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Iron Workers from New York Local 40 and PANYNJ moving a section of the World Trade Center antenna into place. Photographed 1,650 feet above the streets of New York and 350 feet above the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Image copyright: Peter B. Kaplan 1979. Courtesy Peter B. Kaplan
These images of the erection of the antenna atop the North Tower of the original World Trade Center in 1979 were taken by Peter B. Kaplan, the fearless photographer who specializes in heights and construction views. The construction workers who erected the 360-foot antenna atop the WTC sometimes work above the clouds: one of Kaplan’s photographs captures the tops of the Woolworth and Empire State as the true “cloud piercers.”
Antennas provide a significant revenue source for building owners. The antenna atop Tower 1 replaced the transmitter from the Empire State Building for all New York TV channels. And in one measure of vertical height, according to the CTBUH, antennas count. Until its destruction on 9/11, the 1,741-foot height to the top of the antenna of Tower 1 made it the tallest in the world.
The original twin towers of the World Trade Center were flat-topped, with slightly different heights. The North Tower, the first to be completed, in 1971, was the taller of the two at 1,368 feet, so remained the world’s tallest building even after the South Tower was completed at 1,362 feet in 1973. Both were surpassed by the Sears Tower in 1974 at 1,451 feet.