The 1950’s spike in television and movie culture was greatly reflected in Rockefeller Center’s progression. Between the debut Today Show broadcast from 30 Rock, a “Sidewalk Superintendents’ Club” (a group who gathered in a designated space to watch Rockefeller Center’s construction development) dedication by Marilyn Monroe and more, the entertainment facet of Rockefeller Center was definitely making a name for itself.
The decade also brought more attention to the beloved Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The Tree made its first television appearance on The Howdy Doody Show and Christmas Tree decorations were growing more and more elaborate yearly. In 1950, red garland and white plastic globes created the effect of strung cranberries and popcorn. In 1953, 6,000 shimmering icicle lights and giant red floodlights illuminated the tree. Then in 1954, wiry, white angel trumpeters were the latest addition to herald the holidays.
Discover more year-to-year details about Rockefeller Center in the 1950’s here:
1950: The Rockefeller family pays off the original mortgage on the Center.
1951: "The Kate Smith Evening Hour" broadcasts the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony on television for the first time.
1952: The Today show makes its debut, broadcasting from 30 Rock.
1953: Planning expansion to the west, Rockefeller Center buys its first piece of land across Sixth Avenue.
1954: The only Rockefeller Center building to be demolished, the Center Theater, on 49th Street and Sixth Avenue, is torn down.
1956: Bronze doors crafted by Giacomo Manzu are unveiled on the southern extension of 630 Fifth Avenue.
1957: Marilyn Monroe dedicates the “Sidewalk Superintendents’ Club” overlooking the construction site for the Time & Life Building, across Sixth Avenue at 50th Street.
1958: Rockefeller Center is now fully air-conditioned.
1959: The Time & Life Building is completed, the first of four Rockefeller Center-developed office buildings on the west side of Sixth Avenue.