The Rise of New York City's Skyscrapers After the 1929 Crash

A documentary revisits the iconic 1932 'Lunch Atop a Skyscraper' photograph 

More

On September 20, 1932, one of the most recognizable images of the New York City skyline was taken atop the GE building at Rockefeller Center (aka 30 Rock). The photograph, titled Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper, shows 11 construction workers calmly perched for a lunch break 69 stories above Manhattan.

In the recently released documentary Men At Lunch, the director, Seán Ó Cualáin, explores the origins of this photograph and its links to the history of the city. Above, a series of excerpts reveal some of the context behind the image. In the first clip, the narrator, famous Irish Actress Fionnula Flanagan, describes New York City in the years preceding the photograph. She explains how the boom of the roaring twenties led to the crash of 1929, which ironically was followed by the creation of some of New York’s tallest and most recognizable skyscrapers. In the latter clip, Ric Burns, director of New York: A Documentary, discusses the reasons we still connect to the photo today.

For more information visit the film's website.

Jump to comments

Paul Rosenfeld writes and produces for Atlantic Video. His work has also appeared on The Daily Beast and CNN.com.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Shifting Our Moral Compass?

"The experience of taking another human life becomes much more trivial."


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In