The City: Death on the Glass Wall

Up and down the sheer glass wall-to-wall windows of Manhattan's new skyscrapers, sealed eternally shut to keep conditioned air within, creep caged steel scaffolds, hung from cables and grooved to the buildings' ribs. Controlled by pushbutton, equipped with telephone, they are manned by a squad of window washers plying sponge and squeegee with a freedom and speed unknown to their brothers of the old-fashioned safety belt. But now scaffolds have been grounded.

At 5:30 one morning last week, Window Washer Frank Olsen, 49, was strapped in his belt and working on one of the old-fashioned windows of Radio City Music Hall...

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