April 30, 2012

Mohawk ironworker caps Freedom Tower

Quebec Mohawk turns Freedom Tower into New York City’s tallest skyscraper

By Kim MackraelSteve Cross knew he was making history on Monday afternoon when he wriggled a bolt into place in the steel column that turned One World Trade Center into New York City’s tallest skyscraper.

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.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Mohawk Ironworkers Helped Build WTC and 9th Annual Ironworkers Festival.

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