With construction taking nearly 10 years at the forefront of The Great Depression, The Rockefeller Center holds important historical landmarks of time in each and every one of the buildings on the 22 acre stretch. Among the 19 commercial buildings within the Rockefeller Center are The G.E. Building – also known as 30 Rock – and Radio City Music Hall, two of the most well-known buildings in the complex.
Originally built in 1932 as the RCA – Radio Corporation of America – Building, the G.E. building stands nearly 900 feet tall and holds 70 floors. Though it was closed down in 2009, the Rainbow Room Club still maintains its occupancy on the 65th floor as a New York Landmark, designated in 2012. It was one of the first restaurants to be located in a high-rise building, in 1934.
With the comical musings of Tina Fey’s famous prime-time television show, 30 Rock, many tourists already know the G.E. Building is home to the Top of The Rock Observation Deck, and the NBC Headquarters. Occupying their floors on a condominium based contract, NBC is home to some of America’s favorite television shows like; The Dr. Oz show, Saturday Night Live, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. NBC has also held contracts with shows like Late Night with Conan O’Brien, still maintains The Tonight Show – which included Johnny Carson and is now hosted by Jay Leno – and aired Friends and Will & Grace.
The Top of The Rock Observation Deck was built in 1933 and underwent a 75 million dollar renovation in 2005. The deck is 20 feet wide and located on the 70th floor, the same location that the momentous photograph, “Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper” was taken by Charles C. Ebbes in 1932. On ground level of 30 Rock, within the plaza stands the notable Statue of Atlas – a forty-five foot bronze statue with Atlas supporting an armillary sphere to represent the heavens – sculpted by Lee Lawrie with the collaborated help of Rene Paul Chambellan.
Another great part of The Rockefeller Center that can never go unmentioned is Radio City Music Hall. Funded by RCA, Roxy and Rockefeller, this theater was thought to be one of the greatest and largest theaters of its time, and like most of our greatest landmarks built in the 1930s, the interior designer was chosen based upon a contest. The winner of the competition was Donald Deskey, the same innovative mind behind the Tide bull’s eye and the original designer for Crest Toothpaste’s packaging. With little to no experience targeted in design Deskey managed to design a theater that is still known for its American Modernist design. Radio City Music Hall has honored some of the most talented stars in American History thus far. A few names included in this grand category are Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant – whom all performed in The Philadelphia Story – Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra. Radio City Music Hall is probably most known for housing the Radio City Rockettes, one of the best precision dance teams in the entire Nation.
While visiting Manhattan, a tourist will find themselves a mere 8 blocks away from The Rockefeller Center when sightseeing Times Square. It’s a convenient location to see and a great way to get an outstanding view of Manhattan. You’ll be able to see the Rockefeller Center with us on the New York City See It All! Tour, the New York City See It All! Premium Tour, and the New York See The Lights! Tour! During the summer, when in season, we also provide complimentary Top of The Rock tickets to guests with our New York See The Lights! Tour!