I.D. and Aspirations
On Sept. 9, Gregory Wachtler took his father and a cousin from Belgium up to his office on the 93rd floor of 1 World Trade Center. It was Sunday and the building was closed, but Mr. Wachtler flashed his company I.D. to the guard. A research associate at Fred Alger Management, he had his run of the place.
They stared out at Manhattan from the conference room. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The Empire State Building across the way. A bird's eye view of the street in SoHo where Mr. Wachtler had begun renting a studio only eight months earlier.
This was the outlook on life that Mr. Wachtler had at age 25. "He became really responsible, very conscious of what he was doing," his father, Paul Wachtler, said. "It was a nice life for him."
Gregory Wachtler had finally made the big leap across the Hudson River, from the suburbs of New Jersey to the electric dance of Manhattan. He went club-hopping. He went in-line skating along the Hudson. He played tennis at Chelsea Piers. Just a year ago, he and his father went to see a Pink Floyd concert. The city seemed to be full of music.
His father recently began clearing out his son's apartment. Mr. Wachtler was just settling in, and a bed he had ordered was still en route. His tennis rackets were nowhere to be found. But his body has been recovered, along with the I.D. that always got him into the World Trade Center.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 25, 2001.