Rockefeller Center, New York
Rockefeller Center is one of New York City's greatest landmarks. Located in the prestigious Manhattan neighborhood of 89 thousand square meters, between 48th and 51st streets, this complex is attractive for its 19 Art Deco buildings, alleys, beautiful plaza, gardens and outdoor sculptures. And the lighting of the candles on the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is a brilliant attraction for the New York holidays.
Rockefeller Center is the largest private building project undertaken in modern times. The idea for the construction was of the founder of the dynasty, John Rockefeller, who lived in this neighborhood and wanted to help develop it faster. But the overall implementation of the project was by his son John Rockefeller Jr. The original idea was that the entire complex would have an entertainment character. But in the end Rockefeller decided to have different buildings in the complex- office buildings, shopping complexes, International Building, Radio City Music Hall, large corporations, etc. Thus Rockefeller Center became a city within a city, and its buildings radiated the feeling that all was right with the world.
Construction began in 1929 and by 1940 the 14 buildings of the complex were completed. Later, another was built in 1947 and the remaining four in the 1970s. The buildings are divided into six blocks, with three blocks facing each avenue as the facades of the 14 buildings are made of a special limestone. All the buildings were designed by a group of architects under the direction of Raymond Hood (1881-1934). Since the opening of most of the Rockefeller Center buildings in 1939, it has had 26 thousand tenants and 125 thousand visitors per day.
One of the most interesting buildings in the complex is that of the Reidio City Music Hall, located at the end of the original 14 buildings of Rockefeller Center. Many artists and designers have put their talent here to make all the rooms look so exquisite. In the lobby is a wonderful sculpture called "The Spirit of the Dance" by William Zorach. In the Music Hall, which seats 6200, the upholstery, furniture and balconies are very beautiful. At its opening in 1932, a lavish show was prepared that lasted nearly 20 hours. It was all very nice, but tiring for both the participants and the audience. Nevertheless, the design and the organization of the opening were very well received by the critics. For many years the Music Hall has been the venue for some of the most famous concerts. For a while it was only a cinema, then it was closed to the public. But since the end of the 20th century, concerts, theatre performances, festival and music events have been held in the building of the Reidio City Music Hall. It is a tradition that every year at Christmas and Easter, the Rockettes' 36-member corps performs their special shows in the Music Hall. If you happen to be in New York City in January or early February, don't miss Chinese New Year, which is celebrated with a program at Radio City Music Hall. Then the costumes, dancing and music are downright amazing.
In the middle of the complex, there is a lower level plaza with flags on all sides. In the winter, part of the square becomes an ice rink. Behind it is the gently sloping walkway with the festively lit Christmas tree at Christmastime and the General Electronics building where information about the entire complex can be found. At one end of the square is the 5m high bronze statue of Prometheus, Paul Mansip's masterpiece from 1934. After the death of John D. Rockefeller's father, in 1937, the center's leadership placed a plaque in the plaza inscribed with ten principles he believed in, one of which reads. The statue of Atlas across Fifth Avenue in the courtyard of the International Building from 1936 is interesting. The enormous statue is striking for the huge sphere symbolizing the world supported by the giant's broad shoulders.
The other building worth visiting is at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Of great artistic value are the Wisdom friezes above the main entrance. In the lobby is Diego Rivera's famous colorful fresco "The Man, Controller of the Universe". On the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza is the exquisite Rainbow Lounge. The revolving dance floor, specialty cocktails and unparalleled views are worth the visit. But to see Manhattan in its entirety, you have to go to the Top of the Rock observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Designed to look like the deck of an ocean liner, it was reopened to the public in 2005. To resemble a ship, it has recessed glass on the 67th and 69th floors that does not reflect light, and on the 70th floor it is open. Before you take the glass-roofed elevator, you can check out the videos for all the more interesting things in the building.
The gardens were originally designed to have gardens on each of the Rockefeller Center buildings. But after the death of chief architect Raymond Hood, the plan for the gardens was dropped for most of the buildings. The largest was the Garden of Nations, located on the 11th floor of Rockefeller Plaza.30 It opened in 1935 and contained 2,000 trees and shrubs, 4,000 smaller plants, and 20,000 flower bulbs. This extraordinary garden attracted many visitors after its opening and became the most popular garden at Rockefeller Center. But they are no longer open to the public. The gardens on the roof of the International Building are in better condition.
The British and French gardens have a pool surrounded by hedges. The Italian Garden has a cobbled path and two slabs from the Roman Forum. The International North Building has paved walkways.
The pedestrianised Rockefeller Plaza runs through the complex and is 9m wide with tarmac kerbs. It is supported by a multi-level underground skeleton which houses warehousing , delivery and loading bays, numerous shops and eateries. The tourist can buy a souvenir and also have a bite to eat while taking a break from the incredible walk through the huge, noisy yet unrivalled Rockefeller Center.