David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator
Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

"How did I get these if everything was destroyed during the collapse?"
In the case of the Windows on the World restaurant, I made a specific point to find the survivors of that restaurant. I began with the labor unions representing the workers at the restaurant to try to find any of them who had been returned an apron, or a soup ladle, or a broom or a mop, with no result whatsoever. But through that the process was directed toward the owner of the restaurant, Mr. Emil. I met with him, described our project, our efforts to honor and collect and commemorate the restaurant and its workers. And he kindly introduced me to a number of people including Carlos Garcia, the head steward at the restaurant.

Through Carlos, I have managed to build a Windows on The World collection: a collection of china, a champagne bottle with a glass, some uniform items. How did I get these if everything was destroyed during the collapse? Well, the week before September 11, the owner had a private dinner at his house and took home a few of the dinner sets. He rescued the only china that survived.

It was a new pattern of china, reflecting the curve of the earth that you could see from that height, the sun rising and setting, the blue and white and yellow of the sky, stars and the moon at night. These are reflected in the coffee cup, the saucer, the dessert plate, the silverware. He also had one of the private label champagne bottles full still in his freezer and a champagne glass.