Oral History Archives

Julia Frey – Survivor
Julia Frey lived on the 26th floor of Liberty Court on the far eastern side of 200 Rector Place. On September 11, 2001, Frey and her husband Ron Sukenick were going about their morning routine when they heard loud noises, which she thought might have been fireworks. As she looked out her window, Julia realized that the sounds came from bursting windows of the World Trade Center. Fearing that the towers might fall onto their home, Julia and Ron decided that they would be safer outside. Julia describes their decision to leave, knowing that health problems made it difficult for Ron to walk without help. She also explains what they witnessed and their return home.

Rita Calvo – Survivor
Rita Calvo, a downtown resident, was in class at her Upper West Side high school when the news broke that the towers at the World Trade Center had been hit. She remembers anxiously trying to phone her parents to see if her home had been damaged by the collapse of the buildings. After finally reaching her father, she abandoned school for home. Among other memories of that day, Rita describes her father’s attempts to maintain a sense of normalcy for the family in the midst of an unprecedented U.S. terror strike.

Kathleen Gupta – Survivor
Kathleen and Udayan Gupta lived in Battery Park overlooking the World Trade Center. Their home was severely damaged on 9/11. Listen to Kathleen Gupta speak about residential life in lower Manhattan before and after 9/11 and why they decided to donate a chair from their apartment to the Museum’s collection.