After the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11th 2001, the world-renowned photographer Joel Meyerowitz felt compelled to visit the site, to document and record the aftermath of the largest ever attack on US soil. Although initially turned away by police (on the grounds that the site was a crime scene and could not be photographed), Meyerowitz was determined to gain access to the area.
Within days he had established strong links with many of the firefighters, policemen and construction workers contributing to the clean up. With their assistance he became the only photographer to be granted unimpeded access to Ground Zero. Once there he systematically began to document the wreckage followed by the necessary demolition, excavation and removal of tens of thousands of tonnes of debris that would transform the site from one of total devastation to level ground. Soon after the Museum of the City of New York officially engaged Meyerowitz to create an archive of the destruction and recovery at Ground Zero and the immediate neighborhood. The 9/11 Photographic Archive numbers in excess of 5,000 images and will become part of the permanent collections of the Museum of the City of New York.