By Kim Mackrael
The 36-year-old ironworker from the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec was just metres away from a cluster of reporters perched atop the building to capture the moment when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building.
Mr. Cross is part of a long tradition of Mohawk skywalkers who have helped construct the buildings that punctuate the Manhattan skyline. His father, grandfather and both of his great-grandfathers all did the same work, and he installed the columns on Monday afternoon alongside his cousin, Adam, who is from the same reserve.
Dubbed Freedom Tower, the building is meant to replace the twin towers that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. After the addition of two steel columns on Monday, the tower’s skeleton stands slightly more than 381 metres high–just edging out the Empire State Building.