Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Journeys of the Questress - WTC
Underpass to the Past
Home
The Way it Was - 1
The Way it Was - 2
Sept 19 - When Tomorrow Never Comes
Sept 27 - Oral Interpretation
Oct 5 - A Mile of Tears - Part 1
Oct 5 - A Mile of Tears - Part 2
Oct 5 - A Mile of Tears - Part 3
Oct 11 - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Oct 28 - Each Day I Search the Rubble
Nov 12 - When Spires Fall
Nov 19 - 911 The Rape of America
Dec 14 - Just A Thought
Dec 18 - A Sense of Place
Feb 2 - Final Pass to the End Zone
March 3 - Sitting on the Edge
March 14- Do You Still Remember
March 20 - Virtual Walk-Through
March 25 - When Will It End - Part 1
March 25 - When Will It End - Part 2
April 1 - Towers of Light
May 14 - View From Above
May 30 - Tunnel At the End of the Light
May 31 - Seventeen Hundred
Aug 9 - From the Margins Erased
Aug 30 - The Train Doesn't Stop There Anymore
Sept 9 - Ceremonies of Light and Dark
Sept 10 - Just An Anniversary
Sept 12 - September Holds Great Promise
Literary Reflections
Rebirth and Resurrection
The Winter Garden Springs To Life
The Winter Garden Springs To Life - con't
Underpass to the Past
Rebuilding Ground Zero
Under Hallowed Ground
Borders
Yahrzeit
What Will Fill the Void?
I Submit a Design
Footprints in the Dust
My Memorial Design Submission
My Memorial Design - Drawings
New Path Train Station
Path Station Tour
May We Never Forget
That Which Surives
War Without End
4th Anniversary
Footprints in the Dust
Void
I Miss 9/11
Time Comes Between Us
A Thousand Cranes
Fear Factor
Love Letters On The Wall
Empty Chairs
Sitting on the Edge of Forever
Walking the Perimeter of Emptiness
A Counting of Days
For Friends Absent But Not Forgotten
Stigmata
The Memory Keeper's Promise
Unbreak My Heart
Standing On The Edge Of Forever
Both Sides Now
A Memory In Time
The Gravity of Loss
The Survivors Rise Up
Flowers Will Bloom
The Fire Within Us
The Sentinel
Stronger Than The Storm
Between the Candle and the Stars
Ghosts
A Journey Through Remembrance
Canticle of Remembrance
Beyond the Crucible of Chaos
Journey Through Remembrance project
What See We Now
Forever In Our Hearts
Keeping the Flame Alive
The Rebuilding of Ground Zero continues
Does Anyone Care Anymore?
Where Is Our Story Teller of Pain
At Memory's Edge
Dust Thou Art and to Dust Thou Shalt Return
7x7x70
Heroes Never Die
The Flame Inside Our Hearts
The Year of the Heroes of 9/11

newbanner2.jpg

Underpass to the Past
I love train stations. Especially the subway ones that have been decorated with tiles and mosaics. One of the subway stations to get this treatment early in the 90's was the Cortland Street N/R line underpass by the WTC. The entire underpass that connected the uptown to the downtown side of the platforms was covered in ceramics depicting the history of lower Manhattan. This station was a bustling hub of activity pre 9/11. When I worked down in the Wall Street area I used it many times to go to upper Manhattan after work.
 
When the Towers fell I thought that surely all that artwork had been destroyed. After all, it was underground, right next to what was now Ground Zero. It couldn't have survived. In fact I posted in The Way It Was Part 1 photos I had taken a year prior, to honor the work of the artist and show the world what was lost.
 
Last year, after more than a year of being closed the station reopened. Curious, I took the train down to get a look. A new entrance had been created by the token booth where before you could exit to the WTC mall area. Then I thought about the underpass. Was it there? What had become of the artwork? I hastily walked to where I remembered the platform stairs to be located. They were there, accessible. I descended. What greeted me was beyond belief. Almost as if frozen in time, the entire underpass was in tact. I looked around, examining the tiles. Not a scratch. I stood in the middle and cried. It was like going back in time. I could see in my mind's eye the bustling crowds, coming and going from the mall. Then silence.
 
I looked around and tried to orient myself as to where the entrance had been. And why was there no damage. Then I remembered that the underpass was accessible from the mall area only by a stairway that also held an escalator. There was a door at the top and a door at the bottom. Obviously, that area had become the buffer zone for the destruction. Only dust would have entered the underpass, no debris, nothing that could have damaged the artwork. And due to the fact that it was on the perimeter and not directly under the mall area, the underpass would not have been buried by the towers' collapse.  And then I noticed it: A wall of white tiles where the door to the stairway had existed. They matched perfectly the older white tiles on either side, except they were shinier! I walked up and put my hand to that wall, knowing that just beyond it was sacred ground.
 
Coming back to reality, I decided to take some more photos of the murals. Here they are for you to enjoy. If you get to NYC and go to Ground Zero, do make this a stop. Your breath will be taken away, photos do not do it justice. The token booth clerks will help you locate it.
 
Postscript
 
I recently took a friend from out of town down to see it. She was amazed. And she too was overwhelmed when I showed her the wall that had Ground Zero beyond it. But now it had a door. Or had it always been there and I just had forgotten? (it was over a month since I had been there) I did a little 'forensic' snooping and found a lot of white dust on the mural's tiles. Dust that obviously came from cutting the white tiles to make the doorway. I fell that in a way this doorway is symbolic of what is happening around Ground Zero. Progress, moving away from the past, going toward a new future. I'm sure the Transit Authority just created a storage space in back of that door. But I would also like to think that it is a doorway to what can be, from a space that once was and survived.
                             c2003 Leona M Seufert
 
 
 
The following are shots of the ceramic relief tile murals found in the underpass.
 
The artist is Margie Hughto
It is titled Trade, Treasure, and Travel
 
installed in 1997
 

cortland1.JPG

 
 
.

cortland2.JPG

 
 
 
.

cortland3.JPG

 
 
 
.

cortland4.JPG