Shot in New York in 1932, it’s an image that could never be photographed today. Even if you wanted to, various health and safety regulations simply wouldn’t allow it. Made during construction of the 69th floor of the RCA building, Lunch atop a Skyscraper has become one of those iconic masterpieces of photographic history.
Much is known of the building itself. It was completed in 1933, has had several names in its lifetime, and it has almost 2.1 million square feet (195,000 m2) of floor space. It hosts the Rainbow Room, the first restaurant to ever be located in a high rise building, and has an observation deck that offers stunning views of New York City. But what of the men in this photograph? And the photograph itself?