Additional photos from the 9/11 Then and now photo galleries that appeared on Yahoo News.
Each August and September, as summer fades into fall, Yahoo News photographer Gordon Donovan finds himself in a familiar spot — snapping images in the area where the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place. “I do it because I love the city, the history of the city and how we’re not going to be put down,” explained Donovan, who was born and raised on Staten Island and watched the twin towers being built from across the harbor.
But his photos aren’t random shots of the evolving downtown landscape. He returns to document the exact scenes of many memorable images taken by photojournalists that awful day in 2001. “It’s fascinating to see how it has changed over the years, because it was just this big pile of rubble the first time I went down there, about a week afterward,” said Donovan, then a graphic artist at CBS News, who was at work on the Upper West Side the morning of the attack.
Today a memorial and museum honor the nearly 3,000 people killed. The area also includes a recently opened transportation hub, and there are other signs of development yet to come. “Now you can’t even recognize what happened,” Donovan said. “What they’ve done down there is beautiful and just revitalized the whole area after such tragedy and brought it back to life.”
Donovan’s then-and-now project, he said, is a testament to the city’s strength and an opportunity to share the changes with New Yorkers who may have moved away over the past 18 years. He said his project also honors the photojournalists who took the original images on 9/11.
Drag the slider across each pair of images to see changes in the New York City landscape.
Broadway from Maiden Lane looking down Cortlandt Street
2001: The skeleton of one of the twin towers is seen as emergency personal keep the area secure on Sept. 19, 2001. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
2019: Pedestrians walk across Broadway at the intersection of Cortlandt Street just down the street from the World Trade Center site in New York City, Sept. 4, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Church Street near Dey Street
2001: National guardsmen march past the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers in New York, Sept. 13, 2001. (Photo: Stephen Chernin/AP)
2019: People walk past the Millenium Hilton on Church Street across from the Oculus on Aug. 18, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
245 Greenwich St. and Park Place
2001: A firefighter rests after helping clear away the rubble from the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 12, 2001. (Photo: Virgil Case/AP)
2019: The Oculus and World Trade Center site is seen in the background as pedestrians walk the streets of Lower Manhattan on Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Greenwich St. near Rector St.
2001: Ash covers a street in downtown New York City after the collapse of the World Trade Center following a terrorist attack Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Bernadette Tuazon)
2019: Eighteen years after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, construction continues on Greenwich Street near Rector Street in New York City, Sept. 4, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
The North Tower
2001: Firefighters pour water on the still smoldering wreckage at Ground Zero where the remains of New York’s World Trade Center stand, Sept. 27, 2001.(Photo: Kathy Willens/AP)
2019: A view of Lower Manhattan from one of two reflecting pools at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum where the original One World Trade Center once stood, on Sept. 4, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
2001: The twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building, Sept. 11, 2001. (Photo: Patrick Sison/AP)
2019: One World Trade Center is seen towering above the landscape in lower Manhattan behind the Empire State Building, Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Trinity Church Graveyard
2001: Ash covers gravestones in Trinity Church, Sept. 11, 2001 after the attacks on the nearby World Trade Center towers in New York. These pictures were shot by John Labriola who had an office on the 71st floor of the building. He escaped with no injuries. (Photo: John Labriola/AP)
2019: The courtyard and cemetery of the historic Trinity Church is under construction in New York City on Sept. 3, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Vesey St. near Federal Building
2001: A destroyed fire truck on Sept. 14, 2001 near ground zero after the September 11 attacks.(Photo: Stuart Ramson/AP)
2019: A man walks north on Greenwich Street towards Park Place just past 7 World Trade Center site on Sept. 4, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Rector and Washington Streets
2001: A fire truck is surrounded by dust and debris near the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2001. (Photo: Bernadette Tuazon/AP)
2019: Pedestrians walk along Greenwich Street as construction can be seen looking towards the World Trade Center on Sept. 4, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
World Financial Center Mall
2001: People evacuate the World Trade Center after it was hit by two planes Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
2019: Pedestrians walk through the courtyard just outside of Brookfield Place (originally known as the World Financial Center) in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 3, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
WTC Subway Tunnel
2001: Rubble covers the tracks of the New York City subway #1 and #9 lines in the Cortland Street station under the World Trade Center, in this undated photo made available in New York, Sept. 28, 2001. According to the New York Times, New York City Transit officials have determined that the damage is so extensive, that more than one mile of the line will have to be rebuilt. (Photo: New York City Transit/AP)
2019: Looking north of the new WTC Cortlandt Subway Station that reopened in 2018 in New York City on Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
Brooklyn Bridge ramp
2001: People walk across Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn following the collapse of both World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. (Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP)
2019: People enter the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge in the background on Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)
2001: Pedestrians in lower Manhattan watch smoke rise from the World Trade Tower Sept. 11, 2001, after an early morning terrorist attack on the New York landmark. (Photo: Amy Sancetta/AP)
2019: A view from West Broadway and Reade Street just down the street from the World Trade Center site in New York City, Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)