The “invention” of the skyscraper lies with George A. Fuller (1851-1900). George Fuller worked on solving the problems of the “load bearing capacities” of tall buildings. George Fuller built the Tacoma Building in 1889, the first structure ever built where the outside walls did not carrying the weight of the building. Using Bessemer steel beams, Fuller created steel cages that supported all the weight in tall buildings or skyscrapers. The Flatiron Building was one of New York City’s first skyscrapers (Broadway and 23rd), built in 1902 by Fuller’s building company.
Another famous skyscraper is Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931 and came out of art deco era.
But thing which is exited me the most, is construction process of this giants in early twenties and people who worked at heights, so called iron workers. Very few of us know that many of the icons of New York cities were build by theirs ancient inhabitants: the Mohawk. For more than century Mohawk iron workers have had reputation for embracing dangerous jobs of building bridges and skyscrapers.
“A lot of people think Mohawks aren’t afraid of heights; that’s not true. We have as much fear as the next guy. The difference is that we deal with it better. We also have the experience of the old timers to follow and the responsibility to lead the younger guys. There’s pride in ‘walking iron.’” —Kyle Karonhiaktatie Beauvais (Mohawk, Kahnawake).
A 21st-century Mohawk ironworker might easily be called a real “man of steel.” For more than 100 years, Mohawk people have taken part in the seemingly superhuman task of building skyscrapers and bridges throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. Working in New York City since the 1920s, these brave and skilled ironworkers built the city’s most prominent landmarks, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the George Washington Bridge, and the World Trade Center.
The Mohawk tradition of ironworking began in the mid-1880s when they were hired as unskilled laborers to build a bridge over the St. Lawrence River onto Mohawk land. They quickly earned a reputation for being top-notch workers on high steel, and “booming out” from their Native communities in search of the next big job became a fact of life.
During the 1940s and 1950s, many Mohawk ironworking families moved to the New York City area—as many as 700 families into Brooklyn—to aid in the city’s vertical expansion. In the 1960s, when New York City announced plans for the World Trade Center, Mohawk ironworkers eagerly accepted the challenge of erecting the then tallest buildings in the world. In September 2001, after the collapse of the twin towers, Mohawk ironworkers returned to dismantle what their elders had contributed to the Manhattan skyline decades earlier.