2023 – Tower Crane Dismantling: 5 Hours, 300 pix/vids, 11-2-23

 …………………………………………(ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on November 9, 2023)


This was taken after the crane was put together last May (click to enlarge).

Thankfully, I got to shoot that event and all of this from home (and – YES – that’s the World Trade Center in the background………….my current view of it is less than half of what you see here………….and they’re not finished yet).


I didn’t know this was gonna happen today, but I just happened to notice when it began at 9:15am…………and once you start, you can’t stop until it’s over. And since I shot its construction back in mid-May, I have to finish the job.

It’s a bit more difficult when you consider that it’s 4 blocks away and you have to spend most of your time looking through binoculars for little signs of impending action, like connecting a cable to a crane section.

And just to reinforce the distance thing, here’s a PANO (click to enlarge) that shows where the crane is on the far right and the living room window that I’m shooting from – circled in red – on the far left:


At 2:15pm, the last big piece – the mast/tower itself – was lowered onto a flatbed truck (I think…………couldn’t see the truck or the last few seconds of the tower’s 90º tilt).

So now I have hundreds of stills and at least 15 videos to sort through and make sense of. That editing took me 5 days (it’s now the afternoon of November 7 as I finally start to write this up).

The stills files all begin with IMG and the vids all begin with MVI, so the proper removal sequence of boom sections, multiple counterweights that each weigh tons, operator’s cab, the counterjib and mast sections – all of which had stills AND video components – had to be re-established by changing all the video IDs (after combining half of them) to IMG IDs, so I have a proper sequence that’s been whittled down to 51 from 300.

So let’s start with my wide-ish view from 4 blocks away. The tower crane (in the middle) stands about 12 stories tall. I think the Mega-street-crane on the left that will be lifting each tower crane component onto a flatbed truck, probably reaches Saturn. I believe the little crane on the right is Mega’s son, who’s there to observe and learn from Dad (it didn’t do anything else):


Zoomed-in all the way, this shows the back end of the counterjib, including the four super-heavy counterweights. The guy in the hard hat looks like he’s throwing back a bag of M&Ms:


In this pair-o’-pix, Mega has lowered chains to connect with counterweight #1. Hard hat is asking Mega for more M&Ms:


Counterweight #1 is airborne in this tight view:


…and in this wide view:


…and is now being lowered to the street on the other side of the tower:


Rinse and repeat (lower and connect) for Counterweight #2:


Video of CW2’s trip:


CW#3…………..you know the drill:

CW#4 sticks around for a while.


Men in the boom unfastening Boom Part 1:


Boom Part 1 removed:


Boom work, a closeup of the Operator’s Cab, Boom connection, more Boomwork:


Boom Part 2 heads downward:

Look at the daredevil in the boom (first pic………..too many M&Ms).


Connect and eject Boom Part 3:

Keep an eye out for one of these Boom pieces showing up later at street level.


Two pre-release looks at Counterweight #4:


CW4’s video:


Bright sun on the counterjib:


It’s a little less Extreme without its tons of counterweights:


Boom #4’s first unattached video (that means there’s probably a second one):


It appears that Boom #4’s fishing-for-airplanes attempt has been successful:


Boom #4’s final video:


Evacuating the Operator’s Cab:


I just happened to notice a flatbed truck with one of the Boom sections on it stopped at a nearby traffic light. By the time I adjusted the tripod and the camera settings, the light had turned green and I just caught the end of the truck before it went out of view:


Meanwhile, the counterjib had just separated, but I managed to get 3 images of it in the air:


…….AND a video of it as it went from building height to disappearing as it neared street level:


I love this shot……..the Operator’s Cab appears to be lifted from the tower mast by the fingers of a single hand:

Kinda cool that I could discern fingers from 4 blocks away………..


The wide shot of the now Air Cab as the two workers scramble down the mast (because it’s next!):


THREE workers have suddenly scrambled back up to the top of the mast to view the Cab’s final descent to ground level:


Nowhere to go but down for two of them:


But one of them has to be back at the top to connect Mega-Crane to the mast:

He looks like he’s praying for more M&Ms (but Mega-Crane appears to be fresh out).


The near and wide shots of the final piece of the once-mighty tower crane:


And then zooming in for the penultimate video:


Someone has to climb up to disconnect two of the four cables and then scramble right back down:


The other two cables that remain connected let Mega-Crane tilt the mast onto a flatbed truck (I’m guessing……….it’s not visible):





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