Tony Vaccaro WTC Photos In Astoria
September 30, 2011 / Astoria Neighborhood / Art Galleries In Queens / Queens Buzz. In 1957 Tony met Minoru Yamasaki through Eero Saarinen, the Finish architect who designed the TWA terminal at JFK Airport in Queens and the arch of St. Louis – gateway to the west. Tony and Minoru developed a friendship, as both men were collectors of the works of a contemporary Italian-American surrealist, Enrico Donatis.
Tony told us that Minoru had a passion for all things Italian, among which was its architecture. Tony said that Yamasaki found some of his inspiration for the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Italy. During Medieval times in the town of Gimignano, the wealthiest people in the town would try to outdo one another by having the tallest house in town. Thus each year, someone would add another foot to the highest part of their homes.
He said that Yamasaki liked the Medieval twin towers of Gimignano, and found his inspiration in them. Yamasaki said that one could easily build another building that was taller, but by building two very massive buildings, even after they had lost the moniker as the tallest buildings in the world, they would still be famous. Tony included a photo of the historic twin towers in the Medieval town of Gimignano, Italy in his exhibit. We were informed, convincingly, that this was no coincidence.
Tony went on to show the grid of the twin towers, side by side to a photo of the Doges Palace in Venice. Tony said that Minoru’s daughter, Maya, gave her father a sketch of this providing him with the inspiration for the arched façade of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Tony’s exhibit documents his personal and professional interest in the twin towers, by showing the people involved, and the twin towers as they evolved. One of the photos is a mixed overlay of two photos: one of the twin towers architectural model superimposed over another photo of the twin towers shortly after the 30th floor had been erected in 1972 / 1973.
The twin towers design began in 1965 and construction began in 1972. Construction on the twin towers was completed in 1973. The World Trade Center was a complex which encompassed seven buildings including the twin towers. The twin towers were the tallest buildings in the world for a very short time period as that same year, the Sears Tower in Chicago surpassed the twin towers of the World Trade Center as the tallest building in the world.
There are other photos of the twin towers in the exhibit, including a black and white of Tony’s wife and children on the Staten Island Ferry. And some of the twin towers as we once knew them, massively towering over us in the background, from miles away. And, of course, it seems one cannot talk about the twin towers without mentioning their tragic ending, which Tony documents with several photos from various locations of the end.
I found the exhibit refreshing, for it’s the first time in a long while where the end of the twin towers was only a part of the story, not the whole story. For buildings, like people, have life spans and histories. And like the people who died on 911, we should try to remember them for how they lived and what they stood for, not just focus on how they died. Focusing on the evil that wrought the destruction, rewards the hate that brought the tragedy, and makes the destroyers (in)famous. While remembering the goodness of those lives lost, and carrying on their good work, has the potential to one day end the vicious circle of violence and hate.
I encountered an example of this while doing a story on St. Sebastian’s in the Woodside neighborhood of Queens. Click here to read the story [within the story] of Tommy Ashton which you can find by clicking the link and scrolling down to the placard with his name on it.
Many thanks to Alfredo Brunetti, president of the Cultural Association of the Molise Region in America [owner of the art gallery], Tony Vaccaro for kindly letting me photograph and publish his photographs, which are included in this story and the slide show.
Slide Show - Tony Vaccaro Photography Exhibit
Photos Of Twin Towers Of World Trade Center NYC
The following is a slide show of the photos taken by Tony Vaccaro, photo journalist, of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, as well as the opening night of the exhibit at the Buzzeo Building at 31-16 36th Avenue in Astoria. You may click here to go directly into the album containing these photos of the World Trade Center by Tony Vaccaro.
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