallary, please click here.

More Pictures from the Atrium

Tribute in Light Photos

On the steps of the Atrium, 3 November 2001

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