Putting a Law Office Back Together
Harris Beach partners Allan Fudim and Judi Abbott Curry stand in front of a World Trade Center memento: an announcement of their firm moving into their new offices on the 85th floor.
Photos: Madeleine Brand, NPR
"There was something about being in the World Trade Center that was special, " Fudim says. "It was sort of like you had metaphorically risen. No matter what borough you started out in in New York City the Bronx, Brooklyn you always look to the skyline and say, ?tid=2478802&extra= 'Someday I'm going to move to Manhattan and someday canada goose outlet store I'm going to climb the heights. ' And you know it doesn't get much higher than the 85th floor of the World Trade Center. "
The firm was expanding and had spent two years and $4 million on renovating its offices. New furniture was on its way mont blanc pens in the elevators Sept. 11 when terrorists slammed planes into the towers. Nineteen of Harris Beach's more than 100 New York employees were at work at the Furla Outlet World Trade Center that morning. Six of them died in the attacks.
On Morning Edition, NPR's Madeleine Brand reports on Harris Beach's efforts to recover physically and emotionally in the six months since the attacks. Some of the World Trade Center's former tenants have gone out of business, but Harris Beach and most of the others relocated and have had to rebuild their businesses.
Fudim and his partners are now in noisy, cramped offices on the fifth floor of an aging building on 42nd Street a few miles north of Ground Zero. Days after the attacks, Harris Beach moved into the space, which the firm was offered by a telemarketing company. There was furniture but little else: a half dozen incoming phone lines, but no Internet access, no paper and no pens. The staff had to go to bar association offices across the street or to the nearby public library to do research.
Fudim explains how the staff worked on recovering the basics of its business case files and records. "We had to spend a lot of time calling up clients, (telling them) 'Hey we're here, we're alive, we've survived, we're okay, we're going to be rebuilding, don't Juicy Couture Outlet worry. By the way, would you send us a copy of everything we sent you? '" They made similar requests to the firm's adversaries and to the courts, he says.
This photo of Mark Brisman and his family is tacked on Allan Fudim's office wall along with a Christmas card from Brisman's wife. "He was going to be my protege and I think about it every day, " Fudim says of Brisman, one of six Harris Beach employees who died Sept. 11.
Brand reports that for the people who worked there, one of the biggest losses was the World Trade Center itself. There was the status of working in the country's tallest building. Clients would ask to meet there. From the windows of the 85th floor, workers could look out and see all the way up to the Bronx and down to the beaches on Long Island. Helicopters flew at eye level. You could hop onto a radiator and press your body up against the window and feel like you were flying over the city.
Lawyer Abercrombie And Fitch Outlet Judi Abbott Curry loved it there. She still carries her World Trade Center security pass in her purse. "What should I do with it? Should I put it in my jewelry box? I don't have anything from the World Trade Center. This is all I have, so I carry it with me every day. ".