5. 30 Rock is the site of the most famous American vintage skyscraper photo

Lunch atop a Skyscraper
The photo “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.” Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and photo by Charles Clyde Ebbets.

This photograph has been copied and parodied hundreds of times throughout history, so often that it stands among the ranks of Salvadore Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’ and the stern-faced, pitchfork-wielding couple of ‘American Gothic.’ This photograph, ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,’ was taken in 1932 on the 69th floor of the RCA building, now the GE Building, otherwise known as 30 Rock.

Though it is believed, through archival records, that the men pictured were real construction workers, the photo was in fact staged by Rockefeller Center and published in The New York Herald Tribune to promote the new skyscraper. Nevertheless, the photo has lived on as a testament to the sweat sacrificed for New York City’s skyline.