The Loneliest Office in Minneapolis

Davida Erdahl

Tim Olson’s office is unusually tough to reach. And yet, the 37-year Mortenson construction veteran works right across the street from me. In fact, from my window, I can see Olson’s window—Hi, Tim!

The challenge lies not in the distance between Tim’s desk and mine, but in the vertical drop. That’s because Tim Olson’s butt spends most of every weekday on a seat 235 feet above street level in a soaring yellow tower crane. 

Ever since last March, when Mortenson erected the 250-foot-plus yellow crane at the rear of the new Public Service Building construction site, we’ve watched its herculean mass move literal mountains—of debris, beams, construction workers (in secure tram buckets, of course), etc. Sometimes when we should have been working, we instead watched Olson work, slack-jawed at both the speed and precision he used to control the boom. No less jaw-slackening is the fact that every day,

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