Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 132

Thread: Top of the Rock - Observation Deck atop GE Building in Rockefeller Center

  1. #1

    Default Top of the Rock - Observation Deck atop GE Building in Rockefeller Center

    DAILY NEWS...

    Rock to reopen roof deck
    Empire State Building to get rival by Yule '05


    By LORE CROGHAN

    Coming soon to midtown Manhattan - the battle of the observation decks, a faceoff between the famed tourist draw atop the Empire State Building and a fancy Art Deco deck at Rockefeller Center that's been closed for 17 years.

    And to mix it up further, the new owner of another famous landmark, the General Motors Building, is thinking about opening an observation center on the roof of his skyscraper.

    Rock Center landlord Tishman Speyer Properties plans to reopen the decks on the 69th and 70th floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The tower, housing the studios of NBC, overlooks the skating rink at the landmarked office complex.

    "We think we will be able to compete with the Empire State Building," said Robert J. Speyer, who's in charge of the renovation. "We have a strategic advantage because we have a tourist base that already comes to Rockefeller Center."

    Speyer plans to restore the observation sites to their original beauty and add modern safety features like a transparent glass railing through which photos can be taken. Originally opened in 1933, the levels were built to look like the decks of cruise ships, and even had deck chairs.

    Word of Speyer's plans provoked a feisty response from owners of the Empire State Building, whose 86th-floor observation deck drew 3.4 million visitors last year.

    "Should the Rock Center observatory reopen, it will provide an excellent opportunity to view the world's greatest building, the Empire State Building," said a spokesman for the property. "Because of its substantially lower height and less central location, Rock Center will not offer a view anywhere near comparable to the one from the Empire State Building's observatory."

    The Empire State Building also is threatened by possible competition from Harry Macklowe, who recently bought the GM Building for $1.4 billon. Sources said an observation deck is on his list of new ways to generate revenue at the building at 767 Fifth Ave., which has stellar views of Central Park across the street.

    As for Rock Center's decks, they, too, have killer views of Central Park, plus the Hudson River, Times Square and the Chrysler Building. The landlord expects they'll make money.

    "This is a smart business proposition," Speyer said.

    He hasn't decided yet how much to charge visitors for tickets because the decks won't reopen for another two years - in time for the lighting of the Christmas tree downstairs in 2005.

    Before the project can get under way, it needs the approval of the city Landmarks Preservation Commission. As a first step in the process, the proposal is scheduled for discussion at a Community Board 5 meeting on Thursday.

    The landmarks commission will hold a hearing late this month or in early December.


    View from past: Visitors to Rockefeller observation deck shortly after its 1933 opening.

  2. #2

    Default

    NY Times...

    Repairs and Reopening Planned for a Rockefeller Center Roof

    By ANDREA ELLIOTT

    Seventeen years after Rockefeller Center closed the historic observation decks atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza, developers plan to renovate the space and reopen it to the public, pending city approval.

    The decks, which first opened to sightseers in 1933, rise as high as 850 feet above street level, offering panoramic views from the top two floors of the Art Deco building known as the RCA and more recently the G.E. Building. They were closed in 1986 when expansion of the Rainbow Room on the 65th floor cut off elevator access to them.

    "This was one of the great attractions of Rockefeller Center historically," said Robert J. Speyer, senior managing director of Tishman Speyer Properties, one of the center's owners. "It ought to be restored and reopened for the world to see."

    If approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the project would be scheduled for completion in fall 2005, Mr. Speyer said. He would not comment on the cost of the project. A public hearing before the commission is set for Nov. 25.

    "The whole thing is very exciting," said Robert B. Tierney, chairman of the commission. "Rockefeller Center is such a gem and has such historical significance that we will look at this very, very carefully."

    Because the building is a historic landmark one of about 1,200 in the city any plan to renovate it must be found appropriate by the commission, Mr. Tierney said.

    "We look at the history of the landmark, the aesthetics," he said. "All kinds of factors come into play."

    The proposal calls for a ground-floor entrance on West 50th Street. Elevators would lead to the 67th floor, which would feature a combination of food and retail services, and an observation deck encased by windows, Mr. Speyer said.

    From there, visitors would be able to take escalators to the open-air observation deck on the 69th floor, where they would be greeted with views of Central Park. They would then be able to climb the stairs or take an elevator up a floor to another open deck for a 360-degree view that includes the Empire State Building, Times Square and the Hudson River.


    The renovation plan includes restoring decorative limestone and cast aluminum fleur-de-lis panels, and installing new terra cotta tiles on some floors in the same size and color as the original tiles.

    In recent years, the 67th floor was used as storage space, and the uppermost part of the building was closed.

