I’d always avoided Rockefeller Center, except for the one time I had a job interview somewhere within this vast Art Deco complex. I got completely lost within some construction scaffolding and temporary paths and arrived a 1/2 half hour late; oops. I finally decided to play tourist and check it out, so let’s take a look at some eye candy.
Construction of the 14 Art Deco buildings that make up this “city within a city” began in 1930 and employed over 40,000 people during the Great Depression. Principal architect Raymond Hood worked with and led three architectural firms on the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. 30 Rockefeller Center opened in 1933, and the complex was finished in 1939.
Above and below is probably the most iconic piece of art in the whole compound, Wisdom by Lee Lawrie at the entrance to the GE Building, or 30 Rock, made famous by the TV show of the same name:
The floor inside 30 Rock is beautiful:
José Maria Sert painted a series of murals on the ground floor, including this locomotive scene:
The building narrows as it climbs to maximize natural light in the offices:
Isamu Noguchi’s 9-ton stainless steel panel entitled News is above the entrance to 50 Rockefeller Plaza, which was originally the Associated Press Building:
Lee Lawrie and Rene Paul Chambellan collaborated on the 2-ton sculpture of Atlas [Chambellan had previously contributed some artwork to the nearby Chanin Building]:
Lee Lawrie also designed the clock and Egyptian-inspired pierced stone ornamentation above the entrance to the International Building at 25 West 50th St.:
La Maison Française façade:
Industries of the British Commonwealth by Carl Paul Jennewein above the entrance to the British Empire Building:
On the sidewalk, a decorative grill surrounding a tree: