Who: Walt Wilkens, a crane operator for Cornell & Co.
Where: About 30 floors above Arch Street in Center City, on the construction site for the Comcast Center, the $505 million, 57-story skyscraper that will be the tallest building between Chicago and New York when it opens in 2007.
Why: Because hoofing it is the only way to get up to and down from the two cranes located on the site, both of which are vital to constructing the building’s “center core”—the concrete column that will eventually house the elevators, electronics, and safety and power systems. And yes, he gets paid for the 45 minutes to an hour it takes him each way.
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, September 2006