RCA Building (now GE Building)
30 Rockefeller Plaza (Fifth Avenue at 49th Street)
New York City
Raymond Hood and others 1950
The RCA building is the first, and
the centerpiece, of 21 buildings that make up the Rockefeller Center between
Fifth and Sixth Avenues, 48th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan.
70 stories high, the RCA
building looks dramatically different whether seen end-on as an elegant,
narrow shaft (east facade) as you approach down Rockefeller Plaza from
Fifth Avenue, or side-on as a vast slab (south facade) as you look from neighboring
skyscrapers further down on Sixth Avenue.
'As the first building erected, the RCA Building also set the architectural
style to be followed by the others in the Center. Its imposing Indiana
limestone walls are broken only by the windows and low-toned aluminum
spandrels recessed from the slab, which create long vertical lines that
extend unchecked from the flat roof, a design inspired by Hood's Daily News
Building, which had also influenced the fenestration of the Empire State
Three setbacks on the north and
south walls step the building back from the east facade, reflecting the
reduction of the number of elevator shafts within... The three setbacks on
the east facade are functionally unnecessary, but they continue the setback
lines of the north and south walls around the front of the tower slab,
presenting a unified surface and a visually coherent exterior.'
Donald Martin Reynolds in The
Architecture of New York City 1994
Simon Glynn 2001
How to visit
Approach from Fifth Avenue at
49th Street. The building is open during office hours. Comprehensive
visitor information is at www.rockefellercenter.com.
(On that web site the building has its current name, the GE Building.)
links outside galinsky will open in a new window. Close it when you've finished, or use
the Window menu on your browser, to return to galinsky.