The Oculus and One World Trade Center

While the other Monochromia photographers had been to see the 9/11 Memorial, it was the first time for me.  It’s a moving experience,  and despite the beauty of the day and the restoration of the site, I couldn’t help but think of that terrible tragedy 15 years ago.

It was daunting to attempt to photograph this space.  I imagine that I am not the only one who has been intimidated.


The World Trade Center Site has been transformed into the Museum and Memorial, One World Trade Center, the One World Observatory, and the Transportation Hub.  The centerpiece of the Transportation Hub is the Oculus, which in architectural terms means a circular opening, especially one at the apex of a dome.  The Oculus “represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections in New York City”.


The inside of the Oculus is as stunning as the outside.


In fact, I have a whole folder of interior images to work through.  Please visit Monochromia to see one of Joe’s interior images.


Back on the outside, Stacy and I were taken aback by the people who wanted to use the 9/11 Memorial as the backdrop for their selfies.


As it is, I didn’t even want to put my watermark on images of the Memorial site.  The almost 3000 names are the only names needed in these images.


It is a place for somber reflection and remembrance … not selfies.

17 thoughts on “The Oculus and One World Trade Center

  1. Wonderful set of images of the Occulus and the 9/11 Memorial. I’ve been there several times since the Memorial was first opened and have been watching the progress of the Transporation Hub (designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish architect) for some time. But I haven’t been there since the August opening of the main section so your pictures have provided a great preview. Thanks!

  2. Wonderful images and post Laurie 🙂 I agree with you that the WTC is a place for somber reflection and I believe when we both were there we discussed this subject of selfies. I don’t see the purpose of selfies but then again I never aspired to be as popular as Kim Kardashian either.

  3. Such beautiful images Laurie. I too, am often perplexed by people taking a selfie in a place where it seems totally inappropriate. Some just don’t appear to have an ounce of common sense or respect. It baffles my brain!

  4. Thank you for your heartfelt description of this memorial. I’ve only been to New York once … and the twin towers were still standing. Perhaps one day I’ll have the opportunity to revisit and see the memorial myself. When I see how tiny the people are in your photos, I get an impression of how huge this area must be.

  5. I’ve been there and I must say, your photos are fabulous! The reflection pool is the most powerful work of architecture I’ve ever witnessed. You took me back.

  6. Beautiful, Laurie. Thank you for sharing these images. I have yet to visit NYC, but this is one of the places that would be on my list.

    I understand about taking “selfies” in front of the Oculus and Memorial. When I visited the Holocaust Museum in D.C. last fall, I may have taken three photos inside because I felt it was being disrespectful to snap away.

  7. I’m sure I will weep openly when I visit one day. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at photos much before the ten year mark. You’ve done beautiful just to this somber place. That gaping hole says it all.

  8. These are gorgeous images and they work really marvelously as a series. I like the way you put them together. Sounds like you all had a fabulous time in NYC. I read your previous blog off Stacy’s site!

  9. I think your images are very respectful and beautiful LB. The architecture feels liberating and open. That metal oculus reminds me of a bird. I’m glad they’ve made water such a big part of the environment and the beautiful trees too. Out of the ashes hey?! Amazing. I hope that collective sense of ‘WE will overcome’ stays with Americans in these days ahead. xo k

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s