Rockefeller Center is a magnificent mixture of indoor and outdoor attractions that stretch from 5th to 7th Avenue and 47th to 51st Street. The Rock is a hub of activity and is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in New York City. Whether you’re interested in driving your New York car rental down to the annual Christmas tree display, or if you’d rather catch a taping of NBC’s “Today Show”, Rockefeller Center is where the action is at. The Center is full of world-class retail shops, multinational business and much, much more! The Rockefeller Center is located seconds away from another prominent New York staple, Times Square, so be sure to swing on over in your New York car rental because you don’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!
In the year 1929 John D. Rockefeller leased a prominent patch of land in the middle of New York from Columbia University. His plan was to revitalize the area with big office buildings and even a new home for the Metropolitan Opera. Sadly, Rockefeller’s plans for the Opera house came to a halt during the market crash of that year, but he persevered and continued to develop the land into an entirely commercial complex.
Rockefeller Center is currently comprised of 19 buildings and features art by over 30 different artists within the spacious foyers, gardens and facades. Other attractions include the GE Building located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This massive building stands 850 feet tall and boasts 70 stories. It provides office space for General Electric along with the TV network powerhouse NBC. When driving past the GE Building in your New York rental car you can’t help but notice the two sculptural figures that decorate NBC’s entrance. These sculptures symbolize the production and reception of television, and companion pieces can be found outside of another one of the residences of Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Music Hall. The Radio City Music Hall is the place to catch New York’s premiere performances.
The massive interior was designed by Donald Deskey and can hold close to 6,000 spectators at once! The Music Hall opened in 1932 and is a must see attraction when you visit New York! The two most famous attractions at Rockefeller Center are hands down the Christmas Tree and the Outdoor Skating Rink. The Rockefeller Christmas tree towers over the plaza during the Christmas season symbolizing the essence of New York at Christmas time.
Rockefeller Christmas tree
The tree itself is hand picked by the manager of the Rockefeller Center every year from one of the Northwestern states. The tree is typically a Norway Spruce and the desire dimensions are, obvious, gigantic! A prospective Rockefeller Christmas Tree must be a minimum of 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide. Over 30,000 multi-colored bulbs are strung throughout the tree, which covers over 5 miles of wire! The official day for lighting the tree this year is November 30th so be sure to hop in your New York car rental to check it out!
Rockefeller Skating Rink
The Rockefeller Skating Rink opens in October and remains in use during the cold winter months. This sunken part of the plaza was originally designed as the focal point for the Metropolitan Opera, but after the market crash it was re-engineered in 1936 with restaurants and later the installation of the outdoor rink.
One of the most memorable attractions at the Rockefeller Plaza was installed in 1962. Along the Northeast side of the plaza there is a large, green granite block that is inscribed with John D. Rockefeller’s personal credo: “I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Following this are nine of Rockefeller’s personal sayings etched into the stone for all to see.
Rockefeller Center is really a magnificent sight, so don’t just drive past it in your New York car rental take the time to stop and enjoy all of the truly beautiful sights!