Of all the books being produced about the events of September 11, the one that comes from closest to "ground zero" itself is being published by Abbeville Press. Abbeville's offices were located across the street from the World Trade Center, and the WTC, particularly the Twin Towers, "were part of our everyday lives," said Abbeville president Bob Abrams. Although several employees were in the building at the time of the attacks, no one was physically injured.

To commemorate the life of the WTC, Abbeville plans to publish The World Trade Center Remembered, a 108-page trade paperback that will feature 72 photographs taken by photographers Angelo Lomeo and the late Sonja Bullaty. Abbeville has published several books by Lomeo and Bullaty, whose work includes more than 250 images of the WTC. Paul Goldberger, architectural critic for the New Yorker, will write an introduction.

Abbeville has never done an instant book before, and Abrams said the project "is quite a challenge. I'm looking forward to getting the book out." Abrams hopes to release Remembered in the second week of November and has set a first printing of 50,000 copies. A portion of the proceeds will go to the 9/11 Fund. Publication of the book "is something that is close to the hearts of everyone who works at Abbeville," Abrams said.

Temporary Offices

Since the attack, Abrams has been allowed to return to Abbeville's Cortlandt Street offices for only a short period of time to retrieve files and meet with insurance agents. Abrams said he doesn't know when the company will be permitted to permanently return to the offices. Most employees are working from home, and Abrams is renting a set of suites on West 23rd Street that is serving as a "clearinghouse." "I've discovered there is a great degree of flexibility in the way you can do business," Abrams observed. The fall list was unaffected by the attack, since Abbeville's inventory was already stored in a Tennessee warehouse, and Client Distribution Services has been selling the list and filling orders. "Our employees have done a fantastic job. We're determined to carry on," Abrams vowed.