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Crane Operators: How Do They Get Up There?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, December 12, 2008, at 12:25PM
Crane Access Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This crane, on the west side of the 54-story Ritz tower at L.A. Live, is connected to the building around the 42nd floor.

Back in 2006, the Downtown News profiled Jim Allen, operator of L.A. Live's Tower Crane One. The article told of his daily 288 foot climb up 22 stories of stairs.

So now that the tower crane is fifty-something stories, does Allen still have to climb that whole way?


Peering intently from the ground, one might just make out the walkway that connects the crane to the just topped-off tower. The current walkway sits around the 42nd floor, meaning that the crane operator only has to climb the last fifteen or so stories after a ride up the construction elevator.

Speaking of that elevator: The ones in use at L.A. Live are special high-speed, high-capacity elevators making their first appearance in the United States. They make it more efficient to get the several thousand member crew up and down the building each day. Rated capacity on one of the roughly dozen foot long, six foot wide elevator cars? 40 people.


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