Liberty Street – Death (Liberty Street, approaching Ground Zero)

15 – The glass-clad façade of 1 WTC makes it part of the cloudscape. It would been completed by the time this goes to press.

Death sounds his reply in ominous though seductive undertones. So says he:

“Give me your hand, you lovely and tender form / I am a friend, and come not to punish / Be of good cheer! I am not savage, / Softly shall you slumber in mine arms.”

He states his case calmly but emphatically, accompanied by the same ominous theme we heard on piano, at the beginning of the journey. Midway through his song, the key changes to F Major, becoming hopeful, optimistic.

The elegiac landscape mirrors the calm and hopefulness of Death’s refrain. Here we see skyscrapers and pieces of public art, silhouetted against a clear blue sky, dappled with clouds. Death itself is omnipresent, in the form of the imposing One WTC tower, which dominates sightlines.

The Tower is impossibly beautiful – its glass facades reflect the sky and often cause the Tower itself to almost “fade” into the cloudscape.  However, its very existence is testament that here, on this very place one is passing through, thousands of innocents plunged to their deaths, or were burnt alive one afternoon, on the 11th of September, 2001.

May they rest in peace.

Because Liberty Street cuts through the WTC site itself, one must make a detour along Greenwich Street and Albany Street, where the entrance to the 9/11 Memorial sits, regaining Liberty Street on the other side of the WTC site.

(For information on specific buildings on Liberty Street, I am indebted to the awesome New York Songlines: Virtual Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets, at

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10 – Marine Midland Building (1967), by Skidmore Owens and Merrill looms to the left. The Gothic building is the Liberty Tower (1910) by Henry Ives Cobb.

11 – The Chamber of Commerce Building (1901) by James B. Baker, in the Beaux-Arts Style. It is a Landmark.

12 – Cube (1968) by Isamu Noguchi, sits just before the Marine Midland Building. Behind it is the US Realty Building (1906) by Francis H. Kimball, in a Gothic design.

13 – Passers-by regard Joie de Vivre by Mark DiSuvero. Behind it is the US Realty Building.

14 – The hulking, portentous blackness that is 1 Liberty Plaza (1971 – 73), built by U.S. Steel to a design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. One WTC peeks out just beyond.

16 – One WTC in its full immensity, dwarfing the WTC (re-)construction site. At 104 storeys, it is the signature piece of the reconstructed WTC complex, designed by architect David Childs, from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

17 – Signs directing pilgrims to the 9/11 Memorial.

18 – The 9 / 11 Memorial entrance, in the shadow of One WTC.

C – Death

PDF: C – Death (Liberty St towards Ground Zero) (2.6 MB)

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
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