365 Project – 221: What the Freedom Tower and demolishing Bldg. 877 means to me… – Governor’s Island, New York City (August 14, 2012)

Shutter Speed: 1/1600, Aperture: F/6.3, ISO: 400

This is a storytelling photo for me because of growing up in Building 877, which is one of several delapidated military housing apartments slated for demolition. As a kid, I was unaware of the rundown state of these apartments, I just knew it was home and our unit had “cool views” of the city. Looking at the railing on top of 877 I remember Good Morning America, with Joan Lunden and David Hartmann, filming the 1976 Bicentennial Tall Ships celebration on the roof .  I also just remember walking amongst throngs of visitors, including our relatives we invited onto the island for the big event, and feeling so lucky we lived there.   They called these apartments  “the projects” but, I have nothing but fond memories of living really close to our neighbors, which I thought was fun, feeling safe playing and exploring all over the island, hearing taps at dusk, walking with my best friend around the entire island (~ 5 miles around) in 30 minutes,  and having access to Manhattan just a short ferry ride away across the Buttermilk Channel.  This photo also triggers bittersweet memories, seeing the new Freedom Tower, replacing the view of the World Trade Centers which we saw from our living room window.  But, this picture also makes me feel hopeful for the future, with the Freedom Tower looking beautiful and strong, my daughter swinging high and free symbolizing the security and joy she feels in her life, and the site of Building 877 soon making way for a new park which will be made accessible to all.  This photo captures history in the making and days gone by.

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

5 comments on “365 Project – 221: What the Freedom Tower and demolishing Bldg. 877 means to me… – Governor’s Island, New York City (August 14, 2012)

  1. HI, Amelia–
    I used to live in 877, too, along with Wendy Miraflores Belessis. She and I are collecting pieces (photos and essays both about the past and present) for a new Governors Island Anthology. I would love to have a submission from you! Even this piece is perfect. Can you check us out and let me know what you think? We’re at:

    Looking forward to hearing from. Your pics and essay are exactly what we’re looking for…


    • meelswa says:

      I thought the anthology was for stories and photos from the past? But, I’d love to submit this story if it works for you. I’ll check it out Evelyn!! Thanks for asking! 🙂


  2. Wendy Miraflores Belessis says:

    Hi, Amelia –
    It’s always good to meet a fellow GI brat! I agree with you 100%. The Island was such a special place; location-wise and, even more so, community-wise. Not many of us brats forget it. Do you think you could spread the word to your GI friends about our Anthology? It would be great to hear from them, too.


  3. […] Building 877 on Governor’s Island and the Freedom Tower * The Freedom Tower from Castle Williams – Governor’s Island * Biking on Governor’s […]


The good, the bad, the ugly...I can take it. Talk at me! :)

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s