There aren’t many photographs dating back to 1932 that are still going strong almost 100 years later, but there is at least one exception all of us are familiar with. “Lunch atop a skyscraper”, more commonly known as the beam photo, pictures 11 ironworkers eating their lunch on top of a beam, dangling about 260 meters in the air. They were just a fraction of the 40,000 men working on the Rockefeller Center during the Great Depression and the picture, taken by an anonymous photographer, became an icon and part of history. Now, the Rockefeller Center is paying tribute to the artist and his muses by letting visitors recreate the famous picture.
Exactly 91 years after the picture was taken, the Rockefeller Center has unveiled ‘Top of the Rock: The Beam’. Set on one of the outdoor observation decks of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, it allows visitors to take their own beam picture.
“The idea of creating the Beam so that people could feel directly connected to that iconic photo really appealed to us,” EB Kelly, head of Rockefeller Center, told Gothamist’s Precious Fondren.
Even though you have to be a little bit of a dare-all to take part in the experience, luckily, you don’t literally have to dangle above New York in order to take the picture. Instead, on the 69th floor of the Rockefeller Center, you and your companions – there’s room for maximum seven people – will have to take a seat on a beam which will then rise 3.5 meters above the ground and which will rotate 180 degrees. You’ll be safely strapped in during your photo session and the beam stays on the observation deck at all times.
Phones, cameras and other items are not allowed on the actual beeam, but anyone staying on the deck can snap your picture. Moreover, the Rockefeller Center also takes a digital picture, which is included in the ticket price – $25 on top of the $40 – $55 general admission.
According to several media outlets, other news is coming to the Rockefeller Center. Travel + Leisure reports about a Sky Lift opening next year, which would take visitors 9 meters above the rooftop on the 70th floor on a glass platform. Designboom talks about a “Rooftop Beacon with orbiting Light Rings and rotating panels made of LEDs and sculpted glass”.