Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rockefeller Center: a complex of 19 buildings in Midtown Manhattan

Rockefeller Center by trudeau
Rockefeller Center, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Rockefeller Center or Rockefeller Plaza is a complex of 19 commercial buildings between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, says Wikipedia.

Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

Radio City Music Hall at 50th Street and Avenue of the Americas was completed in December, 1932. At the time it was promoted as the largest and most opulent theater in the world. The Rockettes are a precision dance company performing out of the Radio City Music Hall. During the Christmas season, the Rockettes have performed five shows a day, seven days a week, for 77 years. Perhaps their best-known routine is an eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line, which they include at the end of every performance. Btw, every Rockette must be between 5'6" and 5'101⁄2" tall.

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. It is centered behind the sunken plaza.

The famous Rainbow Room club restaurant is located on the 65th floor. The skyscraper is the headquarters of NBC and houses most of the network's New York studios, including 6A, former home of Late Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien and current home of The Dr. Oz Show; 6B, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; 8H, home of Saturday Night Live; plus the operations of NBC News, MSNBC and local station WNBC.

It offers a trove of public art: among it the statue of Atlas facing Fifth Avenue and the conspicuous friezes above the main entrance to the RCA Building.

There is also the highly recognizable bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus recumbent, bringing fire to mankind - in the sunken plaza at the front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

At street level, the plaza has about 200 flagpoles.