Rockefeller Center is one of the most famed attractions in New York City and one of the most visited. It spans 22 acres of land and contains over 19 commercial buildings. It has tenants such as General Electric, Radio City Music Hall, and La Maison Française. The project was initiated by John D. Rockefeller and was at the time the largest private building project undertaken during contemporary times.
The complex was designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris, an American architect, and was initially supposed to be the site for the Metropolitan Opera, but this plan changed after the stock market crash of 1929. Rockefeller then proceeded to build a compound of buildings for numerous radio, press, and television companies of the time which was known as Radio City. In 1940, it came to be known as Rockefeller Center.
Rockefeller Center is truly a ‘city within a city’ and all of its buildings are connected underground to the subway and each other by a concourse known as Catacombs. The center’s flagship building which became the basis for all the other buildings’ architecture in the complex was the 70-story high RCA building which is known today as the GE building, located at 30, Rockefeller Plaza. This is one of the most visited buildings in the complex and has the Top of the Rock Observation Deck where you can go and get a breathtaking view of Central Park and the Empire State Building. If you’re a fan of NBC shows such as 30 Rock, Seinfeld, and others, you will also enjoy taking a tour of NBC Studios or getting souvenirs from the gift shop.
One of the most well-known parts of Rockefeller Center is the lower plaza area where there are several prominent sculptures such as the Atlas Statue and the Prometheus Statue. This is also the area where you will find the famous Christmas tree which is lit every year to launch the Holiday season in New York City. Here you will also find several plants and gardens and access to an ice rink in the wintertime. The décor in the winter makes it easy to get into the Christmas spirit, and couples will adore skating hand in hand and enjoying the romantic atmosphere.
Another notable venue that you won’t want to miss in Rockefeller Center, is Radio City Music Hall which was built as the biggest indoor theater in the world with 6000 seats. Here, you can catch a show, or just take a tour of the place which is not only gorgeous and opulent but has a rich history. Avid shoppers will also have a great time at Rockefeller Center and can get a great assortment of gifts, chocolates, and souvenirs. There are also many fine dining establishments and great places to have coffee or drinks.