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)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


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

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In