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Rockefeller Center

Overview

Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th Street and 51st Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The centerpiece of the complex is the 70-floor, 872-foot-tall building known as 30 Rockefeller Plaza (or “30 Rock”).

History

The complex was developed by John D. Rockefeller Jr., with construction beginning in 1931. The first buildings were completed in 1933, and the project was fully completed in 1939. The Rockefeller family initially owned all the buildings, but today the complex is owned and managed by Tishman Speyer.

Architecture

Rockefeller Center is known for its Art Deco architecture. The buildings are designed in a unified style, featuring vertical lines and geometric patterns. The Center is also home to numerous works of art commissioned as part of the original design, including the Prometheus statue and the Atlas statue.

Key Features

1. Top of the Rock Observation Deck: Located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Top of the Rock offers panoramic views of the New York City skyline.

2. Radio City Music Hall: An entertainment venue that’s home to The Rockettes and known for hosting top concerts, shows, and events.

3. The Rink at Rockefeller Center: A seasonal ice-skating rink located in the center of the complex.

4. NBC Studios: The headquarters of the NBC television network, where shows like “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live” are filmed.

5. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: An annual holiday tradition, the lighting of the massive Christmas tree is an event watched by millions every year.

6. Shopping and Dining: Rockefeller Center has numerous high-end stores and restaurants.

Tours

Tours of Rockefeller Center are available that provide insights into the history, architecture, and artwork of the complex. The NBC Studios also offers behind-the-scenes tours that take visitors through the production process of their favorite NBC shows.

Location

Rockefeller Center is located in the heart of Manhattan, easily accessible by various forms of public transportation. It’s situated between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Website

For more information about Rockefeller Center, including tickets, hours, and visitor resources, visit the official website: Rockefeller Center

Art at Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is home to a remarkable collection of art deco motifs, sculptures, murals, and installations that add to the cultural significance of the area. Noteworthy artworks include:

1. “Prometheus”: A large gilded statue by Paul Manship that represents the Greek titan Prometheus bringing fire to mankind. It’s located at the front of the lower plaza where the ice-skating rink is.

2. “Atlas”: Another famous sculpture, this one by Lee Lawrie, represents the Greek titan Atlas holding the heavens. It’s located in front of the International Building.

3. Murals: Inside the buildings, there are many murals by artists like Jose Maria Sert and Frank Brangwyn in the grand lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Events at Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is the site of numerous public events. The most famous of these is the annual Christmas tree lighting, which features live musical performances and attracts spectators from around the world. The center also hosts an annual Easter display and a wide range of other events throughout the year.

The Channel Gardens

Named for the English Channel, the Channel Gardens are a unique feature of Rockefeller Center, providing a beautiful and serene space amidst the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan. The gardens feature six pools and various seasonal plantings and decorations.

The Concourse at Rockefeller Center

Underneath the plaza is a large shopping concourse with various stores and restaurants. The Concourse also provides an underground connection between the various buildings and subways, useful during inclement weather.

Sustainability at Rockefeller Center

In recent years, efforts have been made to make Rockefeller Center more sustainable. The “green roof” on top of the British Empire Building is one such initiative, designed to reduce heat absorption and thus the need for air conditioning. The Center also participates in a program to recycle its annual Christmas tree, turning it into mulch for use in city parks.

Famous Tenants

Over the years, Rockefeller Center has been home to many notable organizations and businesses. For example, the British Intelligence Service had its American offices in Room 3603 in the Center during World War II. Today, the Center hosts a range of tenants, including NBC, Deloitte, and Simon & Schuster.

The Rockefeller Center is a testament to the ambition and vision of its creators and remains a hub of commerce, culture, and community in New York City.

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