The story behind amazing WTC pics

“I’m an elevator man, not a photographer.”

Those are the words of Scott Lahmers, technical specialist for ThyssenKrupp Americas, who is currently working on installing 74 elevators and 9 escalators in the One World Trade Center, Tower One, in Lower Manhattan.

In today’s fourth episode of The Weekly Flickr, we feature the collection of photos Scott took, very unexpectedly, on December 18 when he captured the last two escalators being brought into the monumental building.

“We didn’t expect the escalators to be hoisted that day because of the weather,” Scott says in the accompanying video of the two escalators which will serve the observation level more than 100 floors above the ground.

“We don’t usually take escalators that high,” he says, explaining that transportation of escalators is most often done on the ground or below ground. “So to see an escalator go over a hundred stories in the building is a little unusual.”

ThyssenKrupp Elevator - One World Trade Center Escalator Hoisting

The process to hoist each 38,000 pound escalator took 15 to 20 minutes, Scott says, and another 30 minutes to bring into the building at the top. There was a crew of elevator constructors on the ground to attach the rigging and another crew at the top to guide the escalators inside.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator - One World Trade Center Escalator Hoisting

“ThyssenKrupp has about 65 people working on the project on the site,” Scott says. “When I took the photos it was to memorialize or document the day for us.”

Little did he know that when he would post them online they would go viral and be picked up by a number of news organizations.

“I never anticipated the appreciation from other people, from other sources,” says Scott. “To be frank, when I posted them, I hadn’t even looked at the photos. So it was a surprise to me when the feedback started coming.”

But takings the photos and being involved in the World Trade Center project is not just about him.

“It’s about what One World Trade Center signifies for our country, for the people that work there, and for the people that lost their loved ones in nine eleven,” Scott says. “The project is a memorial to the families and the people that lost their lives on 9/11. And all the men, women that are working on that site.”

ThyssenKrupp Elevator - One World Trade Center Escalator Hoisting

For him and his colleagues working on the World Trade Center, there will never be a more important project.

“It’s an honor for me to work on One World Trade Center,” he says. “It’s symbolic for our strength and resolve to be free, to be a free country.”

View all of Scott’s photos in the One World Trade Center Escalator Rigging set from ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas, and see how the top of the One World Trade Center was installed in the Freedom Tower Spire gallery.

Watch previous episodes of The Weekly Flickr: The Weekly Flickr wishes you a happy New Year | Budding photographer finds living in surrealism | Breezy Point will be back

Share your photos in The Weekly Flickr group for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode, and tweet about this video series with #theweeklyflickr.