World Trade Center
Photo by Alan Root, from Moderne,
Postmoderne, und nun Barock? Entwicklungslinien der Arckitektur des
20. Jahrhunderts by Stefan Grundmann [Axel Menges, 1995].
Twin Towers first ventured into my head as an architectural model
displayed at the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65. In the early 70’s,
Michelle, Michael and Coopers saw the Twin Towers twinkle above lesser
skyscrapers of lower Manhattan from our wintry late afternoon deck-watch
aboard the Staten Island Ferry. Years later, my son Max joined me atop
one of the World Trade Center towers for a view of joggers rounding the
perimeter track of the companion building while a light airplane below
us saluted Lady Liberty on its way up the Hudson.
Just a few days before the 1993 basement bombing, I was back with camera in hand. In the mid-90’s, on an architectural assignment, I went to the World Trade Center, then subwayed under the Hudson to the New Jersey shoreline. There I hiked from dock-to-dock in 90-degree heat until finally -- I had both towers inside my viewfinder -- with the architecturally-significant Woolworth Building nestled between them. But the overwhelming expanse of river in the foreground made for a potentially dull picture.
Then, a large ship, complete with sails slowly punctuated the scene from the right, relieving the boredom and providing visual context. I snapped the shot.