New York City is full of amazing public art, but Sergio Furnari’s sculpture, “Lunchtime on a Skyscraper – A Tribute to America’s Heros,” is truly unique. Furnari is a master craftsman who creates sculptures and artistic custom tile work. In creating “Lunchtime on a Skyscraper,” Furnari drew inspiration from an iconic 1932 photo of construction workers taking a lunch break on a high-up beam during the construction of one of the buildings at Rockefeller Center.
The sculpture has its own unique history. Furnari, an immigrant to New York City from Italy, finished it just after 9/11. The sculpture really resonated with the workers doing the clean up at the World Trade Center site. The sculpture spent 5 months at a temporary location near the site before going on a nationwide tour. Because the sculpture is mounted on a truck, it can be moved around. I’ve seen it multiple times near Furnari’s studio in Long Island City, Queens, near 10th Street/Vernon Blvd. and 45th Avenue. Every time I see it, I’m struck again by Furnari’s ability to portray these working class men in such a realistic way.
If you are traveling by subway, the closest subway station to this location is the Court Square station. If you head to Long Island City to visit one of the microbreweries (I’ve talked about them previously here, here, here, and here) or to see some of the community’s street art (see my post here), you should keep an eye out for this sculpture as well – finding it is always a special treat!