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

  1. #46


    I got a ticket for Tuesday. I may get one for night time also. It will be my first time, so I think I need both views...


    A woman tours the Top of the Rock observation deck atop the General Electric Building in New York's Rockefeller Center, during a preview of the renovated space. The deck, closed since 1986, is scheduled to reopen to the public Tuesday Nov. 1, 2005. The Empire State Building dominates the Manhattan skyline, foreground center.

    A woman photographs the view from the Top of the Rock observation deck atop the General Electric Building in New York's Rockefeller Center.

    A tour descends the staircase surrounding the 35-foot-tall Swarovski "Joie" waterfall chandelier in the atrium lobby of the Top of the Rock in the General Electric Building in New York's Rockefeller Center.

  2. #47
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    This is excellent.

  3. #48
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    The light show they put up last night was pretty in the clouds... and that glass wall is awesome.

  4. #49


    After the loss of the WTC deck, NY has been missing an alternative viewpoint to the ESB (not that there's anything wrong with it). I'll be going back up there soon also.

  5. #50
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York City


    Good article in Time Out New York this week. One of the interesting things it said was that there were 11 observationd decks open at one time. Visitor statistics were interesting too. This is on the to-do list.

  6. #51


    NY Newsday
    October 27, 2005

    Rockefeller Center outdoor deck reopens


    The last time visitors could step out onto Rockefeller Center's outdoor deck, the World Trade Center still stood, the bouquet of spiky skyscrapers at Times Square were barely even seedlings and the crystalline Hearst Tower had not yet risen on West 58th St.

    The view has altered, but in other ways the upper reaches of Rockefeller Center have reclaimed their past. The observation deck, which opened along with the rest of the building in 1933, was closed in 1986 to keep height-seeking tourists from tramping through the Rainbow Room. Two decades and $75 million later, the building's owner, Tishman Speyer, will reopen the Top of the Rock on Nov. 1 as a three-floor panoramic experience, preceded by an excessive multimedia experience.

    The itinerary begins online, at, which sells timed tickets ($14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $9 for children), eliminating a line that would otherwise snake out past Radio City Music Hall. To keep tourists segregated from office workers, access is not through the gilded lobby, but around the corner, in a modest, gray-toned foyer on West 50th St. made grand by a gargantuan crystal chandelier. This mutant fixture hangs from a mezzanine down to the basement and is wrapped in a spiral staircase.

    Upstairs is a waiting zone adorned with a poster-board timeline of Rockefeller Center and a muchness of digital distraction. A beam embedded in the floor bisects an animated screen that offers an ironworker's-eye-view of the tower under construction. The point is to offer the queasy experience of balancing 800 feet in the air. It sort of works.

    An assortment of promotional videos soothes the passage towards the elevator, which is a thrill ride in itself; the trip is fast, the ceiling is glass and the shaft is fitted out with little purple lights that flit by as the cab rushes towards the 67th floor. As if all that weren't enough, a 54-second video history of the last 75 years flashes on the ceiling, complete with a roaring soundtrack.

    The journey's overload is excused by the destination, Manhattan's most imperial view. The Empire State Building reaches higher of course, but its view lacks the Empire State Building -- whereas there it is, an Art Deco sibling rising an arm's reach away. Here, on the outdoor deck, 9-foot glass panels minimize the separation between the viewer and the sky. An upper level is even more exposed, making it a glorious urban aerie from which to watch the skyline change.

    Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.

  7. #52


    Top Of The Rock did a free "soft opening" to the public yesterday.

    I am from the UK but was in New York for the last week. I was gutted when I found out that it was opening on November 1st - we flew back at 9:30 last night. Anyway, we were killing time at the Rockefeller yesterday afternoon, when I saw that the entrance was open. The staff were handing out free tickets to iron out any last minute problems.

