Back with another episode of Thursday’s Travelogues with Twinny!
We in NewYork … City of Skyscrapers!
LEVER HOUSE in Manhattan seems pretty ordinary now… But in 1952 , when it was constructed… It was revolutionary ! The FIRST GLASS tower ever! Standing out at the time amongst buildings made of brick and limestone… It was a blueprint for glass and metal buildings of the future.
In 1958 .. the 38 storeyed Seagrams building was constructed…. all dark glass and bronze!
The special selling point here was the large granite ‘plaza’ on the ground level
In front of the building ….
It was an ideal space right in the heart of the city .. where people could lounge around and socialise ! A great gathering space !
Men in smart suits cocking their hats to coquettish girls sitting on marble benches …sipping Coca-Cola ( this was invented in the 1890’s!)..
Ooh la lah ! Carefree were the times …
Intended to be the tallest building in the world when it was constructed.( 1930) …was the beautiful Chrysler building . But it was so only for 11 months ..before the Empire State Building overtook it ..
This unique structure made in art – deco style with its bronze tapering spire and gargoyle eagles .. remains one of the most iconic structures ever to be made …
New York soon became known as the CITY of SKYSCRAPERS!!. As more and more glass curtain buildings sprouted..with no ornamentation… Just metal and glass.. one wondered however would these gigantic surfaces be cleaned??!
Window cleaning became quite an operation! OTIS made a special scaffold for Lever House for this express purpose…. Thereafter all sorts of davits, scaffolds and lifts introduced. Dedicated crews of workers would strap themselves up onto leather harnesses and slide up and down the sides of buildings.. Awesome or Awful…….You decide!!
Above is a picture of the iconic Empire State Building … Built in 1932… There were generations of families cleaning this building … So much daring needed to do this completely unenviable job..
Cleaning this… Has been described as a roller coaster ride through Disneyland!
So what does one use to clean these glass facades??? Nothing more complicated than lemon scented soapy solution in nothing more sophisticated than a bucket! And what do you get paid … Just 25 dollars an hour! That’s peanuts! For such a high risk breakneck job!!
Three Glass cleaners were at work on the Twin Towers that fateful day … 9/ 11…One managed to save five others .. The other two perished …
Here is a classic picture of workers having lunch atop a NewYork skyscraper …..in 1932
And here’s everyones all time favourite… In Times Square… 1945 .. Right after World War 2….. At least 5 girls and 4 men said that they were the ones photographed kissing in this unforgettable photograph…!