Building the Empire State
An iron worker pauses to pose high above midtown Manhattan
Legs astride a steel girder, construction worker Charles Rivers takes a break from his labors to take this self-portrait with a camera he carried in his lunch box. The Depression would bring a halt to skyscraper building, and many construction workers would lose their jobs--among them Rivers himself.
||Completed in 1931, the 1,250-foot-, 102-story-high Empire State Building was the highest structure in the world for 40 years.
||Web display only
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