June 20th – Canyons of NYC
30 Rockefeller Plaza, a little history from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the 70-floor, 872-foot (266 m) GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (“30 Rock”)—formerly known as the RCA Building—centered behind the sunken plaza. The building is the setting for the now famous photograph taken by Charles C. Ebbets in 1932 of workers lunching on a steel beam without harnesses. The 840-foot (260 m) drop lies below.
The building was renamed in the 1980s after General Electric (GE) re-acquired RCA, which it helped found in 1919. 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 network’s New York studios, including the legendary Studio 8H, home of Saturday Night Live. NBC currently owns the space it occupies in the building as a condominium arrangement.
Unlike most other Art Deco towers built during the 1930s, the GE Building was constructed as a slab with a flat roof, where the Center’s newly renovated observation deck, the Top of the Rock is located, which was first built in 1933. The $75 million makeover of the observation area was carried out by the Center’s owner, Tishman Speyer Properties and was finally completed in 2005. 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.
At the front of 30 Rock is the Lower Plaza, in the very center of the complex, which is reached from 5th Avenue through the Channel Gardens and Promenade. The acclaimed sculptor Paul Manship was commissioned in 1933 to create a masterwork (see below) to adorn the central axis, below the famed annual Christmas tree, but all the other original plans to fill the space were abandoned over time. It wasn’t until Christmas Day in 1936 that the ice-skating rink was finally installed and the popular Center activity of ice-skating began.