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See New York's Sky High Squeegee Men

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Complainers moan about the increasing popularity of glass curtain walls and glass-heavy facades in recent New York architecture; but there's a group of men who won't complain about it, even as they're dangled out a high rise window to deal with it. Window washers [slideshow] are experiencing a boom period of demand as more glass towers go up in the city, according to the Times. Unlike masonry buildings that can be repointed or power washed every few decades, glass buildings need to be cleaned every two years, if not continuously, to prevent appearing like a gross scummy shower stall on a city block.

Because of demand for the work, the specialized equipment sometimes involved, and the probable desire to cut down on precarious learning curves, window washing can be a full-time job where union cleaners start at $26 an hour. The Times states that it takes about two months to clean the Time Warner Center, but six to nine months to clean New York by Gehry.

Here's some video of the windows being cleaned at the new 1 WTC building, taken July of last year. Those windows need to be cleaned before the building is even topped out!

· Window Washers Enjoy Surge in Demand [NYT]
· One World Trade Center - Window Washers (July 9, 2011 [Youtube]