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29/06/2010

"Top of the Rock", GE Building Observation Deck, Rockefeller Center, Manhattan, New York


This photo was taken from the "Top of the Rock", the GE Building Observation Deck.
The GE Building is an Art Deco skyscraper that forms the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center in the midtown Manhattan section of New York City. Known as the RCA Building until 1988, it is most famous for housing the headquarters of the television network NBC. At 259 m tall, the 70-story building is the 9th tallest building in New York City and the 32nd tallest in the United States. Its address is 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
The building was completed in 1933. The noted Art Deco architect Raymond Hood led a team of Rockefeller architects. It was named the RCA Building for its main tenant, the Radio Corporation of America, formed in 1919 by General Electric. It was the first building constructed with the elevators grouped in the central core. During construction, photographer Charles Clyde Ebbets took the famous photograph Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper. National Broadcasting Company, also owned by General Electric, leased space in the building.
The office of the Rockefeller family occupied Room 5600 on the 56th floor. This space is now occupied by Rockefeller Family & Associates, spanning between the 54th floor and the 56th floor of the building. In 1985, the building acquired official landmark status. The RCA Building was renamed as the GE Building in 1988, two years after General Electric re-acquired the RCA Corporation.
The observation deck atop the skyscraper, reopened to the public on November 1, 2005, after undergoing a $75 million renovation. It had been closed since 1986 to accommodate the renovation of the Rainbow Room. The deck, which is built to resemble the deck of an ocean liner, offers sightseers a bird's eye view of the city, competing with the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building. It is often considered the best panoramic city view, if only because it offers a view of the aforementioned Empire State Building, which cannot be seen from its own observation deck.

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