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].

World Financial Center, photo by Alan Root.  From Moderne, Postmoderne, und nun Barock? by Stefan GrundmannThe 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.

-- Alan Root, Amherst, Mass. December 22, 2001