Rockefeller Center


The Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan was conceived as "a city within a city", an Art Deco complex of commercial buildings that are home to remarkable art, style and entertainment. The 14 original buildings were erected from 1931 to 1939 by the Rockefeller family, during the Great Depression years. Four additional buildings were constructed during the Rockefeller Center expansion (1960s–1970s).

The Radio City Music Hall, an entertainment venue and theater at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, opened on December 27, 1932. It was originally intended for a Metropolitan Opera House. Its four-tiered auditorium was the world's largest when it opened.

The RCA (Radio Corporation of America) Building (today 30 Rockefeller Plaza), 66 stories high, opened in 1933.

This huge private real estate development span the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), 48th and 51st streets. Columbia University, the owner of the site, leased the land in 1928 to John D. Rockefeller Jr. (1874-1960), the main person behind the complex's construction. Demolition of the former buildings on the site began in 1930.

The architects of the original 14 buildings were Reinhard & Hofmeister, Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray; Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux. These buildings, considered as a cohesive unit, became a New York City designated landmark in 1985 and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.


Rockefeller Center


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Rockefeller Plaza


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Copyright © Geographic Guide - Antique images of NYC. Landmark Buildings.


RCA Building


Atlas, another Greek titan, supporting the celestial vault on his shoulders. This sculpture, located in the International Building's courtyard, was commissioned in 1936 and made by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan.


Midtown Manhattan sixties


Observation roofs


NY Rockefeller Center


Rockefeller Center NYC




Greek titan Prometheus stands 18 feet high at Rockefeller Center Plaza. Gilded cast bronze sculpture, created by Paul Manship in 1934, depicts the Greek legend bringing fire to mankind.


RCA Building


Rockefeller Center


Ice Rink


The Greek Titan Prometheus at Rockefeller Center Plaza. Vintage photograph by Wurts Brothers / New York Public Library. This gilded cast bronze sculpture was created by Paul Manship in 1934.



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Rockefeller Center


People looking at New York City from the observation roofs of Rockefeller Center, at a height of 259 meters. Photograph by Irving Browning, circa 1935, in postcard format, color photomechanical. Source: Library of Congress.



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Recent photo of the ice rink at Rockefeller Center during Christmas time (credit Julienne Schaer / NYC & Company).




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