Mar 29, 2012

West Street and the West Side Highway, Just North of the Trade Center Site

The Destruction of Lower Manhattan

West Street and the West Side Highway, Just North of the Trade Center Site


Danny Lyon

(American, 1942-)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 25.4 x 24.9 cm (10 x 9 13/16 in.); Paper: 35.4 x 27.7 cm (13 15/16 x 10 7/8 in.)

Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2011.247



The Washington Street Market urban renewal project was estimated at $44 million for property acquisition, demolition, management, and site preparation for future construction. Lyon recalls that the demolition of the structures seen here and those on adjoining blocks “brought down 24 and a half blocks of mostly 19th-century buildings . . . [many] in continuous commercial use since before the Civil War. . . . The silence left in the streets was startling. As one wanderer put it, everyone left one night, even the dogs and the rats.”

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