ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Cowboys of the sky – the incredible ironworkers

by Joe Zekas on 10/5/12

“Cowboys” is one of the more printable nicknames that you’ll hear for ironworkers on a high-rise construction site. It conveys grudging admiration for the adventurous spirit of many of the ironworkers and, sometimes, head-shaking horror at the risks some gleefully incur.

Cowboys of the Sky is a documentary film in the making that chronicles the work of “legendary ironworker John Rukavina,” a South Chicago native.

Rukavina is now 74 years old. Can you watch him in action during the recent installation of a new antenna atop the Willis Tower and not be awe-struck by the man?

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