Winning photos of World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower

The top 3 most popular photos of One World Trade Center that were posted to the Port Authority’s Facebook page. The top vote getter, center, is by Vlasios Rafailidis, a Greek tourist. At right and coming in second was a shot by New York’s William Duffy, who has been photographing the site since 9/11. Filip Michalowski of Stamford, Conn. took the third most popular photo.

ORINGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPT. 9, 2013  |  BY KAITLYN MEADE  | Towering against the horizon, emblazoned with American flags, reflecting the sky  —  One World Trade Center was the subject of nearly 1,000 photographs submitted to the Port Authority’s photo contest, and three were announced as the winners just days before the anniversary of 9/11.

Over 75,000 votes were cast by fans of the Port Authority’s Facebook page, the agency that owns the site announced Friday. The photos came from visitors from across the country and around the world during the contest from July 29 to Aug. 25. The three images chosen were iconic representations of the 1,776-foot skyscraper, a k a the “Freedom Tower.”

The man who received the most votes, Vlasios Rafailidis, took his photograph while vacationing from Greece. His black and white image — except for the red stripes on the star-spangled banners in the foreground — received 13,785 votes.

William Duffy of Queens, New York received 12,221 votes for his iPhone pic with a flag flying across the tower, which is still under construction. Duffy told the Port Authority that he has been taking pictures of the site since 2001. Filip Michalowski of Stamford, Conn. was third with 11,203 votes.

The three winners, with two friends each, will receive an exclusive tour of the tower by Dec. 31, 2013.