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The fact of life here in New York City is such that if you want buildings that can “scrape” the sky, you’ll need those without a fear of heights to build them and maintain them. Lucky for us sitting at our desks, looking out at the city’s skyscrapers, there are equally intrepid photographers you documented the workers on the early tall buildings and bridges in New York City. Without further ado photos from up top on the Waldorf-Astoria, Woolworth Building, Empire State Building, RCA Building, Brooklyn Bridge and more.

Brooklyn Bridge Painters-Vintage Photos-NYCWorkers Painting the Brooklyn Bridge by Eugene de Salignac via NYC Municipal Archives

Painters Brooklyn Bridge-Vintage Photos-NYCBrooklyn Bridge by Eugene de Salignac via NYC Municipal Archives

Lunch atop RCA Building Construction-Vintage Photos-NYCWorkers having lunch atop RCA Building. Possibly Charles C. Ebbets.

Workers Atop Woolworth Building-Vintage Photos-NYC-2Atop the Woolworth Building. By Leslie Jones via Boston Public Library

Workers Atop Woolworth Building-Vintage Photos-NYCWoolworth Building

Empire State Building Construction-Lewis WIckes Hine-NYPL Digital Gallery-2Empire State Building construction. By Lewis Hine, NYPL Digital Gallery

Empire State Building Construction-Lewis WIckes Hine-NYPL Digital Gallery-3Empire State Building construction. By Lewis Hine, NYPL Digital Gallery

Empire State Building Construction-Lewis WIckes Hine-NYPL Digital GalleryEmpire State Building construction. By Lewis Hine, NYPL Digital Gallery

Empire State Building-Construction-NYCConstruction of Empire State Building

Charles C. Ebbets-Skyscraper-NYCPhotographer Charles C. Ebbets

Golfing Above NYC-Vintage Photo-Skyscraper-NYCGolfing and smoking cigarettes above NYC

Lauren and Hardy-NYC Skyscraper-Vintage PhotoLaurel and Hardy

Buy tickets online to the Empire State observatory and save 10%

Check out photos of 15 of NYC bridges under construction!

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