The purpose of this website is to share some original photographs of the World Trade Center "Ground Zero" recovery site with those who did not have the opportunity to see it themselves. I have not attempted to convey any of the facts and figures about the site, or the logistical details of the recovery operation, or anything else about which I have no first-hand knowledge. I have included a page of links to other websites for anyone who wishes to read about such details and explore the subject further.
Several of the images on this site are fairly large: many are in excess of 100k file size. The resolution is up to 600 x 900 pixels. The full-size images may take a few minutes to completely load on a dialup connection. The payoff for your patience are some very detailed photographs of the World Trade Center recovery site.
There are no pictures here of the attack on the World Trade Center. Not the planes, not the fire, and not the immediate aftermath. I have a small 35mm camera that I carry with me much of the time, but I did not have it with me on September 11th. There are several photographs taken Sunday, September 16th of the skyline of Manhattan as seen from Liberty State Park across the Hudson River. The Ground Zero photos were taken in November, 2001.
All of the photographs of the Ground Zero recovery site were taken from 1 World Financial Center, a large office building at the southeast corner of the site (#17 on the map page). At the time these pictures were taken, 1 World Financial Center was in the restricted zone; much closer than almost all civilians, including the news media, were allowed. I was escorted by a friend who had a pass from the NYPD that allowed entrance to the restricted zone. He was also able to get me into the pedestrian bridge across West Street and on one of the upper floors of the building. About half of the photographs were taken from the pedestrian bridge (this was approximately 20 feet above street level and its location can be seen as #16 on the map page) and the remainder from the 25th floor. Like all the buildings in the immediate vicinity to the World Trade Center, 1 World Financial Center was severely damaged on September 11th: almost all of the windows facing the WTC on the first 15 or so floors were torn out, and those floors sustained such heavy damage that they were later completely gutted and rebuilt.
It is almost impossible to convey through pictures alone the size of the site, but there are clues in many of the photos, if you look for them. Seeing an iron worker or NY firefighter dwarfed by enormous construction equipment which is itself dwarfed by nearby piles of debris can give some perspective. Then realize that each frame only shows a portion of the site and you can perhaps begin to appreciate the scale of the entire scene. On the links page there are references to additional maps and satellite photographs that show the entire area.
For those interested in such things, I have included the technical details of this website's production. Anyone with questions, comments, or suggestions about this website can contact me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are ©2002, Uppershelf.com. Use of these photographs is restricted to personal, non-commercial use. Any publication of these photographs, whether in print or electronic media including posting to other websites is prohibited without prior written consent from the webmaster.