In Honor of The World Trade Center, A Tower of Humans

06.12.12 David Lumb

Nothing has stood out to memorialize the World Trade Center since the Freedom Tower retook the top spot amongst Manhattan’s vertical pantheon. On June 20, however, a 150-member team of castell artists will gather on top of 230 FIFTH rooftop bar and penthouse lounge to perform a world record: an eight-storey human tower, the first of such a height ever assembled on rooftop. The castellers, as they are called, complete their structure if they assemble without a hitch, and then an enxaneta climbs to the top (in this event’s case, a nine-year-old child) and stretches four fingers skyward – the foru stripes of the Catalan flag. The team – Castellers de Vilafranca – is considered the best in the Catalonia region of Spain, where the 300-year-old tradition was founded, and desired to demonstrate their erecting prowess to honor the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. But don’t worry – if you can’t quite get to the massive rooftop bar, Castellers de Vilafranca will perform in Central Park on June 21 and other locations, including Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge (!) on June 22. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it a cultural treasure in November 2010, but only one other group has visited America before – a rare treat for a group actively touring to spread its tradition.

(Photo: Vilanova i la Geltru/Flickr)