Rockefeller Center New York City

Rockefeller Center – Must See Tourist Attractions in New York City

Rockefeller Center in Rockefeller Plaza, one of the Top Attractions in NYC, New York, USA

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Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st Streets in New York. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning between Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1988. It is the largest privately held complex of its kind in the world, and an international symbol of modernist architectural style blended with capitalism.

History

Rockefeller Center was named after John D. Rockefeller Jr. (“Junior”), who leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and developed it from 1930. Rockefeller initially planned a syndicate to build an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera Company on the site, but changed his mind after the stock market crash of 1929 and the withdrawal of the Metropolitan from the project. He took on the enormous project as the sole financier, on a ninety-nine-year lease for the site from Columbia; negotiating a line of credit with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and covering ongoing expenses through the sale of oil company stock.

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. Construction of the 14 buildings in the Art Deco style (without the original opera house proposal) began on May 17, 1930 and was completed on November 1, 1939 when he drove in the final (silver) rivet into 10 Rockefeller Plaza. Principal builder, and “managing agent”, for the massive project was John R. Todd and principal architect was Raymond Hood, working with and leading three architectural firms, on a team that included a young Wallace Harrison, later to become the family’s principal architect and adviser to Nelson Rockefeller.

Rockefeller Center Tour

Rockefeller Center Tour

The Rockefeller Center: home to NBC, Radio City Music Hall, Christie’s Auction House, and more! The Rockefeller Center Tour gives you a close-up inspection of these and many other exciting places of interest, including the world-famous skating rink visited by more than half a million people every year!


It was the public relations pioneer Ivy Lee, the prominent adviser to the family, who first suggested the name “Rockefeller Center” for the complex, in 1931. Junior initially didn’t want the Rockefeller family name associated with the commercial project, but was persuaded on the grounds that the name would attract far more tenants.

What could have become a major controversy in the mid-1930s concerned the last of the four European buildings that remained unnamed. Attempts were made by Ivy Lee and others to rent out the space to German commercial concerns and name it the Deutsches Haus. Junior ruled this out after being advised of Hitler’s Nazi march towards World War II, and thus the empty office site became the International Building North.

This subsequently became the primary location of the US operations of British Intelligence (MI6) during the War, with Room 3603 becoming the principal operations center for US intelligence, organised by William Joseph Donovan, as well as the office of the future head of what was later to become the Central Intelligence Agency, Allen Dulles.

The Center is a combination of two building complexes: the older and original 14 Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s, and a set of four International-style towers built along the Avenue of the Americas during the 1960s and 1970s (plus the Lehman Brothers Building). (The Time-Life Building, McGraw Hill and News Corporation/Fox News Channel headquarters are part of these “newer” Rockefeller Center buildings, which are now owned/managed by the major private real estate firm, Rockefeller Group.)

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
The entire Rockefeller Center complex was purchased by Mitsubishi Estate, a real estate company of the Mitsubishi Group, in 1989, which fully bought out Rockefeller Group. In 2000, the current owner Jerry Speyer (a close friend of David Rockefeller), of Tishman Speyer Properties, L.P., together with the Lester Crown family of Chicago, bought for $1.85 billion the older 14 buildings and land from the previous syndicated owners: Goldman Sachs (which had 50 percent ownership), Giovanni Agnelli, Stavros Niarchos, and David Rockefeller, who organized the syndicate in 1996 and is historically associated with the other partners.

The Rockefeller Center is most famous for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree as well as the skating rink.
During Xmas, the ice skating rink is the crowd puller. With its huge gold statue of Prometheus, the Rockefeller center ice skating rink is a favorite of tourists and New Yorkers alike.

It is also home to the NBC Studios, Radio City Music and the Associated Press.

Rockefeller Center Posters

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center Art Print
Maloratsky, Igor
Buy at AllPosters.com
Rockefeller Center, New York City
Rockefeller Center, New York City Art Print
Buy at AllPosters.com
Atlas - Rockefeller Center
Atlas – Rockefeller Center Giclee Print
Rizzuto III, John
Buy at AllPosters.com
Night, Rockefeller Center, New York City
Night, Rockefeller Center, New York City Art Print
Buy at AllPosters.com

Location

The Rockefeller Center streches from 47th Street to 51st Street and from 5th Avenue to 7th Avenue.
The tours leave from the NBC store located at Rockefeller Plaza and W. 49th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), across from the TODAY show studio.

Directions

By Subway:

By Bus:
M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M27, M50

Hours: Rockefeller Center Tour

Rockefeller Center Tours:

Departure Dates:
Daily – 1 January to 31 December, 2007

Departure Time:
Monday to Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm (depart every 60 minutes)
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm (depart every 60 minutes)

The Rockefeller Center: home to NBC, Radio City Music Hall, Christie’s Auction House, and more! The Rockefeller Center Tour gives you a close-up inspection of these and many other exciting places of interest, including the world-famous skating rink visited by more than half a million people every year!


NBC Studio Tour

NBC Studio Tours:

Departure Dates: Daily – 1 January to 31 December, 2007

Departure Time: Monday to Thursday: 8:30am – 5:30pm (depart every 30 minutes)
Friday and Saturday: 8:30am – 5:30pm (depart every 15 minutes)
Sunday: 9:30am – 4:30pm (depart every 15 minutes)

Come and take the NBC Studio Tour for your opportunity to visit the studios where some of your favorite television shows are filmed, such as Saturday Night Live. Along the way, learn some facts about the interesting history of NBC, including the story of it’s transition from radio into television.


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