    "We are set to restore it back to its original use," Mr. Speyer said. "When you take over a landmark like Rockefeller Center, you want to strike a balance between restoration and innovation, and we think this plan threads that needle."

  3. #3
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manhattan - South Village
    Posts
    4,240

    Default

    Yay! Our unparalleled rooftop views are one of the city's biggest assets, mostly untapped. Hopefully this is the just the first of more lofty perches for us to enjoy.

  4. #4

    Default Rockefeller Center Deck to reopen/ GM Building may follow

    This is good. In the early 80's I took visiting family on roof deck tour of the City - started with the roof of my Columbia dorm, then Riverside Church, the (then) RCA Bldg, Empire State and finishing up at WTC. RCA was voted favorite. (My father thought WTC swayed too much!)

    Are there any other high-up viewpoints open in the city today besides ESB?

  5. #5
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    West Harlem
    Posts
    2,805

    Default

    I'll be there!

    This is candy! :shock:

  6. #6
    Senior Member DougGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    LA, formerly NY
    Posts
    130

    Default

    This is incredible! I've been disappointed with the few options for high-rise observation decks, so this is a dream come true. Plus, I laughed out loud at the response by the ESB's management! Very snappy come-back.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,298

    Default

    And the GM Building, also!

    Now if CMP could reopen its observation deck, hopefully on the top floor and on the roof. It's centrally located in the Financial District and would offer great views.

    The GE Building has wonderful views regardless. More of Central Park and uptown, right in the heart of Midtown.

  8. #8
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    7,470

    Default

    It would be really nice if the the observation gallery in the AIG Building (70 Pine) could be re-opened to the public. It's a very classy Art Deco gem with excellent views in every direction. Apparently plans for the City Bank Farmer's Trust Building (20 Exchange Place) included a 57th floor observation floor, which would have been equally alluring. And not to forget 40 Wall Street with former observation rooms in the pyramid on the 69th and 70th floors.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    The Catskills
    Posts
    442

    Default

    TLOZ, I was unaware that CMP (Chase Manhattan Plaza) had an observation deck. In the late 80's I worked in the upper floors of that bldg. as a temp -- a paralegal on the Midnight to Morning shift. If important papers arrived from London then I was the gofer to place the distribution on each attorney's desk or chair. The views from their offices were mesmerizing, like Dorothy seeing OZ for the first time.

    The unobstructed night-time view of Midtown reached from the Hudson to the East River and beyond. The bridges were like shimmering strands of greenish light connecting the boroughs across black voids. Manhattan could open serveral observation decks and have no difficulty finding tourists and skyline enthusiasts willing to pony up and pay.

  10. #10
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,298

    Default

    CMP very much had an observation deck, but obviously it became obsolete when the WTC was finished. It was operational in the '60s; I was at my grandparents' house last Christmas, leafing through their old books, and I found a brochure about New York from the '60s. CMP's observation deck was featured.

  11. #11

    Default

    I believe the obs deck at Chase was made into a corporate meetings area with a company restaurant for executives.

  12. #12
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JMGarcia
    I believe the obs deck at Chase was made into a corporate meetings area with a company restaurant for executives.
    That's right. I doubt that it can be reopened as an observation deck, but consider the possibilities!

  13. #13

    Default

    The GE observation deck will be a serious competitor to ESB observation deck - the view of the Empire State is truly awe-inspiring.

    The Empire State Building in blue and green colors on the occasion of 110th Anniversary of the National Council of Jewish Women. The view from the 64th floor of the GE Building.


  14. #14
    Senior Member DougGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    LA, formerly NY
    Posts
    130

    Default

    I wonder if FAO's tanking will speed up the decision to reopen GM's observation deck. They may need the added income, no?

  15. #15

    Default

    Does 60 Wall have an observation deck of any sort?

Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Winter Garden of World Financial Center - Recent pictures
    By Edward in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 166
    Last Post: August 31st, 2016, 12:04 PM
  2. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
    By Edward in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: December 21st, 2010, 09:17 PM
  3. Building Art at Rockefeller Center
    By ZippyTheChimp in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: June 26th, 2009, 02:40 PM
  4. Jazz at Lincoln Center - Time Warner Center
    By Edward in forum New York Skyscrapers and Architecture
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: October 16th, 2007, 12:47 PM
  5. Public Observation Decks
    By JCDJ in forum New York City Guide For Visitors
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: August 5th, 2003, 03:36 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Google+ - Facebook - Twitter - Meetup

Edward's photos on Flickr - Wired New York on Flickr - In Queens - In Red Hook - Bryant Park - SQL Backup Software