New York City Guide

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Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center, is a 19 building art deco complex, stretching between 49th and 52nd Streets, and 5th to 7th Avenues. In its foyers, gardens, and on its facades, many artistic features are on display. On the lower level, can be found  access to the subway, and a continually changing shopping and dining concourse. Besides the seasonal flower and sculpture displays, the center is known for being the home of the Radio City Music Hall and the NBC television studios. The "Today Show" windows often attracts a large crowd.

The Rockefeller Centre is busiest during the winter holidays, when crowds flock to see the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall and then to skate and admire the Christmas tree. But it is well worth  a visit at other times of the year, since there is always plenty to see and do.

Sculptor Lee Lawrie contributed a number of friezes in and around the complex including the statue of Atlas (pictured).

One of the benefits for people who work at Rockefeller Centre is the series of underground corridors that connect the complex's 14 main buildings. These tunnels, known officially as the Underground Concourse, and referred to by others as the Catacombs, provide access to the nearby subway lines as well as to fast food and other dining establishments, cards stores, clothing boutiques and a myriad of other shops and services.

In nice weather, the Channel Gardens, so called because they lie in the space between La Maison Francaise and the British Empire Building, is a good place to sit and relax for a few moments. Join the office workers catching a few rays of sun on the benches throughout the gardens and watch the throng of tourists and shoppers passing by. The area is always attractively decorated, even in the midst of winter you will find something pretty to look at in the gardens here. There is also a good selection of shops selling everything from Japanese books, Italian leather goods and even Russian folk art.

Rockefeller Center 4Paul Manship's highly recognizable gilded statue of Prometheus recumbent, bringing fire to mankind, features prominently. It stands above the below level plaza which is used as an ice skating rink during winter. The rink is open from the late fall to early spring, after which the plaza space is converted to a restaurant, and used for dining al fresco. The plaza has about 200 flagpoles at varying intervals, with the flags of the United Nations member countries, the flags of United States individual states and territories, or various decorative and seasonal flags are flown. During U.S. holidays, every flagpole carries the Stars and Stripes.

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