Photo Gallery: Twin Towers

Other Photo Galleries

As the World Trade Center started to rise in 1970, camera shutters began clicking. Among the people drawn to document the building were two accomplished photographers -- Donald Lokuta and Camilo José Vergara.

Lokuta's work has been collected by institutions including the Skyscraper Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Smithsonian Institution. Vergara, trained as a sociologist, has photographed neighborhoods in major cities across America. Princeton Architectural Press published Vergara's book, Twin Towers Remembered, in 2001.

Browse this gallery of World Trade Center photographs by Donald Lokuta and Camilo José Vergara, taken over the decades from the project's construction to its destruction on September 11, 2001.

http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_01.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_01_t.jpg|

Four Australian-built "kangaroo cranes" were used to construct each tower. The specially-designed cranes raised themselves higher as the building rose around them.

|Donald Lokuta Courtesy Sarah Morthland Gallery;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_02.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_02_t.jpg|

The construction site, seen from ground level on West Street. 1970.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_03.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_03_t.jpg|

View of the towers being built, looking east across the Hudson River from New Jersey.

|Donald Lokuta Courtesy Sarah Morthland Gallery;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_04.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_04_t.jpg|

View south from midtown of the towers under construction. Three-story pre-assembled sections were hoisted into place, speeding the process.

|Donald Lokuta Courtesy Sarah Morthland Gallery;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_05.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_05_t.jpg|

The twin towers during construction, seen from the Manhattan Bridge. 1970.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_06.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_06_t.jpg|

View south from the top of the Empire State Building during the towers' construction, with New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

|Donald Lokuta Courtesy Sarah Morthland Gallery;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_07.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_07_t.jpg|

Detail of the World Trade Center's exterior. 1976.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_08.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_08_t.jpg|

The photographer's children on the World Trade Center plaza (Austin J. Tobin Plaza). 1985.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_09.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_09_t.jpg|

Lower Manhattan and the towers seen from the Manhattan Bridge, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_10.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_10_t.jpg|

Lower Manhattan with smoke clouds rising from Ground Zero, seen from the Manhattan Bridge, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground. Immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_11.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_11_t.jpg|

Lower Manhattan seen from the Manhattan Bridge, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground. Post-September 11, 2001.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered;http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_12.jpg|http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/uploads/special_features/photo_gallery/newyork_gallery_12_t.jpg|

New Yorkers filled Manhattan's Union Square with memorials like this one to those lost in the attacks. September 2001.

|Camilo Jose Vergara, Twin Towers Remembered

My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

How did you first learn of the September 11 attacks? Do you remember what you were doing when the Twin Towers fell? What did it mean to you? Do you have specific memories of that day?



  • Additional funding for this program was provided by

  • Rosalind P. Walter
  • New York Times
  • The Overbrook Foundation