Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2011.1406.1
Credit Line: Gift of Bruno G. Dellinger
Minas Shoe Repair ticket on yellow paper with "SEP 11 2001" stamped on the front. Printed text on the ticket reads: "Minas Shoe Repair | 551 World Trade Center | New York, N.Y. 10048 | (212) 938-0199 | 'Not Responsible For Shoes Left Over 30 Days.'" "28" is written at the top next to "PRICE."
Minas Polychronakis was smoking a cigarette inside his shoe repair shop on the belowground concourse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when the electricity went out. Learning a plane had crashed into the complex, Polychronakis closed his shop and exited onto Liberty Street, where he saw the North Tower burning and witnessed a second plane strike the South Tower.
Earlier that morning, Bruno Dellinger, a longtime customer of Minas Shoe Repair, dropped off a pair of shoes and chatted with Polychronakis. Dellinger left with a ticket for the transaction and went to his office on the 47th floor of the North Tower. After hearing a terrible noise and feeling the building sway, Dellinger made sure his employees immediately evacuated while he remained behind to close the office. Descending a smoke-filled stairwell, he reached the street seconds before the South Tower collapsed.
Both Polychronakis and Dellinger escaped the World Trade Center and survived. Dellinger retained the ticket for shoes he would never claim.