Man Upstairs: Some perspective from the Saint Marys Hospital tower crane operator

After four years, the cranes above Saint Marys Hospital are practically part of the downtown Rochester skyline.

But what few think about is the man in the cab, looking down on us every day from way up there.

Dewey Larson is the man at the helm of Rochester’s tallest machine. He spends his work days 280 feet above the city of Rochester.

"It’s fantastic. I get to see some of the most beautiful sunrises. It’s peaceful, beautiful, quiet. It’s a great job,” Larson said.

For him, it’s a regular job that he got into by chance. The views are just a perk.

"I just tried it 24 years ago, and seemed to be a good fit. I’m not afraid of heights, thankfully,” he said. "I grew up running equipment, so it was kind of second nature."

He may not be afraid, but not many brave souls would climb the nearly 26 stories to see it all from the top. That’s why, a few months ago, Dewey’s kids surprised him with a GoPro camera for his birthday, hoping to see what he sees.

"I thought, well I’m going to get some shots so they can see firsthand what I’m looking at and it turned out pretty good,” he said.

Since August, he’s been collecting some amazing crane’s-eye-view video of Rochester, from the inside of his cab to cotton candy sunrises.

"The early morning hours was just beautiful. All the lights just popped,” he said.

The trolley on the crane gives us all a new perspective of the Med City.

"It’s been amazing the changes I’ve seen in the last 24 years. The skyline, how it’s changed,” he said.

This crane operator has been a direct part of some of the biggest projects in Rochester history. He operated machines during the building of the one-million square foot Gonda Building that opened in 2001.

He also worked on Broadway Plaza, which became the tallest building in the city in 2004. At one point, he even climbed TV towers for KTTC.

"I feel real fortunate to have been able to have a hand in some of the projects in town, some of the big projects,” he said.

There are more big projects coming soon, with Destination Medical Center on the horizon, but Larson thinks it may be time soon to hang up his hat.

"Well, I’ve been at it 24 years now. I think that’s close to enough. I want to finish this project, and then I’ll see with all of the DMC projects that hopefully are planned, I might stick around for a few more years,” said Larson.

Until then, just know, when you look up at the crane towers from all over Rochester, the man upstairs is looking down on you, too.

You can see more of Larson’s video below:



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