Rockefeller Center is a commercial complex that consists of 19 buildings, 14 original buildings and 5 built at a later time. It is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan in New York City and covers 22 acres (89,000 m2). The site is well known for its Art Deco design and architecture, and is a popular tourist attraction. Let’s find out who designed this massive complex.
Who designed Rockefeller Center?
Rockefeller Center was conceived by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the 1920′s. In 1928 he leased the land from Colombia University and began plans to develop the site. He initially planned a grand opera house on the land for the Metropolitan Opera. However, the opera wanted a better lease which, together with the stock market crash of 1929, changed Rockefeller’s plans for the site. He decided to finance the building himself and it remains one of the largest private building projects undertaken.
The senior architect for the project was Raymond Hood and he worked with three of the leading architectural firms to come up with the designs for the project. Construction of the original 14 buildings began in 1930 and was completed in 1939. The additional towers were built in the 1960′s and 70′s and the chief architect was Wallace Harrison, who was the family’s chief architect at the time. Harrison originally worked as part of the team led by Raymond Hood on the initial plans!
Did you know?
Originally Rockefeller did not want the Center to be named after him, but he was persuaded to use the family name by his public relations consultant as it would attract more tenants.