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9-11 Tribute In Light 2012 in Downtown Manhattan / NY

Tribute in Light

Tribute in Light


The Tribute in Light is an art installation of 88 7,000-watt xenon searchlights positioned into two 48-foot squares that echo the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers placed next to the site of the World Trade Center in remembrance of the September 11 attacks. It is produced annually by The Municipal Art Society of New York.
The illuminated memorial reaches 4 miles into the sky and is the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the night sky.
It was independently conceived by several artists and designers who were brought together under the auspices of MAS and Creative Time. Tribute was designed by John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere and Paul Myoda with lighting consultant Paul Marantz. It was originally made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and with the generous assistance of Con Edison.
It initially ran as a temporary installation from March 11 to April 14, 2002, and was launched again in 2003 to mark the second anniversary of the attack. As of 2010, it has been repeated every year on September 11. It had been announced that 2008 would be its final year, but the tribute was continued in 2009. Then, on December 17, 2009, it was confirmed that the tribute would continue through to the tenth anniversary of the attacks in 2011, but continued again in 2012.
On clear nights, the lights could be seen from over 60 miles away, visible in all of New York City and most of suburban Northern New Jersey and Long Island and up to Morris County, NJ to the West.
It can be assumed that the installation will become a permanent annual event…we will see.
Sources: Wikipedia and Municipal Art Society of New York.


I first photographed the light installation 2011, from across the Hudson in Jersey City, which has a charme on its own. In 2012, I wanted to take some more up-close photos, so I packed my gear, drove over and started walking around in the area of the 9-11 site. Getting closer I first ended up standing in front of the Battery Parking Garage and thought that one should have a pretty good site of the light installation from the roof of the garage. So I walked in, took the elevator up and much to my surprise stood on the roof where the installation actually was placed (I thought it would be on a different roof across a street or so.) The area was actually taped-off and guarded. However, there were people close to the lights having some kind of reception so I thought “Let’s kindly ask them whether I could come in to take some photos”. Well, after a first rejection I must have caught the attention of some woman in charge there and she called me over and let me in. Cool. So there I was, as close as someone could be and free to shoot how much I wanted. I really did not expect this much openness around a delicate and emotional event like this.
I hope you like the set.
Here is the link to the Slideshow.

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About Roman

Hobby photographer since 2005, Canon user. Mainly interested in Urban Exploring and Travel photography. Some first experiments with videos. On the professional side: PhD in Chemistry, working in the generic pharmaceutical industry. German citizen but living and working currently in New Jersey, USA

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