Photo Series Focuses on the Expressions of Visitors at the WTC Site

By DL Cade PetaPixel

lady with camera

By Keith Goldstein

When most people visit the site of the World Trade Center Memorial and the new towers, they point their cameras at the buildings or the pools where the original towers once stood. But when photographer Keith Goldstein goes there, he turns his camera on the people.

His series “Looking on, Watching the Building of the Freedom Towers,” captures the expressions of visitors to the WTC site. Most of the photographs seem to show onlookers in a state of quiet reverie, faces rapt as they contemplate the meaning of the buildings and memorial in front of them.

Speaking with The Inspired Eye, Mr. Goldstein explained his inspiration for the project:

This project sort of appeared out of my lunchtime photo walks. I work near the former site of the World Trade Center, which is now the site of One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, and found myself being drawn towards the people who come and visit the site.

Here’s a selection of photographs from the series:

Image from Series. Photo by

By Keith Goldstein

man in red hat

By Keith Goldstein

This goes beyond a simple photo project for Goldstein. There’s a deeper meaning there, birthed out of the fact that he witnessed the attacks of September 11th, 2001 first hand:

After the first tower was struck, I headed downtown to see first hand what was happening. During that time the second tower was struck… I witnessed people jumping to their deaths to keep themselves from being consumed from the fire. When the towers began to fall, I, along with others around me, just ran as far as we could…

My intention was to capture a thought-provoking collection of expressions, emotions, and the diverse ethnic make-up of the visitors. To see how they reacted to what they were seeing – a place where people perished and a new place that was being rebuilt out of the ruins.

To read the whole short interview, hear more about how Goldstein shot the series, or see more photos from it, head over to The Inspired Eye by following the link. You can also visit Mr. Goldstein’s blog and portfolio directly by clicking here or here, respectively.

This entry was posted in 9/11 Memorials. Bookmark the permalink.
  • One World Observatory

    Learn more about the One World Observatory complimentary ticket program.

  • Categories

  • From the Newsletter

  • Upcoming Events

    1. Art Exhibit “Bravery and Sacrifice: NYPD Heroes 9/11 and Beyond”

      September 8 @ 8:00 am - December 31 @ 5:00 pm
    2. Cooks wanted for FDNY Fire Museum Fundraising Cook-Off

      September 27 @ 8:00 am - October 25 @ 5:00 pm
    3. Win 2 tickets to “Come from Away”

      October 19 @ 8:00 am - October 21 @ 5:00 pm
    4. Funeral for Retired NYPD Lieutenant James D. Russell

      October 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    5. Community Engagement Event on 9/11 Health

      October 21 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm