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The King of the Forest Parties it Up as 1 York Tops Out

A tree grows at 1 York down at the edge of Tribeca. Or at least there's one tied to a big white steel beam looming above Canal Street. After all the steel that's gone into getting Enrique Norten's super-duper and gadget-filled condo development out of the ground it's good to see that the ironworkers finally got the top-most beam raised yesterday. While those big galunks were partying down below the symbolic tree basked in the beautiful breeze above. The King of the Forest himself couldn't have ordered up a better day. One worker was heard to ask, "So, why do we put that tree up there?" But blank stares and silence were the only response.

In Germany they call the tree thing the Richtfest, and it seems to be as much about drinking beer and showing off some skills as getting the building up.


[Some hard working Germans celebrate the raising of the roof beam]

The history of the tree thing starts way back in the day when folks were chopping their way out of the woods and setting up camp. One big concern was trying to make sure they didn't piss off The Tree Spirit (aka The King of the Forest). The story goes something like this: Once upon a time people revered trees. Or, according to some guys who should know:

... trees were the most common deity in Europe ... mythology suggests that humans originated from trees and our souls returned to the trees after death, giving each tree a spirit of its own ... Before cutting a tree, they would formally address the forest ... the tree branches placed on top of the home ensured fertility of the land and the home. Today the custom is continued most frequently on completed structures such as bridges and skyscrapers. Ironworkers have carried on the topping out tradition ...

And for that we give them thanks. After all it's a damn good excuse to down a nice cold beer.


[Bovis supplied food and drink for the guys (top) but then it was back to work.]

Personally we can't wait for our favorite part of Enrique's little bit of paradise to get finished. That would be the pool. We've already got some beer on ice. We're just waiting to pull up a lounge chair.

· Real Steel Rising Erect at Norten's 1 York [Curbed]
· Norten's 1 York Street: L.A. Is Landing [Curbed]
· Norten's 1 York Update #1: A Mere Shell [Curbed]
· Norten's 1 York Update #3: Parking in Paradise [Curbed]
· History of the "Topping Out" Ceremony [The Ironworker]
· Arranging Celebration [Wikipedia]
· Den Kaisers ihr Richtfest [youtube]