    Needless to say, I was over the moon. The views are spectacular to say the least. There are 3 viewing floors. 67 is almost completely inside wth a couple of glass walled areas outside. The 69th floor viewing is completely outside with glas walls again. The shots you see above are of the 69th. The top floor is smaller and only has a low stone wall. There is a completely unobstructed view uptown and downtown - east and west are somewhat blocked off depending on which floor you are on. The top photo is taken of the 69th floor from the 70th, so you can see there is no obstruction.

    Needless to say the views are amazing. I can't imagine a better vantage point for Central Park and beyond, and obviously the view of ESB is amazing. The other treat is that many other midtown structures are visible from TOTR that cannot be seen from ESB. One of the few drawbacks is that there is no full view of the Chrysler due to the Met Life building.

    The whole experience is much nicer too. There is no feeling of them trying to make a quick buck like there is with the ESB (although these are very early days).

    If you are at all interested in the New York skyline or spectacular views then get there as soon as possible.

    I may post a couple of pictures later but I am still pretty jet-lagged .

  8. #53


    sbj, thanks for the update. I went to the observation deck today, it was open, the tickets were $5, the view - to die for.

    The entrance is on 50th Street, down the spiral staircase around crystal chandelier to buy tickets, there was no line for cashier. Next elevator one floor up, a circle around waiting area towards the area where visitors are arranged in 3 rows, according to the time stamped on the tickets. After a short wait watching video clips - a walk to elevators with a clear ceiling taking visitors to 67th floor. There are 2 small viewing areas on 67th floor, on the northeast and southeast corners of the building. Escalator one floor up takes visitors to the main viewing floor, along south, west, and north sides of the building. A viewing area on 69th floor was closed when I was there.

    The observation deck will be open tomorrow, Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm according to one source or from 11 am to 5 pm according to another source. The tickets will be $5.

    This is a new top destination in New York City.

  9. #54


    Top of the Rock - the observation deck atop the GE building. 29 October 2005.

  10. #55


    Quote Originally Posted by Edward
    down the spiral staircase around crystal chandelier to buy tickets, . . . Escalator one floor up takes visitors to the main viewing floor, along south, west, and north sides of the building. . .
    Has anyone yet noticed whether all this is wheelchair-accessible? (The Top of the Rock web site doesn't address that topic). A houseguest of mine (who uses a chair) and I had drinks on the 65th floor last evening, and I'd love to take him up to the Observatory, but stairs and escalators are visit-killers.
    Last edited by ManhattanKnight; October 30th, 2005 at 01:07 AM.

  11. #56

    Thumbs up

    Great photos and thank Edward

  12. #57


    I'm definitely up for checking this out next week - it looks great!

    Am I right in assuming that you get just 15 minutes on the deck before being shunted off?

    I visited the Empire State a few years back and got some great sunset/dusk pictures - could someone suggest the best 15 mins for that please?

    Check out my photos from previous visits here:

  13. #58


    In answer to a couple of points.

    You are given a 15 minute timeslot for going up. There appears to be no restriction on how long you stay up for. I was up there for an hour - I would have been much longer had I not been flying out later that evening.

    There are elevators to each floor. A direct one to 67 and then a further one to 69, 70 and the restrooms on 66. This would seem to make it wheelchair accessible and as you can see, the views are visible for a low height so that wouldn't be an issue either.

  14. #59


    A few images from Friday. The first shot is the 69th floor complete with glass barriers. The second is the 70th with just a low wall.

  15. #60


    Quote Originally Posted by ManhattanKnight
    Has anyone yet noticed whether all this is wheelchair-accessible?
    You can call them at 1-877-692-7625. I would assume it is. You take the stairs to the ticket line down, but after that you take an elevator up to the floor above ground level, where you actually board the fast elevator to the top. So the elevator that takes you to the observation could be taken from the ground floor of GE building.

    As to the deck, although it is claimed to be on the 70th floor, the elevator guy presses button for 67, where there are two small observation areas. Most people take an escalator to the main deck on floor 68, but I imagine there might be elevators too.

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