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Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 11:17 am PT (02:17 pm ET)

Apple begins slowly taking wraps off Fifth Ave glass cube [u]

Apple on Tuesday began to remove wooden supports from the structure covering its under-construction glass cube on Fifth Avenue in New York, as work on the multi-million dollar project at the company's flagship store moves toward completion [updated with bird's-eye view.

Workers could be seen onsite Tuesday morning, removing parts of the support frame from the giant temporary structure that covers the entrance to the Fifth Avenue underground store. The temporary supports have been in place since July to conceal the work being done on the iconic glass cube.

AppleInsider reader Ryan said the workers could be seen Tuesday using hammers to pry wooden supports away from the glass. The new panes of glass in place underneath are now exposed, but they are said to still have a protective film on top of them.

The $6.7 million project is expected to be completed by November, but Tuesday's events could be a sign that the construction is ahead of schedule. Apple is working to replace the 32-foot glass cube that serves as the entrance to its Fifth Avenue retail store, replacing the previous design of 90 glass panes with 15 larger, seamless panes.

As construction continues, the Fifth Avenue Apple Store remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as it has since opening its doors in May of 2006. Users must pass through a makeshift hallway, complete with overhead lights, to enter the underground store.

The original cube, said to have been personally designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is one of the most photographed landmarks in New York City. The former Apple CEO even paid for the project himself, and is the owner of the structure.

Thanks to AppleInsider reader Ryan for the latest photos and accompanying details.

Cube 1


Cube 2


Update: AppleInsider reader Phillip has sent in a photo showing the work on the cube from above.

Fifth Ave cube