Photo buffs know the truth behind the classic photo: It was staged. The men in the picture were real ironworkers. But rather than capture them in the midst of their lunch break, the photographer posed them on the beam for multiple takes — images that were intended as advertising for the new building.
By thumbing its nose at both danger and the Depression, Lunch Atop a Skyscraper came to symbolize American resilience and ambition at a time when both were desperately needed.
According to archivists, the photograph was in fact prearranged. Although the photograph shows real ironworkers, it is believed that the moment was staged by Rockefeller Center to promote its new skyscraper. The photo appeared in the Sunday photo supplement of the New York Herald Tribune on October 2, 1932 .
Official accounts state that five workers lost their lives during the construction of the building. This isn’t surprising when you notice the lack of harnesses or hard hats in these stark images.
Skyscraper worker . Veteran workers are called ‘fixers’. New guys are called ‘snakes’ because they’re deadly to be around. A falling man will grab for anything, and anybody, on the way down.
Archivists say the shot showing 11 construction workers enjoying their break on a suspended beam , high above the streets of Manhattan, was in fact a publicity stunt. Although the models were real workers , the moment was staged by the Rockefeller Center to promote their new skyscraper 80 years ago today.
30 Rockefeller Plaza is a skyscraper that forms the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
|30 Rockefeller Plaza (Comcast Building)|
|Coordinates||40°45′32″N 73°58′44″WCoordinates: 40°45′32″N 73°58′44″W|
|Owner||NBCUniversal (floors 2–16) Tishman Speyer (all other floors)|
Sept. 20, 1932
The other U.S. skyscraper projects included the Empire State Building , which had five deaths among its 3,400 workers during construction; the 1970s World Trade Center construction which recorded 60 construction worker deaths ; the Sears Tower which recorded five worker deaths in two incidents; and Las Vegas’s CityCenter
Pricing for office space at the Empire State Building ranges from $75.00 per square foot on the lower floors to $86.00 per square foot on the upper floors, where there are more expansive views. There are also, as of March 5th, 2019, 13 office sublets ranging from 11,136 square feet to 2,776 square feet.
Quite a feat. Now, with safety concerns and various different protections in place that weren’t afforded the men who built the ESB, it would take about 3 years to build .