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GE Building, New York

  • 10

    Votes: 138 19.9%
  • 9.5

    Votes: 59 8.5%
  • 9

    Votes: 119 17.2%
  • 8.5

    Votes: 72 10.4%
  • 8

    Votes: 76 11.0%
  • 7.5

    Votes: 47 6.8%
  • 7

    Votes: 52 7.5%
  • 6.5

    Votes: 21 3.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 27 3.9%
  • 5.5

    Votes: 12 1.7%
  • 5

    Votes: 17 2.5%
  • 4.5

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • 4

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • 3.5

    Votes: 7 1.0%
  • 3 or less

    Votes: 32 4.6%

  • Total voters
1 - 20 of 431 Posts

By Spirit
25,870 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
GE Building
New York, USA

HEIGHT: 259m/850 feet
FLOORS: 69 floors
ARCHITECT: designed by Reinhard & Hofmeister, Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux, Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray

also known as The RCA Building, 30 Rockefeller Center

After sixteen months of work, this building became at 259 m the tallest in Rockefeller Center. The owner company moved into this simplified slab from its decor-topped Lexington Avenue tower and housed its National Broadcast Company and operations here.

Clad in white Indiana limestone, the 70-storey building's jagged form follows the zoning regulations imposed on high-rise buildings. Each setback also corresponds to a reduction in the amount of elevators, and thus in the total size of elevator shafts.

The construction of this building was made possible, from the legal point-of-view, by the combination of all of the land in Rockefeller Center into one zoning lot, so that there was enough "air" space around the building.

The "economy" of the 195,200 m² building impressed even the hardened businessmen who rented the office space to various tenants: no rentable area was off the maximum (profitable) distance from the windows; it was also Hood's aim to provide every workroom with direct natural lightning. The building housed at the time of its completion the largest floor area of any commercial building hitherto.

The 65th floor houses the stylish Rainbow Room restaurant with generous views over Midtown. For decades the terraced open-air observatory was open to the public, until the expansion of the restaurant and its adjoining Rainbow Grill bar lounge necessitated the closing of the rooftop facility.

The Art Deco decoration of the building follows the heroic and mythical themes, combined with praise of modernity and visualized in form of classical figures at work or gods and goddesses of specific virtues. The Rockefellers, in fact, employed the mind of consultant philosopher Hartley Burr Alexander who defined the ideological theme for the Center. In the niché above the entrance is Lee Lawrie's relief Genius. The lobby artwork was originally to be commissioned from such heavyweights as Matisse and Picasso, but eventually José Maria Sert made the murals American Progress and Time, whereas Diego Rivera's mural incorporating Lenin as "the leader of the worker's movement" was too much, leading to its removal...

At the foot of the building is the sunken plaza, originally planned as an entrance to the center's subway station. As the construction of the subway station was delayed, the plaza was lined with below-grade luxury shops. In 1936, to divert attention from the commercial failures of the retailers, the plaza was first turned into a public roller rink and subsequently into a more upper class wintertime ice skating rink and a summertime café. Paul Manship's gilded bronze sculpture Prometheus lies above the fountain pool of the plaza. Every Christmas an illuminated giant spruce is erected on Rockefeller Plaza above the statue -- the first one was a 1931 construction workers' tree, a more down-to-earth decorated one too.

The flat roof between the main tower and the wing facing Sixth Avenue (the GE Building West) (image) houses a roof-top garden.

The building changed hands in 1986, when General Electric incorporated RCA, along with its subsidiary NBC. Ten years later, when the Center was bought by a group led by Goldman Sachs and Jerry Speyer, the condominium interest of the building was sold to NBC for $440 million.


born again cyclist
3,659 Posts
an art deco slab, how cool is that? this is a nearly perfect skyscraper and that fact that it is part of one of the most wonderfully urban complexes in the nation really goes a long way toward making me vote this one a:


403 Posts
9.5/10 - Shows the variety possible within the Art Deco style - it took me awhile to wrap my eyes around the startling shape that alternates between splinter and mountain - I think the best views show it from a corner angle - but now I can see how effective that contrast is. The splinter sides really soar, and the setbacks on the mountain sides keep them from seeming monotonous. Then are are those sculptures - and she sure does look impressive looming through the swirling fog in that one picture!
Art Deco rules! :eek:kay:

662 Posts
'Nother NYC art deco classic.

Yet somehow I think if it were built today it would be pu-pued on as being a slab of concrete. It's really not that attractive, but it is still a classic.


Ah yes. I forgot to say this building looks much more attractive from the narrow side.

0 Posts
I like the pic were it shows how wide it is from one side, the other side seems to skinny. I like big buildings. What I don't like about it is its color and the overall desgne of it.


2,077 Posts
Another NYC classic art deco skyscraper! Similar to the Wells Fargo in Minneapolis. Without a doubt, a high rating.


8,590 Posts
No comparison to the fabulous Chrysler Builing, but IMO better than the Empire State Building.

Full of vertical/horizontal setbacks.

A true skyscraper and a deco masterpeice with beautiful mythological reliefs.


Penang Skyscrapers Hunter
10,128 Posts

looks good from the side but sux from the front
1 - 20 of 431 Posts