The planning and construction of the World Trade Center was controversial, inciting both positive and negative reactions. The scheme to build the world’s two largest buildings – and the final products themselves – provoked both New Yorkers and outsiders to express their reactions in public and in photography. Together, these public actions and prints reveal that the World Trade Center has been a contested site arousing competing interpretations of public space.
This film will document public demonstrations by small business owners, construction workers, and stuntmen, as well as images by Danny Lyon and Environmental Protection Agency photographers during the 1960s and 1970s.
Small business owners publicly rallied against the Port Authority’s plans to seize and demolish their commercial property. Construction unions demonstrated in support of the building project and the job opportunities they represented. Environmentalists documented and criticized the buildings’ waste management and energy consumption. After construction was completed, fantastic stunts performed on and between the Twin Towers revealed that World Trade Center had finally been accepted and even cherished by the general public.
My documentary will be presented in expository form, employing third-person narration, and primary sources including film footage, photographs, and scanned documents.