How the crane comes down

Years ago, when I worked for Mr. Coppola and had an overzealous perception of my importance, I was working on a Saturday morning at the office in downtown San Francisco. Off in the distance, I heard what sounded like thunder which rapidly grew in volume to a point of rattling the 1906 building from where I was coding. I stuck my head out of the window to see one of the biggest helicopters I’d ever seen lowering a mighty construction crane atop one of the skyscrapers in downtown. Naturally, this answered the question as to how they get cranes up and down on these particular buildings and for a time, I slept deeply knowing this knowledge.

The rest of the world doesn’t oft have a ready supply of helicopters and honestly, it does seem a bit military-esque to use a helicopter for such purposes. Also, in a place like Spain, there have been as many cranes in the towns as there are fleas on a dog. It’s as if the construction manager looks up at a building, sees that it has two floors and justifies the need for a fucking crane as his workers can’t be expected to actually carry things. Prior to the collapse of construction in 2008, the skylines were littered with the damned things. These days, you mostly just see seagulls and the occasional twat British tourist falling while attempting balconing. Dipshits.

But, I was always curious as to how they took these things down once they were up. With the removal of the construction crane they were using over Mercat del Born, I found out and it’s quite simple: you get another big crane. In this case, they used one on the ground that they drove in for the occasion. First they remove almost all the counterweights. Then, they remove the longest arm. Then they remove the rest of the counterweights and the small arm. Then, they take the main trunk apart from the top down.

All of this gets laid on the ground while guys scurry about, knocking the pins out of each piece so that they can be fully disassembled, parked on the back of semi trucks and says “adeu” to. And that’s it. One more crane off the horizon and one more construction project nearly completed.