Denton Tillman

May 9, 2002
NYC
#V0147

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September 4, 2011
I’ve always wondered whatever became of that project. It was very moving to see and hear myself relate that story again after all these years. The only thing I feel I left out in my story was my immediate reaction as I saw the plane go into the tower – I thought then, “All those people just died”. I felt the immensity of witnessing what I knew were hundreds of people perishing before my eyes. I was stunned and frozen for perhaps 7 or 8 seconds, as long as it took for the muffled “boom” to reach my ears. It was a startlingly small sound for such an incredible catastrophe. One would expect a sound like in the movies, or thunderclaps.

It was all brought back by the video. So much so that I began to shake from re-experiencing the event as I related how I felt to my girlfriend in Maui.

Because of my clear view of downtown, I have been making a photographic record of the resurrection of the World Trade Center area. I’ve watched it from the hot lights and smoke of the clean-up until the rising, new towers. I’m sure I have enough pictures to make a time-lapse video from all of my still images. Once One World Trade Center is complete, I will begin the process.

Strangely, for the summer of 1963 (maybe 1964) I worked on the graphics for The World Trade Center while in art school at Pratt. I worked in the architecture department of the Port Authority of New York – New Jersey, the builders of the complex.Later, as a professional photographer, I had a number of assignments photographing executives in a number of corporate suites, the last being Fiduciary Trust. I had dinner at Windows on the World several times and I always enjoyed taking out-of-towners to both the inside and outside observation decks. The Empire State Building has always been my favorite building and the view of it from there was magnificent. Almost as good as the view from the RCA Building where you could see the ESB plus the WTC and Statue of Liberty.

I have a long and storied connection to those buildings, – to that part of the city. Not to mention, when I was a small boy, my father was an Emergency Squad policeman in Little Italy and he would often take me to work. I would roam those downtown streets on my own. I loved it.

It has taken all these years to shake that horrible tragedy from my every day consciousness.
This video brought it all back again.
– Denny