The location where Flight 11 was filmed hitting the World Trade Center

Filming Location in Manhattan, New York

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The location where Flight 11 was filmed hitting the WTC

This is the location where Jules Naudet recorded video footage of the first plane hitting the north tower of the World Trade Center.

It is situated at the corner of Lispenard Street and Church Street in Manhattan, New York.

In September 2001, French-American filmmakers Jules and Gédéon Naudet were filming a documentary about a firehouse in Lower Manhattan.

On the morning of September 11th, Jules accompanied the firefighters to this intersection to investigate reports about a possible gas leak.

For the fire crew, it was just a routine inspection.

Normally, Gédéon was the brother who filmed things. However, Jules had recently started learning how to use a professional camera. Knowing that he needed all of the practice he could get, he decided to grab his things and follow battalion chief Joseph Pfeifer to the call.

At exactly 8.46 a.m., members of the group gathered around a drain on Lispenard Street while Pfeifer took readings with a handheld gas detector.

As they were standing around discussing their findings, the sound of a plane roared overhead, causing them to stop and look up.

Unbeknownst to everyone on the ground, the plane in question was American Airlines Flight 11—a Boeing 767 that had been hijacked by al-Qaeda shortly after taking off from Logan International Airport in Boston.

When Jules noticed that everyone had paused to look up at the low-flying airliner, he decided to point his camera at it.

Within milliseconds of focusing on the plane, it crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

The sound of the explosion boomed through the streets of Manhattan. Horrified onlookers gasped and shouted expletives when they looked up and saw that one of the Twin Towers was engulfed in a huge plume of smoke and flames.

When the initial shock wore off, most people assumed that a terrible accident had just occurred.

However, 17 minutes later, while the entire world watched from their television sets, another large airliner flew across the Hudson River and crashed directly into the south tower.

At that point, it became immediately clear to everyone that the United States was under attack.

Where was the Flight 11 footage filmed?

The address and the GPS coordinates for this location are as follows:


Lispenard Street, Manhattan, New York, NY 10013, USA


To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:

Google Maps

GPS coordinates

The latitude and longitude coordinates for the street are:

40.719982, -74.003736


Jules Naudet's Flight 11 footage was filmed at the corner of Lispenard Street and Church Street in Lower Manhattan. It is relatively close to the intersection between 6th Avenue and Canal Street.


Photos of the street and other related images.

Flight 11 footage location

flight 11 footage location

The image at the top shows battalion chief Joseph Pfeifer inserting a gas detector into the drain on Lispenard Street.

Seconds later, American Airlines Flight 11 flew above the group's heads and crashed into the north tower.

The Google Street View image at the bottom was taken in July 2022—more than twenty years after the September 11 attacks occurred. We have circled the drain in red.

The drain is on the eastern side of the intersection between Lispenard Street and Church Street.

Jules Naudet was standing on Lispenard Street, facing west.

Initially, Jules continued to film the group's conversation at the drain. However, it seems as though he changed his mind after he noticed that everyone else had looked up at the airliner.

Had he kept the camera pointed downward for another second, he would have missed the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.

Then and now

Then and now

Naudet captured the exact moment when the first plane hit.

As you can imagine, the skyline over this section of Manhattan has changed dramatically since 9/11.

The top of the new World Trade Center is visible on the right. The large "Jenga Building" in the center wasn't completed until 2017.

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