Mohawk Ironworkers, Walking High Steel

Lost and Found Sound -- Those Who Built the WTC

Mohawk Indian ironworker, Joe Regis, holds onto the skeleton of a new skyscraper, circa 1960.

Mohawk Indian ironworker Joe Regis, circa 1960. Bethlehem Steel. hide caption

itoggle caption Bethlehem Steel.
Mohawk ironworker at the top of a girder, working on a Park Avenue skyscraper, 1970.

Mohawk ironworker Walter Joe Goodleaf working on a Park Avenue skyscraper, 1970. David Grant Noble hide caption

itoggle caption David Grant Noble

The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the George Washington Bridge, the World Trade Center. For more than 120 years, six generations of Mohawk Indian ironworkers, known for their ability to work high steel, have helped shape New York City's skyline. Each week, hundreds of Mohawks have commuted to Manhattan from their reservation in Canada, framing the city's skyscrapers and bridges. In September 2001, after the fall of the Trade Center Towers, the sons and nephews of these men returned to the site to dismantle what their elders had helped to build. The story is part of the series Lost and Found Sound and the Sonic Memorial Project.

Produced by Jamie York and The Kitchen Sisters. (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) Mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax in San Francisco. Thanks to Lynne Beauvais, K103 Kahnawake, Kanien'kehaka Onkwawen:na Raotitiohkwa, National Museum of the American Indian, Elinoar Astrinsky, Elana Berkowitz, City Lore, Tony Field, Andy Lanset, Sound Portraits, Paula Mauro, Jeffrey Jay Foxx, Mike Swamp and Picture Projects.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.