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.

Next, check out photos of 15 of NYC bridges under construction!