Silverstein Properties has provided free studio space at the World Trade Center for dozens of artists over the years. But no single resident artist has trained his eye on lower Manhattan longer than Todd Stone, who moved into a Tribeca loft directly beneath the punk band the Plasmatics in 1979. “The reason why I am an artist in Lower Manhattan to this day,” he says, “is because I could stand living under them practicing every day of the week.” He sought solace on the roof of the building and often found himself gazing south at the Twin Towers, looming “like a mountain” at the end of West Broadway. Soon he began drawing, painting, and photographing them.
On 9/11, Stone would become one of only a handful of photographers to capture the second plane “exploding in the viewfinder” as it hit the south tower. Instead of fleeing uptown, he went up to the roof of his building and continued photographing the apocalyptic scene unfolding to the south, which he would later turn into a series of paintings called Witness.