Rockefeller Center also called Rockefeller Plaza located between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue , New York City , is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres . It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Named after the multi-millionaire, John D. Rockefeller who leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and start building it from 1930 . It was built during the Great Depression, providing much needed work for New Yorkers, as well as reflecting the art deco styling popular during the time. Designed by American architect Benjamin Wistar Morris which was influenced by the Grand Central Terminal Complex construction of the complex began in the Art Deco style was completed in 1939 .
Since 1933, the famous annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which marks the start of New York’s holiday season, has taken place here. The enormous tree is decorated with thousands of lights and , located behind the Prometheus Statue. Also the plaza is converted into a popular outdoor ice skating rink.
The Center is a combination of two building complexes including original 14 Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s, and a set of four International-style towers built during the 1960s and 1970s . In 1985, Columbia University sold the land beneath Rockefeller Center to the Rockefeller Group for 400 million dollars. The entire Rockefeller Center complex was purchased by a real estate company of the Mitsubishi Group in 1989 .In 2000 Jerry Speyer bought for $1.85 billion the older 14 buildings , the first ones to be built here .
One of the first buildings completed was the RCA building, which served as the headquarters of the Radio Corporation of America. The tower, clad in Indiana limestone, is at 70 stories and 256 meter / 850 ft the tallest of the complex. Its design by Raymond Hood – also known from
The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the 70-floor, 872-foot (266 m) GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (“30 Rock”) . The building was renamed in the 1980s after General Electric (GE) re-acquired RCA . The famous Rainbow Room club restaurant is located on the 65th floor . The Rockefeller family office covers the 54-56th floors. The skyscraper is the headquarters of NBC and houses most of the NBC network studios.
Top of the Rock
The Rockefeller Center features an observation atop the GE Building called Top of the Rock which offers panoramic views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. It spans from the 67-70th floors and includes a multimedia exhibition exploring the history of the Center. On the 70th floor, reached by both stairs and elevator, there is a 20-foot (6.1 m) wide viewing area, allowing visitors a unique 360-degree panoramic view of New York City.