An ode to 1930s NewYork, Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan fuses the old and the new, and isat the heart of the city’s annual holiday celebrations.
Built between 1930and 1939, the sprawling Rockefeller Center was seen as a revolutionary symbolof innovation and progress amid the depression-era slump. A “city within acity”, the center has a sleek, modern design and has housed some of the mostprogressive companies in America’s history. Today, it’s still a hub ofManhattan with 19 commercial and historic buildings that cover several blocks.
A benchmark for ArtDeco architecture, Rockefeller Center boasts many attractions. Take a tour ofthe famous NBC studios. Get tickets to see the famous Rockettes or a concert atRadio City Music Hall. During the holiday season, check out the enormous100-foot Christmas tree. The glistening ice-skating rink is open daily Octoberthrough April.
Atany time of year, a trip to the center should start with a visit to the Top ofthe Rock observation deck for a 360-degree view of the city. Before zooming tothe observation decks in the Sky Shuttle elevator, make sure you explore thepermanent exhibition of photographs and artifacts on the mezzanine level. (Onceyou’re at the top, you can’t return to the exhibit.) The 70-story-high viewingplatform is open from daily offering postcard-perfect views of the Empire StateBuilding and Statue ofLiberty to the south and Central Parkto the north.
Over at 30Rockefeller Plaza, the centerpiece of the complex, television aficionados canjoin behind-the-scenes NBC studios tours, which run every 15 minutes, to catcha glimpse into what makes shows like “NBC Nightly News” and “Saturday NightLive” tick. Check the Rockefeller Center website for ticket information. Forhistory buffs, ticketed tours throughthe General Electric building also run regularly every day, with knowledgeableguides sharing insights into the history and artistry of the center.
After your tour, headdownstairs to refuel at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the Concourselevel or wander outside onto Fifth Avenue.
RockefellerPlaza is located in Midtown, and is on a number of bus routes and subway lines.