Starting with a New York City real estate slump that left Rockefeller Center with more vacancies than ever before, the seventies brought along some tough times for Manhattan’s premier “city within a city.” Even the celebrated Radio City Music Hall experienced serious setbacks as superfly seventies culture shifted the music and entertainment tastes of many.
However Rockefeller Center’s sluggish decade was uplifted when the glamorous art-deco complex, composed of symmetrical layouts and decorative patterns made of elegant geometric shapes, was finally presented with the prestigious recognition it deserved. The American Institute of Architects declared Rockefeller Center the second most significant piece of architecture in America, placing only after Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia.
Discover more year-to-year details about Rockefeller Center in the 1970’s here:
1970: A New York City real estate slump leaves Rockefeller Center with substantial vacancies for the first time in decades.
1971: Radio City Music Hall hosts a closed-circuit showing of Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight.
1972: Suffering from changing entertainment tastes and New York’s general economic problems, the Music Hall loses more than $6 million. The theater is only 10% filled for some weekend film showings.
1973: Rockefeller Center signs another lease extension with Columbia University, this one extending to 1994.
1974: The tenant population of Rockefeller Center would make it the 57th largest city in the United States.
1975: Dance bands return to the Rainbow Room for the first time since World War II.
1976: The American Institute of Architects declares Rockefeller Center the second most significant piece of architecture in America (Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia is first).
1977: Joe Frazier appears live in the Rainbow Grill – this time as a singer, complete with orchestra and back-up chorus.
1978: Radio City Music Hall almost closes due to rapidly declining business; it’s saved by last-minute assistance from the state of New York.
1979: No longer used as a movie theater, a renovated Music Hall reopens as a venue for touring performers, as well as for the annual Christmas show.