Last revised: November 12, 2011                                                                                   

Rockefeller Center


Rockefeller Center, covering 22 acres is located between 48th and 51st streets and was named after John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who developed this large private building project, consisting of 14 buildings in the Art Deco style, and completed in 1939, when he drove the final (silver) rivet into 10 Rockefeller Plaza.

Construction of the 14 buildings provided jobs for over 200,000 people during the Depression.

The Center is actually two building complexes, the original 14, and a set of four towers built on the west side of Avenue of Americas during the 1960s and 70s. The Time-Life Building, McGraw-Hill and News Corporation Fox News Channel are part of these buildings.

Leased from Columbia University, the land was sold to the Rockefeller Group in 1985 for $400 Million Dollars.

Most tourists tend to view sunsets from the top of the Empire State Building (we'll visit that on our next trip to NYC). However, guide books said the lines are a lot longer and  you may not be able to get some good photos of the sunset. So we selected 'Top of the Rock'.

We rode the elevator to the 68th floor, walked two flights to the 70th floor outside observatory to view the sunset and the city lights coming on for the evening. Here is our first view looking North towards Central Park:

    "Great Views - 70 stories above New York City!"

Looking down at St. Patrick's Cathedral - (Built in 1850)
(When Archbishop John Hughes decided to build a cathedral here, many
criticized the choice of a site so far from the city's center at the time. Today
his foresight has given the church one of the best locations in Manhattan.)

Looking South towards the Empire State Building...

A different view in every direction!

One inch-thick glass surrounded the observation deck, but a few steps up to the next level and you could find an unobstructed view for better photography.

Born and raised in a small farming community in North Dakota, I've always been fascinated by skyscrapers. Whenever my family went to Bismarck, I always made it a point to ride the elevator to the 18th floor observation deck of the State Capitol. How small that is today in comparison to the skyscrapers in New York City.

So I particularly enjoyed the great views from the 70th floor observation deck ('Top of the Rock') of Rockefeller Plaza.

Finding the best spot for the sunset view!

Empire State Building at Sunset from 'Top of the Rock'

 Sunset photographers from 'Top of the Rock'

Sunset over the Hudson River...

City lights starting to come on - Night views...

We rode the elevator to ground level and walked across the street to have a late-night dinner. We had perfect 70 degree weather and enjoyed a long, leisurely, delicious meal at the Rock Center Outdoor Cafe.

Last revised: November 12, 2011

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