George Forss Made Magical Photos of the Towers Before 9/11

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“George took this picture in 1998,” Phyllis Wrynn, the longtime friend and gallerist of George Forss who passed away last month at age of 80, remembers. At the time, he was standing in the offices of Woolworth Building, with a clear view of the Twin Towers. “The first time I saw it, I loved it because I had never seen the Towers from that vantage point before,” Wrynn explains. “They were so enormous, but this image makes them human scale. I can imagine building a Lego version of the Towers…and that it would look as they do in this image.” 

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Steve Simon’s Empty Sky Explores the Immediate Post-9/11 NYC

All images by Steve Simon. Used with permission.

“And I wasn’t there, and I selfishly kind of wanted to be there,” states photojournalist Steve Simon when recalling what transpired on 9/11. “Not just as a photographer, but just as a New Yorker to kind of sort of see if there was anything I could do.” It seems almost inconceivable that the attack on the Twin Towers occurred 18 years ago. Many of us still remember everything that happened on that fateful Tuesday morning as vividly as if it had just transpired. When we look back on the World Trade Center attack we tend to see a lot of images of Ground Zero along with the Twin Towers. If you were to look for images of the periphery and of the people drawn towards the area, there’s a good chance the photos were captured by Simon. As fate would have it, Steve was scheduled to fly back to New York on September 11th and wound up not being able to return until a week later. His project, titled Empty Sky: The Pilgrimage to Ground Zero, is part of the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s permanent collection. It focuses on the people looking toward and drawn to where the Twin Towers once stood, and the sweeping emotions surrounding lower Manhattan.

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